60 ways to leave your mother (alone)

June 6, 2007


60 ways to leave your mother (alone): The Book is happening!

• • • 

Create a fairy world.

Put a blanket on the grass and pretend it’s a raft, the grass is the ocean or river. and you are adrift! Think about what supplies you would need for this adventure.

Prepare an Imaginate Box with bits of leftover materials (string, wire, cassette tape, watch parts, yarn, shells, bottle caps, pages from ruined books, magazines, fabric snippets, buttons, paint swatch chips, plastic spoons, assorted trash, etc.) to have on hand for spontaneous art projects.

Draw an original comic strip of at least 3 panels.

Create a scavenger hunt for your parents. Make it difficult!

Submit some art.

Read an interesting book to a younger sibling. With enthusiasm. And lots of silly voices.

Make and send postcards to all your friends.

Create a picture with seeds and/or beans by gluing various types on a sturdy piece of cardboard. plain white glue works fine. Also try this with Gamesa brand pasta, which comes in lots of fun shapes like stars and letters.

Make blue jello in a clear glass dish and “float” gummy fish inside when it starts to set. Eat it for dessert.

Put on some music and dance with abandon. Or just plain crazy.

Think up a really scary story to tell around the fire next time we go camping. You might want to write it down!

Learn how to say your name in another language. Or two.

Draw coloring pages for your little brother or sister. That they will enjoy.

Play this game on the computer (it’s harder than it looks.)

Find an ant hill and place an apple slice on top. Watch. Or put bits of different foods on a plate nearby and watch to see what the ants like best to eat, second best and so on.

Make up a secret code and write a letter to a friend using the code (be sure to include decoding key!)

Make a collage with materials from your Imaginate Box.

Make a necklace and/or bracelet by stringing colorful pasta on elastic or string. (You can color pasta by adding it along with a little rubbing alcohol and some drops of food coloring to a ziploc bag and shaking well. Dry on newspaper.) Or string beads, cereal, buttons, tiny bits of fabric, etc.

Write down and/or draw all the different insects you see in just one day.

Listen to bird calls online and try to imitate them.

Type a review of the last movie you saw or book you read.

Make an edible tower with gumdrops and pretzel sticks.

Have a contest to see who can make the tallest edible tower.

Create a play, opera or puppet show. Practice, then perform for your family. Make tickets for your performance.

Call your best friend just to chat.

Make a treasure map of your yard or house. Make sure it looks dirty, wrinkled and torn and really authentic!

Have a treasure hunt (don’t forget to bury the treasure.)

Find a penpal.

Lie on the grass and look for shapes in the clouds.

Talk like a pirate for an entire day. And dress like one, if you dare. (And don’t forget your pirate name.)

Mail yourself a letter.

Write a REAL letter and mail it to your favorite relative.

Write a letter to a soldier. Or send an e-card.

Play catch with someone.

Make cookies and surprise a neighbor with a plate of them.

Write some jokes.

Make a joke book using jokes collected from every person in your family. Call your grandparents if you can. Knock-knock jokes are acceptable. Staple the joke pages together and keep the book handy for when everyone needs a good laugh.

Make Christmas ornaments then pack them away for a surprise this winter.

Lie on the sidewalk or driveway and let someone draw your outline with sidewalk chalk. Make silly poses and keep drawing.

Use old pillowcases to have a sack race (especially fun if you’re kind of tall.)

Make a mobile with materials from your Imaginate Box.

Make up a song or poem about your pet. Record it, if possible.

Wash your bike.

Decorate your bike for a parade. Have a parade (even if you’re the only participant.)

Read about constellations during the day and then find them in the night sky.

Start planning your Halloween costume.

Make sock or lunch bag puppets of your favorite characters from a few different books or t.v. shows. Perform a puppet show in which they meet and become friends.

Paint here.

Play here (my favorite game is Bauns.)

Create a miniature house using a cardboard box (shoebox size or larger) with one side removed. Use recycled food packages and masking tape to create tables, chairs, countertops, refrigerators, etc. Cut openings for windows and doors. Make curtains from fabric scraps, Use bottlecaps for stove burners, empty thread spools for chairs, etc.

Write or draw the story of your life so far.

Learn your name in sign language.

Find something in your house from a different country, then look up that country online or in an encyclopedia to learn more about it.

Make a list of things you’d like to learn more about. Take it to the library on your next visit and bug the librarian to help you find good books on at least 2 of the topics on your list.

Make some fruit from paper mâche (this will take a few days.)

Close your eyes and draw a quick doodle on a piece of paper. Open your eyes and complete the drawing.

Throw a fancy party for your pet. Invite all your stuffed animals.

Make an obstacle course in your backyard. Time yourself and others as you complete it.

Practice cartwheels. Or somersaults. Or walking on your hands.

Lie in your bed and ponder what needs pondering.

Decorate a box and lid; use it to hold treasures and mementos from your summer.

Lay some more ideas on me in the comments if you have’em. Thanks.


17 Responses to “60 ways to leave your mother (alone)”

  1. freelisa Says:

    i love this! is 28 too old to do the things in your list? :)

    i think i’ll start with a pirate day…

    – Filthy Liza Bonny

  2. capello Says:

    omg, SET! is my favoritest game ever. i didn’t know there was a computer version.

    and you’re making me feel quite guilty for letting the boys watch cartoons right now. hmph.

  3. carol Says:

    make a lunch menu for you and your siblings.

    everyday have them order from it, serve it, clean up and give your mom a break. (depending on ages, switch off between kids)

    LOVE THESE IDEAS- thank you!

  4. laeroport Says:

    Well you will be having a fun summer. I want to go home right now and play.

    *Discover the difference between “weeds” and “plants to keep” in the garden. Pull the weeds.

    *Assemble a s’mores kit for your next camping trip.

    *Learn how to use a compass. (Could be incorporated into the treasure map.)

    *Run through the sprinkler.

    *Grow a carrot top or sweet potato in a glass of water.

    Just a few. But none as good as talk like a pirate.

  5. laeroport Says:

    Oooh, drape a sheet over the clothesline to make a tent. Peg the sides out with rocks. Spend all day out there. (A favorite of my childhood.)

  6. Angela Says:

    What an awesome and fun list. Will you adopt ME? :)

  7. Robyn Says:

    I love this list! I think I need to print it so when my kids are older, I’ll remember. Also, I must say that you make me smile. :0)

  8. Juliet Says:

    Make a city on the floor using masking tape, doll house furniture and matchbox cars.

  9. Amy Says:

    Found your site through wise craft and her list for summer activities. I love yours as well!!!! Fun blog…..I added you to my list of daily peeks so I can keep getting inspired.

  10. Jennifer Says:

    Make a fairy stew from flower petals and leave it out for the fairies to find.

    Leave a shallow dish of beer in your garden if you’d like to see what slugs look like once they are, uh, dead.

    Get a book on knot tying out of the library and learn to tie some knots (but no fair using them on your siblings).

    Learn to identify all the trees in your yard/neighborhood.

    Write the story of a day in your life as a grown up.

    Put a white flower in a vase with water and food coloring.

    Learn to write upside down. No, no — YOU stay right side up — just write the letters upside down on the paper.

  11. Jennifer Says:

    Oops — last comment had my old blog address; this is my real one.

  12. coronita Says:

    Awesome. I am printing this out!

  13. greenchickadee Says:

    I found your list yesterday and I’ve already come back to it 3 times for more ideas! Can my kids come live at your house for awhile?!? Fabulous ideas! Thanks sssssssssssooooooooooooo much!

  14. tik-tiki Says:

    thanks for helping all of us moms out. i am going to print this out nicely (with a few changes since we live in an apartment building in a suburb of kolkata…) and put it in the stockings this xmas for both of the kids.

    i am so happy to have found your blog and your energy for life!

    do you mind if i make a link to this page on my blog??

  15. Hildegard Says:

    Convince the entire family to save all their pennies and put them into a large, fun container–your penny pot. When you have lots, count them, make designs on the floor, build cities…If you have thick carpet, you can make them stand up as well as lay them flat.

  16. meninheira Says:

    Me encanta!! :)

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