Adults may find it difficult to understand why kids get bored over break. “What I wouldn’t give for a day to do absolutely nothing!” most adults think to themselves, and they quickly get irritated at children who complain about boredom. The times when I’ve felt bored have typically had to do with feeling completely useless. You can only watch so many movies, read so many books, or take so many naps before you start to feel…exhausted. To help give your child some purpose over the holiday season, why not set him or her up with a project?
One project that even young children can help tackle (with a little guidance) can be organizing your family recipe collection. While there are plenty of fancy recipe organizers with index cards included, our family has chosen to take a much simpler approach. All the recipes that we’ve printed from the internet over the years, that have laid in a pile on our countertop, are now sorted into folders and tucked away neatly in a cupboard.
This project is simple, but has far-reaching effects. The first thing we found while sorting out our family recipes was that there was a significant number of duplicate recipes. Rather than taking the time to dig through the mountain of recipes already printed, it was easier to just go online and print off a new copy. By having these tried-and-true recipes right at your fingertips, it also makes our family more likely to mix up our meal plans and get out of the rut that spaghetti and hamburgers often seems to bring.
To begin with, we gathered together all the loose recipes we had floating around, whether they were written on index cards, cut off of food packages, or printed from the internet. For our family, we set up four different piles: Appetizers/Soups/Salads, Main Courses, Desserts, and Holiday Favorites. Categories your family may enjoy might include Kid Friendly Favorites, Family Secret Recipes, or 15 Minute Meals. Figure out what categories make the most sense for your family’s needs. Then, we simply started sorting our recipes into the appropriate categories. The sorting process was so simple that we were able to have everyone help out in the sorting process, and it went quickly. To keep all the categories separate, we found some old school folders and a Sharpie and wrote the category on the front. Rather than using folders, you could certainly use a binder with dividers to indicate which recipes belonged in which category. Ultimately, see what you have available and use what you find to make the project simpler . An unexpected bonus to this project was that it also encouraged us to go through our cupboards to make room for the recipe folders, and it simply proves that being productive can be addictive.
What are some other projects you give to your kids to keep them from getting too bored?