- Sophie &Friends
Every now and then I find myself on a bus with a large group of kids for a significant amount of time. Being the planner that I am, I want every moment of the event to be filled with fun and entertainment, which is why I came up with these "boredom buster" packs.
You can personalize these packs to fit your event's theme. Say it’s a family get together: add things like a “make your own family tree”, a word search with everyone’s names or maybe a map to color with everyone’s home marked. The packs can be age specific, with coloring pages and simple mazes for younger children, or more challenging things like sudoku for older kids.
Boredom busters can be designed for sharing (one per set of seats) or per person (handed out as they get on the bus). The items can be placed in an envelope, a small handle bag, a little knapsack, whatever works for your theme. The internet offers up a vast array of possibilities when it comes to downloadable coloring pages and puzzles, or you can make your own. You can also find inexpensive puzzle books that have an assortment of challenges.
When making my boredom busters I build the entire pack on either a small clipboard or a piece of heavy cardboard so the guests have a good, solid, writing surface.
Here’s my suggestions for a classic boredom buster.
Pen or pencil (s)
Assorted puzzles - word searches, crosswords, break the code (often I personalize these to fit the theme or guest of honor)
MASH card (see template below)
Connect the Dots (see template below)
Conversation Starters (see template below)
Coloring Sheets with small crayon pack, for younger riders
Plain Paper, for those who like to draw or come up with their own games
When I started putting these packs together, I discovered this amazing series of “scratch off” hangman games. What’s perfect about these books is that each page is easily removed and has two sides with 1 game per side. When I use these scratcher games I make sure to include either a penny or a metal washer for the riders.
The Yes & Know Invisible Ink series offers a variety of books for all ages. I used to love these as a kid. The puzzles are written in invisible ink, which appear when you use the enclosed pen. Unfortunately they only come with one pen per book, but if you have a small group, one per person will definitely keep your crew occupied.
Trivia and bus bingo are also great ways to pass the time, but those really need a good leader to maintain the mayhem.
I am a firm believer in the “total experience”. For me, these boredom busters offer a fun way to pass the time and engage my guests the minute the journey begins. And hey, if nothing else, it delays the chorus of “are we there yet?” by at least an hour!