Five Surprising Benefits of Boredom for Children
Coping with boredom can be a real challenge for younger children and their parents. It may be tempting to fill every second of the day with activities. Many psychological authorities, however, advise against this approach to managing boredom. Allowing children to engage in unstructured playtime can offer a number of advantages for their future academic growth. Here are five surprising benefits of boredom for children as curated by the educational professionals at Discovery Point.
Developing the Imagination
Especially during the formative first years of life, allowing children the space to develop their own creativity can have a lasting positive impact on their imaginations. By removing the obvious playtime clues and offering unstructured time for toddlers and preschool-aged children, parents and teachers can foster independent thinking and creative use of everyday items in a playtime setting. Rather than simply playing a video game or watching a program about space exploration, these free play times can allow your child to become an astronaut and explore new worlds limited only by his or her own imagination.
Structured activities can provide outside focus for children in academic or extracurricular environments. Developing the ability to focus on ideas or activities independently, however, can be a valuable first step toward academic readiness. By learning to concentrate on a particular activity without constant supervision, younger children can perform better in school and can learn to stay focused in future academic and employment endeavors.
Acquiring Problem-Solving Skills
When boredom strikes, many children complain to their parents or teachers in the expectation that they will be provided with something to do. By allowing children to be bored and to find their own solutions to this issue, parents can help children develop the tools needed to succeed in a wide range of activities. Children who are given a greater degree of control over managing their playtimes are more likely to approach problems from an analytical standpoint and to find creative ways to manage obstacles and issues in their daily lives.
Reduced Dependence on Technological Entertainment
Video games and television programming are among the most popular pastimes for Americans of all ages. By enforcing a certain amount of free time away from these technological entertainment options, parents can reduce the addictive appeal of Internet-based and streaming videos for their children. This can have a number of positive effects for younger children:
- Less time in front of the television or computer screen can increase the amount of time engaging in healthy outdoor play.
- Encouraging children to use their imaginations rather than allowing computer programs to dictate the structure of play can lead to greater creativity.
- Scheduling play dates with peers can enhance socialization efforts for toddlers and preschool-aged children.
Allowing a little boredom from time to time without resorting to computer or television entertainment selections can provide real benefits for your child.
Enforced downtime can often provide children with the chance to explore their own abilities and appearance to a much greater degree. Toddlers are especially likely to memorize the way their hands, feet and fingers look and to make up stories about these parts of their body. Older children may become interested in their cognitive processes and the ways in which thoughts and ideas interlock to form a cohesive train of thought. Regardless of the direction in which your child’s interest lies, free and unstructured time is essential to allow these deep thoughts to flourish and to help your child discover more about his or her own unique place in the world.
At Discovery Point, we understand the importance of unstructured play for preschool-aged children. We have implemented the Creative Curriculum® System to ensure that every child in our care enjoys the greatest opportunities for growth and exploration in a safe and nurturing environment. The teachers and administrators at Discovery Point are committed to providing the most positive learning experiences, allowing you to enjoy real peace of mind when entrusting your precious little one to us.