What to do when your child says they are bored

Mothers are often faced with the dreaded phrase “I’m bored”. Here are some great ideas for how to respond! 

Many therapists agree that in this digital age, most children are overscheduled and overstimulated. These days, parents are advised to avoid viewing bored kids as a burden, but rather, as an opportunity.  It is absolutely acceptable for a child to be bored, because this is how they develop their creative skills, create fun, explore their environment and learn something all on their own. Sometimes, little ones are looking for adult engagement, and just a few minutes with a parent can often reset their minds and bodies. So, how can we help them?


This involves sitting down with your child and coming up with a list of activities together. Write these down on slips of paper and keep them in a jar. When kids feel bored, get them to go to the ‘boredom jar’ and pick out a piece of paper for inspiration.


You and your child can let your imagination run wild when it comes to ways to tackle boredom. Here are some simple tips to help get you started populating your little one’s ‘boredom jar’.

Embrace the arts 

Have an art and crafts corner in your child’s room. Encourage them to make cards for birthdays, bracelets as gifts, write letters to family members, paint a picture for their bedroom wall etc. Even rock painting, origami, making puppets or making slime all count as innovative ways to pass the time, while sparking their creativity.

Movement breaks 

It’s always good to keep kids moving. You could do this by purchasing a pack of movement cards from Amazon, or by creating a family account on Youtube to take advantage of the numerous child-friendly videos of GoNoodle, a channel that promises to “get kids moving to be their strongest, bravest, silliest, smartest, bestest selves”. You could also make use of the many yoga videos for children, and this is a great way to ground agitated little ones.

Create a scavenger hunt 

You might need a few minutes to prepare this, but you could hide pieces of Lego in Ziploc bags around the house, and write down the clues for them to collect and then build a masterpiece with! Other games to try include jigsaw puzzles and card games.

Chalk murals 

Have a wall that is painted like a chalkboard in your house. This way, children can create daily murals with coloured chalk. Occupational therapists agree that this is a great way to improve their pencil grip and creativity.

Podcasts for kids 

Have a look through the many podcasts that are available for children. This is an excellent way for little ones to get advice, stay engaged or learn something new – all while developing their listening skills.

Star-gazing, learning a new language or even starting an indoor herb garden could also be added to the jar, depending on your child’s interests. There are no rules, and as long as both of you are happy with each concept, you can do what you like!


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