We’ve all been there… wanting to do something but not knowing what. Or having only a few minutes to ourselves… or the opposite: having all day and not knowing what to do with it. Our children face boredom all the time too. Sometimes it is due to over-stimulation, having too much in front of them and too many options. That’s why my first suggestion for busting boredom is a huge hit.
1. One of the most effective things I’ve found to work is simply laying out an activity, make an executive decision and go all out. This technique is better received with younger children… but it is effective at all ages. Sometimes just getting starting with something is too daunting… we’ve all been there. Pre-select an activity like an art project, construction play, or a board game. The key is to have all the materials set out in advance, so for Playdoh have those ridiculously tight lids removed and accessories displayed, for game play have the board assembled and game set for the first player’s turn (review the instructions beforehand), and for art projects have all the art supplies handy (and perhaps a couple samples for inspiration).
2. Here’s a suggestion that can be difficult to accommodate at times: play WITH your child. Work with her/him to create a super cool HexBug design or build out a 3D mega Lego scene. Playing dolls or racing cars with them really helps to stimulate creativity and engagement. I’ve found that just 20 mins of playtime with my daughter can often lead to hours of her continuing to play on her own. Something about starting that storyline and setting the stage that really takes off… even when I have to take off for other responsibilities.
3. Now, here’s one my husband is extremely good at… getting into character. Wow – does this take play time into another dimension. He’s creative with voices and sound effects, while I would be more in line with “dressing the part”. Either way, it totally enhances the experience.
4. This last suggestion is the best “break through the boredom” solution. Pley.com is a subscription based service that affords your child the opportunity to try new toys over and over. We’ve done a couple campaigns with Pley, highlighting benefits like keeping clutter to a minimum and reducing a family’s carbon footprint by recycling and sharing toys… but seriously the best and main reason for subscribing to Pley is the concept of renting toys, turning over fresh play ideas and never getting bored… and of course saving yourself from the hassle of missing pieces forgotten at the bottom of the toy box.
While this is a sponsored post, we truly believe a relationship with Pley is an ingenious idea and solution to many aspects of parenting (including investing in toys that our children too quickly outgrow). Pley offers a monthly or annual subscription service, super easy inventory management system, free return shipping and even an option to buy if your child absolutely falls in love with the toy. Keep the rented toy for as long as your child is interested in playing and return it to receive another item from your list. See… perfect for managing boredom and sparking an interest in STEM and construction building (they offer over 300 Lego variations, plus much much more).
The infamous “I’m bored” is a huge pet-peeve of mine… so I’m always curious about successful ways to keep children engaged. Share with me your boredom busters below in the comments.