8 Ways to Turn Pencils Into An Amazing Boredom Buster

Sep 12, 2016

Ah, back to school season is here! The season where we buy large quantities of glue sticks and pencils. And what do we do when we have way more pencils than we actually need

We use them for these 8 fun boredom busters!  

1. Build Letters, Shapes, and Numbers

Challenge your kids to build different letters, shapes and/or numbers using the pencils. Or encourage them to make their name.

Pencils are arranged to make the letter H.

2. Play a Game of Pick Up Sticks

I loved playing pick up sticks as a kid. If you're not familiar with it, what you do is drop a pile of sticks, or pencils in this case, on a flat surface. Then you take turns trying to flip a stick off of the pile using another stick. But the catch is, no other stick can move in the process! So if you flip a stick off of the pile and another stick moves, you don't get to collect the stick.

Four-year-old K was more than happy to assist with the dropping of the pencils to create our pile for our game of pick up sticks.

3. Make a Pencil Maze

My six-year old is really into mazes, so he enjoys making mazes on the floor using the pencils as the walls of the maze. Then he traces his finger along the floor through the maze.

4. Explore Tally Marks and Counting

Get your kids counting and making tally marks with the pencils! You can either pick random numbers for your child to represent in tally marks or ask them a simple math problem to solve using tally marks. You could also use dice and have your child roll them, add up the number of dots, and form tally marks to represent the sum.

5. Play Tick-Tack-Toe

Make a grid using the pencils and then grab some counters for this back to school spin on tick-tack-toe. You could use coins, marbles, bingo chips, wood blocks, etc. Use whatever you have on hand!

6. Explore Angles and Math

For this activity, you will need:

  • Protractor
  • Two pencils
  • Rubber band 

Attach two pencils together with the rubber band. The pencils can now stretch to make angles. Encourage your kids to make and measure different angles using the pencils and the protractor. My kids really enjoyed this activity!

7. Build 3D Shapes

Grab some play dough and some pencils for this simple activity! Your kids can easily build 3D objects by using balls of play dough to attach pencils together. What shapes will your kids create?

8. Work on Fine Motor Skills

This activity is a bit random, I know, but my boys happened to spot this egg carton tray while playing with the pencils. I asked them if they thought they could push the pencils through the peaks of the egg carton tray. Since the pencils are unsharpened, this activity took a fair bit of strength, but they managed easily. The kids also counted each hole that they made.

And there you have it! Who knew pencils could be so fun? 

Article Author Dyan Robson
Dyan Robson

Read more from Dyan here.

Married to her high school sweetheart, Dyan is mom to two boys, J and K, who also teaches piano out of her home. On her blog And Next Comes L, Dyan shares her story of raising a child with hyperlexia, hypernumeracy and autism, amongst a variety of sensory activities for kids. You can find out more about their story on Facebook, Pinterest, Twitter, Instagram and Google+.


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