Four ways to keep bored kids busy
Having a bored child on your hands is an inevitable part of the parental job description. We know this all too well from personal experience, so we’ve come up with four ways to turn bored kids into happy ones – and keep your blood pressure down!
1. When boredom strikes, get close to your children
Before you think about things to do when your child is bored, it’s important to know that you counter the effects of their boredom simply by being around them. Children feel bored because they lack stimulus and direction, so just being physically close and interacting with them will help.
Make your interaction fun by mimicking them in a jokey way, flopping down beside them and saying things in a way that might raise a smile: “Oh, bored, are we? Well, let’s see what we can do about that!”
Ask your child why they’re bored and pay close attention to what they’re saying – they may just reveal something profound about their feelings. Even if they don’t, the simple act of giving your child a platform where they speak and you listen will make them feel important and special.
If they reveal what they want to do, then bingo! You’ve cracked it. But there’s a chance they won’t, at which point it’s time to get inventive.
2. Relieve child boredom through creative play
For a child, the opposite of boredom is play. Which means a bored child isn’t a problem, it’s an opportunity to get creative, have fun and make amazing memories. So if your little one doesn’t know why they’re bored or what they want to do, then you might have to take the lead with some slightly left-field ideas.
Try the following things to do when your kids are bored at home (deep breath):
- Act out your child’s favourite book. Silly voices mandatory.
- Build a Parent/Child Spotify playlist with accompanying dance moves.
- Bring back the 1970s with tie-dye T-shirts.
- Get crafty and make birthday cards for friends and family.
- Create a time capsule. (This is your opportunity to bury any embarrassing
photos of yourself.)
- Dare Jenga! If you lose, you have to do a dare.
- Build a sofa fort, with entry available only via secret handshake.
- Turn your living room into a cinema for movie night. Print out tickets, make
popcorn, rustle up half-time hot dogs.
- Put together a family quiz themed around what your kids are learning at school.
- Make monster masks for when you FaceTime Grandma and Grandad.
- Research your family history and create a family tree.
- Give your pet pooch a makeover (sorry, Poodles).
3. Get cooking
Never forget the age-old law that says: relieving boredom is great, relieving boredom and having cake to eat at the end of it is even greater.
Cooking with your kids is a brilliant way to give boredom the boot. It gives you the chance to bond by acting as a team, it teaches them to take instructions – from you and the recipe – and it gives them a skill they will carry into their adult lives. No permanent Pot Noodle diets at university for your kids, thank you very much!
You can make cooking time messy and manic or calm and considered, depending on your child’s mood (and how protective you are over your kitchen surfaces). You can even take it as an opportunity to mix up your evening meals and cook up something new.
Why not give your little one a task to find new recipes for you both to prepare and make a family cookbook with your culinary creations?
4. Play with the Mindful Monsters
Of course, we had to mention our Mindful Monsters – being a boredom-buster for kids is one of the reasons we created them.
Mindful Monsters encourages you to take a little time out from your busy day to play and learn with your little one, without a tablet or TV screen in sight.
Our four Monsters – Thinky, Sparky, Giggles and Snug – inspire your child to be more focused, creative, positive and relaxed, all vital tools in the battle against boredom.
Take Sparky, for example. Fizzing with energy and full of good ideas, Sparky helps your child unleash their imagination through arts, craft and creative thinking. After all, can you say you’ve ever fully appreciated pasta until you’ve turned it into a piece of art?
Mindful Monsters gives you and your child an opportunity for routine ‘together’ time. It helps you inspire mindfulness in your child and gives you a regular moment each day when you can press pause from the bustle of the everyday and connect with each other.
Want to give Mindful Monsters a try? Get started here.
So, there you have it, four ways to help bored kids find their mojo again. But even if your child is still bored after trying them, it might be worth bearing the words of Dr Teresa Belton, Visiting Fellow, School of Education and Lifelong Learning, in mind. She says “…children need to have stand-and-stare time, time imagining and pursuing their own thinking processes or assimilating their experiences through play or just observing the world around them.”
Which means that having a bored child might not be as bad as it seems. In fact, it could be making them even more imaginative, creative and wonderful than they already are.