Summer is here. School is out. Schedules are often more laid back. And some days it can feel like there are a lot of hours in the day and you’re running out ideas to keep your children occupied.
If this is something you struggle with at your house, here are some ideas that we’ve implemented at our house:
1. Create & Follow a Routine
One of the things I love about a creating and following a routine is not only that it gives us order and structure in our day, but also that it keeps me from having to constantly be figuring out what everyone is going to do next. When there are set parameters for our day, we can just follow these and it nips a lot of possible boredom right in the bud.
In addition, a routine helps us to limit screen time. Our kids know movie time is from 5 p.m. until dinner time and only if you’ve done your chores, assignments, and had a good attitude during the day. Everyone knows these are the rules so people aren’t asking to turn on a movie earlier in the day since they know it’s not even an option.
Mom I’m Bored Jar (plus free printable!) from Somewhat Simple
2. Have Pre-Planned Options Available
We have a few hours of free time in the afternoons, but I don’t expect my children to automatically have ideas for filling this time. I want them to be creative, play make believe, do art projects, read, and build things. But if they are having trouble coming up with ideas on given afternoon, I always have a few suggestions and options available — books and audiobooks from the library, art projects, a game, an idea for something to play in the back yard, etc.
I don’t want my children to feel like they need to constantly be entertained, but I also have no problem with giving them a gentle nudge in a direction if they are lacking inspiration. I might say something like, “Why don’t you build a LEGO castle and listen to that new audiobook I got from the library?” Or, “Oh! I’ve got a great idea! Why don’t you pretend you have a restaurant and see what things from nature you can use for food in your restaurant kitchen in the back yard?”
Usually just a few ideas will get the wheels in their brain turning and pretty soon they are engaged in some project in their room or the back yard.
Making Homemade Flubber
3. Replace Discontentment With Gratitude
I want to raise children that understand how blessed they are. When they complain about being bored, I try to listen to their heart. Are they just communicating that I need to do a better job of investing in them or are the communicating to me that they are struggling with discontentment?
I don’t always hit the nail on the head, but I do try to ask some questions to probe a little deeper and see where their “I’m bored” statement is coming from. If your child is moping around regularly about how life is boring, it might be time to have a heart-to-heart discussion on contentment and to put forth some effort to teach and nurture them to develop more of a grateful spirit.
Maybe to have them think of three things they are thankful for every time they say they are bored… or to find a way a to bless someone else? You’re their parent so you know what’s best for your child and where their heart is, but it’s something to consider.
What are your best tips for busting summer boredom?
Other posts in the 5 Days to Set Your Summer Up for Success series
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