Tuesday, April 20, 2010

Defeat Boredom with...

I was reading an *excellent* PDF about mid to long- term austere medical care. (it's here, if you're interested. I'm going to print it out.) Here's a paragraph that got me thinking:

"Research has shown that a human alone can only cope with 3 days of inactivity with limited stimulation before significant psychological distress occurs. This is seen in the form of loss of motivation, decline in intellectual activities (losing your edge), mood swings, and somatic complaints (headache,dizziness, nausea). The company of and interaction with others prolongs the period by several days. Several studies have shown that the average person needs 10-12 hours of activity per day to avoid boredom. Part of the answer is routine. Establishing a pattern, which occurs everyday, is really important for psychological well-being. People respond really well to having a routine and having clear jobs to perform. Everyone should be given an area of responsibility and important activities that are theirs to perform."

That is absolutely right- a daily routine, with everyone carrying some task or chore to ease the load for everyone, is very important. Everyone, even the smallest child, needs to know they are a vital part of the gameplan and that their contribution is crucial to "mission success." But when the chores are completed, what then?

We don't have cable so we don't watch tv when we're bored... all of our games are imagination-led and not run on batteries anyway. However, when things are "normal" it's easy to use the DVD player or invite a friend over to stay entertained. I have a mental list of games that we generally neglect, that would be easy to re-introduce for all the "what-if's" a prepper has in mind.
  1. a shoebox of dominoes and a book of domino games
  2. a peanut butter jar of GeoMags- magnetic rods with steel balls
  3. some abridged Cranium games- they're in small sturdy boxes
  4. Wikki Stix- silent, pliable, non-melting or staining wax sticks
  5. scrabble tiles in a portable banana-shaped bag
  6. don't forget standbys like paper and pencils!
My son can be entertained for long periods of time with his knot-tying book and a shoelace. My daughters enjoy using a modern, more durable version of paper dolls- but they have magnetic clothes. My MIL gave the kids some king-size sheets to build forts with. Many of our homeschool math manipulatives can be used to entertain them for a long time- such as pattern blocks and tangrams.

We're so pleased you are reading Farming Salt & Light! Choose how you live!


Bitmap said...

Chess, checkers, card games (including games with dedicated cards like Uno and Mile Bournes), Rush Hour (the traffic jam puzzle), Monopoly, and Sorry are all great ones. The card games and games that require instruction cards (like Monopoly) aren't as rugged as the others. You can make a set for chess or checkers out of almost anything. Other good things for kids are Legos, Lincoln Logs, and Tinker Toys. A shoe box full of Lego bricks is an endless supply of entertainment that challenges kids and let's them use their immagination. Plus, the bricks themselves are almost indestructible.

Other good entertainment: BB guns or sling shots. With a sling shot you never have to worry about running out of ammo and you can make them from a bicycle inner tube, a stick, and a piece of cloth.

Don't forget paper airplanes and books.

mama4x said...

I forgot to mention Legos because we use them practically every day as it is! The only reason I didn't list our big board games is because I was trying to think "compact and portable," but you're right. We haven't tried the traffic jam game, although I have read about it. And we do have a slingshot- totally forgot about it. That's a skill we should be practicing today. Great to hear from you!