Tired of your kids spending all of their time playing videogames, i-chatting or watching television, but dread the inevitable "I’m bored" chorus whenever you make them step away? Try creating a list of "Bored Games."
First, help your children explore some of the things they like to do or are interested in that don’t involve electronics, like cooking, reading, drawing, learning to play an instrument, etc.
Then, once you have a good list, put each activity on an individual piece of paper and place them in a "Bored Jar." When the time comes and your kids get bored, they can draw a random activity out of the jar. And since all the activities in the jar are of their choosing, it should reduce complaints and help transform a negative experience into a positive one.
If you want to get even more creative, create a "Wheel of Boredom!" Make your own spin-wheel out of poster board or laminated construction paper, separate the wheel into segments, and write a different activity of your child’s choosing into each segment. Whenever your child gets bored, they can spin the wheel to see what they should do!
Examples of Activities that reinforce Fishful Thinking:
- Stacking cups (See how long it takes to stack and unstack plastic cups in the form of a pyramid)
- Creating "Would you rather?" questions
- Creating knock-knock jokes
- Giving mom or dad a fashion makeover
- Playing charades with funny objects on the list (items from the hardware store can be particularly fun – a hammer, an extension cord, etc.)
- Taking pictures
- For creative kids: redesigning their bedroom, designing a scavenger hunt, making a board game, preparing a meal
- For musical kids: inviting friends over for a makeshift band practice
- For curious kids: reading a mystery book, flipping through a science book or taking apart a parent-approved object in the house
- For adventuresome kids: making an indoor obstacle course
- Bake cookies for a neighbor
- Draw a picture for a grandparent or someone special
- Plan a funny surprise for one of your family members
- Make a photo essay (using a disposable camera) to send to a friend or family member