I used to think that was so stupid. Sorry, dad.
Then I grew up.
I watch this truth play out not only in my own life, but the lives of my children as well.
I have 5 very talented and creative boys. Yes, I am biased, but I am telling you it’s true.
My boys are Lego architects, writers, painters, musicians, and simply a whole bunch of fun to be around. Before I sound too much like a snotty prideful mom, I want to repeat what my dad always told me:
I have a nifty printable for you at the end of this article.
I mean really bored.
Do not rescue them (unless there’s blood).
Do not turn on the TV and absolutely ban “all things electronic. (not all the time, just often)
Tell them all you have is an endless list of chores for them to complete if they come to you for suggestions.
If the weather permits, send ’em outside and tell them they cannot come in until the timer dings. At least an hour!
- Sit back and wait…
Depending on how over-stimulated and over-scheduled your kids are, there will likely be a delay between their first boredom appointment and the flow of creativity. It could be a few minutes or a few days.
Trust me it is worth the wait!
Plan for periods of boredom regularly. Daily is best. Summer is meant for this type of schedule- embrace it.
You may think I am crazy, but I am quite sane.
- Create the “new games”
- Create awesome forts
- Write creative stories
- Think painting a fence is fun
- Weave complicated characters and events into their make-believe playtime
- Change the world
Now, if you just cannot handle the thought of allowing your children to become really bored, or if the thought of the possibly whining makes the hair stand up on the back of your neck: cheat. (That’s another lesson from my dad)
- Go to the local thrift stores and let them buy some new dress-up clothes.
- Pick up a few (or a few dozen) empty cardboard boxes.
- Buy an assortment of PVC piping and let them create.
- Find a spell-binding book to read aloud at breakfast or lunch. Be sure to stop reading at an exciting part! This is a great time to send them off. My kids end up personifying literary characters often!
- Buy some spiral bound notebooks and “special pens” to help them write a creative story (Tell them you will not correct spelling and grammar… just let them write).
- Invite a “cool big kid” over to play.
As homeschoolers we can over schedule our children’s lives to the point of physical and mental exhaustion. Slow down. Let the lull of summer on the horizon remind us that it is more than OK to slow down. We need to allow our children to come to the end of their schedules in order to provide time and opportunity for creativity.