Embracing Boredom: A Parent's Best Friend

Embracing Boredom: A Parent's Best Friend

Embracing Boredom: A Parent's Best Friend

As parents, we’ve all heard the inevitable  "I'm bored!" from our kids.  At kiddywampus, we believe that “I’m bored” is the starting point to a creative journey that is not only endlessly entertaining fun but also good for kids’ growth and development.  We’re on a mission to help kids get as bored as possible….and then see what happens next!


Creativity is Key

Creativity lives in boredom.  It is impossible to have amazing wondering new thoughts when our minds are fully engaged with external stimuli.  How many brilliant thoughts have you had while watching Netflix?  Getting to boredom can be tricky in today’s fast-paced, highly scheduled world.  Have you ever noticed how many ideas you have when you’re trying to go to sleep?  As our minds quiet, creativity comes out to play.


How to Get Bored

At kiddywampus summer camps, we help kids “get bored” – we lay on the floor, we get as quiet as mice and we try to clear our minds.  Then we wait for an idea to appear – and it always does!  We leap up, look at the supplies before us, and we’re off on an adventure.  We do this again and again as we need to – while taking a break from a project, or when we’re not sure what we want to do next.  Boredom is a sign of a healthy, imaginative mind; an outstanding invitation to explore, create, and learn in ways that structured activities can't always offer.

I can always tell when a child has attended one my summer camps because they’ll oftentimes approach me months later in the store with sparkling eyes, and lean in and whisper “I’m getting bored!”  They know something incredible is about to happen – and they know they need to be patient and let the next idea arrive.  The best part of all is that the kids are the active ingredient – they are deciding what happens, what they’re inventing, what story is being told and how they will engage.  This fosters independence and self-sufficiency, extremely vital skills that will serve them well as they grow into adulthood. 

We see boredom as a force for good.  Here are some of our campers’ favorite “I’m bored” activities – maybe these will spark some ideas for your family:

1. Build a Fort

Couch cushions and a blanket in the living room have never been more magical than when kids use them to create a space of their own.  Your child gets to decide how the fort is built, what precious belongings get to come into the fort, and what happens next.  At kiddywampus, we offer Build a Fort Camp each summer using cardboard boxes and masking tape and we’re always amazed at what our campers create (and how personally invested they are in their forts).  Forts are absolutely magic.

2. Invent a Toy

We love to give kids a box of found objects and invite them to invent a toy.  The complexity and detailing depends on the ages of the kids involved, and we love seeing what kids create.

3. Toy Scavenger Hunt

Ask your kids to go on a scavenger hunt throughout the house, looking for any toys they can find.  Have them look under couches, under their beds and in the bottoms of the toy boxes.  I’m always amazed at how much fun it is to rediscover a favorite toy – the rest of the afternoon takes care of itself!

4. Stuffed Animal Vet Clinic

Have your child’s stuffed animals had a checkup recently?  Is it time to line them up and make sure they’re all feeling well?  We’ve done this in kiddywampus summer camps and are amazed at the creative “ailments” the stuffies have – as well as the treatment plans!

5. “Make Someone’s Day”

This is one of our favorites – invite kids  to think about someone special in their lives and then make something that person would love.  The result could be a story with pictures, a card, an invention they could use – the kids decide what they make and they will love giving that item to their chosen person.


Here's to boredom!!