Have you hit your limit on hearing, "I'm bored!"
For me that line just got under my skin. It was often said in a room full of toys. Then I realized I was doing the same thing when I would walk into my closet trying to find something to wear, I often said, "I have nothing to wear!"
Of course, I had things to wear, but I didn't know what to pick. Then I understood my girls’ complaint. When they said, “I’m bored,” what they meant was, "I can't figure out what I want to do!"
For my clothes, I found it easier to hang clothes together that I wore together. Then I could see one thing that to wear and it gave me a whole outfit!
How to do this for the I’m bored problem? I gathered the girls around the kitchen table with a stack of paper cut into strips. I asked them, "What can you do when you are bored?" We started to brainstorm. Writing one idea on each strip of paper. (I started adding my ideas: pick up your toys, dust the family room, etc. They never liked the ideas that I gave when they said they were bored. But those ideas went on the paper, too.) I encouraged them to think of toys they liked to play with, things they liked to do outside, things they liked to do for crafts, etc. After we had a stack of ideas, we took each piece of paper, folded it and put it into a container with a lid. We even created a cover for the it that said, "Bored Basket."
Now each time they complained to me they were bored; we would grab the Bored Basket. They could pick 3 ideas out. We would read the ideas and they could choose one of those ideas to do.
It worked perfectly; I didn't get upset when they complained. The older ones would even get the Bored Basket on their own. Often, they would keep picking until they found an idea they wanted to do. I wanted to point out they were not following the rules, till I remembered the true purpose. The Bored Basket was to help them figure out what they wanted to do on their own and stop complaining to me.
The Bored Basket was used many summers throughout the years. Each summer we would update their ideas and take out the ones they had outgrown. What should be in your kids bored basket?