Stuck at home with the kids these holidays? Here are 10 boredom busters for eco kids!
When school holiday boredom looms, break out these ideas. These boredom busters are all ideas for kids who are in tune with the environment. They’re all low or no cost, and help kids connect with the natural environment. They’re also a great investment of time in activities that nurture future earth citizens. Oh, and they’re all fun!
Our top boredom busters for eco kids
1. Treasure hunt
Treasure hunts are a great way to get kids exploring outdoors. Write clues to send kids on a hunt around the house and garden. Treasures need not be big (a patch of ripe raspberries or a symbolic object will suffice). The fun in this is trying to nut out the clues. It’s all about the journey, not the destination.
2. Baking with your garden harvest
Get kids busy picking for you in your patch, then set them to work making yummy creations. And bonus points if you can freeze or store their handiwork as lunchbox snacks for the next school term. Think basil and tomato muffins, fruit leathers and pumpkin scones.
3. Co-operative games
Co-operative games build empathy, communication skills and are great for little future earth custodians. We love Hanabi and Little Permies Cards but there are many other co-operative games that require no special ingredients beyond a deck of 52 cards or a wild imagination.
4. Penny hike
Penny hikes are a great way to get a group of kids out in the sunshine. And they don’t cost a dime. Although you will need to provide kids with a coin. Penny hikes are walks with no fixed destination. At each corner, hikers must flip a coin to determine whether or not they turn left or right.
5. Backyard camping
You don’t need to drive five hours out of town to have a camping experience. Backyards are the perfect place to pitch your tent. The novelty of camping in your own backyard cannot be underestimated. Let kids spend the day setting up camp, and if the weather is suitable, they could even cook their dinner on a backyard camp fire.
6. Train your chooks
If your place includes a chook coop, set your kids the challenge of training their chickens. Chook training involves a lot of time and patience, so it’s a good project to do over a series of weeks. Simple tricks like leaping for food or getting your chooks to follow you are easy wins, but if your budding chook whisperer shows promise, they might even be able to get their feathered friends swinging.
7. Seed bombs
These were one of our suggestions for garden christmas gifts. But seed bombs are a fun project for kids anytime. They mix the tactile joys of clay play with the awesomeness of guerrilla gardening. Win/win!
8. Garden restaurant
This is one of our favourite boredom busters. Keep your kids busy and get them to cook you dinner at the same time. How? By letting them set up their own restaurant. Kids can have fun designing a menu around your garden produce, or give them an “Iron Chef” challenge with a mystery ingredient (one you have lots of… like zucchini). Making menus, setting up a special table outdoors, choosing music and (of course) cooking will keep kids occupied for hours. Bon appetit!
9. Nature crafts
Keep crafty kids busy with materials that literally do grow on trees. Make leaf bunting, do mud painting with reeds, weave a nature loom or garland or try your hand at pressing flowers.
The internet is full of great ideas for crafting out of the natural world, and nature offers up a fantastic renewable source of materials. So ditch the glitter glue and stickers and head outdoors with a basket to get crafting.
10. Build a cubby
A classic, for a reason. Setting up a cubby is that timeless childhood rite of passage that never gets old. Whether it’s out of sheets on the verandah, up a tree or in an anthill, cubbies are where school holidays are meant to be spent, so get building.