A new kind of boredom season is upon us as schools and businesses are closed due to the coronavirus outbreak. Children are used to the structured routine of school. But because their schedule has been loosened recently, many don’t know what to do with themselves. Without an endless amount of things to keep kids occupied outside the house, parents need to help them grow accustomed to days where there’s often nothing to do at all.
Stretch Their Imagination
Children who are good at playing make-believe are good at entertaining themselves. Kids cannot always toss a ball or ride their bike in every boring situation, but they can use their imagination. Try out games that build on your child’s fantasy life. After a while, you will get to the point where your child’s comfortable with entertaining themselves by using their elaborate imagination.
Reward Playing Alone
At school, your child would have had many playmates. At home, they may be alone or with just a sibling. The adjustment is tough to get used to. To solve the problem, teach the child some creative but fun activities like doing a puzzle, building a fort with Legos, and reading books are great activities for young kids. Let the child come up with something on their own.
Find creative toys
Kids often crave something unique to play with. Use regular household stuff—a paper-towel holder, a giant cardboard box, dried noodles paper bags, extra buttons of all colors and sizes—to play with under your supervision. Let your child make a hand puppet out of materials around the house. This will build the child’s problem-solving skills by searching from room to room to come up with what they’re going to use.
There’s nothing wrong with suggesting a solution for kids when they’re bored, especially if it’s been at least ten or 15 minutes and they couldn’t come up with something on their own. But resist common distractions like watching TV, picking a movie on Netflix, or even handing over your phone. These will only teach your kid to expect instant gratification. This will likely keep your kid occupied for a short time, but in the long run, these solutions will make your child less tolerant of quiet time because they’ll feel that they must always be responding to something. Also, there’s usually nothing creative about these activities.
Instead, it’s far better to come up with new ideas and give them the freedom to begin creative thinking.
Listen to an audiobook.
If your child’s too young to be able to read, get audio versions of their favorite books. They can sit down and turn the pages while listening to someone read to them. If you can’t find a recording, make one yourself by using your phone.