There’s nothing more annoying to a parent than hearing your kids say, “I’m bored”! Mainly because we know that there are plenty of art supplies, books, and toys to keep them occupied for days. Figuring out how to keep your child entertained everyday, especially over the summer, can be a challenge. In this blog, I am going to give you some game changing tips on how to keep your children entertained when they are bored. I’ll also shed some light on why it's not a terrible thing that your kids are bored.
The truth is that it's okay for kids to be bored. Boredom helps kids develop valuable skills like problem solving, planning, creativity and original thinking. It also helps kids to build patience for less than ideal circumstances. Sometimes boredom can be code for your kid just wanting your attention. Though I believe it's important to pause and get to the root of what your kids need. It’s not reality to always drop what you’re doing when your child is bored, because then they'll never learn how to entertain themselves. Leave your child room to create their own fun. Let's get into some things to do when your kids say “I’m bored’.
Outdoor play is always at the top of my list for my kids when the weather permits. I remember playing for hours as a kid until my mom called us in for dinner. We drank from the water hose and always had snacks on the porch. We raced, played tag, jumped rope, played hide and seek, rode bikes, and climbed trees. Being outside was always the best activity.
Attention seeking activities allows your child to participate in what you’re doing.
Allow them to help you cook
Explain or show them what you’re working on
Let them do more chores with you around the house
Help your child with a puzzle
Go for a walk around the neighborhood
Maybe a little cuddle time with your child is needed
Creative play activities are the activities your child needs to learn how to do without your help. Aside from coloring, drawing, or puzzles, you can create an activity jar or list for when your kids say they’re bored. Your kid will pick an activity from the list to do every time they run out of ideas, so make sure you keep the options interesting and fun.
You can choose from some of the creative play activities below to add to your jar or list:
Playing Dress-up. What child or adult, doesn't love to dress up and make believe.
Sidewalk picture. Sidewalk chalk art is fun and colorful and really gets your kids creative juices flowing.
Painting. Keep a set of white canvases on hand for when your kids want to paint an awesome picture. This has been a game changer in my home the last few years, because the blank white canvas gives limitless possibilities. Sometimes my daughter will sketch her idea and then paint it on the canvas. My son enjoys mixing colors and creating abstract art. I make sure they have plenty of paint color and glitter options to keep it interesting.
Write a story. If your children have big imaginations like mine do, suggest that they write a story. My daughter wrote a story one summer and then submitted it to a young writers program in her school and was able to have it published through the program. You can give your child some ideas or you can let their funny stories run wild!
When I grow up, posters. This is an awesome idea that has been done in my kids' school for years. It opens their minds to the possibilities of what they can do and it’s a nice opportunity to know what they're striving for.
A nature scavenger hunt in the yard or a park. Write down a list of 5 to 10 items to find. For example, something green, something flying, something crawling, etc.
Journal. Journaling has so many therapeutic benefits for getting everything out of our children's heads especially as they get older. It’s a great coping skill that I’ve found especially effective as my daughter enters the teenage stage.
Present a topic. Have your child pick a topic and learn everything about it, then present it. My son loves birds so I have him pick a new one every week to research. There are limitless animals and species to keep your child engaged and busy.
Do an online kids yoga class. Your kids will learn mindfulness and relaxation activities, and learn to build their strength and balance.
Make an obstacle course. Creating an obstacle course in your home or outside will get your kids moving and they’ll feel accomplished once it’s done.
Clean and re-organize their room. There’s always something that can be cleaned in the kids' rooms. This may be their least favorite activity, but you can always offer another chore as an option. They’ll complain less and less about being bored once you put chores as an option.
Baking is always a win around my house. Bake a cake or some cookies and decorate them. Kids can help with measuring as a learning activity and to feel accomplished.
Create a gratitude board. Using a poster board, ask them to put everything they’re grateful for and hang it in their rooms to look at everyday.
Read. Have your kids choose books from a favorite series.
Start a garden or another outdoor project. Planting flowers or starting a vegetable garden are activities that teach your child responsibility for caring for plants. They learn to understand the cause and effect of watering plants. Their self-confidence is also strengthened as they see the outcome of the food they've planted or the flowers they helped grow.
Educational activities. Check the school website for educational activities that your kids can do over the summer.
Volunteer. Pick a charity that your child can donate their time to in the community.
Help your children look at boredom as time to get creative with everything around them. I’m positive these activities will help you the next time your kids say, ‘I’m bored”. You’ll hear fewer complaints and have more time to yourself. Plus, you’ll increase your kids' confidence in getting to know themselves better.