Beat school holiday boredom

School holidays are a great chance for families to relax, take some time out from their busy schedules, and enjoy some extra time together – if working commitments allow. But they can also bring that dreaded refrain, ”I’m bored”. Here are some boredom busting techniques.


When children use this word – use this acronym and ask them to do each letter of their’ BORED’ list and then report back to you.

  • Been creative?
  • Outside play?
  • Read a book?
  • Exercised for 10 minutes?
  • Done something helpful?

2. Have a ‘fridge list’

This is the list posted on the fridge that has at least 10 good ideas for your children to do when they don’t know what to do. Things like; Lego, Pleistocene modeling, chalk murals, card games, trampoline, construction work, puzzles, drawing, craft or baking.

3. Listen before you solve

Instead of interpreting “I’m bored” literally- parents can just agree with children and listen patiently to their feelings. Being bored is okay, it won’t damage children and a cuddle and a listening ear, is often all that is needed. Parents need to resist the temptation to growl, advise, remind or lecture. Just listen and nod.

4. The boredom jar

When your children aren’t feeling tired, or grumpy or bored, get them to write on a piece of paper the kinds of things they like to do – have a treasure hunt outside, make cupcakes, script and film a short movie – all the ideas go in a jar, then when the dreaded ‘I’m bored’ words come up, they pick something out of the jar. They can’t say the ideas are boring, because they came up with them.

5. Develop children’s imagination and resourcefulness

Fewer and less sophisticated toys develop greater creativity in children. For instance, when a child doesn’t have a ‘shop bought item’ like a pretend oven, use a cardboard box, some milk tops and make your very own. The valuable lesson you impart to a child, is that you can create your own fun and you don’t always need to buy the ‘right’ equipment. Limit how many toys are out at once as children play better with less clutter. Invent stories as well as reading books. Children develop a great imagination when they are required to create their own pictures in their mind. It all helps towards solving the boredom issue.