The summer holidays can be tough for parents. Keeping the kids occupied and avoiding the dreaded refrain of “I’m bored!” is no mean feat. Coming up with ideas to keep the young ones happy and not arguing with each other can feel like an impossible task at times.

Yet, sometimes that whine telling you that your child is bored isn’t a bad thing.


Think back a few weeks to when the kids were still at school. Remember how exhausted they were? Remember how tired you all were of the school run, after school activities, homework, music lessons, the list goes on and on? Remember how you longed for the holidays when you could laze around in your PJs all day?

I know that keeping the kids happy over the summer is a balance. Giving children routine and structure helps them feel secure and keeps their minds stimulated.

But we need to be careful not to fill every moment of every day. Our kids need to feel bored sometimes.

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Meera Syal, popular writer, actor and director said that it was boredom that started her love of writing. Hours spent on her own with no entertainment provided caused her to start a diary  filled with observations, short stories, poems, and diatribe. She credits the success in her writing career to these early days of being bored.


Kids need downtime for their imaginations to develop.

When my kids are mega-busy at school it affects their creativity. My art-mad son’s pencils start gathering dust. His bookworm brother struggles to finish more than a chapter a night. My inventive daughter loses her ability to tell stories.

Maybe the next time our kids feel bored for a while they will start a new hobby.

Maybe next time they have nothing to do they will come up with an amazing idea.

Maybe next time they are kicking around not knowing what to do with themselves they’ll pick up those books you borrowed from the library at the start of the summer.

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Here are some great reads your kids might like this summer –

The 13-Storey Treehouse by Andy Griffiths

The Maze Runner by James Dashner

The Iron Trial by Cassandra Clare and Holly Black

The Tale of Emily Windsnap – Liz Kessler

The World of Norm: May Contain Nuts – Jonathan Meres