If you are a parent, at some point you’ll hear the dreaded “I’m bored!” Those words are enough to grate on anyone’s nerves. With the million and one possible activities available to a child at any given time, how could they possibly be bored? What’s a parent to do when their children are overcome with boredom?
Today’s children are active and engaged in activities all the time. They have a structured day at school. Electronics and television provide constant entertainment. Kids who complain that they are bored, generally are not lazy or slacking off. Many times, they are having trouble focusing their attention or are struggling to start a new engaging activity. We can help them to engage, find activities that get them creative, and get active.
Here are a few ideas on how you can help kids cure their boredom:
Help Them Engage
Sit down together and recreate a Boredom Buster Jar. Brainstorm ideas for activities they could do. Write them down on strips of paper so they can select one when boredom hits. Suggest different chore ideas to make others seem more appealing.
Get in the kitchen and cook together. This is one of my children’s favorites. Create some easy recipes together; cookies, desserts, ice cream, etc. Right now my kids are loving these no bake Girls Scout Samoas Larabars.
Limit screen time. Too much time on electronics: TV, iPad, video games, etc., can hinder a child’s creativity. It may be a short term solution, but they will quickly become bored again. Encourage them to get off the electronics and do something else; read a book, hang out or play with friends, head outside, etc.
Create an art box. Gather together art supplies, paper, sketch books, clay or Play-Doh, stencils, paint, chalk, crayons, etc. to help them discover their inner artist.
Build an arts and crafts box. Assemble a box of random craft items; pom poms, feathers, Popsicle sticks, glitter, pieces of paper, pipe cleaners, boxes, string, straws, newspaper, etc. They can create to their hearts content.
Get building. Legos, K’Nex, Lincoln Logs, wooden blocks, Erector sets, puzzles, Origami paper, etc. are great for hours of building fun. If your child needs a little more direction, offer them a challenge to build a structure that solves a problem.
Get outside, if you can. There are millions of things kids can do outside. Toss a ball, ride a bike or scooter, dig in the dirt, swing, run, jump, and explore are just some of them.
Invite your child to help you around the house. Make a game out of doing household chores. For example, if you have two or more children, let them race to see who can pick up the most toys around the house.
Play a game. This could be a board game, card game, trivia, hide and seek, pretend game of cowboys and outlaws, etc.
Invite friends over and have fun together. Enjoy a basketball game, tea party, movie and popcorn afternoon, Nerf war, and all sorts of fun activities that are more fun with several people.
You don’t have to pull out your hair when the kids start saying they’re bored. Their boredom can be cured and even avoided when you get creative with them. Help them find new things to do and try and soon they will be coming up with new and improved ways to stay entertained.
How do you help your kids when they’re bored?