Technology and organised activities mean that today’s children lead very structured lives are rarely left to just ‘be’. But when children are left to entertain themselves, they become more creative and imaginative in finding ways to amuse themselves.
Here are six ways your kids can benefit from a bit of boredom:
1. Having to think of ways to amuse themselves is an important way to develop resilience.
2. Unstructured playtime, especially with other children, will help your child develop interpersonal skills that are becoming less common in a technology obsessed world.
3. When kids manage to entertain themselves, it gives their self-esteem a boost.
4. By not intervening in their boredom, you will help to develop their problem-solving skills.
5. Research has shown that allowing the mind time to wander rather than being focused on activities all the time is important for mental health.
6. Just like our bodies, imaginations need exercise. When our minds are bored, they start to daydream, and that daydreaming sparks creative thought. When our kids have nothing to do, they exercise their imaginations, which could be one of the most important skills they can develop.
Make sure there are a few things around to get them started and then leave it up to them.
• Recycled materials such as cardboard boxes, newspapers and magazines, kitchen paper tubes etc.
• Sheets, blankets, cushions and pillows
• Craft and drawing materials
• Old clothes to dress up in
The more times they are bored, the easier amusing themselves will become. Obviously, children will still need supervision, but do this from a distance and try not to interrupt unless it is necessary.