It’s the middle of July, and we’re halfway through summer vacation. The kids have really settled into vacation mode: sleeping in, hanging out with friends, eating at odd times and staying up late. But in the midst of it all is the common refrain “Mom, I’m bored!” So, this is the perfect time to assemble a boredom buster suitcase! Then, the next time your kids say they’re bored, you can hand them the suitcase to entertain themselves.
Start with a self-locking mailing box from an office supply store. The one I purchased measures 13-by-9-by-4 inches. Assemble the box and tape together the edges of the bottom of the box. Print a label (you can download this label below), glue it on the box and make a border with colorful washi tape.
Make a duct tape handle by folding a long piece of duct tape into thirds. Cut small slits into the side of the box there you would like the handle to go. Insert the duct tape handle into the slits.
Use duct tape to tape the ends of the handle in place on the inside of the box.
Fill the suitcase with items to keep kids busy. This box was designed for older kids, so I put a mosaic coloring book, an invisible ink quiz book, a puzzle book, a wooden airplane, card games and markers. The very first activity can be to decorate the box. Even the label can be customized with markers.
Next, fill a few manila envelopes with hands-on activities for kids. This envelope contains the supplies and instructions for making a sponge ball. Glue the “sponge ball” label to the front of the envelope and the instructions to the back. Put the sponges and string in the envelope and seal it shut.
The second envelope contains the supplies to make a soap puff in the microwave: a bar of soap and a piece of parchment paper. Younger kids will need adult supervision to do this activity since it includes using the microwave.
The third envelope is for making stress balls. It includes a bottle of baby powder with cornstarch (not talc), a funnel made from the top of a water bottle and a few balloons.
You can make your own activity envelopes or download the labels for these activities here:
Once the envelopes are ready to go, add them to the suitcase.
Your kids are going to be so excited to use their new boredom buster suitcase. You can either surprise them with it or they could be the ones to help you assemble the suitcase. As they use up the items in the suitcase, refill it with more fun activities.
Photo Credits: Tonia Larson