is observed in the month July since it’s the slower, hotter part of the summer break.
Anyone that has children in their lives, whether it be their own children, grandchildren, foster children, nieces, or nephews, has heard the phrase “I’m bored”. This phrase is notorious for being used during the long summer days at home. Most of the year, a child has a structured schedule at school with little free time so someone is always telling them what they will be doing. Boredom does not always mean that you have nothing to do, it could mean that the child is not stimulated or interested in what they have or is wanting attention or interaction with someone.
Here are some ways to help combat boredom in your home and keep the children’s minds stimulated and active.
Have the child come up with “Things to Do When I’m Bored” list or a “Boredom Jar”. Make sure these choices can be done mostly on their own (with minimal parental help). This allows the child to come up with a solution on their own with a little bit of guidance.
Here is a list of ideas
- Play a sport outside
- Ride your bike
- Read a book
- Make a fort
- Meditate or just have quiet time to pray
- Have a dance party (Adults can help create a playlist of favorite songs ahead of time)
- Play Hide and Seek (Works best with siblings)
- Put on a play
- Make a Play-Doh sculpture for an art show
- Color either on paper or outside with chalk
- Write letters to friends or family members
- Bake a sweet treat
- Check out GoNoodle for mindful videos- Some schools use GoNoodle during free time.
When the child says, “I’m bored” tell them to check their list or pick something from the “Boredom Jar”. This teaches them that they can manage their own ‘free time’ and how to problem solve on their own.
Plenty of Adult Interaction
Make sure the child is getting attention and interaction from an adult. Come up with a list of activities that y’all can do together that fits in your schedule.
- Learn a new game
- Go for a 15-minute walk
- Read a book or a Bible Study together
- Run through the sprinkler
- Plan a big chalk mural for your sidewalk/driveway
- Make an obstacle course
- Go on a Scavenger hunt around the neighborhood
- Bake/Cook something together
Include Daily Routine Tasks
Come up with some daily tasks around the house that will fill in some time but also helps complete daily chores. Create tasks that young children can be successful at that help with daily chores. It will build confidence and will make them feel like they are accomplishing something or being helpful.
- Help feed the animals or refill the water bowl
- Help with groceries: making a list, sorting the pantry, setting out items for dinner
- Basic household chores: clean the bathroom sink, wipe off counters/tables, dust
- Help water the plants or garden
- Sweep or Mop the floors
- Laundry: sort clothes, transfer clothes from washer to dryer to basket, help fold clothes
Proverbs 22:6 (NIV) says “Start children off on the way they should go, and even when they are old, they will not turn from it.” God gives us children so that we can teach them everything they need to know. Our foster parents may only get a short time with the kids in their homes but in that short time foster parents can show them love, patience, self-management skills and show them how having a relationship with Jesus can change everything.