It happens about this time every year: Bored Kid Syndrome.
We’ve all experienced it. School is out, the sweet freedom from classes has waned, friends are nowhere to be found and it’s hot. Everyone is already tired of swimming. Then comes the cry, “MOMMMM, THERE’S NOTHING TO DO!”
So what’s a mom to do?
Maybe nothing. Experts have long said kids should use the bored time to discover how not to be bored; find things to do for themselves because that’s when creativity flourishes, knowledge becomes learning and growth happens.
These days, there are videogames and iPods getting in the way of all that self-discovery and they seem to be worse than TV was when we were young. So maybe, mom, we just need to redirect a little so kids are able to find new things to do, a jump start, if you will!
Here are three ideas to try:
Do your kids know how to cook? Great, if they’re old enough, ask them to plan a family meal from start to finish, including setting and decorating the table. Maybe they’d like to make it fancy and use the china and crystal in the dining room. If they’ve never cooked anything, show them how. Cooking is like an art project, one you can eat.
Make cookies with your kids and let them do the dirty work. Let them learn how to scramble eggs, including breaking the egg into a cup!
Bake bread. That’s an all-day affair and a science experiment to boot. I’ve never met a kid yet who didn’t like to cook and while it’s fun, it’s also a useful life skill. Just be sure they understand cleaning up is part of the process too!
2. Rock painting
Most kids enjoy painting and, yes, it can be a huge mess for parents, but at least with rock painting you can easily do it outside where the rocks are! Take those tempera paints and a few cheap brushes and maybe some pictures from magazines or comic books, or just your imagination. Anything goes!
I always thought painted rocks looked cute laying around in the garden too. To keep them looking nice, you can spray them with sealant and, if the end product isn’t the world’s greatest, you can always bury it under the pile and try again later!
3. Producing a play
Give the kids a jumping-off point for a story, help them develop it a bit, then let them have at it. They can get friends together and finish up the script, cast the show, pick out music, create costumes and sets, make tickets and sell them to the neighborhood.
This can be a project that will last a week or more and they definitely will not be bored. And neither will you!