As we march forward towards spring, summer and hopefully a bit of normalcy, it’s time to think about kids and the dreaded words parents hate to hear…”I’m bored!”
Yep. Kids hate being bored, and it’s exhausting for parents to constantly play cruise director and facilitate playdates, crafts, extracurricular activities or sports. I mean, as a parent of two VERY active kids, sometimes I want to hide in my room with a book while passing them their ipads. (And by sometimes…I obviously mean DAILY).
It’s hard, especially after a year of spending massive amounts of time together at home. Our usual trips outside the house have been limited, playdates scarce and screen time has been nearly unlimited. So, as I begin to think about summer and how to fill our days with something beyond video games and movies, I realize…I don’t have to schedule their days or fill their summer with amazing outings or activities.
It’s OKAY for them to be bored. It’s GOOD, actually. Here’s why:
- Boredom = Innovation. Really! I’m an overplanner, so sometimes I take on more than I need to when it comes to planning my kids’ play. I’ve realized when I let them figure out what to do, they get creative and innovative in ways I never would have guessed. My kids have made up their own games, obstacle courses, fort castles and more…They are fully capable of filling their time if I let them.
- Old toys are new again. When my kids are bored, I’ve realized they LOVE to rediscover old toys. Games they haven’t played in months? Rebuilding old lego sets? Digging through their toy bins and finding treasures they forgot about? Yep – all things my kids have done when they were “bored”.
- Outdoor playground. We have spent SO much time in our house together over the past year. Too much time. Now that it’s getting nice outside, my kids are having a blast playing together outside. They love to make mud potions in the backyard, find sticks they can use to “battle” bad guys or create their own imaginative world. Outdoor play is the ultimate cure for boredom.
I’m sure there are MANY more reasons boredom can be a good thing for kids, but these are a few that I’ve noticed with my own kids. Let’s take the pressure off parents and let kids explore their worlds and squash their boredom on their own this summer.