Keeping boredom at bay

by Jacqueline Harding. Cheap and easy things to keep your child busy when you have tried all the usual activities and run out of ideas.

Boy with jigsaw puzzle

Introduction

A child’s cries of ‘I’m bored!’ can often end up with you grabbing the remote control or going off on a frenzied search for new, inexpensive activities.

Here are some ideas for things you can do which won’t take much preparation time - and should keep the little one in your life occupied (for a while, at least).

How CBeebies can help

Draw inspiration from one of your child’s favourite TV shows.

Perhaps Mister Maker ticks the right boxes for your child and sparks their imagination to get creative? Why not help your child to get stuck into making a collage out of old magazines pages, or help them draw a special card and use it as an invite to a pretend birthday party for their toys?

Or, maybe your child enjoys exploring, so why not start off a fun ‘finding things’ theme for the next hour inspired by watching an episode of Fimbles?

Watching Little Robots on TV or investigating the Little Robots web pages might be just the thing to get them busy making their very own robot out of old boxes, shiny paper, glue and paint.

It only takes a little inspiration and they are off…and watching the shows together and exploring the CBeebies website can give grown-ups cool ideas for things their child can do too. Take a look at the ‘Fun Activities’ part of the Grown-Ups site for hundreds of ideas for things your child can have a go at.

How to make a magic moment

Puppets are magical. CBeebies shows such as The Story Makers are great for inspiring children to get busy with puppets. They might like to start telling their own stories using home-made puppets made out of old socks, for example.

Then, why not carry on the fun by taking photographs of the puppet show and then placing them in scrapbook and writing captions? This is a great keep-sake and one that children are likely to want to return to time and time again.

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Top tips

  • Offer your child simple colouring activities. There are lots of exciting colouring-in sheets to download from the CBeebies website.Board games are a great favourite at this age and can help teach a range of skills.Make a den out of old sheets thrown over a couple of chairs and read books together in there.  Go and visit a local park and take a drawing pad with you and try bark rubbings together. Collect leaves too and you can stick them in a scrapbook or use them to create a leaf-art picture.Baking cakes or biscuits is a must on a rainy day and decorating them keeps boredom at bay.

Expert opinion

Children who are up to their ears in paper, old boxes, glue, colouring pencils, crayons and sticky tape are often the happiest and most contented children of all. So get collecting all those recyclable materials and stave off the boredom factor!

Jacqueline Harding, Child development expert

Parent's tale

I love to play with my children and make lots of things with them. We make musical instruments from junk, e.g. an empty plastic bottle filled with rice makes a great shaker.

We also bake a lot together and cupcake decorating is a favourite. They love to colour the icing and add sprinkles themselves. It can get messy but they learn through mixing different colours together and are amazed at the results!

Andrea, from Warrington

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