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Great Tips For What to Do With Bored Kids

What to Do With Bored Kids

Great Tips For What to Do With Bored Kids

Times of extreme boredom can be challenging for you and your children to navigate successfully. When there are no planned activities available and the complaining starts, it can be difficult not to simply step right up with a list of activities and games that will occupy your children and, incidentally, stop any complaining. It’s natural.  

You want your children to be happy and engaged rather than whining, complaining, and moping. Don’t rush to your children’s aid too quickly the next time they’re bored, though. Boredom can be a powerful teacher for your child, if you are willing to let it. It can also teach you a few things. So, when boredom strikes, try to be as unhelpful as possible and instead, see what your child will come up with to occupy themselves.

What You Can Do

The first rule of boredom is that there should be no easy answers. Do not let your child fill this time with activities that are usually restricted, such as television, movies, internet time, or video games. Your goal is to help your children engage, not to help them tune out. Try to remember, too, that it really isn’t your job to entertain your children all the time. Once they are old enough to make their own fun, they should be encouraged to do it!

If you can stand back and let your children solve this problem themselves, you will see that boredom is really a way to get your children thinking creatively about what they want and how they can make it happen. For example, ever notice how the best fort-making happens on rainy days? This is your child’s attempt to entertain themselves in the face of inclement weather that prevents them from going outside. Instead of getting their exercise out in the yard, your child is getting it by literally moving the furniture around to construct play areas. If they are left to themselves, children will actually learn from their boredom-inspired play and enjoy doing it.

What You Can Learn

Watching your child’s boredom-driven play is also a good way to learn and observe their personalities.  Bored children will find themselves driven to the types of activities they most enjoy. You will be able to observe whether they are more likely to choose extroverted or introverted activities, a communal game or a quiet book. This is valuable information to have in the long term and it is an important part of coming to know your child, even as they change daily. There are even some times when it is all right for you to get involved in boredom play.

If your child asks you to play with them instead of to suggest a game or activity, then feel free to join in. Child-directed time together is never something you want to refuse or take for granted if you have the option. Being a part of your child’s boredom play is the perfect way to take things from boredom to excitement.

Have Supplies On Hand

If you want your child to have the ability to entertain themselves, you should have some supplies on hand that they can use. Playing with pillows and furniture is fun, but offering your child other ways to have fun will help prevent complaints of boredom. You don't need to have buckets full of items, but having a few key ones is good.

First, have some crafting items on hand. Glue, markers, scissors, modeling clay, and pipe cleaners are just a few examples of craft supplies that you can have available for your child. Making up their own crafts will stimulate their imagination, while doing crafts they've done before will help them practice their fine motor skills, if nothing else. Make sure you're around to supervise your child when they're crafting, in case there are any issues or safety concerns.

It's also great to have some books on hand. It may not be every child's idea of a good time, but a good book is a fantastic way to help your child grow. Don't choose books for them. Instead, take them to a book store and let them pick out books that interest them. They'll be much more likely to read what they find interesting or enjoyable!

Finally, have some age-appropriate toys available. Just because your child isn't a toddler anymore, doesn't mean they can't have toys. Even adults still create beautiful works of art with Lego. Take your child to a toy store and let them pick out a few toys that interest them. They'll be able to use their imagination, and solve their issue of boredom!

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