Impatient kids complain about being bored an average of 122 times every month – that’s nearly 1,500 times per year - according to new research by BIC as part of its Young Artist Award (It feels like double that in my household!). The study also revealed that 69 percent of us parents dread hearing the words “I’m bored”. But experts claim parents should be doing more to encourage boredom as mechanism to inspire creativity. We should be letting their minds wander rather than plonking them in front of the TV or electronic tablet.
Here are my screen-free top tips tips to help promote imagination and creativity in our kids.
Supply them with a pen and paper
The possibilities here are endless for kids of all ages. They can draw a picture, write a story or diary, make a list of their favourite things or countries they want to explore. Design minded kids can invent their next creatoin and budding journalists can make their own newspaper with stories about your home or town. Or they can just doodle!
Send them out into the garden - whatever the weather!
Mooching about in the garden is naturally creative. Just think how much fun the kids have running around, bug hunting, making up games and imagining they are in fantastic places during the Summer. There is no reason why they can't be outside playing during the Winter too. Get them some sturdy wellies and a waterproof and they are all set. Leave them to it and call them back in at tea time.
Set them some creative chores
I admit this works better with younger kids! It is easy to make chores fun for them and also spark their imaginations. How many colours can they sort the washing into? Set a timer and challenge them to see how many different shaped items they can pick up off the floor in 10minutes. For older kids you could suggest they invent their own reward system or they could rearrange their bedroom - or even decorate!
Give them a book
A favourite quote of mine is 'reading is dreaming with open eyes'. Escaping into a book not only stimulates the mind, it can help develop a lifelong love for reading. Ask them questions about what they are reading and what they think might happen next to encourage their imagination and critical thinking skills.
Encourage them to exercise
Excerise can be fun! Encourage kids to make up their own dance or gymnastics routines and build assault courses or time trials. Not only does it help keep kid's bodies healthy but it stimulates their brains and improves concentration. For little ones, turn on the radio and let them boogie!
So next time your child complains they are bored, don't automatically reach for the tablet or TV remote why not try one of these tips and let them turn boredom into creativity!
Artist, Baker and Blogger. Mum to my two beautiful, cheeky girls. Muddling my way through parenthood with equally cheeky Husband.