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What To Do With The Dreaded Words: 'I'm Bored'

What To Do With The Dreaded Words: 'I'm Bored'

We’ve all heard the tragic tone as our little ones exclaim: ‘I’m bored!’ But here’s a controversial idea. What if we do nothing about it?! Of course this isn’t to advocate neglect, but instead encourages a sense of independence, imagination, and the ability to be comfortable with your own thoughts.

Too much of today’s world is filled with non-stop noise, activity, and stimulation; so maybe it's good for kids to stop and think for a moment, and find their own entertainment away from the computer screen.

Read Next: Keeping Your Kids Happy And Out Of Your Hair

One way to encourage this behaviour, is to help them create an ‘I’m Bored’ jar. This can be kept somewhere accessible; filled with different ideas for activities, exercises, and chores, that are written on individual strips of paper, or lolly sticks. Then whenever they’re at a loose end, they can pick something out.
Of course, these can be constantly edited and added to as they think up new ideas, or grow out of old ones; and an 'idea edit' could even be one of the activities!

If you need a boost to get you all started, here are some quick suggestions:

  • Write a poem including the words (e.g) pineapple, and moon (this could link in with a latest spelling test, and favourite unusual word they’ve learned)
  • Do 10 star jumps
  • Find ten blue things around the house
  • Draw an object you see
  • Sweep the kitchen floor
  • Phone the grandparents
  • Make a funny costume out of clothes in the house
  • Read a book out loud
  • Clean the bath
  • Play toilet roll football
  • Make up a person or animal, then describe their likes/dislikes

​Not only will you have a bit more peace and quiet for a while, but they'll gradually get used to using their own imagination; rather than relying on you for everything. By mixing activities with chores and exercises, they'll find it easier to figure out what they do/don't feel like doing; and everything can start to feel more like a game than hard work. Plus if they helped create the ideas themselves, their sense of ownership will encourage them to make the most of it!

We’d love to hear your thoughts: What ideas are most popular? And if you're feeling a little frazzled, check out our 10 Thoughts All Parents With Toddlers Have for a reminder that you're not alone!


About the Author

Emily is a writer, editor, blogger, and our Digital Content Assistant. She has three awesome nieces, and has accidentally worn the same outfit as them on at least one occasion. Emily likes making things, including hand-drawn cards, and a darn good chocolate cake. She still sounds very English, despite living in Dublin for the last nine years. More insight into the workings of her brain can be found on dancingcakesandsilence.blogspot.com.

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