In an age where children are over scheduled and consumerism is rife, it is easy to feel like ‘this is normal’ or ‘I don’t want my kids to miss out’ so we do what we think our kids want and need.
We so easily get caught in that trap of keeping up with the Joneses, that we suddenly look around at all the plastic fantastic broken and discarded pieces, the full calendar of things we must do and wonder how we got here.
Some people say ‘it’s just how things are in this generation’ or ‘things are different now compared to before.’ While that may be so, it doesn’t mean that we should just go along with it.
I am reading a wonderful book at the moment written by Welby Ings called Disobedient Teaching. The title says it all really, but it’s a great read that challenges the way we think and what we do at a grassroots level to step outside the box. I am getting side tracked but it’s a great read if you can get a copy!
This keeping up with the Joneses can be an over indulging time of year and can leave our little people over stimulated and overwhelmed, in what should be a relaxing and enjoyable time.
What is the alternative? I hear you ask. We could let them get bored! You heard me – let them get bored!
Getting bored is where creativity starts and where a child’s mind has to create something to do. It’s a wonderful skill and one that doesn’t get as much action these days.
Being bored gives the gift or time.
Time to play, time to explore, time to create, time for imagination, time to be kids, time with their parents, time without their parents, time for mini adventures, time for experiments – time, one of the best gifts of all!
I asked my two children what they could do if they get bored this summer (hence the title for the blog). I have captured their responses below which will hopefully make you smile.
I encourage you to reflect on how simple their ideas are and how nature is a key theme. They could have said play with my lego – but they didn’t. They could have said watch TV – but they didn’t. It’s very simple and most of it doesn’t cost a cent.
Here is what my children said:
1. Be friendly and be kind (Ok so not exactly what I was going for but a really good point!)
2. Play tag
3. Make mud ball tracks in the sandpit
4. Make potions in nature with flowers, dirt and water – anything really
5. Climb trees
6. Making huts
7. Bike rides
8. Go exploring without adults
9. Go to the beach – swim, play in water, make volcanoes with sand
10. Skipping with a long rope tied to a tree
11. Jump in the long grass
12. Play with friends
13. Make mud pies or slime pies from the river
14. Go camping
What would you have said as a child when asked this question? How did you like to play? How would your children answer this question?
Whatever the answers I encourage you to create some special memories this summer and make time for you and your family to play.