When your kids have been telling you they’re bored for the past half an hour it can be tempting to put a screen in front of their face and walk away. Whether you put in a movie or set up a game to play, giving them screen time may seem like the easy fix to the “I’m bored” saga. But, the truth is too much time in front of the screen can actually lead to problems, like delayed speech.
Instead of giving your child a screen, how about lighting their creative fire? Give them ideas that allow them to use their imagination. They may get so wrapped up in their new creative play activities that they forget all about that screen.
Here are some simple ideas to get your child motivated:
Make believe. Many kids pick up “pretend play” on their own.
Whether they’re dressing up and pretending to be a doctor or getting an apron on to be a chef, pretend play is a great way for kids to use their imagination because the sky’s the limit for them. They can make up their own scripts which may end up with the chef in the doctor’s office and the doctor in the kitchen!
Painting fun. You can really see a child’s creative side when they’re painting.
If you put two children in front of a blank piece of paper you’ll see there will be no two color schemes or designs that are the same. If you don’t mind a little more mess, finger paints are always a lot of fun too!
Outdoor/Indoor scavenger hunt. This requires a little set up on your part but kids love to go on a hunt, whether it’s indoors or outdoors. With that said, hide a few items in the house or in the yard. Give them creative clues to get their minds thinking as to where those items could be hiding.
Play Dough restaurant. Use your children’s books as pretend menus and get a Play Dough restaurant going. Here your child can create all types of “food” and serve it to you and to each other. If you really want to get the creative juices going, they can draw their own menus.
Build an indoor fort. Grab some sheets and pillows and let your kids build an indoor fort. This can be their secret fortress! They can even dress up like royalty and pretend to be kings and queens of the castle.
Pretend school. Teddy bears and dolls make great students! This is something for the older set and may be something some kids naturally gravitate towards. Many kids like being the teacher and instructing their “students”.
Sometimes just letting your child loose in the playroom will stir their creativity. See what grabs them and what types of things they come up with on their own. They may be just as surprised as you are at the result!