Send Boredom Packing on a Budget (Part 1)

I live in the Pacific Northwest, and rain is a given often regardless of the time of year, but especially in the Spring. And on one particular day it was—you guessed it!—raining, and my kids were fidgety with pent up energy. Admittedly but not proudly, my inclination was to throw on a DVD and plop them in front the TV. In an effort to head off said temptation, I instead reached for a roll of masking tape and got to work on the living room floor. “Whatcha doing, Momma?” they implored. Truth be told at that point even I wasn’t sure, but their interest was piqued and it was a start in the right direction.

Whether due to the reality of condo living (sans yard) or inclemental weather, we spend a lot of time indoors. Rather than take the reality of our situation lying down – or worse – relegating my kids to doing just that, I decided to take it on as a personal challenge, a mission, a mission to make great new ways to actively play that send boredom packing while staying (but not simply sitting) in. But I also didn’t want to spend an arm and a leg on various indoor activities either. That’s what brought me to breaking out the masking tape. If you’re ready to take on the same mission with simple, inexpensive supplies, easy to follow instructions and a bit of creativity, keep reading to get your kids up, moving and far from bored!

Masking tape

Masking Tape Mayhem

Cheap, readily available and easy to clean up, masking tape is truly win-win-win as far as I’m concerned. And, as luck would have it, my kids agreed once they watched our plain old living room floor transform into a wonderland of physical activities just begging to be explored. Strategically placed strips of tape quickly became a hopscotch board, a virtual balance beam, an obstacle course and even a T-shaped tossing area for a bit of indoor-safe pitching practice and friendly competition. While fun was had via active play for hours, it wasn’t long before both of my boys started clamoring for the tape themselves, leading to even more great ways to play and create. Looking for ways to focus your child’s attention, get them moving and get their creative juices flowing? Hand them a roll of masking tape and a bit of freedom. Chances are, they can create a fantastic playground right there in the great indoors!

Toss-Through Target Wall

What do you get when you combine an adjustable suspension (or shower curtain) rod, an inexpensive plastic shower curtain, a pair of scissors and a few foam or soft balls? A toss-through target wall, of course. Easy to make and even easier to put up, take down and store, it’s a great way to nearly instantly provide kids the opportunity for indoor target practice. To create it, simply cut a few holes of various sizes and at different heights all over the plastic curtain. To up the fun even more, use permanent markers to color-code the holes, decorate the curtain and – especially fun for older children – add point values. To install, simply hang it from the suspension rod inside a hall or doorway.

Photo credit: zerofantasies

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Author Info

This post was written by Shannon M. Medisky. Shannon is an educator turned parent turned writer and focuses on sharing new and innovative ways to not just survive, but thrive on empty. Visit to learn more. Her newest book The Complete Idiot's Guide to Stretching Your Dollar is available in bookstores now.

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