It’s been two days… 48 hours that my two older kids have been out of school, that’s it! I can’t even count how many times I’ve heard, “mom… I’m bored” over the last two days.
When I was 8 and 10 I used to spend hours outside or down the street playing with my friends. I’m pretty sure it was only when it was too dark to see that we would finally go inside. I remember making up all kinds of games to play or setting up cans to shoot with the BB gun (no, I’m not a girly girl) and my all time favorite memory had to be making a car out of a moving dolly and actually riding it down the street (yes, without a helmet – Please don’t tell my kids).
Kids are overstimulated these days. Screens are everywhere and I think it kills their creativity. Now don’t get me wrong, I’m just as guilty as the next person giving in and allowing more screen time to get them out of my hair while I’m trying to work or on a conference call, but I really think I’m doing them a disservice.
I was so tired of hearing “I’m bored” I even looked up a list of 101 things to do when your kids say they’re bored… below are some of the suggestions, I’m sorry but seriously.. is this a serious list or a list created to just to make me laugh.
- Plant a tree – I usually don’t have trees that are ready to plant just lying around
- Act out your child’s favorite book – Not sure a book on wrestle mania would be the best one to act out.
- Build an indoor tent or fort with couches and some bed sheets – This one’s okay, we’ve done it before but once they’re done building it, they’re right back to being bored… and then I have to wash all the sheets again… dog hair!
- Head to the local library – this is a good one… if my son can use his inside voice
- Create paper mache –um no, BIG MESS
- Plan a scavenger hunt – We’ve done this one before… we made our hunt a video scavenger hunt for added fun.
- Learn how to tie-dye T-shirts – Um no, see number 5. BIG MESS
- Count how many times you can spin in a circle without getting dizzy – The answer is 5 and then someone falls and gets hurt… possibly me.
- Construct an indoor obstacle course – this is a good one for rainy days
- Choreograph a dance routine – If you know me, you would just laugh and shake your head no at this one
- Take silly pictures with a camera. My kids do this all the time and then I have to delete stuff from my phone because there is not enough memory
- Make a paper mache volcano and mix baking soda and vinegar for an explosive reaction – Explosive reaction, really?? No!
- Break out the pots and pans and practice drumming skills –
- Rearrange your child’s bedroom – afraid of what I may find under the bed
- Ask “what do you want to be when you grow up” and then plan your day around that career. Last time we asked my son what he wanted to be he said a “boxer and a diamond digger” hmmm… we may skip this one
- Count and roll loose change lying around the house – My dad does this one with the kids… they seem to enjoy it.
- Run relay races – We do this one a lot because it also tires them out
- Give the family pet a bath – We have a Great Dane… NO WAY…my daughter took it upon herself to do this once… it ended in all of us chasing the wet, soapy dog around the house.
After making it about half way through the list I stopped… clearly this list was not going to give me my magic answer.
I read a few articles about how it’s good for your kids to be bored. Why You Should Do Nothing When Your Child Says, “I’m Bored” and Handling Boredom: Why It’s Good for Your Child.
Being bored is usually what leads to some pretty neat activities that they think up on their own. After I decided I wasn’t going to give them a running list of options and just told them to figure it out, they had the best time! They played a pretty cool wall ball game outside, played in the rain and tried to see if the wind would lift them off the ground if they hit it just right with the umbrellas. They road bikes and scooters and laughed together most of the afternoon.
Next time they come to me and say “I’m bored” I’m going to say “I love bored” go figure it out!