Saturday, February 1, 2014

When You're Feeling a Little Bored

Sometimes even a good thing can become a little same-old-same-old.

You know, when you've used it so many times that you're just feeling a little jaded?

Seemingly overnight, something that you or your kids just LOVED for weeks and weeks is now sitting, unused, forlorn, forgotten, gathering dust.  The kid's moved on.  The old toy's forgotten.  And you're left with a house full of unused stuff.

Ever found that happen in your house?

I think one of the great unacknowledged tragedies of our modern, instant-gratification, new-is-best generation is our inability to really milk something for all it's worth.  We're really not good at getting every little drop of use and goodness out of things before discarding them for something newer, faster, brighter, shinier.  Our landfills are testament of our passion for the short-term fling, the buy-it-cheap, use-it-fast, and throw-it-away-as-soon-as-it-starts-looking-tired mentality.  It's sad.  And what's even more sad is that we're raising an entire generation (several of them in fact) who know only this.  They don't really know how to look after belongings to make them last the length of a person's lifetime.  They don't know how to repair, mend, or replace parts to renew an old appliance or give new life to an old toy.  They don't know how to use their imaginations to create something new from something old.  They get easily bored, easily distracted, easily led to the latest gadet or fad leaving behind them a wake of half-used toys, discarded clothes, and unwanted gifts.

But what do you do?  It's such a pervasive attitude that runs throughout our entire society, half the time I find myself giving in to it without realising why.  Why do I need new cushions?  Does it really matter that a few of them don't match, when I have a pre-schooler who likes to play with them, drool on them, and pillow fight with them?  Surely I could just wait a few years.

I've watched friends give away or sell unwanted toys, after discussions with their child about how they don't use it any more so they should let another child have it instead.

I know a few folks who hide half the toys in a back cupboard somewhere, while the child plays with the others.  Then every few months some toys are 'swapped out' with cupboard ones.  It's like having new toys all over again!

Here's a solution from the Munchkin:  When you get bored of using something for one purpose, find another way to play with it.  Engage your imagination.  You'll have already seen that Munchkin LOVES his sandpit.  He loves to dig in it, he loves to zoom cars around a  race track or through bridges.  But even sandpit play can get boring.  Recently the cars got to have a rest, and the toy animals came out to play instead. 

It was amazing listening to my little guy create intricate story lines around all the things his animals were doing!

So, when you find your kids (or yourself!) a little bored, perhaps instead of something completely new, it might just be time to move things around a bit, change how you play with or use them, see them in a different light?

What creative ways has your family reused or otherwise adapted the use of something recently?



Maxine D said...

What a great change - and great use of Munchkin's imagination! Well done to you both.

Elizabeth Collins said...

I am loving Lydia's age currently as well - imagination and role playing is at it's best! The other day I heard her call out 'Hi guys' and assumed she was playing with Ash... turned out she had walked into her room and was talking to her 'babies'! So cute! I then quietly stood at her door and listened to her 'mothering' them... loving it!