“Mom…dad, I’m bored!”
How often do you think your child utters this phrase? And how does it make you feel?
Naturally, you are probably taking a trip down memory lane, trying to resist the urge to roll your eyes right now. Months ago, when the pandemic first began and lockdowns were established, this feeling was conceivably MUCH worse. Now, with the slowly improving conditions and continuation of life outside our homes, there is more to keep ourselves busy with. But, with indoor play centres and activities remaining closed, what should you do at home with a ‘bored’ child?
Yes, it is tough to make that decision! Between wanting to make sure your child is cheerful and teaching them to have independence. The self-reproach that follows when prioritising your frantic schedule with your child’s entertainment - it's a struggle. But don’t be too discouraged, this is a problem every parent encounters and through our know-how, it can be resolved.
However, before leaping into the various ideas, take a minute to think about your child’s rationale behind feeling ‘bored’. This expression should not be simply overlooked as general boredom, could there be an internal reason, and if so, what could it be. Is it a desire for attention, mental fatigue due to short amounts of rest, or perhaps the unavailability of engaging activities?
After identifying the root of the problem, the next step is to refrain from utilising the primary shortcut. And by that we mean, SCREENTIME. Overusing any form of technology leads to mind conditioning; it would be as if you are encouraging your child to live in a space where imagination and creative thinking do not exist. This is not our goal. With the absence of screen time comes a world of possibilities where your child could pursue endeavours such as writing stories, be amidst nature, and play sports.
Next comes the most ‘ingenious’ and underrated advice of them all. Let them be bored.
Being bored is healthy for the mind. It enables children to slow down and absorb the real world. It enables them to produce conscious thoughts and ideas self-sufficiently. This leads to your child not being dependent on you as a source of entertainment. Encouraging your child to utilise that time freely promotes empowerment.
However, sometimes it is good to have a backup, just in case. If your family is in desperate need of spontaneity, here are a few ideas to create fun memories:
Playing board games such as Hoot Owl Hoot
Camping in the backyard under the starry sky
Watering the plants or garden (a fantastic way to get your child connected with nature)
Go for a bike/scooter ride.
Create a ‘When I Grow Up’ poster
Draw a comic book that’s filled with things you WANT to be doing.
Make a scavenger hunt.
Put on a play.
Write a letter to a friend or family member.
Call your grandparents or other relatives.
The floor is lava, to spark the imagination.
Have a dance party
I hope this was a compelling and helpful read. Go ahead, take that breath of relief.
Written by Lakshmi Nair
For further ideas check out the Ducklings Activities page at ducklingspreschool.co.uk/activities