Keep boredom at bay — both for you and your kids.
Kids are home, and your family is unexpectedly crowded together for an unknown period of time. It’s like Summer Break came early and forgot to check the calendar to make sure school was out. All of a sudden, kids are right on top of you. Cuddles are okay, welcome even, for a movie, but 24 hours around-the-clock is a little much for anyone.
The family is experiencing an unexpected closeness that has everyone’s needs challenged and overtaxed for personal space. Boredom has kids acting up to get the attention they crave.
If you’re the kind of person who can be productive while wearing your jammies, you are rare. The most successful people get up, get showered, get dressed, and brush their teeth and hair to increase productivity. There’s a natural order of operations that happens when you get ready for the day. But, if you are the kind of person who can be productive in your jammies, you can go anywhere while rocking morning breath, if the rest of the family can stand the aroma you’re giving off.
You’re probably already sick and tired of being told what you can’t do:
- Can’t go to a bar or restaurant.
- Can’t go to work.
- Can’t go to school.
- Can’t go to the gym.
- Can’t go to birthday parties, barbecues, or social engagements.
- Can’t go to any gathering of more than 10 people.
- Can’t go to weddings of more than 50 people.
So far, we’re not limited from going to the funeral of a loved one.New Dallas County COVID-19 Restrictions Extend To Birthday Parties & Barbecues
DALLAS (CBSDFW.COM) – Dallas County is further tightening restrictions on public and private gatherings, this time with…dfw.cbslocal.com
There’s a lot we can’t do. But, there’s a lot we can do. Consider the places you can go without leaving the couch.
Go to the Zoo
Travel to a zoo or park you can only visit during vacation.
- The San Diego Zoo has virtual tours for kids to study animals.
- Cape May County Park Zoo offers virtual tours.
- The Houston Zoo is open online.
- The Atlanta Zoo has online exhibits.
We like to take things a step farther than just visiting. Make a list of the animals kids find interesting and do a deep-dive into how they live. Make a game of it by exploring their habitat and what they eat. Be a secret spy and tell or write a story about what you imagine would happen if you lived in their habitat with them. Evoke all the senses by sharing what the animal environment looks like, smells like, how their food tastes.
We’ve just covered Science and Language Arts for the day without kids knowing they were schooled. Get creative.
Go to the Park
Kids may not be able to play on playground equipment, but you can still visit the park.
Don’t forget to pick up the rocks and explore the soil. Look at the bugs, lizards, and animals exclusive to the different places you visit. There’s a lot to learn from a fun trip, even if you never leave your couch.
If the zoo or the park isn’t what you had in mind, maybe gardening is more your style.
Go to a Botanical Garden
Take time to stop and smell the flowers. Your anxiety is up, so it’s time to calm your mind by enjoying the peace and serenity only a garden can bring.
- Visit Zilker Botanical Garden.
- See the Chicago Botanic Garden.
- Go to the Hawaii Tropical Botanical Garden.
Explore how different temperatures and climates affect vegetation and what kind of flowers grow in different places.
Most schools have online learning options for kids: IXL, Reflex, Education Galaxy, Raz Kids, and more. If your child’s school does not have these offerings, it’s easy to find your own.
- Learn a new language on Duolingo.
- Go to PBS Kids.
- Play educational games on Fun Brain.
- MackinVia for electronic books.
- Find new games on All Kids Network.
- Start coding on Code.org or Code Academy.
- See Khan Academy for Math.
- Get a free IXL account.
An engaged mind reads books.
“A reader lives a thousand lives before he dies…The man who never reads lives only one.” — George R.R. Martin
If your library isn’t able to auto-check books online, then you can read electronically with:
- Amazon FreeTime Unlimited, which also has movies and parental controls.
Explore AI Alternatives
Make sure to have fun too. Most people have an AI device at home. Challenge Alexa or similar device to:
- Have a dance party.
- Play Escape Room.
- Play Song Quiz.
- Ask Alexa for jokes, fun facts, or to read stories, songs, and poems. You can even get to know her better.
“One Must choose in life between boredom and suffering.” — Madame de Stael
It is possible to be both bored and suffering, but we have options to help.
Experiencing boredom, on occasion, is a good thing. Let your mind be at ease and challenge it to grow in new, unusual ways. Help kids do the same.