- Family and Parenting
5 Creative Things Your Children Can Do to Beat Boredom
Boredom! It happens to kids (and adults) everywhere and can really happen at any time.
But before I begin my list, let me explain that I am not even including some of the typical activities- puzzles, reading, drawing (and all things art-related) and many more, which are fantastic things to do on a rainy day without resorting to electronics.
And I'm not specifically talking about other great past times, such as getting out board games or simply immersing themselves in imaginative play.
Not to mention other productive activities, such as cleaning, organizing their rooms, yard work, lemonade stands to earn money, or especially satisfying acts such as helping others in need.
It almost goes without saying that the above are all important and worthwhile activities to encourage in our children.
But today I am just listing five very specific ideas for children to explore their own creativity based on our own experience. These are five of the ways that my own children have beaten those boring days and got creative!
If you've ever had restless children around the house during summer, school vacations or maybe on a rainy afternoon... or perhaps didn't want your kids and teen constantly relying on television, computers, video games and ipads to be their only way to beat the doldrums... here are some non-electronic ideas for keeping children occupied and encourage creativity whenever they utter those famous words, "I'm bored!"
Write a story
I know...not every child is a natural born writer. My two daughters just happen to have been born with the writing bug, and like their mother before them, have written little stories since the time they could hold a pencil. (And now use the keyboard!) But even with those children with whom this doesn't come naturally, you can always try to cultivate it just a bit.
Make the challenge of writing a story interesting. Give them a subject or a whole sentence from which they can build a story around and see what they can come up with! Don't necessarily worry about spelling or grammar this time, and obviously if they are very young. But no matter their age, it's good to sometimes just let them have fun with story telling. (Not that there isn't a time and place to correct grammar. As a home school mom, it's my job to do this most of the time! But sometimes I think it's okay to let them have free reign without correction when it's just for fun.) And don't forget to utter some encouraging words afterward!
Make up a Game
From making up a group game to actually constructing a board game with rules, there is something so rewarding for young people about making up their own game with their own rules. I actually remember doing this once when I was a kid and amazingly, each of my children did this on their own this past year. One happened to be a "Littlest Pet Shop" theme and the other was based on the a famous TV show about mermaids. Both were complete with special cards to draw (with theme related premises) a game board (made either of cardboard or construction paper) and dice.
If your child has a special interest (animals, a favorite toy, TV show or movie or maybe a sport) you might suggest this fun idea of making their own game based on their interest and watch what they can do. And don't forget to gather everyone around to play their game when it's completed!
I started this idea for a way to help my own kids beat boredom this summer and it turned out to be something that I loved even more than them! Go figure! My daughters enjoyed doing this with me a couple days, but I found something about it so therapeutic that I actually went to the craft store to purchase acrylic paints for a better look! Now, I'm not a naturally born artist. But that's not the point, nor should it be with our kids. It's about being creative and having fun!
Make a Movie
Depending on your child's age, making a movie with a simple video camera can be an empowering learning experience, as well as a whole lot of fun. Again, this is something my own children have been doing for awhile. Not just simple videos, but sometimes little mini-movies that they direct, star in or just have their friends be the stars. (Or in one daughter's case, the Littlest Petshops are the stars. Do you detect an underlining theme there?)
Talk about getting creative! I have been amazed at what they have come up. So, see if your children might want to give it a try. And when their production is done, gather the family around to watch with a bowl of popcorn!
Even if you, the parent, don't consider yourself an overly crafty person, don't let that intimidate you from encouraging your child in that direction. Now days, we don't have to look any further than the internet to find endless craft ideas for children in every age group. You will be amazed at all the sites you find when you enter things such as "crafts for kids" into your search engine, and even more amazed at all the various craft ideas.
We have done countless crafts over the years. From making simple Christmas ornaments to corn husk dolls, to simply letting them paste seeds on an outline drawn on construction paper, we have done them all (or almost all). Some turned out amazing and some not so much. Some the kids loved and others they didn't. But it was always good to try!
My youngest, in particular, is one to have always gotten her own ideas. She'd ask to recycle a cardboard box, go away and then come back with a pretend camera or a miniature doll house!
Just be sure the little ones are supervised- especially if glue or scissors are involved. And there's nothing like those sparkly flakes all over the crevices of your kitchen floor! But a little mess really never hurt anyone, and I always try to remind myself that it's not so much the finished product but the process. So relax and watch your children have to joy of creating!
Corn husk dolls made by my children
What is a favorite way your child beats boredom on a rainy day?
Bottom Line...Get Creative
There are so many ways to foster creativity in your children, and these five ideas are just a drop in the bucket. More than likely, you can come up with countless more! (I didn't even include singing, writing music and playing instruments which can be so fun and rewarding for those kids with a musical bent.) Or, perhaps you or your child can take one of these ideas and alter it just a bit. All of the five listed, with the exception of making movies, are non-tech ways for children to have fun while being creative.
And let's take that movie-making example for a moment: How about also an old-fashioned play that your children write, direct and present? My girls have done this- and believe or not, they wrote, directed and recruited a couple neighbor friends into their plays two years in a row. They invited the neighbors over, complete with flyers, and their dad and I helped set up the chairs in the front yard and fix up the porch as the stage. (One was even a musical!) Now, I have to add that one of my daughters is actually a bit shy, but she loved being the director!
The point is, encourage your children to find ways to discover and create. In this modern world of all things high-tech along with the feeling of entitlement to be entertained, it's important to let children know that they can find other ways- not only to beat boredom, but to let their imaginations soar.
The sky's the limit!
Why Creativity in Children is Important
- Helps children develop problem-solving skills that will help them through a lifetime
- Helps them express their thoughts and feelings
- Gives them an outlet to cope with feelings and concerns or stressful situations
- Gives them a feeling of empowerment
- Unleashes hidden talents