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Suggestions please :)

475 Views 8 Replies 8 Participants Last post by  AuntLavender
Ok, please bear with me while I explain this.

My seven year old says she's bored. She wants things to do. I know from experience that she definitely doesn't want me to *tell* her what to do. I think what she wants is suggestions for fun things to do and possibly some help in doing them but she doesn't want anything overly stuctured and laid out for her.

We have science kits, craft kits, magazines, toys, books, videos, computer games, email, a vegetable garden, a flower garden she and her dad just built yesterday, a swingset, bikes, a brand new loft bed etc. Just suddenly, she's having more and more days where she says she's bored.

But then, I have vivid memories of my own childhood and feeling the same way "I'm so booooooooooooooooored. There's nothing to dooooooooooooooooooo."

She isn't bored when we're out on a social date but we found out the hard way that none of us (not even Little Miss Social Butterfly) can stand to have too many playdates or "field trips" in a row, so the answer isn't to schedule every day out of the house.

SO, give me creative ideas of things you do with your kids

OH! If anyone has websites with ideas aimed at kids that would be great! Often if someone suggests a craft she'll say nah, but if she reads it in a magazine or on a website then it becomes her own idea and she'll do it.

Any websites with inexpensive tips on room decorating maybe? She's said she wants to redecorate but never does anything. Maybe some inspiration would be nice
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Originally Posted by ShannonCC
OH! If anyone has websites with ideas aimed at kids that would be great! Often if someone suggests a craft she'll say nah, but if she reads it in a magazine or on a website then it becomes her own idea and she'll do it.
You'll probably find lots fun stuff if you browse through this set of annotated links:

Homeschooling Gateway to the Internet

Especially this section of it:
Especially for Kids and Other Inquiring Minds - but also the art section...and the Family Fun, Outings, & Crafts section...
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Can you get "Family Fun" magazine from your library? My dd has gotten a lot of ideas out of that one--
Shannon, Hold On to Your Kids mentions that many times, when a child says, "I'm bored," what they mean is, "I'm lonely," or "I need to reconnect with you." Since I read that, I've stopped suggesting activities when my kids say their bored and started just taking some time to reconnect with them (even if that's just lying on their bed with them cuddling and talking). I'm amazed at how well that works.

Of course, "strewing" a thing here or there to keep them occupied also helps to prevent the bickering & picking on each other, so I think that's a good idea as well. ;-)
You can get family fun magazine free if you call them and ask for a free subscription. It's worked for me, twice.
When my kids say they are bored (which they don't actually say, but they do wander in and ask, in a very pitiful voice, "What can I dooooooooo?") I 1) offer to read to them 2) ask them to assist me in what I am doing (not necessarily in that order). This works most of the time because my kids love to be read to and they love to be with me. In the rare instance that they don't want either of those things, they wander off and find something to do. Sometimes that something is just laying on the floor or the couch decompressing.

I agree with Ulrike. I think that for most kids, boredom isn't about not having anything to do. It's about needing 'connection' or even meaning. But it probably doesn't really have much to do with "not having anything to do."

I can kind of remember this from my own childhood. Being SO bored ALOT. And my mom would say things like, "If you don't have anything to do, I'll GIVE you something to do," or "How can you be bored when you have more toys and opportunities than anyone else I know?" (Right, not the epitome of positive parenting, bless her). What I really wanted was some one on one time with her.

Maybe it's worth exploring what it is your daughter wants - it may not necessarily be more Mommy time, but it probably IS something a little further under the surface than something more to actually do.
Ok, a LOT to think about on this thread
And here I thought I was just asking for craft suggestions

I've been having some health problems for a few months now and sometimes I spend too much time on the computer (research or plain old distraction) so I'm going to try the attention thing first and see. Ironically, yesterday she and her brother were watching videos and I was on the computer for way too long and I finally lured them away with a trip to the zoo. Unfortunately, the warm weather animals are still away for the winter (it's a tiny zoo) so, per my daughter "It wasn't a very exciting trip"
We got home and she started saying she was bored. Maybe yesterday was the disappointment of the trip? Dunno.

We did make home made cards yesterday evening and they enjoyed that. The problem is, most activities/crafts hold her brother's interest far longer. So he was still happily pasting and glueing and after one card she was "bored". But if I'd left him to go with her he would have been unhappy. Ah, the juggling of multiple kids with different personalities

So I'll try a hug first and see how that works
But some of those craft sites look very cool!

We used to get Family Fun mag and just the other day they sent a subscription offer that I've been contemplating. FREE? Now you can't beat that deal

Heh, now I just need to wait for her to wake up! Stupid daylight's saving. We finally got her getting up at a reasonable hour and now yesterday she slept til noon
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When I was a child I never got to do real work - things that needed to be done that I could tell my dad about when he came home from work for instance. I had nothing I could do to truly contribute to the household.

When my oldest say they are bored (they are ds-9 and dd-8) I have them wash the car or make a desert for dinner or make a phone call for me (if it's appropriate like telling Grandma we'll see her for dinner on Sat) or do some filing or put some DVDs in our queue at or look up some library books to put on hold for us at our local library!

My children like those sterile craft kits too but they come up with more on their own when they are given $20 and a trip to the craft store (or wherever) to buy supplies. In fact my girls both got their art picked for an art show at our local art school!!

Debra homeschooling mom of 4 ages 34 mos-9 years
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