Tuesday, May 12, 2009


I do believe that summer is my favorite time of year! This year at casa Dowdell I'm trying something new the "MOOOMMM, I'm bored!" box. It's a shoebox in which I am putting pieces of paper that each have an activity on them. So when I hear "there's nothing to do!" I can say - "Go to the BOX!"

Activities I have so far:
bake a cake
do an observational drawing (drawing what you see)
go ice skating
write a letter to a friend that you don't see very often and mail it - or a drawing
go on a nature walk and collect things for the nature table
go for a bike ride
go bowling
bake cookies
sidewalk chalk
make and play with ice boats
play capture the flag
play hide and seek
slip and slide
take some pictures
make a movie about a story you write
write/illustrate a comic book/strip
go on a geo cache
make paper airplanes
make stepping stones
build ramps for cars
blind sketching
make up a song and record a music video
face painting
learn some new magic tricks and preform a magic show
make goo
play card games
salt dough
have a stuffed animal fashion show
write and illustrate a story
erupt a volcano
make and eat ice cream
build a birdhouse
go to the library
create a menu and play restaurant
make puppets and have a puppet show
create a recipe and cook your creation
go to the park
make lemonade and have a lemonade stand
play hopscotch
jump rope
hula hoop
draw a mural
design a castle/space station/ pirate ship/animal house
fingerprint art
papier-mache bowl/mask
make a treasure box
draw a treasure map and hide a treasure
finger painting
car wash

I plan to run my days a lot like the preschool that Finley attends with a fun trail/obstacle course in the morning followed by making a plan for the rest of the day - like going to the beach or movies or camp or swimming, etc...then we will either get going or they can have free time to play whatever they want and I think this is where the box will come in handy. Most of the activities are free or I already have the supplies to complete them - this is also a way of cleaning out my "craft room" - more like a junk room. This box will also serve me well when it is raining in the afternoons. My plan is to be out of the house in the mornings and home for nap time for Jonas in the afternoon when the thunderstorms usually pop up.

I came up with a lot of the ideas but also gathered them from places around the internet and the book Unplugged Play. I also have a million art projects to do with them that actually teach them technique which is cool. Most of the activities are also suited to lots of kids so when we have playdates there will be something to do other than destroying my house. I like that most of the activities are open-ended and allow for creativity on the child's part - not so directed because I want them to think and get their brain tired as well as their bodies.

I'll make a list of the art projects we will do as well but I think I will have a devoted art time instead of including them in the "I'm bored Box." And I'll post pictures of the box when it's finished which will have to be by Thursday night because Friday is our first day of summer!


Ashley said...

Love it! I should do something similar - of course most of the projects in our box would have to be done sans me. Ooooh, or maybe a "date" box since I want to be extra sure to spend individual time with each after the baby comes.
Thanks for the idea!

Kellie said...

This is great Shannon and I am totally stealing ALL your ideas. Well, except the beach idea (and I have pain when I say that. At least we will be in Florida for a month this summer again)

Is unplugged Play a good book? Worth buying?

gardenmama said...

So Excellent!
I made one last year by hanging "things to do" off a branch that was secured in a small pot of stones...
Enjoy your summer!