Six Holiday Boredom Cures for Kids

Ideas from FamilyLife give parents creative ways to spend wintertime.

By Jan Stewart   |  27 December 2011

“Mom, I have nothing to do” can sound a bit like cabin fever or being shut-in in the winter. Plan some intentional activities and times to connect. The following is a suggested list when kid’s experience boredom:

1. A Bucket o’ Fun
Set out items each morning, which promote creativity. One method is using an inexpensive bucket purchased at the dollar store. Suggested items to rotate putting in are: bubbles, sidewalk chalk, crayons, finger paint, jacks, and puzzles.
There will be an element of surprise when a different activity is placed into the bucket each morning. Also add a snack and some coloring sheets.

2. Plan a co-op play date
Connect with parents of your children’s friends before school lets out for the holidays. The idea of a co-op play date can be offered. The parents exchange turns each week with the kids. On the safety side, be sure you know and trust the other parents, work out other childcare or allergy issues in advance.

3. Go to the Library
Libraries have resources of books of all types and for all ages. The library makes an ideal place to visit with children when you don’t want to be stuck at home. Frequent reading and exposure to books can expand imagination and creativity. It also helps prevent boredom. Some libraries have reading programs during holiday breaks. The best part is the cost is free.

4. Bowling
Invite another family to join in an outing to bowl or have a family time together. Keep track of scores and make a little chart for each one to improve the next time.

5. Looking for Christmas lights at night

With Christmas music on the car radio, driving around together looking at homes decorated with colorful displays can be an exciting time for young children. Even older children find the creative displays interesting when picking out their favorite.

6. Downtime
Resting and relaxing is essential even for children. Be sure you plan some time into your day for rest. Not all kids need to sleep, but their feet need to be off the floor. During this time, they can listen to relaxing music or watch a kid’s movie. But even they need time when there are no planned activities.

These are all opportunities to minister to and serve our kids as important people in our lives. At the same time, it is different than trying to please them or make them happy.

One mother says, “When my kids tell me they are bored, my standard answer is to ask them what are they going to do about it. I don’t think it is my job to entertain my children every minute of the day. I want to teach them to be creative and come up with ideas on their own, too.”

These are just a few action plans for a fun and inexpensive winter. What are you going to do this winter?

Original excerpts from FamilyLife.