3 Things by Kara Fleck, Simple Kids
It’s okay to let your kids be bored.
No, really, it is okay not to plan and provide activity after enriching activity. I promise.
I know, I know. It is so easy in this day and age of printable bucket lists and inspiring Pinterest boards to find a plethora of fun things for our kids to do.
One could easily find a craft, recipe, and game for just about every topic, holiday, and interest under the sun.
And, while it is tempting to answer every “I’m bored” by rattling off a long list of fun ideas (guilty as charged on far too many occasions), the thing is: our kids need to be bored. And we need to free ourselves from the burden of feeling that we have to constantly be providing entertainment.
In fact, some parenting experts argue that we do our kids a disservice by not giving them the “gift of boredom.”
From one of my favorite books, Simplicity Parenting: Using the Extraordinary Power of Less to Raise Calmer, Happier, and More Secure Kids by Kim John Payne:
“Boredom is often the precursor to creativity. Think of a bridge between ‘doing nothing’ and the sort of deep creative play… The bridge is almost always paved with (the frustration of) boredom. ‘I’m bored.’ Now that is when something interesting usually happens.”
(Now, as I once heard a parenting expert reveal, the step right after “I’m bored” usually tends to be pestering your sister—but once that corner is turned, or proves to have uninviting consequences, time after time my kids have blown me away by the wonderful things they come up with to do.)
Give the gift of boredom. It’s in those seemingly “empty” spaces of time that creativity and imagination have room to grow and flourish.
Have a dedicated place where kids can craft and be creative.
We’re a pretty crafty family — but up until earlier this year, our projects were mostly quick, five to ten minute crafts done at the kitchen table — only to be easily interrupted, hastily finished, and cleaned away (sometimes several times a day) so that we could use the table to eat.
Enter the never-ending crafts table. (Or easel in a corner of the kitchen, or workbench in the garage, or whatever works for your living space.)
In our case, we purchased a new table for our eat-in kitchen and the old kitchen table moved to another part of the house where it became the kids’ never-ending crafts table (which was a $20 yard sale find to begin with, so I don’t have to balk at messier projects because it isn’t too precious to us). It turns out we aren’t really formal dining room type of people, so that space in our home is now a library/crafts/homeschool room.
Bonus tip: From time to time, as often as you can, sit down to that creative space yourself. Yes, you. Even if it is just five minutes of doodling with your favorite crayon colors. It is hard not to smile when you’ve got a 64-pack of Crayolas and a stack of drawing paper, no matter how old you are.
Have you tried Birchbox yet? It is a beauty sample subscription service a friend told me about a couple of years ago.
It is a fun way to try new beauty products in sample sizes and a neat treat to receive in the mail every month — usually arriving just when I need a bit of pampering and mama time. One of my favorite budget-friendly indulgences!