I’m not sure about you, but I grew up in a time when my whiny “I’m bored” was met with serious resistance from my mom, whose answer was always, “Go outside.”
Our kids’ lives are filled with school, activities, and technology, keeping them busier than we would like. But that busyness also means they get bored quickly because they are used to constantly being on the go.
However, being bored is a gift that stimulates creativity, curiosity, and imagination. If you are looking for boredom-busting solutions so you can skip screen time, here are 25 activities your child will love.
1. Nature Scavenger Hunt
Sometimes, your kids need to get outside and burn off their pent-up energy. A nature scavenger hunt is a perfect way to keep them busy and encourage them to engage with the natural world.
Regardless of your child’s age, they will enjoy being out in nature and the challenge of finding the items on their list. If the weather is bad, you can also adapt to this activity and do an indoor scavenger hunt.
2. Make a ‘Bored Jar’
Getting your kids to make a ‘Bored Jar’ is the perfect way to get them thinking differently about boredom. They can fill the jar with all sorts of activity options.
Here are a few ideas for your ‘Bored Jar’
- Color scavenger hunt
- Mindful movement videos
- Play hide-and-seek
- Have a dance party
- Paint rocks like pets
- Homemade play dough
- Make sock puppets
- Have an art challenge
- Build a jigsaw puzzle
Keep a pen and paper in the jar so anyone can add ideas as inspiration strikes.
3. I-Spy Bottles
Younger kids, in particular, will be delighted with these I-Spy bottles. You can fill them with random items or have themed bottles. They are also easy to make at home.
Fill them with rice, lentils, beads, or dried beans. Then choose fun items to fill them with and have a corresponding page so your kids know what they are looking for.
4. Indoor Obstacle Course
An indoor obstacle course is another way to beat boredom. Get your kids involved and ask them for ideas.
From hopping from pillow to pillow to avoid the “lava” to escaping a hallway string maze, an obstacle course will spark imagination and adventure.
5. Potato Stamps
I love creative activities that use things you have in your home, and this potato-stamp activity certainly ticks all the boxes.
You can use a cookie cutter to mark out the shape you want, and with some cutting skills, you will have an assortment of stamps ready for various projects. Use them to make pretty prints on paper or even fabric.
6. Nature Mandala
Low-tech toys are one way to kick boredom to the curb, but have you considered no toys at all?
When outside, your kids are challenged to think creatively about how they can play in the space around them. Making a nature mandala is a creative activity and an ideal option to enjoy at your local park.
7. Sidewalk Chalk Paint
Sidewalk chalk is always a winning activity when your kids are bored. But what if you don’t have sidewalk chalk on hand?
This sidewalk chalk paint is quick and easy to make. It will have your kids outside creating in no time. You can even make the paint more watery and put it into spray bottles.
8. Paper Wind Sock
With a few items that would have been trash, you can make funky wind socks that look pretty and get your kids thinking about upcycling. You will need toilet roll tubes, colored paper, ribbons, and any other bits and bobs you have around the house.
Your kids can hunt around the house for different materials, which is a fantastic way to use scrap craft supplies.
9. Paper Weaving
Get your kid’s creative juices flowing with a paper-weaving activity. Using plain paper, you can create punchy pieces of art that are fun to make and look great on display.
This craft is perfect for bored older children because they can challenge themselves with tricky designs and color changes. Paper weaving is an easy option when you are looking for things to do when bored for kids.
10. Finger Knitting
Finger knitting is one of those fun indoor activities to enjoy when your kids are bored. It is simple enough for young kids to attempt but challenging enough to hold the attention of older kids.
All you need is some yarn and imagination as your children work to develop their fine motor skills and patience.
11. Bubble Snake
Who would have thought that a plastic bottle, an old sock, and dish soap could lead to hours of boredom-busting fun?
Cut the end of a plastic bottle, place a sock over it, and secure it with an elastic band. Fill a bucket with water and dish soap. Add a few drops of food coloring to the mixture or directly onto the sock. Then, dip the sock-covered end into the mix.
Using the top of the bottle, blow and watch the magic happen. This fun activity will keep your kids outside and entertained for ages.
12. Lego Marble Maze
Put all those lost pieces of Lego to good use by building a marble maze. This fun game will challenge your kids as they puzzle out how to make the maze.
Add to the excitement by timing your kids to see who can get their marble through the maze the quickest.
13. Bake Cookies
Baking is an easy and delicious way to teach your kids practical skills while having fun. When your kids bake cookies, they can get creative and encourage your kids to try new recipes.
Making cookies with your kids when they are bored comes with the bonus of them making their own snacks. You can also use them in their lunch boxes for the week (if they last that long!)
14. Weather Bottles
If you are wondering what to do when kids are bored, then these weather sensory bottles are an ideal way to get your creative juices going as they make customized bottles.
Fill them with water and add things like glitter, oil, glass beads, pipe cleaners, and food coloring.
15. Yarn Letters
With cardboard and yarn scraps, your crafting possibilities are endless. But these yarn-wrapped letters are a fun way for your bored kids to create personalized decor for their bedrooms.
Place all the materials on the dining room table and let your kids use their imaginations! They could cut letters, shapes, or other designs and use the yarn to make something unique.
16. Straw Painting
Use watercolor paint or food coloring in water to make interesting art. Place some paint on a page and blow on it with a straw.
Your kids can make all kinds of silly pictures using interesting shapes as inspiration.
17. Pasta Crafts
I’m sure you have a bag of pasta lurking in your pantry or even a couple of half-opened bags. So why not put them to good use, keeping your bored kids busy?
Your kids can paint the pasta and use it to make necklaces, or they can stick them onto cards and make unique pasta art.
18. Leaf Animals
Have you ever considered all the fun things you can make from leaves?
This craft works best with dried leaves, but you can use fresh ones in a pinch. All you need is paper, glue, and some leaves and twigs.
Have an animal book handy for inspiration, and then let your kids use their imaginations to create beautiful leaf animals.
19. Air Dry Clay
There are so many air-dry clay ideas to choose from, making it one of those fun activities that will kick boredom to the curb.
This fairy village idea is great because the entire family can get involved with each member making a different element.
When the village is finished, have a fairy-inspired tea party to celebrate.
20. Bubble Art
Bubble art is one of those activities that elementary-age kids will enjoy as much as tweens.
Add some paint to water and blow into it with a straw to create bubbles. Then gently place your paper on the bubbles to make a print. You can turn your prints into anything you like by adding other elements, like these hydrangeas.
21. Mud Kitchen
I’m not sure there is a better boredom-buster than mud play. The opportunity to get dirty is irresistible to most kids. It is also a fantastic way to stimulate curiosity, creativity, and imagination.
You don’t have to have a fancy mud kitchen. Some kitchen utensils, nature bits and bobs, and sand are all your kids need to dive into the dirty world of mud-play.
22. Pen and Paper Games
Pen and paper games are one of the easiest ways to entice your bored kids to find new ways to play. Trominoes is a brain-twisting game that uses visual perception and spatial reasoning skills.
But, if you want a pen and paper game for the whole family, why not design and draw your own board game? You can customize it to suit your family members, making it ideal for family game nights.
23. Sensory Bin
Sensory play is another easy way to get bored kids out of their funk. For example, you can make edible Aquafaba using chickpeas or use shaving cream, water, or rice.
You don’t need fancy equipment, just a large tub and something interesting to fill it with. The rest is up to your kids.
24. Paper Popsicles
You can draw pictures of popsicles for your kids to decorate or use printables. Still, either way, this is a fun and versatile activity when your kids are bored.
Popsicles are a sweet (pun intended) option, but your kids could create an array of paper food for a picnic. Go one step further and turn your paper popsicles into the real thing for a fun treat.
25. Write a Comic
Encourage your child to write their own story by creating a comic.
Graphic novels for kids are a fantastic way to engage them in a story and encourage them to read.
You can give them a comic template or let them create something of their own. Either way, drawing a graphic novel is a great option when kids are bored.
26. Baking Soda Experiments
Baking soda science experiments are perfect when you are looking for things to do when the kids are bored.
Put baking soda on a tray and use a dropper filled with colored vinegar to create fizzy magic. This is a versatile craft that you can turn to again and again when your kids are bored.
27. DIY Pick-Up-Sticks
Pick-Up-Sticks is a classic game that will keep your bored kids entertained.
Use yarn or paint to decorate bamboo skewers and create your own pick-up sticks set.
Let Boredom Inspire Your Kids to Get Creative
Boredom isn’t bad, but it can be frustrating when your kids tell you about it repeatedly.
But, with these 25 fun activities, you will have an arsenal of boredom-busting options for those days when your kids need some help to get creative and think outside the box.