“Mom I’m bored!”

So many moms get frustrated when their child is complaining that they are bored.  But mom,  being bored is OK in fact it is a very good thing.  Creativity follows solitude; your child will never learn how to be creative if he does not stop, get still and think, so don’t be upset if he says he is bored. And, don’t think that you have to solve it for him. Your job is to teach him how to re motivate and teach him how to find other things outside of technology to occupy his energy and time. At first you may have to help the process along but before long he will get the drill and fill his days with exciting stuff.

Don’t micro manage. Just make some suggestions until a few stick.

When breaking the video game habit, you can have a good list of potential FUN activities available for your children to choose from. As parents, it is our joy and our responsibility to help our kids develop a love for a variety of creative outlets and activities that they can enjoy and possibly carry through their life.  If you don’t provide this very important piece to eliminating video games in your home, your efforts will be much more difficult.  It is much easier to help move them away from the gaming issue when you have something else to replace it with or at least get them going.  Once they get a taste of other fun fulfilling activities, their gaming will seem boring and they may make comments like, “I can’t believe I used to spend hours in front of my video game when I could be doing ____ instead!”

There are thousands of games, activities and hobbies that will encourage social interaction and real (not virtual) relationships and stimulating play. One great suggestion is to make an outing out of your quest to find new hobbies and interests for your kids. Take them to an old fashion toy or hobby store! I am not taking about the big chain Target and Walmart (which are filled with video game temptations!) but rather the specialty stores that offer everything but video games as an option. We have educational toy stores that my kids love. Of course a quick search on the net for fun educational toys will work too. A whole new world will be open to them when they realize all the other fun activities that are in the Real World!

Building and Creating

Little Kids

Duplo Legos, Legos, wooden blocks, wooden train sets, regular train sets, wooden puzzles, Lincoln Logs, Tinkertoys, Playmobile toys, Play-Doh, plastic action figures: army men, Indians, movie figures etc., plastic animals, dress up/make believe/costumes, play kitchen, doll house, or Imaginex for boys.

 Big Kids

Legos, art supplies: drawing, painting, model clay, etc., science experiment kits, plastic model kits (make sure age appropriate or it will be frustrating), jigsaw puzzles (keep a family puzzle going at all times), wood burning (craft), wood carving, model car building.

Music

Need an reason to push your kids to play an instrument? Check out this short 5 minute video on the brain benefits of learning to play an instrument. You won’t be sorry.

Music Appreciation: Favorite CDs, Musical Concerts

  • Collect songs on their IPOD from different music genres; classical, pop, jazz, top40, etc..
  • Join a Choir
  • Learn to writing music

Music Lessons

  • Violin, Guitar, Piano, Drums – Any instrument!

Games

Board Games

Candyland, Monopoly, Life, Apples to Apples, Trouble, Sequence, Checkers, Battleship, Pay Day, Clue, Ticket to Ride, Trivial Pursuit, Yahtzee, Backgammon, Scrabble, Risk, Chess. For more on board games, check out our blog post, Board Game Buzz.

Games the Support Family Attachment

  • Personal Preference
  • Story Cubes
  • Life Stories
  • Any jigsaw puzzel
  • “Family Dinner Conversation Starter” card pack
  • Card Games: Traditional card games (Old Maid, Crazy 8’s, Gin Rummy), Uno, Phase 10

Educational Games by ThinkFun

  • Shape by Shape
  • Rush Hour (Jr, and regular, extra levels are also available!)
  • Math Dice (Jr ages 6+)
  • Hoppers (based on the classic peg solitaire game)

Sports

  • Start a new tradition to cheer for the local teams!
  • Go to your local high school/college/professional sporting events
  • Parents, coach little league or help with Scouts

Organized Sports:  Baseball, Flag-Football, Basketball, Soccer, Gymnastics, Swimming, Tennis, Martial Arts, Golf, Fencing

Indoor Hobbies

Ping Pong, Painting, Pen and Ink Drawing, Sketching, Start a Collection (Coins, Baseball/football cards), Digital Photography, Movie Making (easy with all the new software, give them assignments to make home  movies with their friends, interviewing people etc.), Drama Club/Acting (check community center in your town), Cooking Story/Book Writing, Learn a Foreign Language, Reading (Start a Book Club).

Outdoor Hobbies

Individual or with friends:  Bike riding in neighborhood, Throwing Football/Baseball in the backyard, Building forts outside, Sidewalk Chalk, Fishing, Running (track), Juggling, Metal Detecting,Trampoline in backyard, Geo-Caching, Gardening, Boy/Girl Scouts, Shoot Hoops in the driveway.

For Families/Groups to do together:  Frisbee Golf, Scouting, Camping, Fishing, Hiking/Nature Walks, Swimming, Rock Climbing, Paintball, Picnics, Flying kites, Bowling, Bike riding, Snow skiing, Attending sporting events, Watching football or baseball with family, Going to plays or other live entertainment events, Water skiing, Grow a garden, Vacation, Road-trips.

Volunteer Services

Individual Tutoring younger kids through community group, school, church etc. Big Brother organization,  Animal shelter volunteer                 

Group Youth Group at Church, Habitat for Humanity, Food Bank volunteer (meals ministries), Helping at nursing homes, Church related volunteer group activities to homeless, Love Inc.

Movies/DVD Series

Movie Suggestions for Boys:

  • What Stories Does My Son Need? by Michael Gurian

DVD series for families:

  • Little House on the Prairie TV or DVD series
  • Gilligan’s Island
  • The Greatest American Hero
  • The Andy Griffith Show
  • The Walton’s

Start a Business

  • Mowing lawns
  • Pet sitting/walking
  • Babysitting

Pets

  • Get a dog or cat
  • Hamster, Rabbit, etc.

Taking care of a family pet is a wonderful experience for a child.