If we’ve learned anything from social distancing over these last few weeks, we’ve learned that keeping yourself entertained is difficult. If you’re feeling the weight of constant boredom, you’re not alone. Many people are struggling with finding activities to keep themselves occupied and pass the time. Creative and educational pursuits are not only a great way of fighting boredom, but also help stimulate your brain in a lasting way. Maybe you’ll even find something new that you love! Here is a list of creative and educational pursuits you could try to stay entertained!
Write About Something
Writing is scientifically proven to have positive benefits for your life and your mental health. If you don’t know what to write about, a great place to start is writing down some goals, short-term or long-term, that you’re working on achieving. Studies have shown that writing down goals increases your feeling of contentment, happiness, and overall well-being. Want to delve into a more creative writing venture? Reddit’s r/writingprompts forum has tons of unique writing prompts that will help you challenge yourself to write about science fiction, fantasy, and more. Poetry is another great writing style that can help get those creative juices flowing. You could try to write a traditionally structured poem like a limerick, a haiku, or a sonnet, or you could even try your hand at some free verse poetry. Keep a diary, fill a journal, write some fan-fiction, the possibilities for creative writing are endless!
Drawing is a great way to explore your creativity. Remember how you used to draw random little doodles all over your notes at school? Do that! Challenge yourself with different drawing techniques like pointillism, single-line drawings, or even abstract art! You don’t have to be a professional artist to draw, anyone can do it! And, if you do want to learn how to draw better, there are a ton of free drawing resources to teach you about perspective, shading, and all of the other difficult technical drawing stuff. Whether you’re already an artist or have no experience, drawing is a great way to stimulate your brain and express yourself!
Almost everyone has a bunch of Legos around their house somewhere. Now is a great time to pull them out and start building again! Legos are a great source of entertainment and creativity for people of all ages, and even have educational value for kids! In fact, playing with Lego has many educational benefits for your kids including:
- Fine motor skills
- Problem-solving & mathematical thinking
- Communication skills
- Lateral thinking & planning skills
Time to bust out those old tubs of Lego and start building! Follow your old Lego instruction manuals (if you lost them, you can find free Lego instruction booklets here) or, better yet, build your own creation! There are many online communities where people build amazing, original Lego creations. The only limit is your imagination. Make something cool!
Play a Video Game
Your kids are probably playing more video games than ever right now, but don’t feel too bad! Studies have shown that playing video games can increase neurogenesis, the growth of new brain cells. It’s also no secret that people who play video games have better hand-eye coordination. While your kids are most likely playing action/shooters of some kind, (as they are the most popular type of video game by far) there are many video games that have a different focus. Night in the Woods is a fantastic story-driven game, with a beautiful art style. There’s no shooting, no violence, in fact, there isn’t even combat. You get to immerse yourself in a beautiful world of animals and colors and guide the story of your main characters. If you’re looking for something more like an arcade game from your childhood, try Cuphead! Cuphead is designed with classic, 50s-era-Disney-esque artwork and plays like a classic arcade game, where you fight monsters and bosses. Nintendo also offers many of their classic games on the Switch, which means you can revisit your childhood and even share these classic games with your kids.
Kurzgesagt, German for the phrase “in a nutshell,” is an educational channel that teaches using a quirky animation style. These videos are not only educational, they’re also very fun to watch, captivating you with delightful art, music, and a very well-spoken narrator. Kurzgesagt has a ton of interesting videos about the universe, human nature, futurism, medicine & biology, and other fun science stuff. They even occasionally delve into philosophy; One of my current favorite videos of theirs is titled “An Antidote to Dissatisfaction” that discusses how to help have a better outlook on life. Check out Kurzgesagt’s channel, and pick something awesome to learn about!
Vsauce AKA Michael Stevens is the Bill Nye of YouTube. Michael is an energetic, eccentric, entertaining personality that teaches you all about difficult scientific concepts in a way that is easy for most people to grasp. If you’re looking for educational videos that are funny and creative, Michael Stevens is your guy. Relevant to how you’re most likely feeling, he even has a video about why we feel boredom! Vsauce covers everything from random knowledge to space, human behavior, the Earth, and more. If you’re a fan of Mythbusters and Bill Nye, check out Vsauce!
If you’re looking for something educational that is a bit more advanced, 3Blue1Brown is a great YouTube channel to check out. This channel’s primary focus is mathematics and physics, diving deep into abstract concepts like the essence of linear algebra, calculus, geometry, and more. If you’re interested in things like the Heisenberg uncertainty principle, how Bitcoin works, or other complex math and physics ideas, 3Blue1Brown is a great educational channel for you!
Oversimplified creates easy-to-understand, short-form videos about conflicts throughout history. These videos are simply presented and easy to understand, and while they may not be thorough enough to stand as lessons on their own, they provide a great overview of different world conflicts. Oversimplified takes these complex political relationships through history, and gives you the basics, using comedy and wit to help the lessons stick. He has covered World War 1 and World War 2, the Cold War, the Civil War, the French Revolution, and many more important historical conflicts to learn about!
As you pursue learning and creating, you may stumble upon something you really like! Your next favorite things are out there waiting to be discovered, so get out there (on the internet) and find them!