Kids, of almost any age, are constantly full of energy and ready to do things, so much so that it can be very easy to run out of ideas, and struggle to keep them entertained.
It gets even harder if you are in a situation in which they are spending long periods of time in the house, like during school holidays, or during situations such as the COVID-19 pandemic.
What are you supposed to do if your kids get bored? They can become a nightmare if they don’t have anything to do, and will very quickly drive you insane. But we understand that coming up with ideas isn’t everyone’s strength.
Luckily, it doesn’t take much to keep kids entertained. In fact, most of our ideas don’t require spending any money or leaving the house at all! And they’re all easy activities that can take up a good portion of time, and that can be thoroughly enjoyed not only by the kids but by you as well!
So to help you out, we’ve compiled a list of 51 amazing ideas of things that you can do when your kids are bored. Let’s get right into it!
Why Being Bored Can Be Good For Kids
Before we get into all of the amazing ideas for keeping kids entertained, and away from boredom, we wanted to talk about how boredom isn’t actually a bad thing. In fact, it’s a good thing for kids to be bored every now and then!
You see, if a kid has a full schedule of activities, and never gets the chance to become bored, they are very unlikely to develop key skills such as creativity, and they will always depend on having something to do.
Meanwhile, kids that get bored every now and then, learn to become creative and to create their own fun and entertainment, taking charge of their free time and exploring the world around them, themselves, and their interests.
And learning how to fill up spare time with interesting activities, created by oneself, is not something they teach at school. So allow your kid to become bored, and then encourage them to do something with their time!
If your kid struggles to come up with ideas, you can help them out, of course. You could even create a boredom jar together, and fill it with different activity ideas, so that your kid can pick one out at any given time.
That being said, most of the time, when a kid is bored, they are actually craving attention from you, and want to spend time together. So a good idea is to do all of these anti-boredom activities together, and use it not only as a way to keep your kid entertained but as a way to bond with them!
But yeah, basically, let your kid be bored, and make them figure out what to do by themselves every now and then. And combine this with participating in activities with them, for some quality bonding time.
51 Things To Do When Your Kids Are Bored
Without further ado, here are our favorite 51 amazing things to do when kids are bored. Some the kids can do by themselves, and some they can do with you, together.
1. Write A Story Together
This is a great activity for kids to do by themselves, but it works better when it’s collaborative, and you give them ideas and prompts to work off of. It also increases their writing skills and encourages their creativity. Plus, the story can be about anything the kid wants, so the possibilities are endless!
2. Sidewalk Pictures With Chalk
A bit of chalk is all you need for this activity, and your kid can then draw whatever they feel like, on the sidewalk by the house. This is a great way to get them to create art, which people walking by will also be able to appreciate. And the best thing? The chalk will wash off as soon as it rains, so it’s completely ethical.
3. Paint Kindness Rocks
Kindness rocks are small rocks that have been painted with messages of kindness, such as “have a nice day” or “you rock”, or “always look at the bright side!”.
You and your kid can collect some rocks, paint them, and then hide them around in different places. The idea is that when someone finds a kindness rock, they take a picture of it, and then hide it somewhere else!
4. Write A Letter
Writing a letter for fun is a great way of establishing the importance of communication, as well as improving writing skills in a casual way. You can have your kid write a letter to a friend, or to a family member. Or you could even sign up for a pen pal program!
5. Create House Rules Together
If your kid is moaning about being bored, why not give them the task to come up with some house rules? There can be rules about the timetable or routine, and they can also come up with things they want to change about your parenting method.
Not only does this get them thinking critically, but it also gets them involved with their everyday discipline and upbringing!
6. Sock Puppets
Sock puppets are an absolute classic, and a great way to give old socks or mismatched pairs a second life. You can glue on items to make faces and accessories, and then put on a sock puppet show together!
7. Make A “Future” Poster
Kids are usually full of ideas about what they want to be in the future when they grow up, so why not make a poster about it? Give them the necessary tools, and then let them create a poster about what they imagine themselves doing or being 10 years from now.
8. Play Word Games
There are plenty of word games that are easy to play, and they are an easy activity that can be done at any time, anywhere. In fact, they are especially useful for keeping kids entertained during car journeys!
Some examples would be to name a category and say as many words as possible that fit, or the classic “I see something that starts with the letter…”. You can also make your own up!
9. Create Tissue Box Monsters
If you have some empty tissue boxes, instead of throwing them away, give them to your kids so that they can create monsters out of them! The opening where the tissues were can be the monster’s mouth, and everything else is up to the kids!
10. Volcano Experiment
A DIY volcano experiment can get messy, but most kids absolutely love it. It is engaging, exciting, fun, and it also teaches them about science! You’ll need a few specific ingredients and materials, but it’s an activity that will take up a good amount of time.
11. Create An Art Collage
Creating an art collage is a great way to give your kid free reign over their creativity. They can use all sorts of materials, as well as cut-outs to glue onto their poster. And if they are really proud of the result, you could have it framed and hung on their bedroom wall!
12. Fireworks In A Glass
Some olive oil, water, and a bit of food coloring can seriously keep your kid entertained. Just mix it all in a glass, and it will look like fireworks, with the colors swirling up and down between the olive oil and the water.
13. Go On A Scavenger Hunt
Scavenger hunts are incredibly fun, and they can last a good few hours, tiring your kids out so that they’re fully entertained for the day.
The scavenger hunt can be either indoors or outdoors, and can be about anything you want! Just give your kids a list of things they have to find and leave them to it!
14. Plan Family Nights
If your kid is bored, you could hand them a planner and ask them to plan some family nights. This way, your kid is involved in family times, and it will give the rest of you an idea of what kids want to do with the family. Plus it saves you from having to plan the meet-ups…so it’s a win-win!
Play-dough is fantastic at keeping kids entertained. It isn’t very messy, and it’s super easy to use, and your kids can have competitions on who creates the most complicated figure or art piece with the dough!
16. Baking Or Cooking
This is something that you will of course have to supervise, but baking or cooking with your kid is a great way to spend some time together, and it also introduces your kid to the kitchen and culinary skills!
It doesn’t have to be too complicated either, even making a salad will be fun for your kid, as it makes them feel involved.
17. Have A Photoshoot
You can have your kid dress up in any way they want, and then take some artistic and creative photos, trying out some fun poses and ideas. You could also, alternatively, have your kid be the one taking the photos!
18. A Journaling Session
This will not be appealing to all kids, but for those that enjoy writing and expressing themselves, handing them a notebook for journaling is a great idea.
They can spend a little time every day writing in it, and this is also a really good way of teaching them to reflect on themselves and their day.
19. Create A “Me” Collage
Another collage idea is to tell your kid to create something that represents them.
They can use all sorts of materials on a big piece of paper, and ultimately, it should include all of the things that they like, and the traits they think they have as a person. It’s super creative, and gets them reflecting about themselves!
20. Play With Toys
Sure, this one is super simple, but you can never underestimate the effectiveness of a good play session with the toys you have lying around the house. Kids can create all sorts of games with stuffed toys, and other items, and it can be very engaging.
It is always good to try and get your kid to enjoy reading, but you need to do so with the right type of books, letting them seek out the kind of stories that interest them.
Once you do this, they can have established reading times, which will not only keep them entertained but also quiet while developing comprehension skills.
22. Maths Games
Educational games can be doubly engaging because they also require your kid to think about things. Maths games can be a lot of fun, and you can use props such as dice as well!
23. Educational Phone Games
If you want to keep your kid quiet during a journey, or entertained while you are busy, you could simply hand them your phone so that they can play some educational games. There are plenty of age-appropriate apps that will be fun, and will also develop some key skills.
24. Listen To A Podcast Together
Sometimes, your kid just wants to spend some time with you, so why not listen to a podcast? It will have to be about a topic that the kid is interested in, of course, but it can be a great way of doing something together, which is more relaxed or calm.
25. Research A Topic Of Interest Together
Is your kid passionate about dinosaurs? Space? Fairies? Whatever the topic, you could set out some time to do some in-depth research together, learning about fun facts. And later on, you could have your kid tell the other parent or family members about what you learned together!
26. Have A Presentation Competition
Oral and PowerPoint presentations are going to be a big part of your kid’s education, so why not get them familiar with the concept by turning it into a fun game?
You can each pick a topic, and then have a limited amount of time to put together a presentation. You could expose it to the rest of the family, and decide who wins!
27. Science Experiments
Science experiments are always a good idea. There are all sorts of possibilities, they are fun, they are engaging, they awaken curiosity and fascination in kids, and they are also educational! Some science experiments are also super fast and easy, so why not look some up?
28. A Magic Show
You could give your kid some tools, and ask them to prepare a magic show for you. This will get them to be creative, while also having them individually develop motor skills for the magic tricks!
Simple, effective, and a classic pass time for kids of all ages. You could help your kid out by giving them prompts or ideas, and then they could go and draw by themselves while you get other things done.
30. Play Some Board Games
Board games are amazing for spending some quality family time together, as they are often collaborative and excellent at bringing people together. They are also great for developing different skills, and they are something that everyone can enjoy!
31. Hide And Seek
An old classic, but it’s timeless. If your kids are bored, get them playing a game of hide and seek!
And if you want to get a few minutes to yourself, you could have them hide, and simply take a little longer to start looking for them. (Not too long though, as they will be impatiently waiting!)
32. Create An Obstacle Course
This can be done either indoors or outdoors, although it will be better in an outdoor backyard, garden, or park. You can use different items, such as ropes, hoops, and cones, and create an obstacle course.
You can then have your kids perform it, and time them so that they aim to improve every single run-through!
33. Have A Session Of Relaxation
If your kid becomes a little hyper when bored, it might be a good idea to practice a session of relaxation. You can set out some soft and comfy pillows, out on some quiet soft music, and do some breathing exercises together! This could even lead to some meditation or yoga, which is great for older kids!
34. A Nerf Gun Battle
Okay so you would have to make sure you are not doing this anywhere where there is something breakable, so it might be best to do it out in the garden, but a nerf gun battle is exciting, competitive, exhilarating, and a lot of fun for everyone involved!
You could even have it so that whoever wins picks the movie for that night, or something similar.
35. Go For A Walk
Getting some fresh air is necessary, and it can do wonders for kids that are bored and stuck without any ideas. Going out for a walk is a bit of a re-set, and when your kid gets back to the house, they will feel better, and ready to do something.
36. Skipping Rope Games
Skipping rope games are great for having fun and passing the time, but they are also a great form of exercise. There are plenty of games that you can search up online, and if your kid has someone to do them with, it will be all the better.
37. Put Up A Tent In The Garden
Not everyone has the time to properly go camping, but you could simply set up a tent in the garden and have your kids pretend! The tent could be a place for playing, and you could also have them have a sleepover out there for the night, which they will find super exciting!
38. Watch A Film
It is one of the easiest ways to very quickly get a bored kid to sit quietly and happy for a good hour and a half, and there are plenty of films for kids that are available on online platforms, such as Netflix, Disney, or Amazon Prime.
39. Create Animal Masks
Creating animal masks is an easy and fun crafting activity, which doesn’t require that many tools, or that much skill. They can be done out of some cardboard, or even normal paper and your kid can draw the animal face, then paint it, and then cut it out to wear!
40. Have A Picnic
Picnics are a great way to spend some quality time out in the fresh air, and if you get your kid involved in the preparation stage, they will be occupied and all the more invested. You can have your kid help you with the sandwiches, and with picking out the perfect spot.
41. Create A Fairy Or Bug House
Another crafting activity that kids tend to love is creating a little fairy or bug house (depending on what the kid prefers). It’s best if you buy a kit, as these come with all the materials necessary, and all you need to do is assemble the little house and paint it.
42. Have A Snack-Creating Competition
If your kid has an interest in culinary arts, you could have a snack-creating competition. This allows your kid to create something in the kitchen, by themselves (although you can supervise from nearby), as snacks are pretty simple and could be a sandwich or similar!
43. Play With Balloons
There is a reason why balloons are always used in kid parties, they’re fun, and a great way to keep the little ones entertained! You can try making figures and shapes out of the balloons, and could also play games such as not letting the balloon touch the ground.
44. Do Some Gardening
If your kid is bored, why not ask them to go pull out some weeds? Or water the flowers, or even plant some seeds of their own!
Basically, get them out in the garden, doing some physical work, and if they enjoy it, not only will it keep them entertained for a while, it will also be useful for the upkeep of the garden itself!
45. Face Painting
Face painting is simple and can be a lot of fun. Your kids can take turns face painting each other, copying the designs of well-known characters or animals, or simply making it up as they go. It could even be turned into a competition!
46. A Game Of Charades
Great for the whole family, and it serves as quality bonding time as well as a good way to practice different skills.
47. The Floor Is Lava
This can keep kids entertained for ages, as they will try and figure out how to move about the house without ever touching the floor!
48. Turn The Living Room Into A Hide-Out
You could have your kids turn the living area or lounge into a hide-out, by building a fort with blankets and pillows and turning it into a secret base of their own.
49. Clean And Tidy The House Together
Sure, cleaning and tidying is a chore, but if you turn it into a game, with some music in the background, your kid will learn to enjoy it, and it gets things done around the house!
50. Have A Talent Show
You could have your kids and their friends put on a talent show. They will take a good amount of time planning and practicing their act, and once they are ready, it can be an event for the whole family, which you could record for the memories!
51. Pretend To Be Each Other
This is a good way of casually keeping your kid entertained and engaged. You can switch roles, and do what the other would do around the house! It’s also a good way of understanding each other’s perspectives, especially when solving a disagreement or conflict!
Frequently Asked Questions
Is It Good For Kids To Be Bored?
It is actually good for kids to be bored every now and then, as it allows them to develop creative skills and to take charge of their spare time, learning to entertain themselves.
What Can I Do To Stop My Kids From Being Bored?
You shouldn’t have to constantly entertain your kids. But you can have tools in place so that your kids can choose to do things when bored.
Why Do Kids Get Bored So Often?
Kids are in a stage of development and need to explore the world around them. They are full of energy and a lot of things are new for them, so if they have nothing to do they quickly become bored!
There are plenty of things you can do with your kid when they are bored, and most of them are simple and do not require any specific tools or items at all. Just make sure that your kid creatively engages with the activities, and that they take charge, to some degree, of what they are doing in their spare time!
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