4 Benefits of Boredom for Young Children - What to Know
Being bored used to be considered a luxury. This year, it has become more of a burden. Before the pandemic, there were many ways you could deal with your boredom. You could see a movie, eat at your favorite restaurant, or go to a local attraction. Nowadays, most of us are limited to staying home and indoors. While boredom can feel very limiting for adults, it is beneficial for little children.
Before the internet, children’s entertainment options ranged from playing with toys indoors to running around the backyard or a local park. These days, televisions and iPads are readily available at any moment for kids to be entertained. It wasn’t so much that they didn’t have entertainment options, but more that they had the chance to create, explore, and engage with the world around them rather than having the entertainment spoonfed to them by a gadget.
Some parents worry about keeping their children busy, but they don’t need a lot of scheduled activities, video games, or television shows to stimulate their minds. Being bored has a lot of advantages to a developing child, and here’s why:
Boredom stimulates creativity
When the entertainment isn’t available on-demand, not having something to do can force them to find or create outlets for their creative energy. Not having something to do can sometimes spurn their desire to paint, make, or build. When there is too much external stimulation, it can hinder their ability to think imaginatively. Allow them to feel bored so they can process and reflect their thoughts and emotions. Sometimes it is in the quietest moments that creative ideas come to mind.
Children are more attentive when they choose their activities
Children’s attention spans are naturally short, but when children show genuine interest in something, they will spend more time on it and excitedly return to it each day. Allow your child to initiate what they want to do, rather than forcing them to do something just because you think it will address their boredom. If they’re going to sit quietly and do nothing, let them do so as well.
No activity is better than hyperactivity
A child’s developing senses are constantly bombarded with stimulation from the world around them. Parents often add to that by putting them in front of televisions and computer screens. Sometimes children need time to relax without any distractions. Even if they don’t need to take a nap, having quiet time during the day can help them avoid overstimulation, making them hyperactive, moody, and stressed.
Boredom encourages resourcefulness
When your child is genuinely bored, they will find ways to entertain themselves—the challenge is to direct that energy towards something productive. When your little child isn’t, they might finally find the motivation to fix their room, clean their shelves, or help out with other chores. They might also use the time to learn a new skill or start a business idea.
Not all boredom is good. Adults have the ability and resources to address their boredom, but children are limited in their capacities. They might not have the ability to articulate their thoughts and feelings, and feeling bored can make them feel very frustrated. Give your children “boredom time” each day, but make sure that you give them safe and age-appropriate activities to fill their downtime and release their pent-up mental, physical, and emotional energy.
Are your kids bored? Break up the routine with fun games and science experiments for kids that you can do at home. Browse our website for fun activities and entertainment options for the whole family.