Has your child accumulated what seems to be a million toys? The family room is cluttered up, toys are overflowing from their bins everywhere in your house. The worst thing of all is your child seems bored! How can that be?
So he or she is bored. This is a familiar scenario among kids of all ages. Formerly beloved toys sit forlornly in a corner after a few months, weeks, or even days of use. Your child’s lack of interest in his or her toys doesn’t necessarily mean they are spoiled. Rather, they may have used a toy enough that it’s no longer a novelty, and now they’re looking for something else to stimulate their mind.
You can take steps to ensure that your child’s creative juices don’t dwindle away along with the excitement of the toys. In addition, you can breathe new life into those very same toys. Here are some ideas:
One trick is to rotate toys. Keep a batch of older ones in the garage or attic. When your child grows tired of the toys in the house, move them into storage. Bring out the toys you had hidden away. Absence makes the heart grow fonder, and toys that your child hasn’t seen in a long time suddenly have renewed appeal.
For younger children, especially toddlers, be creative. Everyday household objects can be fun and inexpensive toys. Give your toddler bits of masking tape, and watch him giggle and laugh as it sticks to his fingers. Try to put water in a glass and blow bubbles through a straw.
Even better, engage your child in activities. Toys are fine, but playtime, especially with mom and dad, is better. Sing songs. Have arts and crafts time using age appropriate washable paint, stickers, craft paper, glue, glitter or even pudding (hint, have your child sit in the tub for the messier activities). Read stories. Be creative. Build a pillow and blanket fort. Older children often enjoy role-playing (e.g., playing house, princess, etc).
Play games. Old standbys like hide and seek, tag, catch, and red light green light still hold appeal.
The benefits to activities, versus toys, are that you’ll spend quality time bonding with your child and stimulate their creative juices. In addition, your children will learn. Taking turns, learning numbers, and music appreciation are just a few of the valuable takeaways.
In addition, many of these activities can take place inside the home on a rainy or snowy day, helping to beat the bad weather blues.
In the end, nothing stimulates a child like an outing. Just breathing fresh air in the backyard can invigorate a child suffering from household boredom. If you can really take an excursion, such as to a park, zoo, aquarium or children’s museum, all the better.
Any change of scenery, even the local mall, is likely to rejuvenate a bored child. If it’s cold outside, bundle up and brave the cold, as long as the temperature isn’t dangerously low. Chances are your toddler is going to have a blast in the snow, and your preschooler is sure to relish a friendly snowball fight.
With the right imagination and creativity, you’re sure to find a way to stimulate and entertain your child, whether or not you have a ton of toys.