Tired of hearing the groans of your “bored” kiddos? Want to help them find things to do without stifling their creativity or having to entertain them? Here are some great boredom busters for your kids to do when they’re bored that will foster imagination and problem-solving!
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“I’m bored!” How many times have you heard that?? Does it make you cringe? Roll your eyes?
I’ve written a few times now about how we are NOT our kids’ activities director. We don’t have to schedule every minute, and it’s not our job to keep them entertained. It’s okay for kids to get bored. In fact, it’s good for them to get bored! That’s when they engage their own creativity, problem-solving, and resourcefulness.
That being said, sometimes they need a little help finding (non-destructive 😉) things to do. As imaginative as kids naturally are, creativity is a muscle that needs regular strengthening. Especially if free or unstructured play is new to your family, it may need a little workout.
If your kids are starting to get bored at this point in the summer (or whenever you’re reading this post), there are ways to help them find things to do without doing all the mental work for them.
Here are 50 “boredom busters” — things for kids to do when they’re bored — that will guide them and provide parameters for their free play while still allowing their creativity to flow.
50 Activities For Kids to Do When They’re Bored
Tired of hearing the groans of your “bored” kiddos? Want to help them without stifling their creativity or having to entertain them?
Here are some broad ideas of things they can do on their own (depending on their age) that will foster imagination and problem-solving. Give them this list to get their juices flowing, then set them loose to make their own fun!
- Read a book
- Write a story
- Construct a marble run
- Make paper airplanes or origami
- Build a structure out of blocks, plastic cups, play-doh and toothpicks, a deck of cards, straws, pipe cleaners, household objects, etc.
- Create their own recipe (tell them which foods they can use and which ones are off-limits)
- Have a nerf gun fight
- Draw or color pictures
- Make a collage with magazine pictures
- Make their own book (I get these for my 7-year-old – He LOVES them!)
- Make puppets out of paper bags or socks
- Bake cookies
- Play in a DIY water table
- Build a fort
- Go on a nature scavenger hunt around the yard
- Make a craft with popsicle sticks and yarn, tissue paper, pipe cleaners, felt, etc.
- Make sidewalk chalk art
- Paint rocks
- Construct something out of Kleenex boxes, cereal boxes, or other cardboard boxes
- Shoot how-to videos or have a photo shoot
- Make friendship bracelets
- Play in a sandbox or dig in the dirt
- Put on a talent show
- Listen to an audiobook or podcast
- Set up an obstacle course outside
- “Wash” the sidewalk, house, or outside toys with paintbrushes and water
- Go on virtual tours of national parks on Google Arts & Culture
- Play a game like “Red Light, Green Light” or “Hide-n-Go-Seek”
- Do a puzzle
- Learn to draw with YouTube videos
- Set up a battle reenactment with plastic figurines or stuffed animals
- Have a tea party for dolls or stuffed animals
- Make jewelry with beads or pasta
- Complete a word search (my 7-year-old likes to make his own!)
- Play dress-up
- Catch bugs and make a bug house
- Play “the floor is lava”
- Make instruments from household objects (such as tissue boxes and rubber bands)
- Play with Play-Doh or kinetic sand
- Collect nature specimens
- Make torn paper art
- Build with LEGOs, K’NEX, or magnet tiles (these are our favorites)
- Make paper plate masks
- Play with toy cars and trucks outside
- Create an “All About Me” book
- Put on a magic show
- Make folded paper chains, paper link chains, or crochet chains
- Build a domino run
- Make paper “bridges” out of paper and see how many pennies it can hold
What fun and creative ideas do you have for kids to do when they’re bored?? Share all your best boredom busters in the comments below!
More Kids Activity Ideas:
- 50+ Indoor/Outdoor Independent Play Ideas for Kids
- 7 Ways to Encourage Your Kids’ Curiosity (And Why You’d Even Want To)
- 10 Screen-Free Educational Activities
- 15 EASY Indoor Activities for Kids (With Little to No Prep)
- 15 Delightful Spring Outdoor Activities for Kids
- 30 Winter Activities For Kids (You Can Do in 2021)
- How to Have Your Own Summer Reading Program at Home