As a parent, there are two words that make me cringe like none other: “I’m bored!” In today’s fast-paced world we are quick to load our calendars with play dates, extracurricular activities, and family outings. The goal: Eliminate every moment of boredom from our children’s lives. Keep them busy, keep them entertained, and keep them happy. But in doing so, we may be doing our kids a disservice. Recent studies show that boredom might spark creativity because a restless mind hungers for stimulation.
Without the busy routine of the school year, summertime can be extra challenging. No matter how many activities you may think you have lying around the house to keep your kids busy, they seem to either breeze through them or not be interested after five seconds.
This is when you’ll use your Noggin (no pun intended)!
I’ve found that the key to busting boredom is to boost creativity. By encouraging contemplation and daydreaming, it can spur creativity. Finding something that your children can play with in several different ways will keep their little minds churning and turning and they’ll forget that they were “bored” just a few minutes ago.
With their multitude of uses, here are some ways Noggins can help boost creativity and bust boredom:
Play and Pretend
Noggins are capable of creating an entire world of play and pretend for your little one. The Noggins Animal Activity Set has your child coloring, cutting, and creating as they make their Noggin animals come to live. Have your child choose their favorite Noggin and attach it to a crayon – color in a Noggins body. Then attach the Noggin to a pair of scissors – cut out the Noggins body. Lastly, attach the Noggins sticker to it’s Noggins body – pretend and play!
Have your child name their Noggin and get to playing. You can even create a Noggin animal and join in on the fun! Use building toys to create houses and cities for your new animal friends. In addition to playtime, this can be a great exercise for you and your child to communicate through your Noggin animals. You may be surprised what you can learn about your child simply from playing pretend with them.
Sometimes the simplest things are the most fun. All this activity requires is having your child put their Noggin on their fingertip. The rest is up to their creativity. They can create a puppet show – have the Noggins just chat, have them “move” around…the sky’s the limit. Your child may come up with some activities you couldn’t even think of yourself!
Paper airplanes are a simple toy that kids have been playing with for decades. You can turn it up a notch with the Nogginsland Spectacular Aerobatic Circus. This takes the concept of paper airplanes and adds Noggins into the mix. As with the play and pretend activity, your child can use the Noggins on their crayons and scissors as they decorate and assemble the airplanes. Then it’s time to choose a Noggin pilot to guide the plane.
Once everything is ready, fly your plane! You can even have races to see whose Noggin can fly the farthest. If you want to make it a true aerobatic circus, have the kids create tickets for admission to this high-flying event. Again, there are no “rules” when it comes to creative play. That’s what makes it so much fun!
The next time your child tries to complain about boredom, remember these Noggins activities. You’ll be killing two birds with one stone as you bust their boredom while you boost their creativity. This “down time” will give your child the opportunity to explore their inner and outer worlds, which is the beginning of creativity. Once your child can foster their creativity, the world is their oyster!
Written by: Kristina Cappetta & Jamie Schmalenberger
Edit, Design, & Graphics by: Jamie Schmalenberger
My name is John Haber. I’m a Pediatric Occupational Therapist and the founder of Nogginsland. I became a COTA in 2003, and then went back to school much later, receiving my Master’s Degree in OT from Mercy College in New York in 2016.
Over the years, I’ve worked with a variety of populations in different settings, from school districts, to developmental disability centers, to children’s hospitals.