Topic | Filling their days and keeping them busy


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  • HSMom03

    My 9 year old son needs more things to do.  School work only takes up a smallish portion of the day.  He obviously has too much time on his hands and as parents we are concerned about idleness.  This issue (his abundance of free time) has even made him interested in attending school and my husband and I have actually uttered the words, “this is where school would be good for him!”  When he was younger he would keep himself busy, he would play all day.  It now seems he has outgrown that phase.  We can’t expect him to play Legos all day, and he can’t play video games all day.  So in a nutshell, I would love to get some input/ideas on how to fill up his days.  I also have a 7 year old boy, 5 year old boy, 2 year old girl and I need help filling their days as well.  They do not keep themselves busy all day like my oldest did.  And just as an FYI, we attend a co-op 1/2 day (one afternoon), every other week.  Thanks!!


    We struggle with this too. After lessons we have lunch and then an hour of quiet time. After that I’ve been pulling out the tools for creating…chalk pastels, paint, play-doh, etc. Maybe an audiobook or music too.  Sometimes they play 15 minutes on an iPad game.

    None of my kids like to play alone so that’s frustrating as well.


    For us it is offering a couple things:

    1. Real work. This is prime time for kids to learn to be truly helpful inside and outside. Can they sweep well? Can they do laundry? Do they know how to do a variety of yard work? Can they cook? Do they help with home maintenance when something needs done?

    2. Handicrafts that create things/build on skills – this could be knitting, sewing, woodworking, or even building skills like drawing, flexibility with yoga, or basic physical challenges like push ups and jumping jacks. Klutz books are great for handing over so they can try different handicrafts.

    3. Offer something to build on their interests, like a free stop motion animation app to use with their lego building. A musical instrument and you tube lessons. A pet to care for. Binoculars for birdwatching and a notebook for recording or drawing what they see.

    It’s a hard transition sometimes from playing with toys to not being as interested! I have 4 kids who are at that point or beyond (girls age 15 and 11, boys age 12 and 9) and 5 kids who aren’t yet.


    I have found that me answering “yes” keeps my girls busier. Can they have this cardboard box? Yes. Can they use the duck tape? Yes. Etc.

    So, I spend a bit more on craft supplies, paper, markers, glue, paint, etc. I also keep the crafty stuff where they can get it easy (and put it away, I hope!). And I let them make messes (and remind them to clean up).

    If your son doesn’t invent things to busy himslef with, maybe he would benefit from just one more assignment (I’m thinking a great, exciting history type book)……or another meaningful chore (feeding calves? Or whatever pet you have handy.) Perhaps you need to pay him for doing an extra chore or too, and then let him spend his money for something he wants (not soemthing sedentary, something invent-y or crafty or collectible or something like that).

    Honestly, though, my girls got a lot less bored when I started saying yes to potential messes.


    My back was injured at the hands of a quack chiropractor back in November so we’ve been house-bound since then.  I just had another baby on the 21st so we’re still house-bound and we’re all going absolutely mad from cabin fever.  When it’s warmer I try to get out for a hike at least 3 times during the week.  For now there’s a lot of “We have a piano, a thousand books, blocks, art supplies, cars, and craft supplies.  Pick something to do or I’ll find a chore for you to do.”  😛


    Right, happkratzer, I say that too! And it seems to go in spurts. When we’re stuck in the house I say it a lot more 😉.

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