Boredom can spark creativity and an ability for a child to use their imagination to create wonderful play time experiences. An overabundance of boredom, however, may cause more than harmless childhood memories. Anger, depression, and overall bad behavior are all effects linked to a combination of both lack of sunshine and boredom; and it is this negative combo that often times makes the cold weather of winter turn into a parent’s nightmare known as the winter blues.
The winter blues can be toxic if not handled in time. Here are a variety of options of great ways to keep a child engaged and smiling even through the difficult frigid moments of winter that may crack even the most strong-willed parent.
- Swimming is not just for summer. Many aquatic centers offer open swim times and lessons during the week to help a child burn off energy and enjoy an activity that they can associate with the warm weather they love.
- Local YMCAs have year-round activities that cater to every age of family member and in the winter are packed with people escaping their boredom by interacting with others either exercising, in preschool or daycare, or camps that are provided for school-age children.
- Ice skating is another great way to experience the cold weather in a positive environment. Yes, it’s cold entertainment but children love the family time and the hot chocolate with marshmallows that follow to help warm their insides.
- Libraries are an outlet that promote a love of reading and learning while also making it fun for children. Participating in the library’s Story Time/Art hour is a fantastic way to get the kids out of the house and help the parent interact with other adults to keep their sanity in check.
- Taking a family vacation to somewhere warm or a weekend escape to a different town can decrease frustration and the repetitive daily routine that can spark depression.
- Other simple family bonding moments to help beat the blues can include baking cookies, sledding, going for a short walk, visiting the children’s museum or local zoo or pet shop.
Remember being bored is ok for a child to experience but when it starts to become toxic for the whole family, it’s time to take action. Try these great ideas to battle the winter blues or be creative and think outside the box. Ask a child for input and make memories even in spite of the lack of warm weather and sunshine.