Few things are more frustrating for a parent or caregiver to hear from a child than the dreaded “I’m bored!” It could be because we know a pile of excellent toys in their room waiting to be played with. Or it’s because they’re looking to us to solve the problem.
What can parents and caregivers do to prevent their children from being bored for long periods? Experts shared their ideas on how to get kids active and combat boredom.
First, you should know that kids can benefit from being bored
Experts agree that today’s children are overscheduled, and they recommend that parents and caregivers see bored kids as a positive opportunity rather than a burden. Heidi McBain is a family and child play therapist. She says that boredom for children is essential because it increases creativity and helps them grow in many ways.
McBain explains that when a child gets bored, they learn to make their entertainment fun. “They must explore their world. “They need to explore their world.
When children are forced to find their entertainment, they can look inward and discover their passions and interests.
Ari Yares is a licensed psychologist, parenting coach, and parenting expert. He suggests that kids who claim to be bored are often looking for adult or parental engagement.
Yares says, “It is important to remember that when a child tells you that they’re bored, it doesn’t mean they’ve run out of things to do.” It means that the things they look at in front of themselves are not stimulating. This could also mean that the child needs some adult attention.
It may only take a few minutes of cuddling on the couch to recharge a child’s batteries and reset their mind.
Ideas to keep active children out of boredom
Enjoy a sport outdoorsIt’s a great idea that is so simple, but kids need someone to explain it. This idea can be used to make a list of different items. Basketball, wiffleball, soccer, or football are all options.
This idea is perfect for kids who love to feel accomplished and grown up. You also get a clean car as a bonus.
Take a bike ride
You can let your child ride their bike around the neighborhood or up and down the drive (while you keep an eye on him). Older children with more freedom might run into friends from the community along the way.
Watch “Mindful Movement” videos
Apps such as GoNoodle have a variety of videos designed to help kids release their pent-up energy while also learning. GoNoodle is a familiar app for kids from school. Parents can create a family profile so their children can access it whenever they want to beat boredom.
Hide and seek
This is an oldie but a goodie. It can be played indoors or outdoors by families with younger siblings. Set parameters on how far the players can travel to find a hidden spot if they play outside.
Build a fort
Children love to make blankets and forts. This cute example from Hailey Womack is a good idea for days in the summer or winter when everyone’s stuck indoors. Use pillows, blankets, and other items to make their fort. Bring in some tales and a flashlight to keep them entertained for a long time.
Create an obstacle course
You will need to help if you have a bored preschooler or bored toddler, but kids of elementary age can make an obstacle course by themselves. The older kids will enjoy creating the obstacle course and be proud to show it off. Are you looking for inspiration? Hands-on as We Grow has a simple-yet-challenging obstacle course for the backyard.
Re-organize and clean their room
You may hear groans from the kids if this is their choice. Offer to clean the kitchen instead if they seem like they could be more excited. Most likely, they will make a beeline to their bedroom. They’ll feel better about their clean room at the end of the day. You can also suggest some cool storage ideas.
Take a fitness or yoga class
Online, many yoga and fitness classes exist for kids of all ages. Create a playlist in advance so it is ready when they select this option. Look at Cosmic Kids or Kids Bop to find child-friendly videos.
For this LEGO hunt, you’ll need four sheets of paper and various blocks in colors that match. Then, hide the Legos in your home or ask older siblings to do so. The kids must find all the Lego pieces and place them on matching colored papers.
An older sibling can create a hunt that younger siblings must complete indoors or outdoors. You’ll need to make a list if you are playing with an older or young child.
Colored chalk is used to create murals on the outside of buildings
Bring out the big box of colored sand and let your kids go wild on the driveway or sidewalk. You can challenge an elementary schooler to create a drawing that tells you a story and then ask them to narrate it.
Take the art challenge
Kids will love the Three Marker Challenge and other art challenges on YouTube. Many channels are dedicated to helping children create artwork, like Art For Kids Hub. You can give your kids one of these tools to get their creativity flowing. You can also print out a 30-day art challenge template to get some ideas if you want to use something other than electronics.
You can write a letter to your grandparent or an older relative
This activity involves children choosing a grandparent, or an older relative, to whom they will write a note. You can have them write about anything they want and then show them how to mail and address it. You’ll be able to make someone very happy when you send them their letter. You can start by asking them 20 questions about their older relatives.