Children with Extra Time
Children are never as occupied as they are during the school term, but this spring is like no other. Right now, school-aged children are in a bit of limbo, while school officials work hard to determine how to manage continued education during a worldwide pandemic.
In the meantime, with all the increased downtime, in addition to social distancing, you may find that your child is battling boredom. Below are a few tips to help you deal with boredom.
Make odd suggestions.
If the idea of playing with toys or video games isn’t exciting your child, try thinking outside of the box. Creating a giant rubber band ball or a new holiday for every day of the year is sure to keep your child busy.
Here’s a few more ideas:
- Make up a card game where each number drawn prompts a silly or unusual activity. Draw a two and you have to imitate a monkey. You get the idea.
- Create an obstacle course in your house using painters tape, pillows, stools etc.
- Build an inside fort. Get out the old blankets, lots of pillows and flashlights.
- Make a daisy chain, or clover, or monkey grass, or whatever. Lots of green is popping up in yards.
- Pick up a to-go paint and pottery project. Several places are offering to-go kits that you can return at a later date to fire in the kiln.
Suggesting your child do chores around the house is also a quick way to prevent them from bombarding you with complaints. Just be sure to suggest activities that are safe and age appropriate.
Get to the bottom of it.
Find out if your child is truly out of activity ideas or if your child just wants your company. If your child rejects every idea you propose, your child may just want to spend some time with you. Your company is especially important during this time of isolation. Children crave social stimulation, especially from those they are close to.
If gaining one-on-one time isn’t the goal, your child may just be disengaged. Encourage your child to use as many of their five senses as they can while playing. Activating senses that aren’t normally stimulated during play results in an increase of brain activity. This spike in brain activity is a certain cure for boredom.
Surprisingly, boredom can be a good thing. Even during these unusual circumstances. Not only is boredom indicative of a healthy, active mind, it also provides your child with an opportunity to enjoy their free time. Inform your child that free time is a luxury, so it shouldn’t go to waste. Encourage your child to find something to do that he or she finds enjoyable – even if it isn’t necessarily exciting.