So we are more than a few weeks into summer vacation and I ask: What’s more annoying and frustrating to this parent than the “back to school” sales that start right after the 4th of July? My Answer: Children ( mine, yours, the neighbors, the distant cousin’s) saying they are bored! Mind you, children often mean many things with this statement. They might be tired; tired of their siblings; tired of their mother; ambivalent about their choices; overwhelmed about their choices; without choices, etc. But this is one mother who bans those words in her house. One immediate way I end “boredom” is by giving out extra chores when this word is used excessively. I do not have much tolerance for this word when there are so many choices. But what else is a parent to do? Fortunately, my good friend Google had some answers.
One writer, Wilma Henry, discusses how classic games can help in her article ‘Fighting Summer Boredom With Fun Activities‘. Her grandchildren loved jacks, playing card games, making spaceships out of huge appliance boxes, and many more low tech, classic games and creative pursuits. In this day of instant everything and easy gratification, such games and crafts can be long enjoyed and appreciated.
Another writer, Mary Cooney offers her top ten list for fighting summer boredom in ‘10 Ways For Kids To Fight Summer Boredom‘. From chores and dedicated reading time (both alone and together); lots of outdoor time; playdates,; and board games to advertising the joys and greatness of certain pursuits (to children who need a little guidance as to what to do); and finally the “bored” book—a brilliant idea that is best explained by hitting the link, she offers some great ideas to overcoming boredom in your home.
Of course there is the bored jar, where non bored children can brainstorm some ideas for a dull day. While there might be some outside excursions to the library or playground, many options should be doable from your home. Perhaps your options include: a game of kickball; a board game; baking a treat or cooking a meal for an elderly neighbor; writing a story; painting a picture; acting out a play; playing charades; building a fort; or playing dress-up.
And with ending where we started, saying I am bored can mean many things. Perhaps your child needs some increased attention from you. Including them in your tasks; taking a few minutes to play with him/her; reading together; cuddling together; taking a walk together, etc. can be just the thing to nip the bored bug and return to enjoying summer.