Kids need free time (nothing on the schedule) to play and yes, to be bored!

Playing and boredom both exercise the creative little gremlins that live in our brains.

Oh watch them dance #gremlins

Long periods of boredom force the child to create their own interesting activities or thoughts.

Look Mum I hoisted the cat onto the roof with this big stick thing #shite

Life needs to be processed – the days stuff needs to be digested by the brain (β€˜why did the Mrs Nolan give me that strange look when I said that …’), reviewed, analysed and stored for future reference.

How can you do that with little free time to ponderate?

Plus, a child who has not had much experience with unstructured time will get a hell of a shock when it may be forced on them in later life.

My ipad’s not working #mayaswelljumpoffacliff #endoftheworld

Let them be bored

Power out
tv blank
pc down
tablet black
iphone no phone!

boring, boring,

only boring people get bored
the old saying goes

blah blah blah

boring boring

Light a candle
play a game

use the electricity
in your brain

sparks of creativity
glinting connectivity

flickering tinkering
lateral sideways thinking

bending of facilities
curving of capabilities

shadows await
the endless possibilities.

Imagination born
from the bored.


Note: I know I ramble on about how autistic kids need to have everything scheduled; but within the schedule it is important to schedule down time – you could have a symbol for free time or relaxing time.

16 thoughts on “Stop with the over-scheduling all ready!

  1. This is wonderful and so very true. It evokes so many memories of my son’s childhood. (He was born in 1972) The day he and the little girl next door decided to bake bread while I was next door having coffee and a chat with her mother. They experimented with flavours! Curried bread was one… The kitchen was a bomb site, the bread inedible but they used their imagination.
    They placed a tape recorder, set on record, behind the sofa in the same neighbour’s house during a party, then played it for us the following day. Oh my… πŸ™‚
    Ken to his younger cousin “No Penny, your easter egg won’t break if we use it as a cricket ball” thwack – Waaah “Ken, give your easter egg to Penny” outside they go again – Penny to Ken “OK let’s play again only this time I get to bat”. It was the cementing of a beautiful friendship.
    My son spent hours reading, drawing, playing the piano, playing with his dog (I once caught him peeing on the dog who was less than impressed)
    His free time contributed to him being a graphic artist, an accomplished pianist, and an occasional smart arse.
    I’ll stop now. Thanks for bringing so many lovely memories to the surface with your wonderful words.

      1. You can come over anytime tricia πŸ™‚ That’s a great article – love the quote β€œLearning about solitude and being alone is the bedrock of early development, and you don’t want your kids to miss out on that because you’re pacifying them with a device.”

    1. love your comment tricia (esp, the tape recording thing – hahahaha – tell me more πŸ˜‰ ) I had a similar childhood – we didn’t even have tv for a lot of the time (would rent one for half a year some times) – I’d read a lot and roam around the local fields and streets, catching up with all the kids that lived in the neighbourhood, played the guitar and did a lot of singing, backyard cricket and imaginary playscapes (one tree in the backyard was my spaceship – I’d push an imaginary button and the imaginary door would slide open) – good times!

  2. I love that you start this by letting kids be bored. Hadn’t thought of it that way – probably because my boys have grown up with no TV/Xbox/etc, so are used to making their own fun, and rarely do get bored… If they’re not doing a zillion impossible things, they’re slumped, letting imagination fly, with a book.

    It is a risk almost, in letting them first fall into boredom. But it can boggle your mind the creativity – and persistence – kids can show, in overcoming/averting potential boredom! It’s not all about play – it’s about developing lifelong skills of problem-solving, creativity and persistence.

    PS Bored is actually a naughty word in this family. #dosomethingaboutit
    PPS A friend’s favourite saying; Only boring people get bored.
    PPPS This post sets the perfect context for bored/boring.

    *steps down from soap box*

    1. Thanks Kat πŸ˜€ My Mum always would say the same thing ‘only boring people get bored’. I didn’t actually mean to make them bored – hahaha – just to let them slide into whatever thing happens when they are not constantly doing pre-arranged activities. I tend to ignore the words ‘Mum, I’m bored’ and they work it out. Sometimes it is not boredom – it can be a frustration with waiting for something (like waiting for hours when there is a crash in the Bruce Highway and you can’t go forward – is that boredom or frustration). I agree it is more than play – put two kids together who have to work out what to do with their time and you get some great lessons on how to balance your self interest with those of others (if you really annoy the other kid they soon run off and refuse to play with you, so you have to negotiate a good outcome for both πŸ˜‰ ).

        1. ah that’s good – there have been a number of research studies on this very topic recently – but I didn’t want to bore people with the details πŸ˜‰ (I also saw a great show on tv that followed children’s development – can’t remember the title – that looked specifically at boredom and creativity)

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