There are a lot of summer boredom buster ideas out there. But I’d encourage you to get your kids thinking of their own ideas with this simple strategy!


Ah, summer.

The season when you hear the dreaded phrases: “I’m bored” or “I don’t know what to do”, in the same time signature that you hear raindrops on your roof–repeatedly and at a constant beat!

A few years ago, I finally found a super simple solution to stop the phrase “I’m bored” in its tracks.

What to do when my kids say they are bored

Honestly, I’m not being dramatic. 

When we started using the strategy and asking our kids just five little questions, it got them to:

  • Think creatively
  • Try something new
  • Help others
  • Stop complaining all the time

Don’t worry, my kids are NOT perfect. Our summers still consist of sibling squabbles, bad attitudes and continual applications of sunscreen.

But this strategy has been working for the past three summers, and I want YOU to learn it too! You might be really surprised at the results!

Have a less-whiny summer with this method for getting your kids to think of stuff to do, even on the “boring” days!

5 Questions to Ask When Your Kids Say “I’m Bored” (Plus a Free Printable)

The original idea came from Pinterest those many years ago. Here are the five questions to ask:

  1. Have you been creative?
  2. Have you been outside?
  3. Have you read something?
  4. Have you exercised or been active for 20 minutes?
  5. Have you done something thoughtful for someone else?

The first year I tried this, it really made them think. The second year, they got a little annoyed with me–but it still worked!

Year three, yep. Still effective.

And now we are heading into our fourth year of the “five question strategy”.

This works for me as a mom too! We can find it so easy to default to checking our phones or kind-of wandering around the house, so it’s good to challenge ourselves by asking these questions too :)

A quick strategy to handle when your kids say I'm bored this summer

Some of the things my kids have done in answer to the five questions!


  • We dug out our craft supplies and unopened Kiwi Crate boxes and started completing activities

  • Made coffee filter flowers with food coloring
  • Filled the baby pool with water and gave the Hot Wheels and other vehicles a “bath” (my kids are a bit older now, but they still might do this again!)
  • Painted rocks and hid them around town (it’s a local thing!)



  • Bought a cheap water balloon set at Aldi and played water balloon games in the backyard
  • Visited a new park every week
  • Drew sidewalk chalk art


Exercise and Activity:

  • Kick around a soccer ball in the front yard
  • Have a three-legged race
  • See who can do the most jumping jacks in a minute
  • Have a water squirter battle (like the boys did at my parents’ farm, below)

Something Thoughtful:

  • Call grandma and grandpa on the phone
  • Write a note to a friend
  • Color a picture for a friend
  • Bake some treats for a deserving person

Free Printable! 

Download this free BORED printable as a reminder to ask your kids these questions! Post it on your fridge for easy access ;)

BORED Printable Here

I hope this simple strategy can be your secret weapon as a mom this summer! 

Need Help Planning Out a Better Summer at Home with Kids?

If you liked the BORED printable, I think you’ll love our Purposeful Family Summer Planner!

purposeful family summer printable planner


3 Comments on When your kids say “I’m bored” try this simple strategy

  1. This amazingly good! I grew up being taught not to say I’m bored, and it really helps. These suggestions are great ideas to be put into practice. It is so true that there is a lot to do, no one truly needs to say that they’re bored! I thought it was helpful that you mentioned the activities that that were done from those 5 questions. Thank you for sharing and I look forward to telling others about this post!

Comments are closed.