Spring break hasn’t even started yet, and one of the urchins is already worried about being bored. While I’m tempted to bop her over the head, I promised instead to make her a list of 100 things to do. Here’s the list. Feel free to use it to amuse and stimulate your bored urchin.
1. Read a book and write about it on your blog.
2. Bake a cake or some cookies and give them away.
3. Help Bee with her scrapbook.
4. Organize all the pictures you’ve taken with your digital camera into a scrapbook on the computer. (iPhoto?)
5. Sweep the porch or the driveway.
6. Plant the flowers in the flower bed around the tree in the front yard.
7. Go to the bookstore with your sister.
8. Help Bear clean and rearrange her room.
9. Read to Z-baby.
10. Send postcards to all your friends telling them how much they mean to you.
11. Write a real letter to your grandmother or to your aunt or to your cousin.
12. Take a photograph for each letter of the alphabet and make Z-baby an alphabet book.
13. Take someone with you and go for a walk.
14. Make a list of 100 random things about you: books you like, clothes you wear, things you’ve done, things you want to do, etc.
15. Draw a picture of something beautiful and give it to someone, or frame it and put it on your wall.
16. Plan a meal and make it for the family.
17. Write someone’s name at the top of a piece of paper. List all the ways you can think of to bless that person.
18. Rearrange and clean out your bookshelf.
19. Make a pillow for someone you love.
20. Write a poem every hour for a whole day–12 poems. Share them with someone you love or post them on your blog.
21. Make a list of every person you know and beside each name write at least one good thing about each person.
22. Find your favorite poem. Read it out loud twice a day until you have it memorized.
23. Read Psalms all the way through.
24. Find a place where you can be alone and pray for 15 minutes. Can’t make it for 15 minutes? Try 10. Try 5 minutes.
25. Go for a whole day without speaking. Can you do it? What do you learn by not talking?
26. Write a letter to yourself to be opened at your high school graduation. Tell yourself what you would like to be doing when you are eighteen.
27. Tell knock-knock jokes with Z-baby.
28. Make jello.
29. Put on some music and dance with your sisters.
30. Choose a drawer and clean it out.
31. Learn how to say “I love you” in ten languages and make a card for someone using the languages.
32. Help Karate Kid plan his birthday.
33. Try not to think about polar bears.
34. Comment on 20 people’s blogs.
35. Play cards (Alligator) with Bee.
37. Paint your nails.
38. Do 25 crunches.
39. Play SET on the computer.
40. Make brownies.
41, Update your calendar.
42. Jump on the trampoline.
43. Call a friend on the phone.
44. Find something that’s lost.
45. Play dominoes.
46. Drink nine glasses of water in one day.
47. Put lotion on your feet and then wash someone else’s feet and put lotion on them.
48. Turn your mattress over.
49. Clean out a flowerbed and buy some seeds to plant in it.
50. Tell somebody a joke.
51. Sort out our photographs. Have an envelope for each person in our family and and envelope for groups.
52. Match all the socks in the sock basket.
53. Ask Daddy to give you all his shirts that are missing buttons. Sew buttons on them.
54. Write 100 words in a journal or blog every day–no more, no less.
55. Give every person in the house a hug.
56. Listen to someone else’s music.
57. Learn to play a musical instrument.
58. Eat so much junk food that you’re sick of it.
59. 27 fling boogie.
60. 27 give away boogie.
61. Brush your hair 100 strokes. Brush someone else’s hair 100 strokes.
62. Take a long hot bath.
63. Do a math lesson.
64. Read the encyclopedia.
65. Color in a coloring book with your little sister.
66. Ask a neighbor if you can do something to help her in her house.
67. Write a story.
68. Read the jokes in the old Reader’s Digests and tell one to someone else.
69. Watch one of the movies on Semicolon’s 105 Best Movies list that you’ve never seen.
70. Scratch someone else’s back.
71. Rake up all the pine needles in the backyard.
72. Make funny faces.
73. Clean all the writing off the windows in the gameroom.
74. Find a way to display our collection of buttons.
75. Find a new word in the dictionary and use it in conversation at least 5 times today.
76. Go outside with a piece of chalk and write something encouraging on the sidewalk–in ten different places.
77. Send a thank you note to someone who’s done something for you.
78. Wash and dry all the comforters in the house.
79. Walk around the couch and tell yourself stories.
80. Videotape the younger children doing a show or a play.
81. Clean out the van.
82. Organize the pantry.
83. Doodle on the whiteboard.
84. Read a short book of the Bible out loud all the way through.
85. Pray for ten people who need your prayers.
86. Write something in all the other children’s blank books.
87. Paint a picture.
88. Play with make-up.
89. Make milkshakes or smoothies for the family.
90. Teach Bee to play hopscotch.
91. Learn calligraphy.
92. Make a collage.
93. Find your “life verse,” the Bible verse that God is giving you to help you see His purpose in your life.
94. Think of something you want someone to do for you. Do that thing for someone else.
95. Do something kind for someone for free–in Jesus’ name.
96. Read the Beatitudes (Matthew 5). Use your camera to take one picture to illustrate each Beatitude. Or take pictures to illustrate one of the psalms.
97. Read a magazine.
98. Get Karate Kid to teach you some martial arts moves.
99. Sing a hymn out loud.
100. Sing all the songs from your favorite movie musical.
I told the bored urchin that she should do something for someone else when she’s feeling bored, but this idea didn’t go over too well. So I tried to make my list to be fun and reflect that idea. Maybe some concrete examples will help. I do believe my children spend way too much time worrying about how to entertain themselves, and that goal invites boredom. Joy really is found in service, but it’s a hard lesson to learn. (It’s also a hard lesson for me to model sometimes since I tend to be as self-centered and entertainment-seeking as the next person.)
Some of these ideas, by the way, were loosely based on ideas found at a site called 52 Projects.