Bored What To Do?
How many times have you needed ideas on things to do when bored for kids?
It’s inevitable, you’re going to need things to do when your bored for kids at home and dealing with bored kids is very trying.
It happens, our kids get bored sometimes and you need some ASAP fun activities for kids at home (especially for those wishy-washy tweens!).
What to do with your family when you’re bored?
- Create a bucket list of local places you want to visit. (Search “weird landmarks near me” for some cool things!)
- Listen to family podcasts (we love Wow in the World and Story Pirates!).
- Watch a LEGO documentary and build have a Lego building contest while watching!
- Research your ancestry online.
- Kids won’t put down their phones? Play Draw and Guess with the entire family.
- Have an indoor dance party complete with light-up jazz hand gloves (and shoes!).
- Study or read about an artist and recreate their art. Have a contest and give out prizes.
- Grab some of these sketchbooks and create art that will become part of an art exhibit and art library! (FOR REAL!)
- Create stop motion videos with things you find around the house.
- Have a cookie decorating contest (and give prizes for different categories like messiest, most creatives, etc.!).
Don’t miss 27 more when bored what to do ideas including our ultimate boredom buster idea later in the post! KEEP SCROLLING!
Before we get to our complete list of boredom-busting ideas or the ultimate list of things for kids to do when they’re bored, I want to talk to you a little bit about the benefits of boredom.
How do I entertain my child at home?
What if I told you that you really don’t need to entertain your child at home?
(Stay with me here…)
GET THIS: There are proven benefits of letting your child be bored.
THAT’S RIGHT, I SAID THE BENEFITS OF BOREDOM.
I know you’re itching to get to those activities for kids that say “I’m bored!” but allow me a moment, will you?
(I think you’ll be shocked with what we uncover about being bored!)
THINK ABOUT THIS:
We fill every second of every single day in this fast paced world.
We pack our days until they are overflowing into other days, and then we pack those days full, too . . .
. . . until we end up with overscheduled children (and parents!)
(I’m guilty, too!)
PARENTS: LISTEN TO ME
Your kid is too busy!
(And, so is mine!)
We have lessons at home, and then we have classes outside the home.
Add in other extra activities, play dates, field trips, meet-ups and more and, well, there really isn’t time to just . . . be.
(Is this sounding familiar? Is your child too busy?)
All of this leads to one thing: My kid is almost never bored.
There’s no lounging around and complaining, “Mom! I’m bored!”
As a matter of fact, my kid saying that she’s bored is rare.
It’s unusual that I have to come up with responses to “I’m bored!”
I mean . . .
How can it be that my child almost never experiences boredom?
(It seems like it would be a benefit, right?)
And, sadly, it used to be something I was kinda proud of until . . .
. . . I did some reading on the topic that I realized just how much why boredom is good for your child and what does boredom do to the brain.
(For real, you guys. Check this out. . .)
The Surprising Benefits of Boredom
Why Boredom Is Good For Your Child
Are there positive effects to boredom?
And, that thing where I have to expose my kid to a huge range of classes and experiences, like, all the time?
Yeah, that’s probably not such a great idea.
Of course, it makes sense when you start to think about it.
I mean, I already know that flexibility and allowing things like free play for creativity are good things.
But, did you know that allowing that feeling of boredom can actually be motivational?
According to Psychology Today, “children who experience a lack of programmed activity are given an opportunity to demonstrate creativity, problem solving, and to develop motivational skills that may help them later in life.”
Boredom helps develop internal stimulus, which allows true creativity.
Dr. Lyn Fry, an educational psychologist, reminds us that our role as a parent is to ensure that our children are happy, contributing members of society.
One of the ways to do this is to allow children to learn how to occupy their time and become comfortable with who they are without having to always be directed what to do and how to act.
She goes on to say, “If parents spend all their time filling up their child’s spare time, then the child’s never going to learn to do this for themselves.”
Then, what do you do the next time your child says, “I’m bored!”?
Psychology Today says:
“The antidote to boredom is to provide children with an environment that lets them experience autonomy (the ability to work a little on their own), control (the right to have a say over what they do), challenge (a small push beyond their comfort zone), and intrinsic motivation (the motivation comes from inside them).”
So, stop packing that schedule full and be sure that you allow some time for boredom.
It will only benefit your homeschooler in the long run!
27 CREATIVE Boredom Busting Ideas for Kids To Do
We get it, some kids will need a little more help in transitioning to a down-time schedule with more flexibility.
(And, you probably will, too!)
In the meantime, try out these bored things to do that still foster creativity and allow kids to learn without even knowing it!
Here’s how to keep a bored child busy and ways to answer what to do when you’re bored…
What do I do with my kids all day?
Try these challenges for bored kids:
- Create a crazy holiday
- Make your own t-shirt decals and create tshirts.
- Cook with your kids
- Paint gratitude rocks
- Play the plastic wrap ball game.
- Do an outdoor scavenger hunt. (Get a free printable here)
- Let kids clean out their closet and toys and sell the items on Facebook Marketplace (and they get to keep the money!).
- Call your kids outside and surprise them with a shaving cream and silly string fight. (Have the hose and towels handy!)
- Make a fairy (or gnome) garden.
- Play flashlight tag at night (indoors or outdoors!).
- Make a DIY bird feeder (with things you probably have around the house!).
- Make popcorn garland to string in trees outside for birds and animals.
- Go on a virtual museum field trip online.
- Create a ninja obstacle course with things you find around the house.
- Play video games together.
- Have a family science fair where everyone chooses a science project and presents it to the family.
- Play Finish The Drawing where you pass the paper and each person adds a part to the drawing.
- Create a tie-dyed pillow case.
- FaceTime / Skype relatives or friends.
- Dress up as characters from your favorite books or shows and see if people can guess.
- Print out pictures from your phone and let everyone create a mini scrapbook.
- Download Free Nintendo crafts.
- Read a book with kids and let them make sound effects of what’s happening in the book.
- Make a terrarium or diorama.
- Have a blindfold taste test to see if everyone can guess the foods.
- Play What’s In Ned’s Head? (One of our FAVORITE games! See our complete list of 58 board game ideas recommended by fellow parents! It’s a great list of games to play when bored!).
- Create busy bags. (Directions below)
ULTIMATE Boredom-Busting Idea for Active Kids
I’m going to let you in on one of the most simple things to do when your kids get bored.
This has been in my secret arsenal since my kid was around five.
(And it’s even good for things to do when bored with friends!)
Busy Bags for Busting Boredom
Here’s how I first created stuff to do when bored…
One weekend, I spent a Saturday morning creating an entire bin of busy bags for (my then) five year old. (Don’t worry, it works for all ages. You’ll just vary the contents.)
In brown paper lunch bags, I placed several random (unrelated) items that I found around the house.
Then, I stapled each bag shut.
I really didn’t put much thought into the bags because . . .
. . . that was for my kid to figure out!
The whole purpose of the busy bag is for her to open it and then figure out what to create with the items.
For me, the busy bags served several purposes:
• Added additional creative time for her homeschooling
• Provided something for her to do when I need to take a business call during homeschooling time (perfect for that working and homeschooling time)
• Gave her something to do any time she felt bored
Thank goodness I spent time making them because shortly after that weekend I got really sick for about three weeks.
Those bags allowed her to continue her learning process while I was really down and out and unavailable during that time.
Buys Bags for Curious Minds
One of the great things about a busy bag is that it fosters imagination and creativity—very important things when learning and growing for any age range!
AND . . .
. . . Busy bags aren’t just for toddlers or young children!
You can tailor your busy bags for the age of your kids and all ages and stages from tweens to teens!
A school district in New York reported:
“Research proves that kids who are encouraged to play in unstructured settings are more expressive, empathetic, and socially adept than those who aren’t, and their creativity may continue into adulthood.”
Plus, creating stuff is just . . . fun.
Don’t you think?
How to Create Busy Bags for Learning and Busting Boredom and Unstructured Play
Creating busy bags is SO EASY and (best of all) you can probably do it from items you have laying around the house!
To create busy bags. you’ll need:
- Brown lunch bags
- various items from around the house and/or the discount store
Remember, it’s not your job to figure out what the kid is going to make from the stuff, so don’t feel unusual about putting random, unrelated items in the bag.
I usually put four to six different (random and unrelated) items in the bag before I staple it shut. For example, I might put a spool of thread, a clothespin, colored dice, and googly eyes.
Without fail, I’m always surprised at what my daughter comes up with in from the contents of the bag. Sometimes she makes a game out of the stuff. Other times, she makes a craft or an art project.
No matter what she comes up with, it’s always creative and she enjoys it!
If you have multiple kids of different age ranges, you can use these colored paper bags and assign each kid their own color. That way you can make sure the contents are age appropriate.
Busy Bag Boredom Buster Content Ideas
To help you get started, I’ve created a list of busy bag content ideas. When you create your bags, just mix and match several of items.
- Pipe Cleaners
- Coffee filters
- Scraps of colored paper
- Colored tissue paper
- Plastic forks and spoons
- Finger paints
- Old Christmas/holiday/birthday cards
- Crochet hooks
- Drinking straws
- Sticky notes
- Coloring pages
- Colored Sand
- Playing cards
- Magazine pictures
- Cookie Cutters and Playdough
- Make up brushes (dollar store)
- Cut up sponges
- Colored paper clips
- Cotton balls
- Small Plastic Animals/dinosaurs/bugs
- Plastic cups
- Paint brushes (different sizes)
- Toilet paper or paper towel tubes
- Plastic eggs
- Cut up egg carton
Also, I always hit store clearance aisles and keep my eye out for unusual clearance things and then I just keep a stash at home.
Just adapt the items for your children’s age groups.
For example, if you have a tween or teen who loves art, fill their bags with more art related items (stickers, different types of paint brushes, origami paper, chalk, drawing charcoal, etc.) and things that will facilitate their interests.
IT IS NOT YOUR JOB TO FIGURE OUT HOW YOUR KIDS WILL USE THE ITEMS IN THE BAG!
BOREDOM TIP: I made a rule that my daughter had to finish one busy bag before she opened another. Again, this forces her to use imagination and creativity. Even if she’s not that excited about the contents, she still has to put some thought into it if she wants to do another bag.
WHAT ARE YOUR BORED THINGS TO DO TIPS?