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.
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!
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About 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: firstname.lastname@example.org.