“My father used to play with my brother and me in the yard. Mother would come out and say, ‘You’re tearing up the grass.’ ‘We’re not raising grass,’ Dad would reply. ‘We’re raising boys.’” – baseball Hall of Famer Harmon Killebrew
Women and men tend to see the world differently. One thing that has been hard for me to remember as a boymom is that my boys are not girls. Ha! It sounds obvious, but yet — I think we hold our boys to girl standards all the time.
We are women — WE naturally connect with others by talking, but boys connect by DOING.
We judge our kids’ obedience by how well they sit still — even though that’s something that comes a lot easier for girls than boys.
When boys get in trouble (often just for trying to use up all that pent up energy), we tell them to go think about what they’ve done or “settle down!”...which are probably the LAST things those rowdy boys need to do.
Obviously our female perspective is a GOOD thing — I think this world needs a lot more of it. Don’t hold back on parenting your boy in your own way. But...don’t forget that he is built differently than you, and it doesn’t make it wrong if you have to change things up so you can connect with him better. 💙
Find me on Instagram at Boymoms Unite for more ideas on raising boys!
I’m living in a snow globe! Seattle is experiencing its 2nd week of snow, with more to come — we usually only get a day or two of the white stuff each year, so this is a big deal. Grocery stores are cleaned out, roads & parks are closed, school is cancelled. My boys LOVE playing in it, so that’s good, but we’re also spending a lot of time indoors.
After a whole week of this, we’re starting to run out of boy-friendly indoor activities (i.e. they’re bouncing off the walls). I like to share on my Instagram feed about our favorite “inside” things to do — you can find them all at the #indoorboymom hashtag — but I thought it would be helpful to put them all in one place. Hopefully this big list of the best indoor activities will help you (and me! :) find something to keep these rowdy boys occupied!
Disclaimer: Don’t be afraid to let your kids be BORED. That’s when they’ll come up with their best, most creative ideas! (I’ve read it can take up to 15 minutes for kids to get going — that’s a LOT of whining, but don’t give in!) But I totally get it — sometimes you need a structured activity, and sometimes they just need a spark of an idea to help them be creative. So, here you go — 57 indoor activities that require zero prep:
Fun Indoor Activities for Kids
Make construction paper targets and shoot Nerf guns at them (this gun is a favorite here)
Play a board game
Make “potions” by mixing water, vinegar, baking soda & food coloring (or whatever else you have on hand)
Make a laser maze using tape & string
Do a puzzle
Take slow-mo videos of your kids doing weird tricks (or jumping off stuff)
Make hot chocolate
Paint a picture
Paint snow! (paint watercolors in a tub of fresh snow)
Watch old home movies together
Look through baby books or photo albums
Do an Art for Kids Hub drawing video
Raid the bookshelf and read a book you haven’t seen in a while
Build a fort
Put cushions on the ground and wrestle / jump onto them
Grab a bunch of pillows, blankets & snacks and have a “reading party”
Build something out of the stuff in your recycle bin
Play Legos! (All our favorite ideas here: #boymomlegostuff)
Listen to an audiobook WHILE you play Legos
Get out your old play-doh
Play hide & seek
Make a book (staple together folded paper, add a construction paper cover)
Play freeze dance
Make a relay race doing different activities (my boys love doing the wheelbarrow with each other)
Time them running your stairs
Play Simon Says
Have a wrestling match with Mom as coach
See who can build the tallest tower (blocks, Legos, magna tiles, jenga blocks)
Film a video of your kids “teaching” how to do something
Do a secret good deed for someone in your family
Do a secret good deed for a neighbor
Get one of the million balls in your house and play catch
Draw self portraits
Put bathing suits on & “swim” in the master bath tub (put towels on the floor, this could get messy!)
Make new crayons out of old ones (bake in a muffin tin or a fun mold)
Bounce a balloon or soft ball on your hands to keep it from touching the floor
Make a movie using Lego minifigures as characters
Make paper airplanes & have a race to see who’s goes the farthest (there are tons of cool youtube videos that show you different ways to fold)
FaceTime the grandparents
Make your own comic
Make your own board game
Make puppets & do a puppet show
Get out the toys you don’t use that often: train tracks, marble run, magna tiles, perler beads
Make a scooter course in the garage
Make a floor race track using masking tape or washi tape
Clean your room
Learn a magic trick (again, youtube is your friend on this one)
Do a Lego challenge!
Don’t forget to follow me on Instagram at @boymoms_unite for lots more boy-friendly fun!
Some of our best ideas for making the new Come, Follow Me scripture study program work — even if you have a herd of rowdy kids. Spoiler alert: keep it simple. (And short!)Read More
Today on Instagram I shared about our family’s advent calendar, made by my mom when I was a kid. From December 1st till Christmas, my boys get to pull out a different piece to add to the full manger scene — finishing on December 24 with a tiny, felt Baby Jesus. I love this tradition SO much!
We do a little something extra, too. I also like to add a tiny slip of paper in each pocket with some type of service they can do that day (another idea from my mom). I use the same slips of paper every year with the same service ideas to keep it simple — this isn't about doing something big and complicated, just something small to daily drive home our family’s goal to celebrate Christmas by trying to do good like Jesus did. We’re also participating in the Light the World campaign where you do something kind every week in December, so these little activities keep us on track there too!
Our service ideas are SUPER simple — some take a bit more effort than others, but all can be completed that day with little to no preparation. And the boys LOVE doing their good deeds.
If you’d like to try some of these activities with your family, here’s our list of all 24 super easy service ideas for kids:
Help Mom with dinner
Read a Christmas book to your brother
Sit by someone new at school
Take hot chocolate to the school crossing guards
Read a scripture about Jesus (Luke 2 is a great place to start!)
Give a toy to someone who needs one
Set the table without being asked
Watch a video about Jesus (we love these short ones!)
Do a good deed for a neighbor
Wave at every car you see
Pick up any trash you see today
Write a thank you note for the mailman
Draw a picture for Dad
Pay for the car behind you at the drive-thru (this one is our favorite!)
Give mom & dad an extra hug and kiss
Tell God why you’re thankful for Jesus
Make your sibling’s bed
Clean up your toys
Draw a picture for a friend
Play with a sibling
Call Grandma & Grandpa to say hello
Find a house in your neighborhood with great Christmas lights and leave them a note
Put change in a Salvation Army bucket
Mail a Christmas note to a cousin or long-distance friend
This tradition has made our holiday season so much more meaningful, and our whole family looks forward to it every year. If you’ve got ideas for other easy service ideas, leave them in the comments! We’re always looking for new ones. xo
Read on for my best Christmas gift ideas for little boys in your life. Today I’m sharing 10 tried-and-true presents my boys have LOVED — things they play with every.single.day — plus a peek at what they’re getting this year.Read More
As a mom of 3 boys, I’ve noticed some books DEFINITELY appeal to boys more than others — and when you’re trying to get an active boy to slow down enough to dive into a book, you want something that’s going to hold his attention. Here are 40 tried-and-true books approved by the boys in this house.Read More
[This was originally posted on my Instagram account, 10/25/18.]
Lately, I've had a few conversations with fellow moms about the challenge of raising boys in our current social climate. There are so many conflicting messages about the professional, sexual, and stereotypical roles of men — how do you navigate all that and raise a healthy, courteous, well-rounded boy?! I'm still trying to work this out, but I wanted to share 3 things that have really helped me understand my job as a boymom today.
HOW TO RAISE A GENTLEMAN IN A #METOO WORLD
1. Embrace boyishness. Boys need to run, jump, climb trees, build things, destroy things. We can't expect them to sit still or play inside all day. Being active is a pressure release for them — and a great opportunity for YOU to guide them to channel this into constructive outlets...and teach respect, body awareness and fairness from an early age.
2. Model good behavior. Boys need role models — men and women. They need to see healthy marriages, selfless teachers, courteous coaches, older boys who are respectful and kind. We can actively seek these people out, in church or community organizations or extracurriculars, and point them out to our boys. Make sure they see and notice qualities of good men, and help them aspire to be like that.
3. Teach courtesy. Teach them to respect their own amazing bodies, and others' too. A couple weeks ago my boys were really into sneaking up behind each other to tickle until the other screamed. Eventually I sat them down and explained that it's not okay do something that makes another person uncomfortable. We need to be respectful of everyone — boy or girl. They know this is important in our house.
Moms, WE can make such an impact on the next generation! These boys need us to pay attention and help them see what it really means to be a good man. 💙