Mom... I'm bored....
We've hit the dreaded mid point in the summer vacation where the novelty has worn off of EVERYTHING... The only thing that holds my guy's attention for more than a minute is a screen. It's not exactly how I pictured our summer together, but if I am honest I remember feeling exactly the same way around this time of the year.
That's pretty cold comfort when I have to listen to "Mom... I'm bored.... What can I do that is fun???" for the hundredth time in a day. So I've put together a list of activities you can pull out whenever you hear those words.
Help me clean up. My son has learned never to just say 'I'm bored'. That is a sure invitation to help clean the house. But it's not a bad way to occupy a kid and it helps them learn valuable skills at the same time. My little guy is eight and I can reliably count on him to vacuum, dust, toss in a load of laundry, put away his toys and tidy his room. He might not do it as well as I would like, but my rule is that if someone else is doing the work then gratitude comes first. So if there are still dust bunnies under the coach after he vacuums I can still be grateful that the ones that were visible are gone.
Go run around outside! That is another option for a bored kid. I often suggest throwing on a helmet and scootering (I'm pretty sure that is not a word!) around. We live on a pretty quiet street so I don't have to worry too much about traffic, but I still keep an eye on him out the window to make sure he's not vanishing down the street.
Use your imagination! This one is a bit trickier and can backfire easily. Sometimes when I pull this one out, he's away to the races and can get pretty deeply engaged in his make believe. And then other times he wants my active participation in all of his imaginings. Which can get pretty distracting if I need to get a post out or a blog done.
Dance party! If I have some downtime too I often put on a YouTube playlist of music and we have a dance party in the living room. It's pretty fun and pretty funny to see a stick thin 8 year old shaking his booty to old school Stevie Wonder!
Go! Be bored! I'm not sure if it's just laziness on my part or a sense that he needs to learn to deal with boredom on his own, but I think it's acceptable to let him be bored on his own every once in a while. It never lasts for more than 10 minutes before he's found something to occupy himself. Sometimes it's art, sometimes it's Lego and sometimes it's completely incomprehensible to me, but it keeps him off of a screen and out of trouble so I am good with it.
What do you do with your bored kids?