Four benefits of boredom plus some practical tips!
The benefits of boredom are not something we tend to consider initially as parents. Instead, we jump into activity-filled days that allow for little to no downtime. It happens because of our good intentions in wanting our kids to have beautiful memories.
A few years ago, I set off to create a summer to remember. I thought that in order to have a great time, we needed days filled with fun activities and adventure. However, a week into this summer, I realized it was not going to work. The endless activity left me feeling overwhelmed and frantic. At that time, I started to realize the benefits of boredom.
Benefits of Boredom
Boredom encourages creativity and imagination.
Having downtime is essential to creativity. Personally, I know that when I quiet the noise, I will always be more creative and have more ideas.
When your kids say they are bored, encourage them to think of something to do. You will be surprised at what they come up with. I will warn you, if your kids are not used to this it will be hard at first and may take some encouragement. In these moments, simply remind your kids of the different toys and opportunities to play they have, then get quiet.
This will be the time they create their own superheroes, turn their bedroom into a restaurant with play food, or create a fun game outside. Give them the space to get creative.
Boredom gets kids thinking.
Structure and routine is a good thing and kids thrive when having this. Within your routines, schedule in downtime. Kids will then be able to think about what they want to do within this space.
Boredom helps your kids learn what they love.
Some kids will gravitate more towards activities like running or riding bikes while others may show an interest in art or music. Giving your kids downtime will give them the time to discover what it is they love to do.
Boredom teaches kids to entertain themselves.
We love our bucket lists and fun activities, but I also want my kids to know how to entertain themselves. Giving our kids downtime helps them learn how to rest, to be creative, and to mature. Parenting is a slow process of teaching kids practical life skills and letting go.
Benefits of Boredom: Let’s Get Practical: How can I start to embrace boredom?
Start to have a regular time each day where they play by themselves. Make sure that the space they will be playing is free from anything that could be dangerous. Set out some different toys such as board books, blocks, cars, play kitchen.
For Elementary Kids:
Give them downtime where they can be creative and use their imaginations. Ensure there are spaces and toys that will help them to be creative. Also, realize that sometimes the most amazing creativity can happen playing in the backyard without any toys.
When we are on a break from school or doing school at home as we are currently, it has been helpful to have one planned activity a day. The kids know we will do the fun activity together. Beyond that, there is time for us to be on screens and times where they are off screens.
Toys that Help Build Creativity
- Kitchen Set
- Art Materials
Check out a list of some great toys!
Boredom is a good thing and when we start seeing “I’m bored” as a door to a world of imagination and fun, everything changes.
Start embracing boredom and encouraging your kids during this time instead of giving them another planned moment. If this is new to you, it may take time. Start to implement it slowly and stay consistent. Your consistency will pay off and you will start to see creativity and imagination bloom!
If you are looking for ideas for having one planned activity a day, check out this great list of activities!