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51 Amazing Things to Do When Kids Are Bored (The Ultimate List)

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Inside: We’ve prepared the ultimate list of 51 boredom busting kid-tested, fun activities for bored kids. Never run out of things to do when kids are bored again! We’ve got you covered here folks, we’ve listed creative activities, team activities (think entertain all the kids at once) pure joy activities, and even 10 academic things to do when kids are bored. Enjoy, you might have fun too.

So your kiddo is bored.

And you know this because they are whining, “I’m bored” like a broken record on repeat.

“I’m bored.” “Mom I’m so bored.” “This is the most boring thing ever.” “That’s boring.”

Sigh.

Perhaps you are locked down at home (corona-virus is still going strong), or, perhaps it’s summer, or maybe it’s just any normal day or weekend, but whatever the case may be, up your mom game by having an arsenal of quick ideas to help your kids navigate this state of mind.

We’ve got 50 amazing ideas of things to when kids are bored.

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Bored Kids? Why Being Bored is Actually Good for Kids

Before we get to the giant list of ideas below, I want to start by saying, being bored is actually good for kids.

Why, you might ask?

Well, because it leads to increased creativity.

And many experts, including family therapist Heidi McBain, agree with me that “When a child is bored, they are learning that they need to create their own fun and entertainment. They need to explore their world. They need to learn new things.”

Inspire your child to go inside themselves, to be creative, and to connect with the here and now instead of always distracting themselves from the present moment.

“Some really good stuff happens when we’re bored because then we start daydreaming,” “And when we start daydreaming, we start imagining the world we would like, or we come up with new and exciting ideas.”

Vancouver parenting speaker and author Kathy Lynn

Could Kids Whining, “I’m Bored” Be Code for Something Else?

When your child says they are bored this might be their cryptic way of attempting to get some attention from (you guessed it) you!

So:

If this is the case, try to connect with your child.

Allow them to participate in what you’re doing, whether it’s cooking or chores, or, spend a few minutes helping them with a puzzle, or cuddling on the couch.

But remember:

It’s not your job to entertain your kids 100% of the day.

You can provide your child with the tools to help them squash their boredom, like art supplies, puzzles, Lego, or outdoor balls, but you aren’t solely responsible for their every whim.

Once the resources are there, leave it to your kids to come up with creative ways to play.

Create a Boredom Jar

Now:

Here is an idea that I’m in love with from Somewhat Simple.

Create a boredom jar.

When your kids say, “I’m bored” encourage them to pull a ticket from the jar, then, they do whatever the ticket says.

Have fun making up your tickets, be sure to choose lots of ideas for your jar from the giant list below.

boredom busters for kids

50 Awesome Idea’s For Things to Do When Kids are Bored

Creative Things To Do When Kids Are Bored

#1. Write a story

Put together story prompts for your child to choose from (in case their creative juices aren’t flowing).

Stories ideas could include:

  • A princess who is captured by an evil monster
  • A story about a family dog who gets into all kinds of trouble
  • A story about a young boy taking a walk through the forest, and he encounters a friendly dinosaur

#2. Make sidewalk pictures

Sidewalk chalk art is super fun (and your neighbors going on walks will enjoy the messages).

During the quarantine when CoVid19 was rampant, I loved walking the neighborhoods and seeing all the inspirational messages kids had drawn on the sidewalk.

“We will get through this”

“There is always something to be grateful for”

#3. Paint kindness rocks

Again, one of my very favorite activities to do with kids. Please, grab our free kindness rocks challenge kit here, print it out, and get going.

#4. Write a letter

Write a letter to a friend, parent, aunt, uncle or grandparent.

Let your child write about absolutely anything that comes to mind.

My partner’s son wrote a letter to his grandpa (who had made the statement that all he ever gets are bills) and this letter which suggested a family trip, spawned a family ski trip to Lake Louise.

#5. Have your kiddo write a list of ways that you can improve your parenting.

This genius idea is from the Stir Cafe Mom’s website and I love it!

I can’t wait to hear what my son has to say about this!

#6. Make a sock puppet

Grab an old white sock, get out the markers and make puppets.

Then, put on a puppet show!

#7. Create a when I grow up poster

When I grow up I want to be famous, I want to be a star, I want to be in movies.

In this activity, ask your child to think about what they want to be when they grow up.

They can draw their career, the type of car they want, the members of their family, heck, even draw family pet.

You can also check out any of these amazing printables from our Amazing Me printable collection:

Dream Big Printables
All About Me Printables
Gratitude Tool-Kit For Kids

#8. Do a giant word search

Or better yet, why not make your own word search?

Have your kiddo write down words in a chart, then fill in all the words and then add random letters to hide the words.

#9. Make DIY tissue box monsters

I just love this idea from the Best Ideas for Kids.

#10. DIY Mini Volcanoes

This explosive science experiment (and what kid doesn’t love making a mess) is a great idea to do in a glass dish. Add food coloring for colorful lava.

Get the tutorial here at mom.dot 

#11. Make your own art collage

It’s quite spectacular how a bunch of pieces of paper and colors can turn into a Picasso work of art quickly.

Get the art tutorial here at Molly Moo Crafts

Be in tune with what your child’s creative talents are, then make sure they have the resources to express these talents. If they enjoy drawing, ensure they have materials, if they love to play music, ensure they have a space, if they love science, get them a book of experiments.

#12. DIY Fireworks in a Glass

When food coloring, olive oil, and water mix, the result is so mesmerizing that kids will want to watch it happen over and over again. Grab a fun tutorial here at Paging Fun Mums.

Note: You can also use milk, food coloring and add a dab of dish soap and watch what happens.

#13. Go on a nature scavenger hunt in the yard or at a park.

Write down a list of 10 items to find, for example, something alive, something round, something green, something soft, something smaller than my finger.

I also love the idea of making an alphabet scavenger hunt, the idea is you need to find an object for every letter of the alphabet. It’s tough!

#14. Plan two months of weekly family nights.

Family nights are a fun way to connect the entire family.

But half the fun is planning these extra-special nights. Pull from our epic list of family fun nights and create a schedule.

#15. Make play-dough

Playdough is a classic, and it doesn’t have to break the bank, grab this easy online recipe from Seeme and Liz. 

#16. Bake or do a cooking class

Make your own pizza night is a great idea, or perhaps bake your favorite cookies or a cake.

If you’re feeling adventurous, I also love the idea of cookie decorating, this kit will help you along.

#17. Do a photoshoot with your stuffed animals

Ummmm, how cute is this!

Don’t forget to dress them up and make creative poses.

#18. Journal

This one is a gem, journaling has so many therapeutic benefits.

Introduce it young, and it will become a life-long coping skill for your kiddos.

I LOVE the BIG Life Journal, it’s one of my favourite resources for kids

#19. Create an all about me collage

How about you ask your child to go through magazines and cut out pictures that describe things they love.

Kids can also draw pictures or simply write down special things about themselves.

Think:

  • What sports do they love?
  • What foods?
  • What type of toys and games?
  • What makes them smile?
  • What do they love?
  • What do they hate?

#20. Grab this gorgeous infographic from Hello Wonderful right here.

And pick one of these awesome ideas for your child to do when bored.

Academic Things To Do When Kids Are Bored

#21. Read a book

Free Audio Books: During the COVID crisis you can peruse this collection of 450 free audio books includes many children’s classics. The Wizard of Oz, Grimm’s Fairy Tales, The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn and Mark Twain, The Chronicles of Narnia by C.S. Lewis, The Swiss Family Robinson, Gulliver’s Travels, Anne of Green Gables, Aesop’s FablesThe Wizard of Oz series, and much more.

You can download audio files straight to your computer or mobile device.

Free eBooks: This collection includes many children’s classics in ebook format. You generally have the option to download these texts to your Kindle, iPad, Nook or computer. Video tutorials are included on the page. You may also want to visit our resource: Download 20 Popular High School Books Available as Free eBooks & Audio Books.

#22. Make math cue cards

This turned me from a C student to an A+ student and taught me how to memorize and study.

Write mathematical equations on cards and practice your times tables.

#23. Download an educational app

Like ABC Mouse, or IXL Learning

ABCmouse is amazing! My children are excited to learn and
they don’t want to stop. I’m so glad that I made the decision to invest in
my children’s education by signing up with ABCmouse.com. Thank you! I’m a happy mother!”

—Mother of 3- and 5-year-old girls

Get 30 Days Free of ABCmouse.com!

#24. Get Into Podcasts

We love podcasts and will be listening to more!

Currently loving: ‘Wow in the World’ (science), ‘The Past and the Curious,’ ‘What if World’ (silly stories), ‘Noodle Loaf.’”

#25. Learn online

Education.com has so many free worksheets/booklets that can be printed!

We use them at home right now since school is closed.

Get 30 Days Free of RIQ!

Inspire your Child to Think. Don’t let them on screens until they’ve done something else for a while. Asked them: Have you read, have you went outside, have you done your homework.

#26. Join an online program

  • Scholastic launched a free online program. We’ve been doing the daily activity. Goes from PreK to 9th grade.
  • Readworks: which is also free.
  • Khan Academy: Khan Academy has created guides designed to help parents and teachers get through the COVID-19 crisis.

#27. Become an expert

Pick a topic and learn everything you can about it, then present it.

Perhaps you want to learn about dinosaurs, the moon, oceans, another country, an animal.

#28. Learn a magic trick or put on a science show

You can easily google magic tricks or fun science experiments.


#29. Peruse this giant list of free resources (during COVID19)

Check out this giant list of companies offering free resources during school closures.

#30 – Take up drawing

Free Online Drawing Lessons for Kids, Led by Favorite Artists & Illustrators: During the COVID-19 crisis, some well-known illustrators (Mo Willems, Wendy McNaughton, Wendy, etc.) are offering free drawing lessons for kids.

Collaborative Things to do When Kids are Bored

If your kiddo has a sibling (or when this quarantine is over a neighborhood friend) then encourage the following activities:

#31. Play Truth or Dare

Chances are you will remember playing this classic game as a child or teenager.

Join in with your kids.

#32. Boardgames

Peruse this epic list of board games for preschoolers.

#33. Play hide n go seek

There are so many variations on hide-n-go seek. You could play in the dark, or, break into teams.

#34. Mindful Kids team exercises

Yoga Pretzels has some awesome team exercises, like the elevator, this little deck of cards is good for the body and mind.

#35. Have a nerf gun, laser tag or water gun fight

Need we say more.

Pure fun. I recommend these laser tag guns and this nerf gun.

Mindfulness is like a superpower. And when you teach these skills to your kids? That’s when you can slap an “S” on your chest… ….because you and your kids will be unstoppable (think calm, happy, resilient kids). And now you can have parenting superpowers: Introducing Mighty Mindful Kids, the one-of-a-kind printable mindfulness eBook for kids ages 2 to 10!  

Intense Joyful Activities to Do When Kids are Bored

#36. Go for a watchful walk

This is where we tune into the present moment and make an otherwise boring walk around the neighborhood come alive.

We will tune into our senses and listen for birds, feel the wind, and smell the flowers.

This exercise (and 39 more) is included in our best-selling activity guide: Mighty Mindful Kids.

#37. Skip rope

There are so many benefits to jumping rope and they all start with one common feature—FUN! 

Skipping games keep kids active, off their screen and it’s something the whole family can do together.

#38. Go camping in the backyard

Travel no further than your backyard to spend time with the family. A family campout just outside your house will create a memorable experience for everyone.

Keep your kids busy setting up the tent and preparing for the adventure ahead.

#39. Watch this facebook of live zoo animals everyday

Hosted by Cincinnati Zoo & Botanical Garden.

Join them for a Home Safari Facebook Live each day at 3 pm EDT where they will highlight one of their amazing animals and include an activity you can do from home.

#40. Do a yoga class on cosmic kids

Cosmic Kids has videos on yoga, mindfulness, and relaxation for kids. Interactive adventures which build strength, balance, and confidence.

#41. Have a picnic

Soak up some sun and get your vitamin D with a backyard picnic.

#42. Make a bug house

Find an old jar or container, decorate it, poke holes in it and find some bugs to catch.

We also bought this awesome bug kit, which was my son’s favorite Christmas gift of all.

#43. Blind as a Bat Snack Time

Blindfold your child, and place five different foods in a bowl.

Ask your child to feel the texture of the food, can they guess what it is?

Ask them to savour and eat mindfully and slowly

#44. Keep the balloon off the ground

Hours of entertainment right here folks.

The balloon is fragile, they will need to be mindful of popping it.

#45. Water the plants or garden

Spending time with nature and spending time together is a wonderful way to deepen your relationship while invoking a sense of peace and calm into your body.

Invest in two watering cans, one for you and one for your kiddo.

#46. Make a special fun corner of relaxation

Carve out a space in your house that is entirely for your kiddos.

This could be sprucing up their room, a spot in the basement or a calm down corner or nook.

We’ve got an epic instructional here on how to create your own calm down corner.

#47.  Play follow the leader

Do you remember this game?

One person stands in front of the others and does a gesture, movement or action. The others must follow the leader.

You can try to make it harder by incorporating more actions and faster.

#48. Play the old classic red light green light

One person is chosen to be ‘It’ (the traffic light) and they stand a little bit away from the other players, with their back to them.

The other players stand in a line. When the “It” person calls ‘Green Light,’ the other players move towards him until he spins around, calling ‘Red Light.

#49.The floor is lava

This will spark up some imagination in your kids.

Decide which furniture is safe to jump on. Set a timer and when the first person yells, “The floor is lava” All other players must get to the “safe” spot before the time runs out.

#50. Make Clean Up Fun

When your kids say I’m bored, perhaps you suggest family clean up time.

Your kids might groan, but you can make it fun by singing clean up songs and being extra cheery.

#51 Use These Awesome Online Sites to Get Your Kids Moving

I’m positive that there is something here that will help you the next time you hear the dreaded phrase, “I’m bored.”

These boredom busters are sure to keep your kids happy, learning, and creating all day long!

I’d love to hear any ideas you might have below on things to do when kids are bored.

You might also love:

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Things to do when kids are bored

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