Thursday, January 28, 2010

A Cure for Nothing-to-Do Syndrome

Bag of ideas

It's all too easy, especially when the grown-ups are otherwise occupied, for innocent children to fall victim to Nothing-to-Do Syndrome.

You know what I mean. When they flop down in the middle of a sea of toys, and sigh like the weight of the world is upon their shoulders... "But there's nothing to do."

It's easy for us grown-ups to be exasperated with the child in question, and sigh right back at them. And it's true, there are a million different things they could play with/do/read/etc., but sometimes the issue is that they just can't think of anything. You remember that feeling, don't you?

Don't get me wrong, I think boredom can be a good thing. It challenges kids' creativity. It's important for kids to learn the skill of self-amusement, and not believe that they are somehow just consumers of the world's 24/7 entertainment. But sometimes, a kid just needs a little nudge, a little reminder, an idea.

So, for my five-year-old, I made this little bag of ideas. These are specifically geared towards things she can do without my assistance or intervention, for those times when I'm busy and -- let's face it -- I need her out of my hair. I intend to keep adding to this little bag of tricks as I come up with new ideas. Already it's served as a great reminder of things she enjoys but rarely thinks of to do (pillow fort!).

Pillow fort!!

I printed the little circles out onto regular paper and glued them to the cardboard from a gift box I found in the recycling bin. And the little bag once held jewelry. So virtually free to make, and all told about 30 minutes of my time. But oh, the time it's given me... priceless.

A cure for Nothing-to-Do Syndrome


  1. That is just a wonderful idea. I wonder if I can incorporate that into the lives of two three year olds.

  2. I am making this right at this very moment!!! Thanks SO much for this idea.

  3. Contrats Laura, I saw this posted over at Ohdeedoh. Isn't it fun to be recognized.