Living in the age of high-tech gadgets and an excess in structured activities for kids, our children (like so many of us) crave constant stimulation and entertainment, leaving little time to just “be.” While one may feel compelled to help their child when he or she feels bored, that may not always be the best course of action. In fact, there are actually benefits to being bored - yes, you read that right. Boredom is good medicine for the brain. It can foster creativity, independence, ambition, motivation, and drive.
According to John Eastwood, a psychologist at the Boredom Lab of York University, Canada, "When you feel bored, because it’s an aversive and uncomfortable state, you’re motivated to look for something else. In that gap there’s a real chance to discover something new." Children benefit from engaging with themselves and learning how to use periods of unstructured time on their own. With that in mind, here are some recommendations on how to keep your children productive when bored at home:
Book reading is a great exercise for the mind. It boosts imagination, encourages creativity, expands vocabulary, increases general knowledge, strengthens focus, and enhances writing and communication skills. Developing a voracious appetite for reading can seriously help a child later in life.
Technically, life skills are more commonly known as chores, which most children aren’t keen on. In spite of that, empowering a child to complete age-appropriate housework ensures they’ll one day have the skill set and mindset for their eventual journey into the real world. Tasking a child with simple chores (such as cleaning, preparing meals, feeding pets, etc.) helps them gain a sense of independence and confidence, which in turn boosts their self esteem. Try making chores fun for them through encouragement and the occasional reward once completed.
Outdoor play enables children to enjoy the natural environment while improving their overall health, increasing self-awareness, encouraging curiosity and wonder, promoting creativity, and developing an appreciation for our surroundings. We are meant to interact with nature, especially children - so get your kids out there and get to playing!
Arts and Crafts
Not just for rainy days, engaging children in arts and crafts is critically important to their psychological and physical development. Make sure to have art supplies lying around at home such as crayons, pens, paper, whiteboard, markers, paints, and more. These items help develop fine motor skills, increase dexterity, improve hand-eye coordination, encourage self-expression, and promote creativity. Try installing Canvix around areas of the house where children love to spend time playing and see what happens
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