The Oxford English Dictionary (OED) defines “bored” as ‘feeling weary and impatient because one is unoccupied or lacks interest in one’s current activity.’ Given the pace at which life is moving today there are scarce opportunities for boredom. Unmistakably, life has slowed down considerably since the lockdown. That being said, those who have children will agree that their kids still lament that they are “bored”.
Children often confuse restlessness and boredom. Boredom can result from sheer fatigue or simply not knowing what to do next. It can emerge from repetitive activities because of the lack of imagination or excitement that accompanies them. This is easily remediable. A social malady, boredom is curable through effective parenting, a positive outlook and creativity!
Parents must teach their children that there is no need for boredom. There are several ways to occupy one’s time that I will list below.
My A to Z’s for Boredom Busting :
A – Activity Mats (write & wipe) – Skillmatics’ Animal Kingdom activity mat!
B – Boredom Buster is another great activity mat by Skillmatics to keep your child occupied.
C – Climb a tree – Not only does it offer a unique vantage point, it’s a great way to genuinely connect with nature and get over this modern phobia of dust (which is justifiable if you’re allergic but not, in my mind, if you’re dust-allergy free).
D – Dots & Mazes (a memory game by Skillmatics) will improve social & communication skills, logical reasoning, decision making and writing through a fun and engaging activity.
E – Exercise – Swimming, cycling, running and skipping are great ways to stay active.
F – Friends – Connect with your friends (e.g. set up a virtual play date or phone call).
G – Gardening – Grow your own plants (e.g. basil leaves or fresh thyme) or get gardening.
H – Help out at home – Helping set the table, cook meals for your family, a neighbour carrying their groceries, your younger sibling with their homework, etc. Best and easiest way to say goodbye to boredom!
I – Inspire those within your community – volunteer to help the elderly or homeless.
J – Jogging – Go for a jog! This is a superb way to get your heartrate up.
K – Kitchen activities – Cook a family recipe or get creative in your kitchen.
L – Learn – a new language or skill set using the Duolingo app or an at-home activity kit.
M – Music – this is always a fun way to unwind! Sing or dance on your own or with family.
N – Netflix – Yes, your kids are allowed some occasional age-appropriate TV time.
O – Outdoor games – Cops and robbers (or Chor-police in India), Tug of war (great for gross motor skill development) or Tag (Catch & cook in India) are just a few options!
P – Paint – A canvas, an old wooden bench, a stool, a large chart paper, a pot, etc.
Q – Quiet time – Take a few minutes out of each day to meditate. The Calm and Headspace apps take you through guided meditations with a range of bedtime and work time options.
R – Read a-loud – Reading aloud helps with phonics and language development.
S – Science experiments – Create your own Slime at home using baking soda.
T – Treasure hunt – Use chocolates/candy at home as a treat and create your own clues!
U – Understand your feelings – share these in your own private diary or journal.
V – Visualize – Your goals and what you want to achieve in the future.
W – Walk – Indoors up and down your hallway or even better, outdoors if possible!
X – X’s – X is often used to symbolise a kiss. Email those you love and sign off with an x.
Y – YouTube tutorials – Use a recipe from the Millennial Moms or Tasty channel.
Z – Zen: Stay zen by practicing yoga (see this article for app recommendations).