What to Do When Your Bored - for Kids

The Answer to Your Child's Boredom

Tired of hearing your kids say they're bored? Arm yourself with boredom-fighting activities that your kids will love.

"I'm bored!" Those two little words are some of the most common that parents hear. It makes you wonder why you spent all that money on the toys that are constantly scattered around the house. Cure boredom quickly by having quick, easy and, most importantly, fun activities for your kids to do.

Activity Stick Jar

Encourage spontaneous fun with an activity stick jar. Write lots of random activities on craft sticks or strips of paper. Put them in a jar. When your kids can't find a single thing to do, have them pick a stick and do whatever it says. This option works well for all ages. Change up the things you write to fit your child's age.

Ideas include:

  • Have a water gun fight
  • Rent a new movie
  • Make a card for a friend
  • Go for a bike ride
  • Create a new snack
  • Play a board game with mom
  • Have a block stacking contest

Blanket Forts

What is it about blanket forts that gets kids excited? Whatever it is, take advantage of it. Grab several lightweight blankets or sheets. Use furniture, boxes, chairs and other items in the room to hold up the blankets. You can make a small nook in the corner or a massive blanket fort that takes up the entire room.

Blanket forts appeal to kids of all ages. Move your young child's toys into a small blanket fort. Make reading or homework more enjoyable for older kids by letting them do the work inside the fort. Or challenge older kids to create the coolest fort possible.

Build Something

Building, creating and inventing teach your kids to use their imaginations and take risks. You can use the blocks you already have at home, or you can get creative with found objects. Dig through the recycling bin to find boxes, lids and containers. Get out scissors, tape and glue. Then, let your kids go to town. They can create a costume, invent a new toy or build a structure.

Another thing they can build is an obstacle course. Set it up indoors or outdoors. Encourage the kids to get creative. An outdoor obstacle course might include a sprinkler, cones, the slide on the play set, a scooter and a maze drawn with sidewalk chalk on the driveway. This option keeps your kids active and creative. For younger kids, set up age-appropriate obstacles ahead of time.

Food Competition

Food challenges help your kids build cooking skills while using their creativity and having fun. Plus, your kids can finally play with their food. One option is to give each child contestant a basket of three or four ingredients they must use to create a dish. Everyone makes something, and you get to taste test it. Other ideas include cupcake decorating, pancake art and smoothie making.

For younger kids, turn food play into a learning activity. Have your little one sort out multicolored cereal pieces by color, or let him smash different types of foods while you talk about the different textures.

I-Spy Bottle

Looking for a calm activity for your child? Make an I-Spy bottle. Grab several small items like charms, shaped erasers, beads, paper clips and tiny toys. Take a picture of the items, and type a list of them. Put the items in a clean, dry, clear water bottle along with rice or poly pellets until the bottle is mostly full. You want to leave some room, so your child can move the contents. Hot glue the lid onto the bottle. When your little one is bored, hand her the bottle, and tell her to find the items hidden in it.

Science Experiments

Encourage learning while ending boredom with simple science experiments. Many items you have at home make the perfect ingredients for the experiments. Try these options:

  • Dancing raisins: Pour lemon-lime soda in a clear cup. Drop raisins inside, and watch them bop up and down. 
  • Colored carnations: Fill vases with water tinted with food coloring. Pop white carnations into each vase, and watch them slowly change colors.
  • Volcano: That classic experiment from your youth is just as exciting today. Put two parts baking soda and one part liquid dish soap in a bottle. Add food coloring for a colorful eruption. Pour about an ounce of vinegar inside, and watch the volcano blow.
  • Milk art: Pour whole milk into a shallow baking pan. Add drops of food coloring in different colors in different areas of the milk. Add a few drops of liquid dish soap to see the colors move on their own.
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