4-12 year olds Parenting

Isolation Boredom: Ways to Prevent and Cure It

Isolation boredom may seem inevitable for our little darlings who are lucky to escape the painful side effects of contracting the Covid-19 virus. However, there are things to put in place to prevent it, and if that’s too late for you, ideas to help you cure it.

We always get told that prevention is better than the cure, and that is absolutely right, but no one is blaming you if you haven’t had time to put together a busy box or if life has got in the way of you even thinking about preparing for the worst. However, if you are reading this, hopefully, you might get some food for thought and throw something together quickly. I advocate this approach as you never know when you might be struck down.

Busy Boxes

Busy boxes are an excellent way of occupying time for children of all ages. Of course, with short attention spans, babies and toddlers couldn’t be expected to independently engage with this kind of activity, but older children certainly could.

What could you add to your busy boxes?

There are endless possibilities when it comes to items to add to busy boxes. You might like to theme them around what you already have in your home. Others prefer to buy or source new/second-hand resources to create a box.

  • Small world figures
  • Books
  • Comics
  • Crossword/Sudoku books
  • Colouring sheets and colouring pencils or crayons
  • Craft projects
  • Jigsaws
  • Dominoes
  • Dice
  • Board game
  • Scrabble letters
  • Play dough (I encourage a lot of supported use of this beforehand to make sure it doesn’t get trampled in all over the house)
  • Toy cars and printed and laminated maps/scenes to push them along
  • Action figures
  • Dolls
  • Invitation to attend an event (the fun will be using the items in the box to prepare for it)

Honestly, the list could go on forever. When it comes to relieving isolation boredom through busy boxes, your imagination and creativity are the only limits!

Preparation needed: make a few boxes that will appeal to your children’s interests.

Home Cinema

Of course, we can’t visit an actual cinema, but that doesn’t mean isolation boredom has to creep in. Create a home cinema experience – and your kids will love it!

Task them with making tickets, choosing the film (give them three or four to choose from otherwise they could spend all day trying to make a decision!) and setting up the lounge ready to view the chosen movie.

Stick some popcorn in the microwave and provide drinks and blankets (these always go down well in my household – I’m not sure why!). Sit back, relax and enjoy the film… you could even catch up on some sleep or leave the kids to it if you feel able.

Preparation needed: have some microwave popcorn on hand and that’s about it!

Home Disco

Another favourite activity to alleviate isolation boredom in our household is the good old favourite of a disco. Encourage your children to choose a glitzy outfit and clear a space in which they can dance. We use the Echo to play music via Spotify, meaning there is very little adult input needed. “Alexa, play Dance Monkey!” might be heard time and time again, but they are bound to have fun. Prepare a few drinks and snacks, and they’ll be occupied for a while. You don’t really need to prepare anything for this, but

Preparation needed: you might wish to have some face glitter and snacks squirrelled away, but other than that, you need to do very little.

Indoor Picnic

Having an indoor picnic is fun regardless of whether you are suffering from isolation boredom or not. All you have to do is prepare a picnic-style spread of sandwiches, crisps, cheese, fruit and a few sweet treats. Put a picnic blanket down in your dining room/lounge and have fun eating together. Even better if your children grab their dolls and teddies to join them as it can become a big role play opportunity.

Preparation needed: nothing in advance except grabbing a picnic blanket and maybe basket out of storage.

If you are faced with the prospect of being cooped up together and suffering from isolation boredom, I’d like to wish you well. I’m sure that it won’t be as bad as you are expecting. No one will or should judge your parenting during these unprecedented times; do the bare minimum it takes to keep everyone safe, healthy and happy. Good luck!

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