“I’m bored!” Two words that every parent dreads. There are many reasons that preschoolers will exclaim their boredom. They may be looking for some screen time. They may not have someone else to play with. Or they may not be used to free time or unstructured activities. As summer approaches and young children find themselves spending more time at home instead of at preschool, parents need to be prepared to assist their bored preschoolers.
Create a Pet
Print out a paper animal or have the child draw or create a pet out of whatever materials are available. Then have the preschooler play and care for the pet for the day or as long as it keeps them entertained.
Any activity that helps a child create is sure to keep them busy for quite some time. Lego bricks, Play-Doh, puzzles, a marble run, or any kind of building toy will spark creativity, work on STEM skills, and help with spatial reasoning.
Create a Jar
Another popular idea is a boredom jar. Parents can brainstorm ideas and use popsicle sticks or slips of paper to write out activities or ideas for the child when he or she says, “I’m bored!” If you Google “I’m Bored Jar,” you will find hundreds of ideas!
Twenty years ago, Nancy Blakey wrote these words in Mothering in an article titled “Boredom: The Cauldron of Creativity:”
I cannot plant imagination into my children. I can, however, provide an environment where their creativity is not just another mess to clean up but welcome evidence of grappling successfully with boredom. It is possible for boredom to deliver us to our best selves, the ones that long for risk and illumination and unspeakable beauty. If we sit still long enough, we may hear the call behind boredom. With practice, we may have the imagination to rise up from the emptiness and answer.
Boredom is not a bad thing. Play is a child’s work. Being bored allows your child to imagine, create, invent, and explore. You are certain to hear, “I’m bored” this summer, but help your preschooler foster their imagination!
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Want to learn more about Kids ‘R’ Kids Learning Academy of Fort Mill located in Fort Mill, South Carolina? Our mission is to provide secure, nurturing, and educational environments for children ages 6 weeks – 12 years. We help children to bloom into responsible, considerate, and contributing members of society. For more information, give us a call or stop by for a tour! We’d love to get to know you and your family.