Let children be Bored

I recently read an article put out by PBS highlighting how boredom can be good for children. I argue boredom is good for children. As parents, entering the summer months can feel overwhelming about how to “entertain” our children when they are not in school. However, we may not need to task ourselves with keeping our children entertained or providing them with something to do at all times. Allowing our children to become bored gives them opportunities to be creative and problem-solve. In the day and age where we have so much information constantly bombarding us and tools to keep us distracted, our children may not even know what it means to be bored. Video games and other technology provide a buffer for us to not have to think of things to keep our minds and bodies busy. So, as the school year wraps up and you are anticipating all of the things you need to do this summer, consider removing technology for a good portion of the day and allow your children to be bored- It is amazing what they will come up with.

If this feels overwhelming, create a “bucket list” of things you can do as a family or things your children can do when they become “bored.” Creating a list of what they can do limits the number of times you will argue over, “I’m bored, there is nothing to do.” You can point to a list you already made and let them problem-solve for themselves.

I have added a few suggestions to get you started:

  • Water fight
  • Bake a dessert
  • Go for a walk
  • Play frisbee
  • Play a board game
  • Go to the library
  • Read
  • Sidewalk chalk
  • Plan a family movie night or weekend activity
  • Craft
  • Build something out of cardboard, tinfoil and tape

PBS article: Boredom Isn’t a Bad Thing for Kids