Simple ways to break the toddler boredom cycle

by beagooddad on August 9, 2006

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Toddlers have short attention spans. When they get bored, they often start to get grumpy and do things that get them in trouble.
Both of my kids go through this and I’ve developed a couple simple ways of breaking the boredom cycle.

  1. Change of scenery – This works well with both of them. Sometimes they are tired of the toys and activities in the environment they are in. Throwing on some shoes and moving outside almost always works. If the weather prevents you from leaving the house, moving to a different room usually works, too. We have three primary rooms where the kids have toys, books, and games to play with. If they stay in one room for over an hour, and sometimes even less, I can jump up and say, “Let’s move to the basement” and they will follow along happy for the change of scenery.
  2. Change of activity – Sometimes toys get buried in the bottom of the toy box. If your kids are getting fidgety, empty the toy box. I guarantee that they will find something at the bottom that they haven’t seen for weeks that they just have to play with right now. Another variation of this works well with our daughter. She likes to do chores. When she gets bored, we can ask her to help fold clothes, put away dishes, or wash windows. She likes trying to do the adult things that we do.

Our kids are 3 1/2. They normally start getting bored with an activity after 15 to 30 minutes but they often do not know what to do when they get bored. Instead of letting it spiral into getting in trouble, gently nudge them into a different activity and watch their interest level get reset.

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