This day is so boring.
There’s nothing to do.
Being at home is so boring.
The list goes on and on. Kids’ lives are so structured these days; between school and sporting activities at a young age to homework and night time routines, there is little downtime for kids to play. The weekends aren’t always better when there are Saturday morning swim lessons, a visit at Gramma’s and other social obligations. It’s no wonder kids find it hard to entertain themselves in the evening, on the weekend or during vacation. Their life is almost completely scheduled! They need time to “unplug” and be a kid, where expectations aren’t weighing them down and they can just have fun.
Let’s take a step back as parents and remember they are KIDS! Our best memories of our childhood were playing, so let’s bring that back into their daily lives. Boredom is good as it helps fuel the imagination. It’s okay to have a little down time; we need our downtime too and let’s be honest, constantly needing to entertain our children takes a lot of time and effort. Take an evening or two during the week and dedicate one day on the weekend where the kids only have to play. PLAY. Play whatever they want to play and see where their imagination takes them. They might whine or complain as this is new territory, but be firm and send them on their way.
You might be tempted to tell them what to play or give them helpful suggestions, but by keeping quiet, you are helping your kids become problem solvers as they overcome boredom. A 3 year old can figure out solo play just as easily as an 8 year old does.
As a parent, you can provide them with the various toys and tools to help them use their imagination. Everything from dolls to Legos, bikes to shovels, construction tools to dress up clothes. Pretend play translates to real life scenarios and play is the #1 way to learn.
With more time to play, your kids will not be complaining that they are bored. In fact, you might have a hard time getting them inside to eat supper or do chores.
Here are some websites that are talking about handling boredom: