If you’ve experienced weather that’s even remotely like what we’ve experienced here in Ontario this winter, you’ve had lots of days of “I’m bored!” and “There’s nothing to do!”. And whether it’s your kids saying those things or just a personal sentiment, after a few months it gets pretty old.
So what do you do when there’s nothing to do?
Go geocaching. Geocaching is a free real-world treasure hunt. If you’ve got a smartphone or a gps, you’ve got everything you need. Go to geocaching.com on your computer, or download the app to your phone, and go on a treasure hunt! You’ll be surprised at how many caches are out there; there’s a very good chance that there are several within walking distance of your home. Yes, if you’re going in the winter you may be trudging through snow. But here’s a little hint I got from some experienced geocachers: check the “Attributes” section (in the sidebar on the website) on each cache first. If you see a snowflake icon, that means that the cache is accessible in the winter and won’t be obscured by snow. If you’re taking kids with you, look for caches that are larger in size. The larger the cache is, the more likely it will be to have swag that your kiddos can keep in exchange for some of their own. Hardcore geocachers will have custom buttons, patches, or other items that they leave in each cache, but most casual geocachers will exchange their own tiny toys and trinkets for one in the cache. This is the part that kids really enjoy ;-).
Make an altered book. Most of us have old books laying around, or make a quick trip to your local second-hand store to pick up an old hard-cover book or two. Our second-hand store gave us our books for a quarter each. Using embellishments, markers, scissors and other items, use your book to express yourself artistically. You could make it into a journal, or simply use it as a random artistic outlet. My kiddos loved doing this because of course, writing in books is usually a BIG no-no. You won’t get this done in one day; this is a project you or the kids could come back to again and again.
Make a stop-motion Lego video. This is a cool project for older kids, especially ones that will be able to edit their own video when they’re done filming.
Bake something new. Use KraftKitchens.com or another website to type in the ingredients you have on hand and it will give you a list of recipes that can be made with those ingredients.
Play a board game. All of us have board games that we received as gifts that haven’t seen the light of day for who knows how long. Break one out, set out some hot chocolate and make an afternoon of it.
Clean something that hardly ever gets cleaned. In our house, there are far too many options when it comes to this. How about the blinds, the window screens, the baseboard, the closets, or the kids’ toy collection?
Hack something. When I get bored, I get creative. And so much more so when I have little to no money to get creative with. Yesterday I re-did our charging station for our phones, tablets and an ipod. We had been using a large letter sorter that was wired up with a power bar and charging cords. But it was getting cluttered, and it took up way too much counter space in our counter-space-challenged kitchen. So, I used a rectangular basket, a wooden bread cutting board insert, and a clear plastic mail sorter to create a new, smaller charging station with more outlets. Need inspiration? That’s what Pinterest is for!
Rearrange the furniture. My philosophy is that no furniture arrangement should stay static for more than a year. That may be too often for some, but you can’t argue with the fact that a new arrangement always breathes new life into a room. In this spring-in-spirit-if-not-in-reality time of year, rearranging a room can make you feel like you’ve moved.
Each of these things can be done with kids or without. Involving them is half the fun!