What to Do When Kids Complain About Being Bored
One week into Summer, that’s all it took before I heard the words, “Mom, I’m Bored. There’s nothing to do!”
There’s nothing worse than hearing “what’s for dinner” before 8am or the phrase, “I’m bored,” especially when you’re looking at a yard and house full of fun, awesome things they could be doing.
My usual response is to list out a bunch of ideas for them to choose from, such as:
- You could read a book.
- You could set up the slip and slide.
- You could take the dogs for a walk.
- You could go do chalk on the driveway.
- You could ask the neighbors if they want to ride bikes with you.
- You could set up the sprinklers.
- You could play baseball.
- You could make friendship bracelets.
I left all the choices in their hands!
Wait…Why Do Kids Complain They’re Bored?
“Bored” has different meanings to different kids – and oftentimes timing plays a big part in determining what kind of bored they are.
Sometimes kids tell you they’re bored because they need direction getting started with an activity, and other kids can say they’re bored because they have an unmet need they need filled. This is often in the form of wanting a parent’s attention and time to reconnect with you.
Think of it as their way of telling you, “I want you to pay attention to me,” or “can you spend some time with me right now.”
If a child is consistently bored and coming to you often for activity ideas, then it may be a sign they need more challenging activities and level of engagement is too low. Make sure toys, activities, books and kits are age-appropriate in terms of skill and engagement.
While it’s absolutely important to stimulate the brain, it’s equally important to move the body. Ensure children are getting enough daily exercise, preferably outdoors in the fresh air and natural setting, so excess energy isn’t getting in the way of them sitting down to tackle a project or be fulfilled with activity.
Some Options for What to Say With Children Who Say “I’m Bored”
Bored Times Inspire Creativity & Independence
I’ve watched first-hand, the kids in our neighborhood make up the most creative & fun games, brainstorm ideas for crafts to sell at a sidewalk booth, and entertain themselves for hours without any adult help.
I know it’s 100% possible – and it’s good for them!
Here’s what I made to help spur on that “I’m bored” creativity.
You know those tear off sheets you see on light poles and stop signs advertising for a tutor, house cleaner or dog sitter? It’s a letter size piece of paper with a bunch of strips on one side, and they’re slightly cut so you can tug off a slip with the info advertised?
I made a few of these sheets for our house so whenever the kids feel tempted to complain about the level of boredness they’re experiencing, they have a place to go for ideas to light the fire of their imaginations.
I’m sharing the printables with you in hopes this may come in hand at your house, and inspire some fun and creativity, and less complaining about being bored this Summer, too.
Here’s what the printable idea sheets look like:
Don’t forget the Summer Family Kit is another wonderful Summer resource, which comes with over 40 activities, coloring sheets, games and fun for kids including six (6) different indoor and outdoor scavenger hunts, an acts of kindness calendar, road trip themed activities, and 25+ growth mindset coloring sheets.
I promise you won’t run out of fun things to do, and with a daily routine, things will run like a well-oiled machine and mamas everywhere can keep the chaos to a minimum and their sanity in check.
More Ideas & Activities for When Kid’s Say They’re Bored
- 100+ Genius Responses for When Your Kid Says “I’m Bored”
- 18 Fun & Easy Outdoor Activities for Kids to Play Outside
- 25 Easy Craft Ideas for Kids to Make at Home (Surprisingly Simple Craft Ideas)
- FREE 2-Page PDF Printable Indoor Scavenger Hunt for Kids
- Encourage Independent Play Time & Why Kid’s Don’t Need Entertaining
- FREE Nature Scavenger Hunt PDF Printable for Kids
- 50 Screen-Free Activities for Kids This Summer
- Summer I Spy Printable Game Sheets (4 Free Sheets)
- Limiting Screentime with Kids: Why & How to Enforce Screen Limits