How to deal with a bored kid

Frequently, home mothers, caregivers, babysitters, and even preschool headmasters hear children saying they are bored. To many caregivers’ dismay, watching Barney tapes, playing video games, or reading a Mother Goose rhyme does not provide adequate entertainment or stimulation. Bored children often get into mischief and/or “act out” negatively.

A major way to cure their boredom is to put them in charge of their own fun. Placing children in charge of stimulating their own imaginations occupies time and exercises their intellect. Two useful activities that best achieve this goal involve nature and singing.

One activity is to take a group of children outside, have them choose an interesting object, and then create a story involving what they found. Set boundaries for the children limiting their choices to leaves, branches, rocks, flowers, and so forth in order to prevent them from seeking out unsafe objects or refuse. Give them a time limit for finding an object and then have them create a story to tell to the rest of the group.

It is important to make them create the story in their minds and not write it down. Forcing them to deliver it orally exercises their memory, develops social skills, and makes them comfortable with public speaking. Most importantly it will keep them from feeling bored. One by one they will tell their stories to the group trying to top each other’s stories. The competition will be personally exciting to them and they will also get a self-esteem boost.

Another activity is group singing. As with the aforementioned activity, place the children in charge of their fun. Have the children think of different subject matter on which to sing. Then with each subject have the children collectively write short songs. Use common childhood melodies for the music.

“Mary Had a Little Lamb”, “Twinkle, Twinkle Little Star”, “Row, Row, Row Your Boat”, and “The Itsy Bitsy Spider”, all make good templates. If the adult is able to create original melodies that will make it even more enjoyable. Singing will make the entire group feel included and will keep them engaged.

It is easy to pop in a Barney tape or plug in the Playstation. The reason this results in rapid boredom is that these things entertain the children without their input. Creating activities that mentally stimulate and require active input is the key to wiping away childhood boredom.

The two aforementioned activities are not only stimulating but don’t involve technology. It is true that sometimes the best things in life are free.

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