*Note: this post contains Amazon Affiliate links. Any purchases made via the links provided go to support our literacy efforts.
It seems that the world has come to a stand still with everything that keeps a child occupied shutting down. What’s a parent to do with a bored child? Back to Basics Literacy always recommends books, books and more books along with plenty of free play. But if you just point to the book shelf or say “go play,” you will invariably be left looking at a blank stare. So here are some ideas and suggestions to help you get through the next few weeks, with your hair intact.
Books – Since it seems that many libraries are also shutting their doors, you may be left using what is on your shelf or you might do a book exchange with a friend or a neighbor. To err on the side of caution, wipe down your books with a disinfectant wipe before exchanging. Using your books:
Art – Let the creative juices flow! Offer paper, colored pencils, markers, gel pens, chalk and other craft and art supplies to keep little hands busy. Ideas might include:
Games & Puzzles – These can keep kids busy for hours and offer educational benefits without actual instruction time, such as Monopoly, Scrabble and Uno. Don’t underestimate your child and assume they are too young for certain games. For instance, my four-year-old daughter loves to play classic Monopoly and is learning about numbers and money. Puzzles are great for dexterity and fine motor skills as well as problem solving and can also be educational (think alphabet and spelling puzzles).
Basic Toys – Building blocks, stackers and sorters, cars, trucks, and trains, dolls, pretend kitchen implements…anything that will encourage imaginative and dramatic play.
Just Plain Fun – Let children have fun building forts out of boxes, pillows, blankets and anything else that they can think of (that doesn’t destroy your home.) Get kids in the kitchen to help with dinner or to make a dessert. Let them make some seasoned crackers, no-bake cookies or a cereal mix. Helps with reasoning and math skills as well as self-confidence while they build life-skills
The internet offers a plethora of ideas for small hands and bored children. Check out Pinterest, Instagram, author websites, library websites, and publishing websites such as Scholastic. Use this time to bond with your child, engage in some fun activities and create lasting memories.
-Kate @ BTBL
We are three generations that seek a way to get back to basics. It’s not that we eschew technology, but sometimes simpler is better, especially in raising our children. Mom was a reading teacher, Amanda is an early childhood educator and Kate a children’s literature specialist and former school librarian along with the latest additions, a daughter (now 4) for Kate, and two sons (now 1 and a newborn) for Amanda. We advocate reading aloud, the simple toys that use imagination and encourage creativity and learning in the kitchen, which can be a fun mess but also teaches life skills. Join us in raising healthy, happy, inquisitive and intelligent children.
Right about now children are celebrating the end of the school year. Recently, my mother, sister and I reminisced, remembering how much we looked forward to the end of the school year when we were young and the beginning of summer vacations. What stood out were some of the family trips taken up north and to the lakes but mostly we remembered the boredom. We also remembered the fun and inventive games that grew out of the boredom. I know that the days when my daughter says she is bored, I feel I need to come up with things for her to do but after reading what some child development experts say about allowing children to be bored, I now embrace her boredom. Since she is only three years old, I still make sure that she has toys and items for make-believe as well as situations and opportunities where her imagination and creativity might flourish but I leave it up to her to discover her talents and passion. According to psychologist, Dr. Vanessa Lapointe, a child needs enough stillness to awaken their sense of self and being. When they sit in the nothingness of boredom, they arrive at an understanding of who they are and awaken their own internal drive to be. I remember when my younger brother was bored, he would look for things in the basement or garage to take apart and tinker with (I made sure that my possessions were well hidden) and today he is an engineer. It seems that what he did when he was bored, was who he was.
“Boredom always precedes a period of great creativity.”
We are mom Sandra and daughters Amanda and Kate, all with backgrounds in literacy and education, who want to share our philosophy of taking the basics of life; books, simple toys that encourage play, imagination and creativity, and using cooking and baking to teach math and real life skills to raise happy, inquisitive children. Join us in exploring the old and the new and sifting through the myriad of research to consider what is best for our children.