Disclaimer. This is a very boring realistic list of things I can do with my 7-year-old. I know we won’t be going to the beach, or anywhere else for that matter, this summer. I know we won’t be traveling, going out for ice cream, or going to some restaurant. If we happen to go out, I’ll be grateful. If not, I won’t be disappointed.
So to combat my son’s boredom (because I have too much work and reading to ever get bored), I made a list of things he would like to do with me besides playing with his toys. Of course, this is besides the play dates he gets with his cousins 2 to 4 times a week.
1. Go through old pictures:
We have been to Turkey 4 times, but my son has been twice. Since I don’t see it possible for us to go again soon, I guess we must live vicariously through our memories. Also, my son loves looking at baby pictures of himself.
2. Make collages:
This is the only thing I told my son I won’t be helping him with. I tried doing a collage once and I was terrible at it. I didn’t like it one bit.
3. Arts and crafts:
My son gets in the mood for these things once in a while. Recently, he made a ladybug from a toilet paper roll and cardboard. I helped him out a bit.
Both my son and I love and dread organizing drawers. We love the aesthetic effect and cleanliness afterward but dread the process.
We won’t actually make origami, but rather paper planes or paper boats or paper hats.
My son started drawing at the age of 3. At 1st it was just scribbles, then he started getting better. Now he is pretty good, for someone who has never had drawing lessons. I’m good at drawing but I hate it, only because once my son found out I could draw, he nagged me to draw him things on a daily basis, then would cry if I took a picture of my drawings because they were for him. I barely draw because of that.
7. Decorate your space:
My son really enjoyed decorating for Ramadan, and Eid Al Adha is in 2 weeks, so this is the perfect opportunity to get the house ready for Eid! I don’t normally enjoy decorating but this is exciting.
8. Watch Youtube:
I don’t mean his typical screentime, which he gets around an hour of a day, between Disney and playing games on the phone. I mean if we wanted to watch something together for a few minutes.
I admit he used to enjoy this more when he was 5 years old. He used to nag me to remove the carpets so we could paint. He loved painting, especially finger painting, but also watercolor painting. Now I offer for us to paint together and he says no. I still put it on the list just in case he feels like it one time.
This is something my son has recently begun to enjoy. Before he used to just color, half scribbling, to get rid of the papers so I can print him new ones. Then when I stopped printing for a while he stopped coloring.
Side note: How do I know if my son is depressed, lazy, or just plain tired? Because aside from my son's lifelong struggle with lack of appetite (I don't know if I mentioned the story before but if you want to know more, let me know in the comments and maybe I'll write a post about it), ever since school ended, he has been sleeping at midnight and refusing to get out of bed in the morning. I woke him up at 8:30 am to watch Disney and that worked, except it took him a whole hour to eat half a sandwich while he watched TV (I normally give TV after meals for this precise reason), and then yesterday he woke up at 7 am and woke me up (probably hoping for Disney) but there was no electricity and I was exhausted. Never mind, I'm rambling. I've been writing this post for a week, getting a few words in whatever chance I got. Anyway, I just did a quiz and had my son do the same quiz to determine which type of tired we were. Turns out I'm all sorts of tired: physically, mentally, bored and tired of life, but mostly physically. My son is just bored, not tired. So now that I know, I exercised to pump myself up, and my son got a few laughs in at me straining to do a 7 minute work out. Then I got up and started playing with his new bow and arrow toy. That sure got him up! Now he is happily playing with it while I type away. Anyway, back to the post.
11. Phone games:
I’m not talking about my son’s screentime when I give him the phone and go nap or do some light housework. I mean spending time together playing on the phone. I have an app called 2 players with plenty of games available. I also have some games we can play together like This or that, charades, trivia, Uno, Snakes and Ladders, and Ludo; all on the phone.
12. Read a book:
Except for a bedtime story, my son isn’t interested in books. Especially once I read a story to him, he doesn’t want to hear it twice. Luckily I have many books (physical books and on my phone) to read to him that we never run out. However, he rarely asks me to read to him and when he does, he picks 3 or 4 stories at a time. Reading aloud makes me sleepy because I associate stories with bedtime.
13. Collect rocks and shells:
This one is only applicable when we go to the seaside, which is rare. My husband rarely takes us. The last time we went, it was my friend who took us. The time before that, my dad. However, when we do go, my son enjoys collecting rocks and shells and asks me to find the rarest ones.
14. Story writing:
Unlike me, my son doesn’t enjoy writing, but recently I tried something. Have him tell me a story and I type it down. He agreed. His story was nonsensical, but it made him laugh, so that’s the important thing. We did this once so far. Another time I found a fill-in-the-blanks story on Pinterest. He enjoyed filling the blanks with the most absurd things.
It’s an app that lets you take filtered selfies. Yes I know snap chat has filters but these are different. There are over 1000 filter between cute and funny and games and everyday they bring more. You can even create your own filter. We take pictures like this together and it’s how we bond.
16. Scavenger hunt:
This works better if you have a backyard, which I don’t (that’s why my list of activities is so boring). At home, we take turns hiding a few of my sons many toys (we show each other what we are going to hide 1st) and then we try to find them. There is no reward besides the satisfaction of finding the toy. My son is good at hiding. So good, in fact, that he forgets where he hid it and I’m bad at finding things. So bad, in fact, that a few days or weeks later, my son will randomly remember where he hid that toy. So I guess it’s safe to say we don’t play this often. By the way, my mom used to play this game with us, but with sweets. She would buy a big bag of candies and hide them around the house and then finders keepers. I always ended up with the least candies 😆
17. TV (Disney Junior):
This is supposed to be besides his screentime. He suggested it, but I have no interest in watching Disney junior with him. Sometimes I would watch for a few minutes but that’s it.
18. Watch movies:
Can you tell my son loves screentime? A lot of his suggestions revolve around a screen. I admit, I’m addicted to screens as well. I’ve been on my phone almost non stop since I woke up at 7:40 am today. Sure, I was mostly reading, but I was on my phone. Last time we did this activity, we watched Avengers Age of Ultron but on 2 different days so he doesn’t get too much screentime.
Another side note: my son is currently crying as I type this. So far he refuses to do any activity with my that doesn't involve a screen and wants outdoor activities, which I can't give him. I just pretended to delete all his games because ever since I woke him up at 7:45 am (I'm trying to wake him up early so he stops sleeping at midnight) with 30 minutes of Disney junior and some cereal, he has been trying to go back to sleep since I turned Disney off (correction: the electricity went off but still, he had watched enough). I mean I get it. I want to go back to sleep too but I'm pushing myself not to. I know I'm being self destructive and reading until around 1 am before passing out but...wait, I have no excuse.
This is something I can’t take him to because I don’t have a car. I have to wait until his aunt takes him and either invites me to come or not. She has taken him cycling 3 times this summer. I hope he gets to go again soon because he has so much fun.
I either take him to the park near my house (but he gets really bored quickly because his cousins aren’t with him and he doesn’t like to play with strangers or alone) or to the park near my sisters house with his cousins. He has gone to the park a few times and has a lot of fun with his cousins.
21. Board games:
This is my most favorite and his least favorite activity. I have been playing board games with him since he was 3, but he seems to have grown out of it. He agrees to play uno with me occasionally, but that’s about it.
There are additional activities like basketball and soccer but I didn’t include them in the list because I rarely have the energy to play anything active with him. There are so much more things to do but this is the list that my 7 year old son agreed to. I hope we get to go to a restaurant with a play area soon with his cousins because it’s summer and it’s supposed to be fun.
End note: he is still crying but is playing with his toys. I'm going to go up to him and try to get him to tell me what he feels like doing today. Then I'll tell him I didn't really delete his games. Also, electricity came so I need to take the opportunity to work on my laptop and I'll offer him screentime while he eats since electricity goes in 45 minutes.