101 Non-Electric Things for Kids to DO When They are Bored

Ethiopian kids playing
Things for your children to do that don’t require an e- or an i- . Have a list ready when they say they are bored.
Ever wonder if your kids know about that alternate universe that doesn’t run on “e” and “i”? If you hand them a book, do they try to figure out how to recharge it or where to plug it in? Do they look for the delete button when you hand them a plate of veggies? Do they reach for the fast forward when you are talking to them? Are they “married” to several people on FB? It might be time to disconnect for a little while.
  • Here are 101 suggestions to encourage your children to disconnect and connect with the real world:
    1. Bake cookies and deliver them to an elderly neighbor or relative
    2. Learn to jump rope
    3. Start a band
    4. Work a jigsaw puzzle with a group of friends
    5. Start a small business
    6. Volunteer at an animal shelter
    7. Become a clown and visit nursing homes
    8. Start a poetry club
    9. Find a pen pal
    10. Collect stamps and find people to swap with
    11. Make a mosaic
    12. Carve soap into a figurine
    13. Work with clay and a potter’s wheel
    14. Walk dogs for neighbors
    15. Build a model
    16. Get a group together and break a world record in something
    17. Start a neighborhood newspaper
    18. Lie in the grass and look at the clouds
    19. Read an entire dictionary
    20. Set up a scavenger hunt for your friends
    21. Go on a photo safari
    22. Paint a picture
    23. Learn to play chess
    24. Grow an herb garden
    25. Make a movie with your friends
    26. Knit a sweater
    27. Embroider a bib for a baby
    28. Do yoga
    29. Learn a new language
    30. Do a chore without being asked (and watch the magic happen)
    31. Leave love notes all over the house
    32. Direct a neighborhood talent show
    33. Raise money for a charity
    34. Raise a caterpillar into a butterfly and release
    35. Wash the dog or clean the bird’s or hamster’s cage
    36. Mold chocolate candy
    37. Blow bubbles
    38. Make a scrapbook of your life
    39. Make a time capsule and bury it in your back yard to dig up when you are 20
    40. Cook a five-course meal and serve your family or a group of friends
    41. Record a song
    42. Start a book club
    43. Spend an entire day in the library reading
    44. Pick a bouquet of wildflowers for your mother
    45. Make a rock collection
    46. Play with the hose
    47. Build a snow fort
    48. Make a quilt
    49. Go on a hike and camp out
    50. Earn and save money for something big you have been wanting
    51. Participate in a charity event
    52. Write a fan letter to a celebrity you admire telling them why
    53. Spend the day getting to know a younger sibling
    54. Learn to belly dance
    55. Make sandwiches and deliver to the homeless
    56. Write out a plan for your future and see how close you come to it
    57. Make candles
    58. Dry or press flowers
    59. Learn calligraphy
    60. Lie in the grass and look at the stars and identify them
    61. Create a superhero and write his story in a graphic novel
    62. Wear a blindfold or earplugs all day to help you better comprehend how blind or deaf people live
    63. Plan a family night with an activity and snacks
    64. Spend an entire day praying and talking to God
    65. Read a book series (Harry Potter, Series of Unfortunate Events, etc.) to a child
    66. Listen to an opera
    67. Try a new food
    68. Sew a pillow
    69. Tie-dye a T-shirt
    70. Learn to batik
    71. Collect coats and gloves for the needy
    72. Make a loom and weave place mats
    73. Paint your bedroom
    74. Jump on a pogo stick
    75. Try water skiing or tubing
    76. Bake bread
    77. Work a crossword puzzle
    78. Read a newspaper front to back
    79. Teach someone something you know how to do well
    80. Tutor someone in a subject in which you are strong
    81. Run for something (class president, most like to …) or run a campaign for a friend
    82. Start a petition for a cause you believe in
    83. Write a congressman about something that concerns you
    84. Draw a floor plan for your idea of a perfect house
    85. Run a day camp for neighborhood kids (summer, winter break, spring break)
    86. Skip everywhere you go for one full day
    87. Try to answer everyone who talks to you by singing a song
    88. Play with toys in a bubble bath
    89. Redecorate your room with a theme
    90. Throw a surprise party for someone for no particular reason
    91. Create a new holiday
    92. Work at a soup kitchen
    93. Make a budget
    94. Play in the dirt or mud
    95. Grow a frog from a tadpole
    96. Go fishing
    97. Make a rubber band ball as big as you can
    98. Speak in pig-Latin for an entire day
    99. Take a picture of yourself wearing the same thing in the same place every day at the same time for a year and then make a movie of it
    100. Go to school in formal wear with a few of your friends
    101. Build a better mousetrap

    There you have it. A list to hand your children when you ask them to unplug and they say they are bored. Make substitutions and either hand them the list, or cut into strips and put in a jar and let them draw one out each time they whine. They may discover hidden talents, untried passions, or a lifelong hobby. You may discover a little peace.