When he was small, my youngest son had a habit of filling his pockets with treasures he encountered in his daily adventures. I didn't always understand the value he saw in his chosen objects -- really, how many rocks and sticks could one boy keep? In his eyes, though, each one was beautiful and important. Life is just like that on a larger scale, isn't it? We gather up the precious bits of our experiences and save them all to learn from and enjoy later. Perhaps you'll find a little something here that you'd like to keep in your own pockets. Thanks for visiting.

Wednesday, February 25, 2015

Winter Boredom Busters for Tween/Teen Boys

It is darn cold outside, people.  Where we live, we're on track for having the coldest month ever recorded in the region, and the first February since 1978 that the temperature doesn't rise above the freezing mark. Schools here were even closed last Friday due to the painfully frigid air, and there have been many days this winter where the kids have had to spend their recess time indoors. What this means for a lot of families by this point in the season is a full-blown case of cabin fever, and a lot of kids with pent up energy that needs to be directed towards fun, interesting, and active endeavors.

For many tween and teenaged boys, the default activity on cold winter days is crashing on a couch and playing video games. Noah and Will are both drawn to the engaging world of Minecraft and the colourful lure of Candy Crush, for sure.  While I believe there are valuable skills they can learn from certain types of video games, we do limit the amount of time the boys spend in front of screens so that they will explore other interests and develop other parts of themselves as well.  Today I thought I'd share a collection of cool, non-video game pastimes that Noah and/or Will like to turn to when winter boredom strikes.  (Click on the coloured text to find out more about each of the items below.)

Spooner board (for the skateboarding/snowboarding/surfing enthusiast, for indoor or outdoor use):

Yomega yo yo (for mastering new tricks and impressing friends and family with their skills):  

Tenzi dice game (fast-paced, noisy fun for two to four players): 

Arduino open-source electronics (for creating interactive objects):

Magnetic dart board (all the fun of a real dart board without the sharp weaponry):

Ukulele (an accessible and highly entertaining way to play around with music):

Tabletop ping pong (for instant lively ping pong matches anywhere there is a table):

Kanoodle Genius (brain bending puzzles for those who like a challenge)

Good books (to get them thinking and laughing) :

What If? Serious Scientific Answers to Absurd Hypothetical Questions by Randall Munroe

Danger is Everywhere by David O'Doherty

These entertaining pursuits keep the boys' minds and bodies moving on days when biting winter winds won't allow much time outdoors.  What are your tween and teenaged boys' favourite ways to beat winter boredom while they dream of warmer weather?

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