Do you hear kids say, “I am bored! There is nothing fun to do!” all the time?
The hard part about being bored is that sometimes it can lead to making unhealthy choices. For example, a kid that is bored might choose to eat when they are not hungry or they may zone out with video games instead of moving their body. These unhealthy choices can lead to a lack of energy and sedentary activities.
Did you know that you can help kids manage their boredom? Here are some questions you can teach kids to ask themselves when they are looking for something to do:
Q: Thinking about having a snack?
First, kids should ask themselves, “Am I really hungry or am I just feeling bored?” Sometimes being bored, sad, or stressed can make kids think they should eat when their body does not need it.
- Teach kids to choose a glass of water first to see if that helps before choosing a snack. Sometimes, the body just needs some water instead of food. Try an activity for 15 minutes like reading a book or taking a walk before deciding to snack.
- Grumbly or growly stomach? Low energy? These are true signs that the body needs fuel. Encourage kids to fuel their body by making a fun snack like Banana Berry Yogurt Parfait or Rainbow Fruit Pizza.
Q: Thinking about watching TV or powering up a tablet?
Sure, there are cool games and funny shows to watch but spending a lot of time sitting and staring at a screen only creates more boredom. Stop and think, “Why do I want to play video games and watch TV?
- If the answer is boredom, encourage them to choose movement instead of turning on a screen. They will forget they were bored in no time!
- Looking for ways to recharge when energy is running low? Have the kids make the fit choice and choose to journal, draw, or listen to music instead of using a screen.
Q: Thinking about moving?
Excellent choice! Exercise and play are great ways to eliminate boredom and it can also help kids feel more relaxed and create a strong body and brain. Encourage kids to jump rope in the driveway, do the monkey bars on the playground, or even head out on a nature hike.