God knows we humans get bored and I think that’s why He made seasons for us. But when it comes to kids, sometimes the seasons are just too long! By now, I’m sure you’ve heard those dreaded two words: “I’m bored.” And you know telling your kids to go outside and play just doesn’t work.
I scoured the Net for new ideas to help bored kids and I got bored with the same old stuff I’d read in magazines when my kids were young; like read a book, watch TV. I did find a few out of the hundreds I read, which I share in this blog, but I’m also going to tell you about some things I did with my kids when they got bored, that still work with my grandkids today.
Blame it on routine
We can blame boredom on routine and that’s probably why we love to go on vacation to break away from the everyday grind of routine. As a reformed slob I know that when I was in a pigpen, it was my disorganization and lack of a routine that put me there. But I must say I was never bored in those pigpen days!
I escaped the pen by creating a routine that had my kids and me up, dressed and fed by 7:00 and in bed with a clean and tidy home by 8:00. I love what Flylady says, “Routines and habits are the backbone of a peaceful life.” Routines and habits breed success, but they are also the perpetrators of boredom. When boredom creeps in, it’s time to shake things up.
A Lesson from the bears
There’s a place in West Yellowstone, Montana called Grizzly and Wolf Discovery Center. The Center offers every visitor to Yellowstone a chance to uniquely experience the world of grizzly bears and gray wolves. All the animals at the Center are unable to survive in the wild and serve as ambassadors for their wild counterparts. Terry, my husband, took this photo at the Center.(I promise this has something to do with boredom.) If you plan to go to Yellowstone don’t miss this place. But what does it have to do with boredom? Hold your pants on, it’s next.
Animal behaviorists have discovered that bears in captivity get bored. Have you ever seen a bear pace back and forth at the zoo? (There’s a polar bear at the San Diego Zoo that does it and it’s heartbreaking.) A pacing bear is a bored bear. There are no pacing bears at the Grizzly and Wolf Discovery Center, because they experience change every day. When you think about it, Nature is always in flux. That’s why it’s so good to get out in Nature as much as we can.
At the Center, visiting children are each given a bucket of food for the bears and they’re allowed into the bear’s cage to hide the food (the bears are put in a holding cage while the children are hiding the food or else the children would be the food).So your first boredom-buster is:
1. Hide breakfast
Let the kids sleep in while you prepare breakfast. Whatever you fix, put it in a cooler along with utensils and hide it where you want everyone to eat. You could eat in the bathtub, the family room, under the dining room table with a blanket thrown over to make a tent, your bedroom or in the garage (don’t eat in the car, you do that enough already).
Or you could eat outside someplace. Put a note at the table where you always eat that says: “Find breakfast.” (You could give some hints.) When they wake