Book Review: Unbored: The Essential Field Guide to Serious Fun

From time to time, I review books that I think you might enjoy as well. This particular post contains affiliate links, which means if you purchase something via the link I share, I earn a small percentage of the sale. 

One of my favorite things to do in the library is to peruse the new book shelves, both in the adult and children’s sections. I never know what I might find, or what will spark my interest. I almost always choose the library over purchasing books, because 1) I’m cheap and 2) I need to know if I really love a book before I buy it.

Unbored book review

The other day, I spotted Unbored: The Essential Field Guide to Serious Fun and I knew we had to take it home. After having it around for a few days, I can tell you it’s a huge hit. Not only will I be purchasing it for our personal library, it’s going to be my go-to gift for kids ages 10 and up.

Unbored is a cool mash-up of tutorials, activities, stories, lists and comics. The authors, Joshua Glenn and Elizabeth Foy Larsen, wrote the book to “encourage a hands-on approach to creating a personally meaningful life.” What does that mean for kids? It means Unbored is a tool to unlock your own passions and creativity, and to find ways to create instead of consume. And, of course, to answer the eternal question of , “I’m bored. What should I do?”

The book is divided into four sections: You, Home, Society, and Adventure. I couldn’t possibly list all the awesome ideas and projects in the book we want to tackle, but here are a few of our favorites:

  • farting games
  • circus tricks
  • clapping games
  • how to short-sheet a bed
  • experimenting in the kitchen
  • yarn bombing
  • game hacking
  • bike and skateboard maintenance
  • knot tying
  • make a secret book safe

At the end of each section, there is a HUGE listing of resources so kids can delve even further into the things that interest them the most. Kids will love this book because it’s so different from anything else out there. It might look similar to the Daring/Dangerous books¬†for girls and boys, but where those books seem to reflect on older pastimes, Unbored is planted in the now with an eye to the future.

I also think kids will appreciate the tone. It’s never condescending. On the contrary, it encourages kids not to fear mistakes and that ignorance is no excuse for not trying something. It’s the exact opposite of the “Danger! Don’t try this at home!” mindset. Naturally, it’s a perfect fit for our household!

Summer is approaching, and I know I’m always looking for ideas and resources to keep the tween active and engaged. You can bet that by the end of the summer, our personal copy of Unbored will be dog-eared and well-loved.

Have you read Unbored? What did you think? If you have any books you think The Risky Kids should review, let us know in the comments!



  1. Hi Angiesix, I’m Laura, I work for the publisher of UNBORED. So happy that you loved it–Risky Kids is made for UNBORED! We have a new tie-in book called UNBORED GAMES coming out this fall if you want an early copy? You can email me or tweet me @laurakeefe and I can get you one. Cheers.