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How to beat boredom

If you have children living with you, you are probably very familiar with this statement. I used it as a child, too, until I found some hobbies to keep me busy.

Since we have had no school or daycare for the past couple of months, I hear it more and more.

“I’m bored.”

Last night, I think my granddaughter tried to set a record for the most times someone said, “I’m bored.”

I was about ready to scream. But then I realized something. My granddaughter was going through all of these things associated with the COVID-19 pandemic, too. Feelings of despair, feeling alone and fearful. Feeling—bored, for a lack of a better word.

The confusion about what to do when our normal routines are thrown all out of whack can cause a lot of different feelings in adults. But for a child, those feelings can be even more confusing.

They are learning at home with a new teacher (parent, grandparent). They don’t have their regular classes, they don’t see their friends. All they see is YOU!

Everyone who is touched by this pandemic is going through something similar. So how do we help our children/grandchildren feel empowered and not so bored?

Well, here are a few ideas we have been trying with our granddaughter.

Ideas to beat boredom

There are a lot of free or inexpensive ways to beat boredom and we will look at those now.

1. Take a walk. Taking a walk is free, relatively easy, helps you get your Vitamin D and can be a great way to beat boredom at least temporarily.

You can make the walk a fun activity by doing a number of different activities while out.

  • Do a scavenger hunt. Make up a list of things that you could discover along your walk like a certain color house. A type of bird or whatever else you want to include. This will keep your child engaged in the walk.
  • Play, I spy.
  • My granddaughter suggested playing color combinations. I’m not exactly sure what that is, but use your imagination and let them use theirs!
  • Sometimes we do a Prayer walk. We just walk past houses on our way and pray for the occupants inside.

2. Play a board game. Many families already have board games (which I think stems more from the word “bored” than the material it is made from!)

Amazon has a huge list of board games you can chose from. Give them a try for some ideas of board games to help beat your boredom!

One of my all time favorites is Uno. We played that game a lot with my parents and grandparents while I was growing up and it is still popular today. Good for ages 7 and up!

3. Play with dolls.

If you are like me and you have a granddaughter who is all girl, you could play dolls with her.

Right now my granddaughter is really into Shopkins again. So today, we played King and Queen and Princess with her Shopkins dolls. We played at the castle then decided we wanted to go on a vacation. It was a lot of fun and we spent hours playing and using our imaginations!

It stopped the “I’m bored” chant at least for a while!

Remember, it may not always be easy to keep your children/grandchildren busy, but make things fun and take your time to play with them. It can make the difference between a migraine for you and a good day for them!

Thank you for visiting my site. I would love to hear your thoughts on this post. Please leave questions or comments below and I will get back to you very soon!
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G.G. and JazAbout the author

Karin Nauber, “G.G.” is a professional journalist who has worked in the newspaper business for the past 27 years. She is also a grandmother who, along with her spouse, is raising one of their granddaughters. G.G. has nine grandchildren with whom she enjoys spending as much time as possible. She began this website with the hope of helping other grandparents who may be struggling with their role as parent/grandparents. If you would like to contact her, please do so at: gg@grandparentssecondstory.com.

Karin

18 Comments

  1. To be Bored is the last thing any body can think of, the effect of boredom when not properly managed can lead to health complications.

    Thanks for sharing this review, the present predicaments of our world with this Covid-19, has reduced our usual routine to almost a zero level thereby leaving us with boredom to contend with. I try to avoid boredom by taking a walk within my premises more often, playing video games and trying to listen to music.

    I have even forgotten about Uno, it used to be fun, thank God you mentioned it, I think I will order for it again to add to my activities to step up the fun and the joy which we need most to survive this pandemic. I will also try playing doll with my sibling so that we can avoid boredom. Thanks for sharing. I will recommend this review to my friends, because we all need to find a way out of boredom and be happy again.

    • Agreed—being bored is the last thing we think of when we feel like we have exhausted all other things we could do. Our mental health can only take so much boredom! 

      Thanks for sharing our site. We have other boredom breaking pages, as well. You can check those out here! These are some of the relaxation tips I’ve offered, but they work as good boredom breakers, too.

      Uno is a great game to play!

      Best wishes,
      Karin 🙂

  2. What a wonderful post 🙂 It’s hard enough for parents to have their kids at home during Covid-19 restrictions, but for grandparents it must be so much harder. Just the energy levels necessary would be problematic I’m sure. I am full of respect for what you are doing, raising your grand daughter and doing it very well by the sounds of things. I know how hard it can be keeping children amused and we have never had the kind of situation we have at the moment. You have some great ideas and there are all sorts of other great ideas online. Although I know you are probably trying to reduce screen time. I did hear about celebrities reading James and the Giant Peach on You tube I think on Mondays, Wednesdays and Thursdays. I’m sure your grand daughter will grow up to be a credit to all the work you have put in.

    • It has been a challenge raising her for a number of reasons, but somehow we always seem to get the energy from someplace!

      We have been raising her since she was about 6 months old. She is now 7 years old. As much work as it has been, we wouldn’t change things for the world. Keeping her busy can be a challenge. But she sure can keep us busy!

      I think letting her listen to celebrities read children’s books would be cool.

      We do have a subscription to ABC Mouse which she seems to enjoy, too!

      Best wishes,
      Karin 🙂

  3. Some great ideas to get rid of boredom, especially in times like these when everyone is stuck at home. 

    I remember my Grandmother used to give us jobs to do when we complained we were bored. Anything from peeling potatoes to catching flies, so we soon learned to keep our mouths shut.

    Having hobbies that you are passionate about really helps, but sometimes it is difficult to find that something that a child will spend hours on. For me it used to be sewing clothes for my dolls, but my daughter doesn’t enjoy anything crafty, so I hope we can soon discover a great hobby she will enjoy.

    • I remember my mom and grandma doing the same thing when we were kids and uttered the “I’m bored,” mantra. They were actually okay, but if my grandpa heard us say it, watch out! He would come up with complicated tasks and chores that were no fun at all. We stopped saying we were bored, too!

      I am helping my granddaughter develop some hobbies like painting and things that interest her. But lately, just getting her to play with her toys causes an argument. We keep working at it. 🙂

      Thanks for visiting our site, Michel!

      Best wishes,
      Karin 🙂

  4. Hey nice article you have there. Thanks for this timely information, your thoughts are indeed invaluable. Since the outbreak of Covid 19, I have been experiencing boredom since my favorite activities and business are on closure. Your tips to overcome boredom is quite impressive and viable, will definitely employ them, why hoping for the best results

    • Thank you for your comments and for visiting our site. Lately, I’ve had to use some of them myself! 🙂

      With 2020 Vision,
      Karin 😎

  5. I do feel that boredom is just about the children but I think the adults are getting bored too and it is a difficult time for so many people. This article did cheer me up with some of the great little games that you can do even just by going for a walk. Colours always cheer me up and made me think about a game I used to play with my family when we were out walking and played a type of eye spy but based on colours and it used to become quite exciting.

    You made me chuckle too about the “board” game connotation which was so aptly put. I do enjoy a board game but feel that children are more interested in their computer games now.

    Here’s to not being bored!

    Thank you so much

    • Thanks for visiting my site, Imelda. Yes, a lot of people are affected by boredom these days. As things are opening back up, I hope that will get better, but one never knows. That’s why we have a lot of ideas for games and toys and walks and bike rides and the occasional board game! 🙂 We do color on occasion too. She likes to do this thing called a three color challenge and that is kind of fun, although I don’t completely understand it! 🙂

      To not being bored!

      Karin 🙂

  6. Hi Karin

    The delights of having children telling you that they are bored out of their skulls, is part of being a parent. The question that comes out of this is what can I do to stop this chant and often you are left scratching your head. I am glad that I came across this article,as  you have given to me great ideas to keep my children entertained. I always have a colouring book at hand to keep the little darlings entertained but you feel that you should do better.  I like playing board games but the trouble my children squabble and wonder  what I can do to stop this?

    Thanks

    Antonio

    • The joys of parenting 101! I should write the book. I am glad the tips I provided have given you ways to keep the children entertained. As long as I am playing something with her, her boredom chant tones down or completely subsides. But, I have to work sometimes!

      The squabbling over the board games can be less than fun. I would set parameters and boundaries. The game can still be fun, but the rules must be clear. Children usually do well if they know what the rules are and not just the rules of game, but also the rules you set as a parent.

      Sometimes, my granddaughter and I just sit down and color and that is a lot of fun, too. We do the three color challenge which I still don’t completely understand, but I do it anyway! It keeps her happy.

      With 2020 vision,

      Karin 😁

  7. Hey nice article you have there, your thoughts are indeed invaluable. Thanks for sharing such a timely information with the public. Ever since lockdown was initiated in my country boredom has been the order of the day, this has really got me worried alot. Having gone through the various tips to overcome boredom, I will definitely apply them as soon as possible. Keep the good work, warm regards

    • Thank you for visiting my site. I am glad you liked the article. It seems like her boredom gets worse, but we are doing our best to keep her busy with things that stimulate her mind. I hope the tips I offer really help you out.

      With 2020 vision,

      Karin 😁

  8. I would be super rich if I got a $1 for every time my kids said I’m bored!” Haha! It’s expected these days…missing school, missing friends, missing summer vacation trips all due to this COVID-19 pandemic. Your list of ideas are great…time to put away the electronics and play. Kids forgot how to go outside and play anymore. Of course with social distancing in effect these days. 

    My kids don’t see their grandparents often these days to the pandemic. But when they do, its mask on and 6 feet away. Sad, but the reality of our times today. Great post and great site! Stay safe! 

    • Thanks for visiting our site!

      Yes! I think most of us parents would be rich by now! My granddaughter lives with us, so we get to see her all of the time. Our other grandchildren live a ways away, but we try to see them at least once a week. This social distancing and wearing masks is certainly far away from my known normal. It appears this could go on for some time. I am currently working on a story about returning to school (I work for a newspaper) and seeing what the schools are planning. I’m not sure how another season of homeschooling will work for many families.

      With 2020 Vision,
      Karin 😎😎

  9. Uno is such a great game, so thanks for mentioning that. My boys played it all the time when they were younger, and even now that they are in their late twenties, they still play it when the family is together. It is always a game that comes out when the cousins get together or with a group of friends. It is so much fun just listening and seeing them them laughing while playing. 

    Great idea to turn a walk into a fun activity at the same time. On rainy days we often get the jigsaw puzzles out. Important thing is to let them use their imaginations as well. 

    • Thank you for visiting our site.

      Yes, we love Uno. It is a great game to play any time. My granddaughter loves to play a lot of board games, too, like Operation.  That is really neat that your kids still enjoy playing a spirited game of Uno!

      My granddaughter likes to call our game times, Family Game Night. I’m sure she saw that on YouTube! She watches a lot of Ryan’s World Toy Reviews.

      With 2020 Vision,
      Karin 😎😎

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