Help Children Embrace The ‘B’ Word (boredom)

a toddler aged child pulling a cheeky face - tots to teens

Our tamariki are so used to ‘new’ – new experiences, new toys, new outings… Seeking ‘new’ becomes their (and our) default setting. But do children really need more? And why is boredom a beautiful thing?

There’s a problem with new, new, new. It fuels a sense of needing more, more, more – which is not great for our children, nor our bank account!

Children who always expect ‘new’ just devour experiences and items, rather than savour and appreciate them.


Children actually love repetition, and find comfort in the familiar. They can visit the same place again and again, and still find joy there.

They can orient themselves quickly in a known place and then invest their energy in playing or discovering a new experience. This ‘spot’ is a secure base to explore from. The setting may be the same, but your child is a new being each time, with new growth and ideas.

Don’t be afraid of the ‘B’ word or the phrase, “I’m bored”. Boredom isn’t a crisis, it’s a temporary feeling and a big opportunity to use creativity to counteract the emotion. 


Boredom is treatable with a touch of empathy (no need to rescue them or find something for them to do immediately). Give them some time and try to not interfere too much.

Symptoms will disappear as inspiration sparks and creativity sets in. They’ll find new ways to enjoy familiar toys.

By allowing boredom and new ways for them to interact with their environment or toys, you’re setting them up for their future. What a gift that is to give our children – the knowledge that they can cope, be capable, imaginative and creative.

Children can make their own fun and build-on and expand their ideas. It shows them that there are no limits to their imagination and that we have faith in their ability to do that.

Now, surely that’s more valuable than any admission fee to a new attraction or the newest toy from the catalogue?!

More articles like this from Tots to Teens:

The rainy day activity ideas our parent community always turn to

How to keep children entertained over the holidays

Having fun with educational online activities for kids

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