If your kids are anything like mine, you’ll probably be very familiar with this phrase, especially during school holidays. We live in a seaside town, so we frequently go to the beach and the park. We go on lots of day trips. But the days at home can sometimes be a challenge to even the most patient among us!
Although I fully embrace technology and highly value its place in our daily lives, I do limit my children’s screen time to ensure they have a good balance of mental and physical challenges.
I have brought together my ten favourite activities to help conquer boredom and keep kids engaged.
1. Have a Cosy Read-a-thon
Grab some of your favourite children’s books and snuggle up for a reading session. Read aloud to your child and, if they are old enough, you can take turns at reading. Discuss characters, plots and events in the story. Ask your child to predict what might happen next, or why a character behaves in a certain way. After the story, get them to write an alternative ending, or draw what could have happened instead.
You might not realise it, but your kitchen is the perfect starting place for your budding little scientist to find everything they need for some amazing science experiments. There are plenty of sites to visit that will give you loads of ideas for experiments. Just Google “Kitchen Science Experiments” for a great list that your little Einstein will love!
Using maths in the kitchen in a practical way is absolutely crucial to children’s understanding of mathematical concepts. There is no better way to learn about accurate measuring, capacity and ratio. If our recipe is for 12 muffins, what do we need to 18 muffins? Challenge, do the maths then enjoy eating the results!
We often play a variation of a simple game my own mother taught me as a child. Pick a player to silently say the alphabet and another player shouts “STOP!” Which ever letter the alphabet caller was on is the letter used to fill on a grid of things with that same initial letter. As a kid, we used “boy’s name – girl’s name – fruit – flower – place” but we often start by each person choosing categories we will use in the game.
9. From Bored to Board Games
Dig out some board games to play together. This is another great way to develop social skills like taking turns. There is also the added bonus of maths practice, as many games include calculating (Monopoly), logic and problem solving (Connect Four or Cluedo), or even play spelling games like Scrabble or Boggle.
This is a firm favourite in our home. Our kids love to perform and will put together their own plays, dances and musical compositions. This is a fabulous way for them to showcase their creative talents and give equal status to the non-academic areas of interest.
Now you have our checklist, let’s hope the B-O-R-E-D word is one you don’t hear too often!