PITTSBURGH (KDKA) – Did you know that July is “National Anti-Boredom Month?”
Every parent will say that staving off the boredom in mid-summer is a chore.READ MORE: Duquesne Police Chief Thomas Dunlevy Charged With Witness Intimidation Related To Alleged Sexual Assault Case
So, what about some alternatives to losing your sanity?
The antidote for boredom is creativity, at least according to Dr. Gina Robinson, a pediatrician with the Cleveland Clinic.
She says it all starts with getting off the screens.
“Get it to less than two hours a day and start enjoying some time outside,” Dr. Robinson says. “Or do something else that doesn’t involve screens.”
Parents worried about educational loss during the pandemic year might also want to consider mixing in a little make-up effort.
“You know, try to make it fun, make it a game whenever you can,” she explains. “If they’re having trouble in science or math, there are lots of fun games that you can find online – they’re fun experiments you can do for free. A lot of those use things you might have around the house so you might be able to make a volcano with some baking soda and some other ingredients that you have around the house.”
Whatever you do, she says it should have fun as its foundation.
“I think, whenever possible, you should – without adding stress,” Dr. Robinson says.
If it’s not fun, your child won’t learn anything and will lose interest.
However, the parent has to be a part psychologist. Don’t let them know what you are doing is educational but also fun.
WATCH: Battling Summer Boredom
That said, it’s not just about learning!
There are plenty of things to do outside of the house and away from the screens.
“Go off for a bike ride, go for a walk, do fun things that you can do together so that you and your children are outside and doing things,” She says.
Dr. Robinson emphasizes it doesn’t have to be elaborate or expensive.
“Sidewalk chalks and drawing outside,” she describes. “Just anything that’s hands-on, anything that’s experimental, I think is great for kids.”
A lot of fun can be found right in the backyard, including just a hose, a sprinkler, or a storebought or homemade water table.
“Now’s a nice time to be outside, so you can paint outside, you can get bubbles,” she says. “It’s a fun way to just kind of engage toddlers, get them to run around and watch their faces light up when they realize that they can pop or catch a bubble.”
What if it’s raining?
Easy, do something simple in the kitchen like letting the kids help you bake cookies.
“I love to read, I always try to enforce that with my patients and my family,” Dr. Robinson says. “I think art projects are great, sometimes as a mom, it’s frustrating but things that allow your child to get dirty are great.”
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Dr. Robinson says you want to spark your child’s natural curiosity and creativity and you might get in touch with your own inner child in the process.