Review: 1,001 Boredom Busting Play Ideas by Jean Oram

Wednesday, July 8, 2015

Publisher: Oram Productions
Published: June 30, 2015
Source: E-book review copy from the author

Summary (from Goodreads): 

Ever been unable to think of a single fun thing to help your child solve their boredom blues?

You know there’s a TON of fun stuff to do but you still can’t think of a single boredom buster to save your life. You go online and search for ideas but the crafts that are too complicated or require supplies you don’t have, and the games are for older kids or you need more people… You’re starting to feel worse and worse by the minute, your kids are turning into droopy unhappy beings, and you wish you had an instant, easy, cost-effective solution to bust their boredom blues on the spot.

Problem solves. 1,001 Boredom Busting Play Ideas will cure your children’s boredom blues no matter what their age, their interests or where they are (in the car, at the lake, in the rain, inside, outside, upside down). With over 1,000 play idea, games, crafts, and family fun activities, there’s a guaranteed boredom buster for everyone. 

Whether you have toddlers, preschoolers, or school-aged kids in your care, this book has something for all ages and all interests. Parents, teachers, camp counselors, babysitters, and grandparents will find everything from classic games from their youth, to tricky challenges, to group games, to quiet activities, to arts and crafts, to family day trip ideas… and more! Check it out:

+ 15 varieties of the childhood classic game Tag
+ 36 Travel games plus 24 more word games that can be played in the car
+ Arts and crafts (and holiday crafts, too)
+ 102 tricky challenges for kids
+ Classic games such as Hot Potato and Red Rover
+ Outside play ideas
+ Playground games
+ Imagination play ideas
+ Birthday party games
+ Easy arts and crafts for all ages
+ Improv games
+ Family day trip ideas
+ Group games
+ Rainy day activities
+ 14 games to help your kids decide who gets to be “it”
+ And more play, play, play!

Now includes 26 BONUS activities for a grand total of 1.027 activities to keep your kids happy, and playing.

The brain learns by playing and play is children’s work. Build smart, happy, healthy children… Let’s play!

A Tricky Challenge & a Game of Tag to Get Your Playtime Started:

Coin Catching à la Elbow!
Put your right hand on your right shoulder. Point your elbow out in front of you. Lay a penny on the flat part of your arm just above your elbow. Without moving your arm, turn your hand so the palm of your hand is facing up. Very quickly move your elbow down and try to catch the penny with your right hand as it falls.

The record for caught pennies when I was a kid was a stack of 14. How many can you catch?

Sponge Tag
Take your water fights and tag game to an all new hot-weather level of fun!

The “it” player has several sponges soaked with water. To tag other players, they have to hit them with a wet sponge! You might want a lot of sponges as I see this version morphing into a free-for-all water fight!

Okay, so this is obviously a very different review from anything else on my blog. I was very randomly asked to be a part of the Book It Blog Tour for this book. So since it was my first time being approached and asked to review something, I said yes! Because how exciting!! I don’t really know how a blog tour works or anything, but here it goes!!

Where was this book when I was babysitting?! If I had had this book back then, I think that I would have had a lot less babysitting shifts ending in tears (for them or me). I was still basically a bored kid myself so having a list like this would have been a complete life saver for me!

I learned a lot reading this book! I didn’t know there were so many different forms of play. All of this information will be wonderful to have someday when I have kids or nieces and nephews or friends with kids. I personally don’t really know anyone with children to test these fun activities out on at this point in my life! But let’s be real, I’m probably gonna have to try out some of these activities myself when I get bored. Because there is a recipe in here to make ice cream and ice cream is one of my favorite things in life.

This book brings back a lot of memories from when I was a kid! Because a lot of these activities are things that I have done before when I was bored out of my mind. This book also contains a lot of activities that I have been wanting to try out for myself! I have been wanting to make a terrarium for awhile and now I have some good instructions on how to go about that! There are even a few activities that I never would have thought of myself! There’s something in this book for everyone!!

This book has everything you could ever need to keep children entertained! It’s also got a fun section of ways to determine who gets to go first! I imagine that would keep a lot of fights from occurring! I think my favorite thing about this book is that it gives helpful instructions on how to make armpit farts. 

All the variations of the game tag in this book are interesting! When I was a kid and my grandma would babysit my sister and I along with our two boy cousins, we made up toilet tag. If you were tagged, you had to freeze in that spot with one arm out and someone could run by and ‘flush’ you and you were back in again! We had a lot of fun playing that game. 

I would recommend this book to anyone who has any contact with children at all, ever. I don’t think that you’d have any trouble entertaining a child from birth to when they leave the nest for good with this book! And I personally can’t wait to try some of these activities for myself!

About the author:

Jean is a New York Times bestselling romance author and a mom who still likes to lick the whip cream off the beaters, jump in mud puddles, and climb trees.

Jean grew up on a farm in Western Canada and loves to ski, travel, and write. She holds a sociology degree with some fancy-pants accolades attached to it. She has worked as an entertainment reporter, beekeeper, ski instructor, high school librarian, and children’s library program director in the public library system. She currently lives with her husband, daughter, son, and a big shaggy dog in the middle of a Lego pile.

A word from the author on how this book came to be:

"When my daughter was a year old, a picture in a magazine (of a bean teepee) inspired me to begin compiling a list of fun things for my daughter to do for when the inevitable came: “Mom, I’m bored.”

While it started with one image, within days I had this incredibly huge list of over 500 activities. It was like my mind opened up and all these activities I did as a kid came pouring out onto the page. My mom, who had heard I was making the mother-of-all-lists, would call me up and say, “What about this?” I would reply, “Already have it. #435 on the list.”

Although my list got large rather quickly, it wasn’t a big surprise to those who knew me as a kid. My friends used to come to me when they were bored and I’d whip up a list of play ideas. If they couldn’t agree on the things I’d listed, I’d make another list. For years that was how we decided what we would play. List after list until we came to a consensus.

Back to The List. After finishing the massive list of all lists for my daughter, I had a “now what?” moment. My mom and I thought it might work as a book and I found a wonderful literary agent who helped me figure out the science of play—the missing element for The List!

Although he retired before we sold the book to a publishing house, I decided to continue the journey on my own after the birth of my second child and 1,001 Boredom Busting Play Ideas came to life a few years later.

In a world where children grow up quickly and the art of childhood is being lost, I hope my website and book will help you and your family slow the pace and rediscover the simple joys of being (or watching) a child at play. There is a whole new world waiting at your children’s fingertips—a whole world that can only be discovered through play. 


It's only $2.99 right now on these sites!!


  1. Hi Cyra! Thank you so much for being part of the blog tour. I absolutely LOVE your review. I laughed out loud about the armpit farts--yes, there are some detailed instructions in there so everyone can have that party pleaser in their tricks repertoire. ;)

    Toilet tag sounds like a ton of FUN! What a cool grandma. I love the creative simplicity of it.

    Thank you again for taking the time to be a part of this tour and leaving such lovely reviews.

    Play on!


    P.S. The soft ice cream is surprisingly good! (Fun to make, too. The kids love 'tossing' the cream at each other.)

    1. I'm so glad you liked my review! It was lovely to be part of the blog tour!! :)

  2. I've not heard of this one! It definitely does sound like a good one whilst babysitting :D

    Alyssa @ The Eater of Books!

    1. I so wish that I had this while babysitting! I used to watch these two boys and my sister would always come with me and she would entertain the older one and I would entertain the younger one. We all went to the park one day and the little one wanted to play with them and the older one threw a basketball at him so he ran home crying and the older one followed being mean and then it got dark and the little one wanted to go back to the park and I said no and he ran back and forth through the house trying to get out and then his mom called and I burst into tears on the phone and then she talked to the older one and made them go to bed and then they were both crying and it was awful and I stopped babysitting them shortly after.... If ONLY I had a huge list of ways to entertain them!


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