Summer Boredom Breaks!
Are your kids bored yet?
We’re four weeks out from the end of school in my family. This means I’ve finally stopped automatically waking up at five to start the day. It also means my 13-year old is showing signs of summer exhaustion, also known as: boredom.
“There isn’t anything to do,” he says.
I make a general gesture toward our house and the five acres of woodlands that surround it, and then repeat the phrase generations of parents before me have uttered, “If you can’t find something to do, I’ll find something for you.”
You know why that response has earned its iconic reputation? Because it works. He hustles out and either finds something to do or is bored someplace else where he isn’t catching my attention.
But I’m actually thrilled to hear that he’s bored. Boredom, we’ve been learning, is essential to a life well lived. For years, there’s been a growing concern that kids are missing out on this rite of passage because there’s so much easy entertainment all around us. Bored? Play a game on your phone. Bored? Jump on an online game with your virtual friends.
After a year during which screens were essential to much of our lives – school, work, friendships – it’s been a relief to hear that my kid is bored, despite the fact that a wealth of easy entertainment lives in his pocket. Kids get bored of phones and video games. They get bored of on-demand movies. Screen time is actually pretty exhausting. Many kids, once they’ve hit a limit, turn off devices without needing to be told. Which doesn’t mean that setting limits isn’t a good thing, anyway!
And when screens go off and boredom creeps in, kids are pretty great at getting creative in terms of finding ways to have fun. Do they need some suggestions? Here are a few!
- Scavenger story hunt: “Find an item that was once used as a helmet for a mouse.”
- Build a time machine.
- Plan and cook lunch.
- Rearrange or redecorate your room (bonus: cleaning happens automatically).
- Paint a piece of furniture.
- Create your own podcast.
- Write a play and have friends or family help act it out.
- Find some old clothing to upcycle into new products – bags, headbands, etc.
- Reorganize a bookcase.
- Design an obstacle course.
Did you know we have tons of printable activities available for free? Take a look so you can be prepared when kids start to complain of boredom!