Being bored can be really hard on kids who just can’t find ways to amuse themselves. That certainly leads to frustration because we hear the dreaded “I’m bored” words repeated over and over again.
You can avoid this by proactively working with your child to build a “What to do When You’re Bored for Kids” boredom activity list. Working together, brainstorm things they can do when they are bored. This should include both short-term activities, such as reading a book or drawing a picture and long-term projects that they can work on in short bursts, like tending a garden or doing a hard puzzle. The Connections Academy Resource Hub has several articles on activities that students can do on their own, including DIY science experiments.
When your child says they are bored, pull out the list and have them pick something to do, then send them on their way.
Keep boredom-buster toys within easy reach. These include things like building toys. If you find your child building the same structure over and over again, ask them to design and build something new. When my kids complain that they are bored, I ask them to design a structure that uses a certain number of colored blocks and shapes to get them to think creatively. It’s always fun to see how the same direction leads to vastly different structures.
Books and kid-friendly craft supplies are also great boredom busters. Keep a bin of outdoor toys within reach too. Make sure their bikes are in good working order if they are old enough to ride their bikes on their own through the neighborhood.
While it is easy to hand over the electronic devices when your kid starts complaining about being bored, giving them a little nudge to help them figure out what to do on their own when they are bored could help them develop critical skills they need for a successful and happy life.