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5 tips to fight off the boredom blues

There’s nothing to do!

Can’t I just watch more TV?

It’s inevitable. At some point during summer vacation your child will utter those dreadful words: “I’m bored.” They might be surrounded by toys and have a yard full of things to do, but there are times when children just can’t think of things to do. This is a prime time to help your child build their powers of imagination and creativity. We’ve got five tips to beat the boredom blues this summer.

Bored child

Outdoor art

Chalk art is a tried and true method of occupying some time and filling your driveway and sidewalks with color. Here are a few more ideas to get your kids outside and being creative:
  • Painting with water: Send your children outside with containers of water and a variety of paint brushes. Let them paint on the driveway, sidewalk, or outdoor toys.
  • Nature art: Collect sticks, grasses, flowers, rocks and create a scene. Perhaps give each child a sidewalk square to contain their nature scene.

Assemble a craft box

This is a good one to save for rainy days so it feels special. Put together a box with a variety of craft supplies and kits. You'll want supplies for some free creativity - papers, paints, markers, pipe cleaners, ribbons etc. And maybe some craft kits for days when more guided play is needed. You can often stock up on easy-to-assemble craft kits at the dollar store or on sale at your favorite craft store. Other ideas for your craft box:
  • An easy sewing loom
  • Friendship bracelet supplies 
  • Scratch art 

Take a trip to the library

Planning trips to the library serves two purposes. First, it is a trip out of the house, which kids always enjoy. Second, at the library, they can checkout books that they can turn to when they are bored. Libraries often have areas where children can engage in quiet, learning play with puppets, puzzles and other games. A trip to the library can take up a lot of time on its own and you'll come home with even more to do!

Set up an excuse to play

Sometimes kids aren't necessarily bored so much as they don't know how to ask others to play with them. Give them a reason to gather kids together and you'll spark fun that likely lasts long after your plan is done. Fun group ideas:
  • Host a water balloon or squirt gun fight
  • Set up the sprinkler and have kids run through it
  • Gather bikes, scooters and pom-poms for a neighborhood parade
  • Host a neighborhood talent show

Go on an adventure

With a little bit of enthusiasm you can make anything sound like an adventure.  Pile the kids in the car and visit a park on the other side of town. Visit a local art museum, take a picture of your child's favorite exhibit and then have them try to recreate it at home. Break open some popsicles and go on a “popsicle walk” to eat them. Have a train lover? Drive to a busy train track and park along the side of the road for some train spotting. Getting out of the house is a great way to fight off the boredom blues.

Bonus tip for kids home alone

While some of the above ideas work well with or without a parent, here’s one more idea that is perfect for days when your kids are home alone. Create a “bored jar.” A jar filled with popsicle sticks and pre-approved ideas from you on how to spend their time. You can even color code them for certain types of activities so your kids can pick one that fits their current mood. Pinterest is a fantastic source for Bored Jar ideas.

Keeping your child active and safe can be a full time job! We’ve compiled some helpful resources with reliable information on top safety issues for you. Bookmark our website’s Safety Page so this info is always close at hand.

Check out our app NP PEDS MD for further information and home care advice.
Baby girl with pony tail in white