Dear American Girl,

Whenever I have free time, I instantly feel bored. If I'm not hanging out with friends, I have trouble figuring out something fun to do on my own. I want to start a new hobby, but I don't know where to begin. Any tips?

Here's your advice:

Come up with a list of things you like to do. Write down some of your favorite activities, such as drawing, writing, or playing outside. Hang it up in your room, and whenever you feel bored, pick something to do from the list.
-Maddie, age 11, Kansas

Stretch your imagination! Come up with a new craft, draw faces on cookies with frosting, or write a story filled with funny characters. If you use your imagination, the possibilities are endless.
-Carrie, age 9, South Carolina

The first thing to do is to think about how you spend your time when you're with other people. Do you talk? Play games? Ride your bikes? Try to incorporate those activities into your free time. Be creative and have fun.
-Kathryn, age 12, Kentucky

Whenever you have spare time on your hands, you don't need to instantly fill it up with something exciting. It's OK to do something quiet, such as reading a book, surfing the Web, or even doing a chore.
-Greta, age 10, Connecticut

Find out about fun things going on in your town. You could sign up for a dance class, swimming lessons, or a book club. Get involved in something that interests you, and you might meet some new friends while you're at it!
-Sarah, age 12, Oregon

Think about the things you're interested in or are good at. Do you like to read? Write? Play with animals? Volunteer? Once you discover what your passion is, you can discover a hobby.
-Marissa, age 13, Illinois

Start a collection. One day I was bored, so I decided to go outside and collect rocks. Now I have a whole bunch of cool rocks that I've found during walks. You could collect erasers, seashells, or something else that you think is interesting.
-Jess, age 9, Massachusetts

If you want to find a new hobby, ask a parent to teach you something. My mom taught me how to do needlepoint and knit.
-Charlotte, age 12, California

When you're bored, that's the perfect time to get up and get moving. Take a walk or ride your bike. The fresh air will be good for you, and after you've burned off some energy, you might find that a couch is a nice place to curl up with a book or a pet.
-Cheyenne, age 10, Mississippi

Do something totally new. Do you always draw? Then do something else with your hands, such as baking. Do you play a lot of baseball? Instead, go for a run around your neighborhood. Trying new things can help you find a hobby.
-Marania, age 11, Rhode Island

You could earn some extra spending money. Whether you're babysitting, selling homemade bracelets, or walking a neighbor's dog, you'll find that not only are you making a few bucks—you're not bored anymore, either!
-Fawn, age 13, Washington

What do you want to be when you grow up? That might lead you to a new hobby or an activity that'll banish your boredom.
-Meagan, age 11, California

Keep a box full of fun things to do, such as jewelry-making supplies, a comic book, and duct tape. This way, you'll always have a backup if you get bored.
-Nikhita, age 10, Michigan

There are lots of boredom busters out there. Research hobbies, try new things, and find something that makes you say, "I want to do that again!"
-Halle, age 11, Alabama

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