Stop and think about the summers you spent as a kid and teenager. You might have laid in bed late into the night reading books or magazines. You might have built forts, might have ridden your bicycle through the neighborhood, or might have gone on a hike. For most of us, summer meant freedom — freedom from school, freedom from schedules, and freedom from routine. We also had the freedom to be bored.
Oftentimes today, parents and guardians treat boredom like a problem that needs to be solved immediately. However, boredom provides invaluable lessons. If given enough time and space, boredom can actually encourage creativity and self-awareness. The quiet of boredom can also improve mental health by allowing brains to relax and alleviate stress.
Before heading off for summer break, brainstorm “boredom breakers”. Have your students create a list together of low-cost/no-cost activities they can do over summer when they feel “bored”. Some might include: backyard camping, visit a park, play with aluminum foil, paint rocks, or even watch a free nature cam online.
Allow the space for your kids (and yourself) to be bored this summer. Boredom is the birthplace of genius and creativity.