Believe it or not, boredom can be good for kids because it gives them a chance to exercise their creativity, but sometimes they need some help thinking of something to do.
There are so many ways for kids to beat boredom with fun, interesting activities that encourage them to use their imaginations and stimulate their minds. It helps to think outside the box and come up with activities that get them interested and even excited about what they’re doing.
If you have kids, it’s likely that they come to you complaining of boredom when you’re up to your ears in work, so it helps to have a list of ideas ready to go when they come to you for something to do.
We put together this list of boredom-busting ideas, so you have plenty to go on the next time your kids are bored. Whether they’re stuck in the house because of bad weather or just can’t think of anything to do, these ideas really get their creative juices flowing.
1. Simon Says Drawing
This idea from Relief Teaching Ideas is fun for small or large groups. One person takes the role of Simon only instead of giving orders for movement; they ask the rest of the group to draw. Simon says to draw a rectangle. Simon says, add hands to your picture.
Be sure to add some directions that Simon didn’t say, too. Draw a red star anywhere on your picture. Add a yellow triangle at the bottom of the rectangle. When the game is over, compare the pictures so to see who followed the rules and who didn’t.
2. DIY Dry Erase Book
If you’re looking for something you can have on hand to fight boredom when it strikes, check out this project from All for the Boys. It takes a little prep work but can be reused over and over again once it’s finished.
This can be a really fun project. By adding photos of family members, you’re sure to get a lot of giggles as you kids add mustaches, glasses, hats, and other doodles to mom and dad. You can also include pictures of landscapes where kids can add farms, buildings, or castles.
3. Blackout Poetry
Not only does this project involve a lot of creativity, but the end result is also pretty enough to frame. Follow the link to see the process laid out by John DePasquale and see some amazing examples of what you can create with this art form.
A cool way to approach this project is to use old books. You can usually find them at thrift stores or yard sales for an affordable price. The yellowing of the pages adds a lot of character to the poetry. Pop it in a frame, and it makes a great gift, too.
4. Write a Letter
Older generations remember what it was like to get a handwritten letter in the mail, but kids who grew up with the internet might not understand how special it can be. Think beyond birthday or holiday cards and use nice stationery and fun stamps to personalize the letter.
Grandparents, aunts, and uncles will surely appreciate getting a handwritten letter, but finding a penpal for your kids is a great option, too. If you have friends that live in other states or countries, see if their children would be interested in having a real penpal.
5. Household Object Drawing
This awesome idea from Craft Whack requires minimal supplies and planning while really stretching your child’s imagination. Next time your kids are complaining that they’re bored, give them some paper, markers, and some random household objects and have them get to work.
6. Paint and Hide Rocks
Your kids may have already found a painted rock when out and about but adding more into the rotation is a fun way to be involved in a simple treasure hunt that kids of all ages can enjoy.
You don’t have to find rocks to paint; you can actually buy smooth river rocks at most craft stores. Acrylic paint works best, and you can use a sealant if you’re worried about the paint chipping. Be sure to add a hashtag or group name on the back of the rock so you can track how far your rocks travel!
7. Paper Bag Skits
While this idea from Kidspot takes a little planning, it’s well worth it when your kids are bored and looking for something to do. If you have a few bags ready to go, all you have to do is hand one to your kids and tell them to get creative.
Use large paper bags and fill them with props: feather boas, stickers, spoons, sunglasses, wigs, costumes, small musical instruments, and any old toys you have laying around. Challenge your kids to prepare a skit using all of the props in the bag.
8. Make a List
This is a simple activity that requires nothing more than a pen, paper, and some brain power. Kids can come up with their own topics, but if they’re having a hard time getting started, it helps to have some ideas ready to go.
Try a list of boys’ names that start with the letter B, things that are red, countries of the world, or things that you’d take with you to a deserted island.
9. Back and Forth Drawing Game
An easy activity to do with kids of any age is this back and forth drawing activity from the Artful Parent blog. All you need is paper, something to draw with, and at least two people.
What’s great about this project is that you can include multiple kids and use whatever drawing tools you like. Try markers, crayons, or even paint to change it up a bit.
10. Have a Pillow Party Movie Night
This is a fun thing for kids of all ages and adults might want to get in on it, too. Collect all the pillows in your house and pile them on the floor in the family room in front of the television. Add a few blankets, a bowl of popcorn, and settle into the nest of pillows to watch a movie together.
It seems like a simple thing, but adding the pillows makes it a fun and unique experience. Of course, you can always take it up a notch by building a blanket fort, too.
11. Go on a Scavenger Hunt
Kid Activities has a lot of great riddles for kids to figure out so they can do a scavenger hunt right in your home. Most of them are easy enough for younger kids to figure out, too.
Making your own scavenger hunt is pretty easy, too. You don’t have to come up with creative riddles if you don’t have time. Simply have kids’ complete activities like count how many windows in the house or how many people walk dogs past the house in a half hour time frame.
12. Rainbow Doodle Art
Make a different kind of rainbow. This simple idea from Craft Whack challenges you to find new ways to draw a rainbow. You can use any kind of medium to add the colors. Try crayons, finger paint, markers, or colored pencils. This is a great way to get kids using their brains to be more creative, anything goes and of course there is never a wrong way to do it!
13. Make Recycled Crayons
HGTV points out that most homes with children have a lot of broken crayons laying around, and this project is a great way to bring them back to life. All you need are crayon pieces and a muffin tin or cookie mold.
Peel the paper off the crayons and break them into small pieces. Then, fill the muffin tin with different color combinations. Place the muffin tin in the oven at 300 degrees F for about 15 minutes or until the crayons melt. Allow them to cool, and you have beautiful, multicolored crayons.
14. Create a Country
We Are Teachers has a really in-depth project where kids create their own country. It includes details like designing the flag, choosing the plant and animal life, deciding on currency, and even creating the native cuisine.
The great thing about this project is that it can be customized for different ages. Younger children can focus on the general shape of their countries and the flag while older kids can get into things like natural resources and designing city skylines.
15. Indoor Hopscotch
To give kids a fun way to get up and moving when they’re stuck indoors, try this indoor hopscotch project from Pretty Handy Girl.
We recommend grabbing some Washi tape to step up the cuteness and make sure to stay away from duct tape or anything else with a strong adhesive that could potentially damage your floor!
16. Start a Collection
Starting a collection is a perfect way to tackle boredom long term. Every time your kids are bored, you can encourage them to work on their collection.
Collections don’t have to cost money. In fact, some of the best collections are things you can find around the house or outside. Try having the kids hunt for coins, interesting rocks, acorns, pinecones, or leaves.
17. Make a Collage
Collages are a great way to get creative and easy to put together. Collect a big box of different materials, give the kids some scissors, paper, and glue, and let them get to work.
What makes this such a fun project is using a variety of materials along with the colorful paper. Try magazines, dried beans, sequins, feathers, pasta, fabric, and buttons. Basically, anything you can glue to paper can be used to make an interesting project.
18. Scribble Drawing Game
Another great idea from the Artful Parent is this easy scribble drawing game. All you need is paper, something to draw with, and your imagination. Check out the link above to see how it works.
This is a great game to play when you’re waiting at a restaurant for your food, and the kids are getting impatient. You can also get more elaborate at home with different art supplies an embellishments.
19. Craft Stick Process Art
There are a lot of ways to use craft sticks, but this is one of the simplest and most creative ways around. Check out this overlapping process art from Mum in the Mad House.
Use can use all kind of of goodies, markers, colored pencils, or crayons to color in the shapes. Alternatively, use watercolor paints and play with how the colors all blend together to make new shades.
Get Started Getting Creative
We think this list includes some amazing ideas that your kids will love. Next time they complain of having nothing to do, encourage them to try one of these activities to beat the boredom and let their creative juices flow.
Remember, you don’t have to do everything on this list, just try what works best for you. We included a range of different activities. Odds are you’ll find something your kids will love and actually enjoy doing over and over again.