School is almost out. Homeschooler are closing or have closed the school year. We are all excited, summer is here! We want to enjoy a different time as a family, get things done around the house, etc. But the truth is, there’s a fear in our hearts of the many times we will hear the dreaded “I’m bored” from our kids. Before we start to panic, let’s be proactive and get ready with 10 tips to beat boredom during summer and actually at any time of the year.
What does it mean to be bored?
The Merriam-Webster dictionary defines boredom as “the state of being weary and restless through lack of interest.” That means that the first answer that comes to mind: go find something to do, or go use your toys. Could be heading in the right way, but might be impossible for them. Why? Because probably what they have available is not of their interest anymore, let’s fix that!
Boredom is actually good
Before sharing the tips to beat boredom, it is important that we understand that boredom is helpful, we all benefit from times of doing nothing. Boredom can lead the kids to find ways to entertain themselves and develop many skills like problem-solving, creativity and more. The following tips will help you to provide an environment where they can explore everything around them.
10 Tips to Beat Boredom
Declutter toys, books, and activities
Just like clothes, need to be changed as they grow, so they fit them properly and remove those that aren’t a good fit anymore. We need to do the same thing with toys, books, and activities around the house. Keep available those that will keep them interested or challenged. It is ok to keep favorites, but make sure they still invite them to be use. Another good thing to do is to rotate the items for seasons, or every so often, so they see them as new once more and rediscover an interest.
Give them chores!
Teach them how to complete chores based on their age and abilities. Make your expectations of their work clear, and thank them for their work. Will they resist the chores at first? Yes, but once they know what to do, and what you expect, it would be easier to get them started. When boredom hits, remind them they have some chores that need to be completed, when they are done, they will find something else to do.
You might be thinking, no way. Why! Establish realistic limits for your kids and teenagers, this includes things that need to be done before using electronics and time of use. Once you limit the use of electronics they won’t be consumed with the flashy, colorful screen anymore, and they will start enjoying the real world and start using their imagination again.
Buckle up! This process could be a tough one, specially if no limits were in place before. Keep your goal in mind and that when you have established the new routine, it will be great for everyone.
Introduce a new hobby
Based on their likes and abilities, find something they will enjoy. Listen to their conversations, talk with them about things they would like to explore. If you can’t pinpoint something right away is fine, present some options to them. Once, I brought some books about chess and my oldest taught himself to play. It was a great season for him to learn something that he never consider. You’ll be amazed at how much they really want to do something else than playing video games.
Keep books available and accessible
Keep captivating book everywhere! When I say everywhere I mean everywhere, in their rooms, in common areas of the house, in the car, in the backpacks, yes, even in the bathroom. When books are there for them to reach, they would go for them. For some kids, it might take more than one try or a few weeks around books to gravitate to them. That’s why, even tough, my first recommendation is to visit the public or school library; my best tip is to start your own home library. Oh, and audiobooks count as well.
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Go back to basics! Board Games, Puzzles, and Stickers!
Introduce them to your favorite board games, if you have more than one kid, teach them to play together and leave more complicated games for family game night. Challenge them to complete puzzles, either jigsaw or brain ones. Don’t forget the power of stickers. Stickers are not only rewards token, they can help kids develop other skills and keep them busy for a long time. Talking about stickers, I need to mention that my daughter also loves transfer books, and they bring silence to my days.
If you have a backyard make it as fun as possible to be there; encourage them to explore, find bugs, collect leaves or flowers, bird watching, plant something, build with boxes, let their imagination free. After my husband takes the kids on a “nature walk” even around the block, they come back in reset mode. Go to a park, a hike, ride bikes in front of the house, it doesn’t have to be overcomplicated but get outside.
Get in the kitchen!
If you noticed I said my husband takes them for a walk, it is because I’m more of an indoors person. I get them in the kitchen with me instead. Plan to make easy meals that they can help you, think about homemade Pizza, Pasta dishes, Pancakes, etc. or let them help you make a more complicated dish. Let them pick a desert for that night and guide them in the process of preparing it.
Baking is not your thing? Stock up on cake mixes when they are on sale, cinnamon roll from the roll, jello or instant pudding will be great options. They will love to eat their creations, but they will also learn about serving the family.
Crafts & Art Project
I’m talking about the easy, no prep needed kind of projects. Don’t overcomplicate things, although there are times for those projects. Give them crayons or coloring pencils and some paper, add extra supplies, (never glitter, lol) and wait for a masterpiece. I like to give them challenges of things to draw or make the drawing as presents for friends and family.
Print coloring pages or get a book at the dollar store. I feel like something is missing in my house if I run out of Magic Painting books, they are a lifesaver when they can go outside, or I have extra kids in the house.
Be intentional, give them time!
Lastly, I’ve learned that many times when kids say they are bored, it actually means: I want to spend time with you. We all live busy lives, be intentional on spending time together. Set a time during the day or a day a week that you’ll be with them. Use the previous tips not just to get them busy, but to build your relationship with your kids. Trust me, you will be able to catch up with the things that need to get done later.
I hope this tips to beat boredom will help you to help your kids during the next boredom attack. Do you have any other tips to beat boredom, share them in the comments?