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Sonoma Family Life Magazine

Boredom Busters

May 28, 2019 01:49PM ● By Donna Production
By Christina Katz

Camp, road trips, and family visits do a great job of keeping everyone engaged throughout summer. But what about those lazy days when there is nothing planned? Here are some ideas to keep complaints of boredom from creeping into the day. If you need a little guidance, a quick Internet search on, for instance, “butterfly ponds,” “worm bins” or “DIY instruments,” will yield instructions.

1. Plant vegetable garden starts.
2. Assemble a fire pit to fit the size of your family.
3. Make a beanbag toss ladder game for playing after dinner.
4. Sign up for a far-away pen pal and write weekly letters.
5. Create a sizeable stack of summer reading books from the library, or purchase used books in stores or online.
6. Grab binoculars, a guidebook, and a notepad and take a bird-watch walk. Winging It Wednesdays bird walks are held the last Wednesday of every month, 8:30–10 a.m., at different Sonoma County regional parks. The June 26 hike will be held at Sonoma Valley Regional Park in Sonoma. See for more info.
7. Bake homemade granola for energizing yet economical breakfasts.
8. Create an ultimate croquet game with obstacles impeding each wicket.
9. Make a bug, worm, and caterpillar circus for the day, and then let all the creatures go.
10. Plant a flower-cutting garden from annual seeds.
11. Make sock puppets and construct a theater for performing with them.
12. Fill a window box with herb starts (except mint; its too hard to control and needs its own container).
13. Blow bubbles with kitchen items and homemade bubble formula.
14. Create bedroom window banners with on-hand craft supplies.
15. Research edible flowers; plant seeds in a container set in a sunny place.
16. Pack a picnic, a blanket, and some outdoor toys to take to a new park. Find ideas at
17. Purchase an oversized bag of birdseed to make fresh bird treats all summer long.
18. Pull some ho-hum wooden furniture outside and give it a colorful makeover.
19. Host a neighborhood badminton competition.
20. Construct a runner beam and morning glory tee-pee with long sticks and twine.
21. Mix up a batch of strawberry shortcake biscuits, and serve with homemade whipped cream.
22. Put a hinged box in a nice cool place and make a worm box.
23. Plant sunflowers in cups on a windowsill and then, once they have sprouted, transfer them outdoors.
24. Build butterfly ponds to attract winged friends into safe spaces.
25. Give outdoor mani-pedis on lawn chairs in the yard while listening to summery tunes.
26. Start a homemade-instrument band.
27. Court hummingbirds with feeders filled with homemade syrup (be careful not to use too much sugar).
28. Paint colorful garden rocks and encircle the house with them.
29. Create grab-and-go tote bags filled with engaging activities for each family member.
30. Gather items that signify your era and bury them in a time capsule.
31. Host an outdoor tea party.
32. Add water to dirt piles and see who can get the muddiest puddle-jumping going.
33. After you get dirty, wash the cars, the dogs, and yourself.
34. Melt old crayons into rainbow crayons using muffin tins.
35. Make a watch-me-grow-up slideshow, and send it to far-away relatives.
36. Gather seashells from old beach trips, and use them to embellish thrift store frames and mirrors.
37. One morning make enough desserts to last a full week.
38. Research totem animals, and paint faces and bodies to match.
39. Plan, price, and construct a tree house or outdoor fort.
40. Have pets pose for photos you can use to paint watercolor portraits.
41. Construct a composter for turning grass, leaves, kitchen scraps, and twigs into potent fertilizer.
42. Have a paper airplane–making and –flying competition.
43. Recycle whimsical items into a fairy garden.
44. Put on an outdoor play—original or adapted.
45. Don old bathing suits and swim goggles for a squirt-gun fight with washable paints.
46. Pack up juice boxes and snacks for a long, leisurely bike ride.
47. Spend the day learning to juggle.
48. Make a simple lemonade stand; make tables, signs, and everything for sale from scratch.
49. Make a role-model collage with images and words.
50. Lie on blankets in the yard and read out loud from books of poetry.
Find Christina Katz at