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Does your child constantly complain about being bored? It may sound counterintuitive but allowing your kids to be bored every once in a while is actually a good thing. It fosters creativity, helps brain development, and encourages kids to discover and explore their own interests. Still stuck on what to do? We’ve helped you get started with 53 ideas for some of the best things to do when bored for kids. Print this list out or put some of the ideas into an “I’m Bored Jar” for future safekeeping.
- Outdoors activities
- Rainy Day
- Ideas for Toddlers
Some of your best childhood memories are likely outdoors, and the same thing can still hold true for your kids today! Often, it only takes one family to start the trend of outdoor play, and before you know it all the neighbors are gathered outside. Even if you don’t have other neighborhood kids to play with, your kids can still have a blast making memories with you and with each other with the following ideas:
- Jump on the painted rocks trend and distribute them throughout your neighborhood. You just might brighten someone’s day!
- Make a mural outside with sidewalk chalk.
- Get out the hose, kiddie pool, or sprinkler and enjoy some fun water play.
- Have a bubble blowing contest – or DIY bubble solution with dish soap.
- Take the family pet for a walk, teach them some new tricks, or create an obstacle course for them in the backyard.
- Have a water gun or water balloon fight.
- Start a game of capture the flag, hide and seek, or tag with siblings or neighbors.
- Pay your kids a few bucks to help wash the car, tend to the garden, or participate in any other outdoor chores.
- Create or participate in a scavenger hunt – older siblings can make one for younger siblings, or mom can make one for the kids.
- Have a picnic or even a campout in the backyard. Even mealtimes can be more fun this way!
- Take a field trip – do you live in walking distance of a library, café, store, or other destination? Plan a short trip and get out of the house for a change of scenery.
Do not worry about your child while they’re playing outside without your control! Always know where your kid is, listen to what is happening around them and receive an immediate SOS signal if necessary with the Findmykids app.
Rainy days are lazy days; there’s just something about the dreary day outside that makes you want to cozy up indoors with a good book or a funny movie. Don’t fight it – just go with it! Sometimes a low-key day is exactly what’s needed.
Here are some of the best things to do to enjoy a rainy day together:
- Challenge your kids to build the biggest and best indoor fort ever!
- Bake cookies or pop some popcorn and enjoy a movie marathon. Each family member gets to take turns picking the movie.
- Daydream about and plan your next family vacation. Will it be a tropical beach or a big city to explore?
- Create a family vision board and make some new goals together.
- Cuddle together and read. To make it a challenge, see who can read the most books or the most pages in a day.
- Since you can’t go anywhere anyway, it is the perfect time for kids to clean their rooms and even find items for donation.
- Deck the kids out in rain gear and let them splash in puddles for once. They’ll be thrilled you’re actually allowing it!
Looking for snow day activities? Check out our snow day article here.
If you have a game-loving teen, you may wonder if they will ever spend any valuable time offline. Luckily, there are a few things you can do to encourage screen-free time in your kids of all ages:
- Try to start a pick-up game of basketball or baseball with the neighborhood kids.
- Invite a friend or neighbor over to play together. Chances are, they’re bored too!
- Take a family walk or bike ride to the park. Even the simple things are fun when you’re together.
- Experiment with cooking or baking a new recipe together. Trying new foods is always fun!
- Start a family puzzle or play a family board game. The winner gets to pick the next game.
- Tell your kids to create and put on a puppet show or play for you. Record it and watch it back together!
- Play a pretend game of dress-up, fashion show, school, doctor, vet, or tea party.
- Write letters to a pen pal or a long-distance relative who would enjoy getting some mail.
- Make slime or participate in another STEM activity together.
- Channel your inner toddler and color together as a family. You can even invest in some adult coloring books for you and for older kids.
- Create a family obstacle course or a round of family Olympics. The fun challenges will have you giggling for hours!
- Work on a family service project, like making cards for senior citizens or dog toys for the local animal shelter.
- Have your kids write a story, create a comic book, or draft a poem.
- Make a painter’s tape racetrack all throughout the house.
Read more What Age Should A Child Get A Phone?
While screen-free time is great, there is still a time and a place for screens. With age-appropriate tech, kids of all ages can enjoy getting social, learning new skills, exploring new interests, and just killing some time when bored. Here are a few fun ideas for tech lovers and parents trying to incorporate the smart use of technology:
- Sign them up for an online course on Outschool. They can learn anything from a foreign language to how to write a poem.
- Do a family TikTok dance challenge (or 10).
- Invest in a kid’s smartwatch that they can play with whoever they go!
- Encourage building games like Minecraft or Animal Crossing where kids get to create their own virtual world.
- Play family games together such as Mario Kart or Mario Party. At least this way, you’re all playing the video game together!
- Help them explore the world of coding with free kid’s sites like Scratch by MIT.
- Participate in a digital storytime on YouTube. You can find stories for all ages.
- Download educational apps for their iPad or other devices to ensure they aren’t just playing mindless games for hours on end.
- Have a family dance party or kid’s PE time with fun videos from GoNoodle.
- Race against the clock with Minute to Win It games.
- Hold a family photo contest – who can take the most creative photo?
- Let your kids video call a friend or relative with apps like FaceTime or Facebook Messenger Kids.
Ideas for Toddlers
Dreaming up ideas for young toddlers can be even more challenging than with older children. It seems they are always on the go, have tons of energy, and are constantly seeking a new activity to stimulate their active bodies and minds. Here are a few great ideas to entertain your bored toddlers:
- Plan a nature hunt in the backyard. Your little ones can look for objects like a bird, a pretty leaf, and a flower.
- Play the alphabet game – each player takes turns thinking of a word that starts with the next letter of the alphabet. You can also do categories like animals or places.
- Allow for jumping and playing with the couch cushions and start a game of “The Floor is Lava” (or invest in a Nugget Comfort Couch for hours of fort building and active play).
- Let them help you with chores. At this age, helping mom fold the laundry or water the plants is still “fun”.
- Set up a bubble bath with tons of fun toys and even kitchen tools like measuring cups. They just might spend a few hours in there! (Supervised, of course)
- Let them play dress-up with mommy and daddy’s clothes. They’ll love pretending to be the “grown-up”!
- Build and knock over towers with blocks or LEGOs. Toddlers never get tired of knocking things down.
- Teach them their colors and shapes by having them search for different objects around the house.
- Make your own DIY Play-Dough for them to experiment and play with. Try adding glitter or sparkles for even more fun.
We hope you’ve gained some great ideas from this list and learned how to kill boredom, stay busy, and make great memories with your kids. Whether you’re stuck at home, bored indoors on a rainy day, or simply trying to balance out the day with less screen-time, there is something on this list that can help. With these fun activities, you don’t have to dread the words, “I’m bored!” anymore.
What are some of your favorite ways to keep the little ones entertained? Let us know in the comments below and share this article with a friend!
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- Build a Fort. Create a fort using blankets, coffee tables, couches, boxes or whatever you've got in your home. ...
- Gather Donations. ...
- Start a Journal. ...
- Learn to Draw. ...
- Hear a Story from Space. ...
- Build the Ultimate Paper Airplane. ...
- Put on a Play. ...
- Collect Broken Crayons.
- Boredom Jar. One creative parent told us she made a “boredom” jar for her house. ...
- Build a Fort. Who doesn't love a fort on a stormy day? ...
- Indoor Obstacle Course. ...
- Write a Letter. ...
- Sock Puppets. ...
- Dress Up. ...
- Imaginary Creatures. ...
- Tea Party.
5. Tell stories. “Ask them to write you a story and then write it out,” Tertell suggests. “What an amazing literacy activity for young children.” You'll learn what they're interested in — and when you write it down and keep it, you're showing them what they're saying and doing is important to you.How can I have fun with kids without spending money? ›
- Have a reading marathon.
- Write stories together.
- Play soccer.
- Paint or draw together.
- Create a fort in your living room out of blankets or cardboard boxes.
- Go on a hike.
- Have a sunset picnic at a park or beach.
- Play board games.
- Learn about this stage and invest in it. ...
- Be present when you're together—don't multitask. ...
- Focus on how you're preparing your child instead of on losing your baby. ...
- Pray for intention. ...
- Let kids be kids. ...
- Be the house where everyone feels welcomed. ...
- Get to know their friends.