Summer is rapidly approaching and you know what that means. Yep…bored kids. THE WORST! I don’t remember being bored when I was a child. Maybe that’s because we spent our summers outdoors. When you have an entire planet to explore, getting bored is an unlikely occurrence. Now, kids whittle their days away indoors. Screens of every size blaring video games, the internet, and social media into their precious faces all the darn day long.
See, the problem with those three things is that they’re not all that interesting. There are only so many times you can jump over a mushroom, search “butt jokes” on Google, or gaze at a photo of cappuccino art before you sink into a sad state of ennui. This usually happens exactly 2.8 days into summer break. And a bored kid’s favorite activity? Announcing how bored they are repeatedly to whomever will listen. And, that person is usually Mom.
Nothing sends shudders down a mother’s spine like hearing, “Mommmmmm….I’m borrrrred!” a couple hundred times a day. I have a hard enough time keeping myself entertained, let alone the three little ladies I created, so when they come to me for suggestions for ways to keep them busy, I’m usually at a total loss. But, here are five fun (to me) things I’ve finally come up with to reverse boredom in kids. (Or at least to teach them to not tell me when they’re bored.)
- Scrub the toilets. This one sends them running. Our toilets are pretty clean, but I guess anything related to the potty is gross to a child. If your kid is being particularly annoying on any given day, make them clean it with a toothbrush. No, not their toothbrush (unless they’re really getting on your last nerve, that is)!
- Give them homework. “But wait, it’s summer!” you say…no matter. Purchase a few age-appropriate workbooks at the dollar store and assign the kids five to ten pages any time they say they’re bored. Make sure the workbooks are in their least favorite subjects. Voila! Instant cure for kid boredom.
- Pick weeds. No joke, my husband makes my kids pick weeds for one hour whenever they say they’re bored. I’m an earthy-crunchy mom, so we don’t spray our lawn…we have weeds aplenty! I always wonder how my kids can distinguish between what qualifies as a weed, and what qualifies as grass…and then I see the bare spots in my yard and my question’s answered.
- Make them learn a skill. This is actually a great idea. Look up a tutorial on YouTube, gather up the necessary supplies, and help your child transform from a lifeless lump into the next Coco Chanel or Yo-Yo Ma. Who knows? Maybe they’ll discover some hidden talent. And if something really catches on with them, you can sign them up for real classes and get them out of the house every once in a while.
- Let them be bored. Put in some earplugs and let them complain all they want. They’ll eventually have to use their imagination to devise a way to entertain themselves. Tough love!
Being bored is part of life. Even when we’re busy, we can be bored and that’s okay. Kids need to learn this truth. That said, summer’s still a few months away. Come up with some good strategies for dealing with bored kids while you still have the chance!