Do your children bore easily? Are they Minecrafting themselves into oblivion? Has the conclusion of iCarly left them with big Spencer-sized holes in their lives? Give them Unbored: The Essential Field Guide to Serious Fun (Bloomsbury USA). This book, co-authored by Joshua Glenn and Elizabeth Larsen, offers scores of cool ideas for grade school kids on up. In the vein of The Dangerous Book for Boys and the British magazine The Idler, Unbored will teach kids how to make their own fun: “create instead of consume.” Right in the first chapter, the authors offer up a deranged pastime called “The Game,” which our family immediately latched on to. I would tell you more about it, but I don’t want to spoil anything.
The book is divided into four chapters: “You,” “Home,” “Society” and “Adventure.” Each chapter includes instructions for fun both low tech (such as short-sheeting a bed) and high tech (such as how to create your own video game). A cool feature is the coded messages throughout the book (the key is in the back). It’s organized a bit like a magazine, including how-tos, essays and interviews with unbored notables such as the editor of the aforementioned The Idler, who advocates for idler families (“not rich in money, but rich in time.”) Want to make a snow fort? Check Unbored. Got an old, skipping vinyl album? Unbored will show you how to make it into a bowl.
And while you may give your child this book to exert a certain sort of wholesome control over their leisure time, know that there is an entire section devoted to farting games. Which certainly please my kids. There are also sections that advise kids on how to train their grownups to “be a ninja,” “Stop saying you’re awesome,” and “curse without cursing.” All worthy pursuits, damn it.