As a parent, I’m blessed to have far more time to spend with my kids than my parents ever had available to spend with me.
My parents each worked standard 40-hour jobs during the week and I was on a “year-round” schedule for school. During our breaks from school, we had free run of the neighborhood from the 4th grade onward. (My parents would be arrested now for allowing us so much freedom)!
But, one thing that’s never bothered me as a parent is feeling guilty about my kids being “bored.” And those of you who do feel bad can now rejoice because at least one doctor says boredom is good for kids. So unplug your kids and make them use their imaginations a bit to find something to do to stimulate their brains.
The idea is that we want our kids to develop creative problem-solving skills and independence. However, if they always depend on us to entertain them, we are denying them practice with these important life skills.
So, if you’re heartless like me, you can tell them to leave you alone and go stare at the wall for a while. Odds are, they’ll come up with something to do eventually.
Create a "Boredom Board"
But, for those of you who aren't dead inside, you can help your kids by working with them to create a “Boredom Board.” This is a menu of items for your kids to choose from if they get “bored.”
However, this is NOT something that you should create for your kids, this is something you should make with your kids. Your child should be invested in choosing the activities for the Boredom Board.
These should be activities your children could do independently if they ever feel bored. You can write them down/type them up for them or offer suggestions, but you should let them ultimately decide on the activities they want to include on their board.
Boredom Board Tips
- Keep it short. If they have too many ideas, kids will get overwhelmed and not choose anything! We usually keep it to 4 or 5 MAX
. Changeit up. After a couple weeks, freshen up the Boredom Board and have them take off and add new ideas.
- Activities on the Boredom Board should be something kids can do INDEPENDENTLY. Kids should learn to entertain themselves without needing to depend on their parents for entertainment.
- Mix up locations. Include activities they can do both inside and outside or in a bedroom or in a playroom.
Boredom Board Sample Ideas:
- Building a paper airplane
- Drawing a picture
- Building with legos
- Kicking the soccer ball
- Paper cup towers
- Practice writing letters
- Build a fort
- Start a band
- Hit the ball off the tee
- Have a dance party
- Look at books
- Put together a puzzle
These are just some ideas we have on our Boredom Board right now, but have your child choose the activities! Activities should be something your child can work on independently without your help.
And make sure your kids clean up after themselves! Part of playing is learning to pick up the mess. Yes, it can be fun to make paper airplanes, build forts, and create cup towers all over the living room, but you're not going to be your child's life long maid! Make cleaning-up time part of the activity. (Some of my early key tasks for BlimeyBox were simply to make Brewer and/or his friends clean up the play room).
Basically, the idea is that you want to give your child opportunities to practice independence and creative thinking. If we are always there to tell our children what to do or how to do something, then they will always rely on someone else to do their thinking for them. If we always pick up after them, they will expect people to pick up after them in life.
It is our job to create responsible citizens!
What are some activities your child likes to do that we could add to Boredom Board suggestions? We'd love if you share your ideas in the comments!
Have a wonderful day!
PS. Don't forget to CLICK HERE to Download the FREE Editable Boredom Board on Google Slides!
Join the 5-Day Grit Challenge
If you are looking for a fun and easy way to introduce Grit skills to your young child, try our Free 5-Day Grit Challenge. We help you teach your child perseverance, resilience, and growth mindset. I don't think you can build grit in five days, but you can start promoting it!
With our five day challenge, we give you daily printables and a short video with a simple strategy you can implement with your child. It's really manageable. We set it up for busy parents, so each day you can spend five minutes with your child building Grit skills.
So if you are interested in joining the five-day challenge, how to build grit in your child, you can sign up here.
Check out Blimey Box Brain Games!
Looking to reduce screen time? Blimey Box Brain games are designed by a teacher and an attorney to teach your bright and gifted child critical thinking and problem-solving skills through fun, hands-on games. You'll help your kids get smarter and they will beg you to learn!
Now you can feel confident knowing your kids are off-screen and learning important life skills such as problem-solving, spatial reasoning, and concentration.
What to see what everyone is talking about? Download a FREE GAME and try it yourself.
CLICK HERE to download the free learning game and challenge your child's mind in a screen-free environment today!