Rather than letting summer camps swallow up our kids’ summer, Kevin and I opted to (gasp!) not enroll Trevor or Parker in any camps this summer. We’ve decided to buck the trend of organized summer enrichment opportunities. We’ve discovered something much better – we’re giving our kids the gift of boredom.

As much as I like the availability of all these enrichment opportunities for my kids, I don’t want them bouncing from one activity to another all summer long. Instead, I want them to relish this stretch of unstructured time.

While we will do lots of fun things together as a family and with friends and relatives, I actually like when my kids get bored. Boredom is often the catalyst for inspiration, allowing creativity to flourish. When my kids get bored, I know they’re about to get creative, to explore, to think of a new idea, to play deeply, to reflect, to daydream, to tackle a new project (and, in reality, sometimes tackle each other).

What will happen when I let my kids get bored? Will Trevor create a graphic novel? Will Parker build a fantastic new Lego structure? Will Trevor learn to play a new song on his trumpet? Will Parker master a new defensive tactic for soccer? Will Parker and Trevor do something fun together – perhaps invent a new game or just take a walk around the neighborhood? Maybe, maybe not. But I know for sure that none of this will happen if they’re sitting in summer camp being “enriched.”

While I don’t enjoy hearing the “I’m bored!” chants that sometimes plague a long summer afternoon together, I’ve got two solutions for this one. Option #1: I tell my kids to check our “Boredom Busters” list to jumpstart their creativity. (To download a free copy of the tip sheet, click here.) Option #2: If that doesn’t pique their interest, I ask them what chore they want to do. Funny how they always go back to Option #1.

Here’s to a wonderfully boring summer in your home.

Lisa A. Beach
SPARK Mom & Founder

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