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More on Choice- Practice Being Bored Yourself

Another of my favorite parents pointed out that we even make choices for how kids will play on a playground.

Think of the playgrounds we so often see- bright colors, labeled for age groups, signs to go down slides only. Some have bridges, some don’t. But they all have the two types of swings, monkey bars, one or two plastic slides, some steps to climb safely.

We can drive through any town in any state in the U.S. and find a number of similar playgrounds.

I’m all for playing outside- definitely not pooh-poohing playgrounds.

But, have you ever been to a playground where it just looked different? You weren’t sure what contraptions were or what you were even supposed to do on them? Have you been to a playground where you could move pieces and create your own balance beam? It’s a whole different feeling. It starts with a little confusion, maybe even intimidation. Then it turns into a rush- even excited discussions and creativity.

Even our play is planned. Even the vast majority of our playgrounds excuse us from decision-making.

What about making a playground so boring you had to make up your own games?

Boredom is awesome. It’s a life skill to work on.

As adults we say we don’t have time to be bored.

What do you do when you’re waiting in line? What about when you’re partner has gone to the bathroom while you’re at a coffee shop?

What if instead of taking out our phones, we let our minds wander?

What if instead of listening to a podcast, we choose nothing filling our eyes and ears- and we see where they take us?

Just a thought.

Boredom is awesome.

Note: This is another one of those things where we can talk about the example we are setting. Show the kids that we don’t need our phones- that we can handle a down moment without someone else telling us what’s important. Yes, it will be good for the kids. You will be setting a wonderful example. Yup- it’s important for them. But, don’t be bored to be a martyr. Be bored because it’s awesome. Be bored for yourself.

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  1. This is awesome! Makes me think of my times play with my trucks in Gma/gpa’s gardens and figuring out how i was going to design my own roads.

  2. I love this – as our design firm does playgrounds…I do like thinking about natural play that takes imagination! I like your perspective on this!

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