My mother must have heard my brothers and I say, “I’m bored!” nearly fifty-thousand times while we were growing up. Her response was always the same, though. She’d say, “Only boring people are bored,” but ten minutes later we’d be back to complaining about being bored again.
My brothers and I weren’t “boring people,” though. We just had a hard time coming up with things to do when it would rain or when we couldn’t go outside because it was too hot or too cold. We were used to playing outside all the time, so when we weren’t able to do that – when we were stuck inside – we were bored and had nothing to do!
My mother would try to get us to wash the kitchen floor, vacuum the carpet, or do some other chores around the house, but I’m sure you can guess how well we responded to those ideas. There’s no doubt in my mind that my mother would’ve loved to be able to give us something fun and educational to do, but there weren’t many places she could turn to for ideas back then.
Luckily for me, I have the internet… and an amazing new website that I can visit when my son gets old enough to tell me that he’s bored – It’s called CWIST.com!
CWIST.com is a website that provides parents with hundreds of projects (called “CWISTs” because they’re “kids’ challenges with a twist”) that range in time from a half-hour to more than a week. Each CWIST is designed to engage children in activities that will help them learn and achieve, and new CWISTs are being added to the site all the time!
The site allows a parent to sign up for free, search through categories and topics (such as creating crafts, food, vehicles, structures, etc.), assign as many CWISTs as they want to each of their children, and even provide incentives and rewards when an assigned CWIST has been completed.
What I love about the website are all the search tools! I can search for a CWIST by category, topic, duration, age range, and whether or not the activity will require parental assistance. By doing this, I’m able to find the projects that my child will be most interested in (and therefore will most likely want to do on a rainy day).
Once I’ve selected a CWIST, I can choose a reward that my child will receive once he completes that CWIST. The reward can be something simple and free (such as an “Indoor Camping Night” or allowing him to stay up 1 hour past his bedtime) or it could be a toy or gadget that costs some money.
Again, the search tools make finding the right reward for my child easy. I can choose between homemade rewards (that will cost me nothing) or toys and gadgets in specific categories and subcategories, price ranges, stores, and brands. What’s even better is the fact that all the toys and gadgets on the website have educational value to them – so if I purchase a reward, I know my child is going to continue to learn and grow – even with the reward!
My child is also able to recommend things that he would like to earn as a reward for completing a CWIST! For example, if he searches through the rewards (called “Wishes”) and finds a digital microscope that he really wants, he can “Wish For It” and I can choose to assign a CWIST that would enable him to earn the microscope.
If I were a creative person, I could even create and add CWISTs for other families to use on the website… but my CWISTs would probably be limited to the things my mother came up with for me and brothers when we were children – like vacuuming, washing the kitchen floor, cleaning the bathroom, and doing other chores.
Luckily, I won’t have to use those ideas when my son is bored… I can use CWIST.com and save the chores for when he misbehaves!
If you’ve ever experienced the “I’m bored!” torture that my mother went through, I would highly recommend signing up for a CWIST.com account today… You’ll not only be helping your kids grow and learn, but you’ll be helping yourself, too!
[author] [author_image timthumb=’on’]http://theomnibuspublishing.com/wp-content/uploads/Michael-Carton.jpg[/author_image] [author_info]Michael Carton is a 1st grade teacher in Rock Island, Illinois. In his free time, he blogs about reading with his son at http://michaelsreadthelibrary.wordpress.com. You can follow him on Twitter, where he is @michaeltcarton. [/author_info] [/author]