What’s so bad about “nothing to do”?

Nell sweeping the ground with a stick. For fun!

This blog post is by Nicola Baird sharing ideas about thrifty, creative and eco-friendly ways to raise children. I want to stay in bed all day as a mother’s day treat, so what’s so bad about having absolutely nothing for kids to do?  For more info about parenting see my book Homemade Kids, or for my website click here

Just overheard a mum vetoing a trip to a very rural spot as “there’s nothing for the kids to do”. As a rather poor joke I suggested they could watch the TV. “It’s in another language,” was her reply. She’s really not keen to go. But…

I still think she should go – and take the kids. Once they’ve got over the shock of nothing to do, they’ll soon find there are a million things to do. They could play (they’re not too old yet), invent stories, make a den, paddle in a stream, pretend to go on a wild goose hunt, stalk an animal, lie down on the grass, cut the grass, watch the clouds, grow things, pick things, get muddy…

Even if they love the indoors they could try making some real food for breakfast or dinner and have the fun of experimenting with pastry, breads, jams and main courses. There are board games to make up, and play. Pictures to paint. Even washing up – done when there’s nothing else to do – can be an OK game. Though I’d definitely prefer to sit down at that stage with a fat, gripping book (plus possibly a bar of chocolate or a glass of wine).

Nothing to do is an absolute gift for your imagination, stress levels and your child. If only we could offer it more often.

For a trailer and my review of the great film We Bought A Zoo, (out this week) – in which a single dad moves his kids out of the city to live at a private zoo where there’s nothing much for the kids to do except avoid getting eaten…  please see this link

Over to you
Are you excited or repelled by the idea of going somewhere with the kids “where there is nothing to do”?

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One Comment on “What’s so bad about “nothing to do”?”

  1. Pete May Says:

    That Wordsworth had nothing to do too, bar look at daffodils…

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