School has started for some, but for most, the homework and after-school activities haven’t picked up enough to keep the kids from whining, “I’m bored.” Here are a few inexpensive ways to combat boredom in your household:
Read to Your Kids
Growing up, no book was off limits. Though the more risque content went above my head at the time, The Three Musketeers served as a bedtime story when I was in 6th grade. We continued to read as a family all of the way through high school. When we discovered Harry Potter, no one was allowed to read ahead, so we all pretended that we hadn’t each managed to find our own copy and do just that (even Mom and Dad). Reading to your kids helps them develop several skills including empathy, verbal and written communication, logic, concentration and discipline, stress management, and language mastery. Beyond the scope of academics, these are important life skills they will use in the workplace.
A Spoonful of Embarrassment
The last time I made the mistake of complaining to my mom that I was bored, we were at a restaurant waiting to be seated. This was before kindles and smartphones, so she couldn’t have given me a book to read. Instead, she went outside and began miming. Though the other patrons were highly amused, I was mortified. She managed to keep the dinner crowd interested for a whole 40 minutes before we were seated and I haven’t used that dreaded phrase since.
Give Them a Budget
I’m told the toy aisle is just as dangerous as the cereal aisle when taking kids shopping. I would bargain with an abstract budget, exchanging the amount of a holiday edition Barbie for an amount out of my clothing budget, but at that age the concept of a budget was a little too abstract. Giving your children a Toys “R” Us Gift Card puts them in control of limited funds and makes them decide between action heroes and remote control cars. For teens, we have a prepaid teen card available at buxx.com. Our earn smart, spent smartTM budget management tools give your teen the freedom to use their Visa Buxx Card to make online purchases without asking you to put in your credit card, while also letting you manage account permissions, monitor spending, and add funds on a recurring or single-load basis. Your teen can also opt to have their paycheck loaded onto the card via direct deposit.
Keep Them Active
They don’t need to be draft ready athletes to benefit from being active. Joining a competitive or for-fun local team not only helps with strength and endurance, but also promotes teamwork and sportsmanship. Even getting a group together to play in the back yard or at the park once a week can have a positive effect on your child’s health. Active children are less likely to become overweight, have a decreased risk of type 2 diabetes, and a stronger heart. Most kids don’t need a formal weightlifting routine to build strength, activities like tennis, basketball, and swimming all build lean muscle.
Next time you here, “I’m bored,” try one of these solutions for a happier healthier kid.
Consumer Marketing Manager
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“KidsHealth.” Kids and Exercise. Ed. Mary L. Gavin. KidsHealth, Feb. 2012. Web. 27 Aug. 2013.
Rogers, Sheryl. “5 Benefits of Reading to Children | Wishing Well.” Wishing Well. Children’s Wishing Well, 29 Aug. 2012. Web. 27 Aug. 2013.
Temple Stan, Julie. “10 Reasons Why You Should Read to Your Kids.” Earlymoments.com. EarlyMoments, n.d. Web. 27 Aug. 2013.