Equip yourself with a slew of creative things for kids to do when bored, because boredom is inevitable and sending them to clean something isn’t always the answer. So, I have learned.
I had a friend long, long ago who had one child. Basically, whenever I would go visit her she literally had to have her child entertained at every moment.
Quite literally, when her child was done doing something I have heard him whine, “OK, so what do I do now?”
It was extremely annoying because I saw the stress on my friend. It was draining for her. She loved her child soo much that she tried to show it by making sure he was happy and busy.
I began to wonder, “Is it OK for a child to be bored?”
I knew my patience couldn’t deal with a child who needed to be entertained, and for my pure sanity – I did the exact opposite.
For years and years, I would preach to my kids and ANY of their friends who came over that saying they were “bored” was not allowed in my house.
I warned them, and their parents, that the phrase “I am bored” would immediately result in chores. They would get a broom or rag in hand to start cleaning.
After some time, I knew I had to change my rigidity here somewhat.
Instead of looking at kids being bored as disrespectful, I had to change my response because being bored wasn’t the same for all kids. I also realized that I could be more constructive about the way I was reacting.
How can I change my reaction to a child’s boredom?
Instead of requiring my children to do chores when they say they are bored, I decided it was time to encourage them to find ways to occupy their time. The last thing I want to do is be their wheelhouse of ideas for fun things to do, I’d rather my kids be that for themselves!
Changing my reaction to hearing “I’m bored” has also made them hate chores less and created kids who can explore nature, pick up a book on their own and just enjoy life happening around them.
Sometimes kids just need you to point towards other things to do, and eventually they will start creating their own time fillers which are full of their own interests.
Here are some ideas and redirections for your child’s boredom and creative things for kids to do when bored:
Things for primary age kids to do when bored at home:
Bake weird cookies – Kids like weird and we know they love cookies. Bake weird cookies!
Have a Dance Party! Create a fun themed dance party for your kids and their friends.
Play DIY Bowling – Spray paint some 2-liter bottles, set them up in the yard or a hallway, grab a soccer or round ball to play a makeshift bowling tournament.
Let your kids go on virtual tours around the world – Check out these free virtual tours & learning resources your kids can enjoy from the comfort of their own home. We can’t go traveling all over the world but we surely can let our kids go on a virtual journey opening up their minds to places around the globe.
Make silly putty – Grab this homemade, quick, and simple putty recipe and instructions.
Simple Ice Cream in a Bag Activity – You heard that right, ice cream in a bag. You only need a few things to make this tasty ice cream in a bag and they are things you most likely already have in your kitchen.
Play Bored Kid Bingo – I am definitely a fan of whiny complaints of being bored, but this bingo game can help. Limit screen time with this bingo game filled with some things kids can do if they are bored – all while playing a fun bingo game.
Helpful ideas for tweens and teens to avoid boredom while at home:
Learn Graphic Design – Let your kids be creative on the computer by introducing them to Canva.
Make a DIY and Simple Colorful Yarn Wall Hang Tapestry – I have tons of yearning in my linen closet, for what reason I don’t know. But Your teen or tween will enjoy making this cool and colorful wall hanging decoration they can make themselves on whatever colors they want.
Download a Free Builders Kit for a DIY Escape Room – Yes, your teens or even tweens can become Escape Room Designers using a simple and totally free Escape Room builders Kit. The kit will take your kids through three different design stages for a simple but super fun escape room game.
Play Some Minute to Win it Games – Teens can be so serious sometimes. There is nothing like playing Minute-to-Win-It Games to get them smiling and full of giggles. Kids of all ages can play but teens can lead the games.
Create Homeschool Time Capsule with Printables – Time capsules are amazing ways that your teen can capture everything that is going on around them, whether it be in the news in their personal lives, and in their homeschool journey. Teens and tweens are old enough to know exactly what they are doing and appreciate why they should appreciate capturing their moment in time.
Crafts for kids to do if they are bored:
Cardboard DIY Crafts – You probably don’t think cardboard boxes can do much but kept in storage until you need them. With these crafts ideas, your kids can learn to create pretty crafts out of cardboard boxes they can find around the home.
Make a Useful and Cool No-Sew Rope Bowl – All you need is a glue gun, rope, and yarn. Seriously. This is an adorable craft for your older students to decorate their room and hold their miscellaneous items.
Simple Origami Car Project – Let your kids grab a piece of their favorite paper and their attention. Have them follow step-by-step tutorial kids can follow to make a cool paper origami car.
Easy Birding Feeding Crafts – Learn all the benefits of making bird feeding crafts and get some amazing ideas to make bird feeding crafts at home. The ideas include biodegradable bird feeders, tin can craft bird feeders, toilet paper roll feeders, and more.
Free printables for your bored kids when they are stuck at home:
200+ Ideas for Your Kids To Do When They Are Bored & Printable – Grab this useful and handy list of ideas and activities for your kids to do when they are bored. Not one, or two things, but 200! I already have this printed and ready for my summer.
Printable Snakes & Ladders Game – I still play Snakes & Ladders with my kids and they are 11 and 14. All kids enjoy moving forward in the bored and have lots of giggles when sliding back down.
Printable “I’m Bored” Ideas Sign – Some of our kids are visual learners. They thrive with reminders and visual aids for learning. Having a sign posted up with reminders of things they can do when they are bored is like GOLD for your visual learners at home.
Activity Ideas to Print for a Bored Jar – Let’s face it when our kids are bored it is super hard for them to imagine what they can do next. Give your kids a little boost of ideas to keep busy with these printables for your Boredom Buster Jar.
Color Scavenger Hunt Printable – Don’t think you can do a scavenger hunt without making it a huge deal? Well here is a color scavenger hunt printable that is super simple and fun you can do at home. Kinds can find all kinds of stuff within the different colors assigned to them.
Outdoor activities for kids who are bored:
From Outdoor Scavenger Hunts to Nature Activities with Outdoor Tracker Printable – Getting outside and exploring ways to make the most out of getting some fresh air is a great way for kiddos to beat the boredom blues when the weather is good. Don’t forget to grab the free time trackers to help you and the kiddos track their outdoor time.
Fun Water Gun Painting Outside – Of course, water guns will get your kids outside having fun, but ever think they can provide an art project as well? My son and his cousins absolutely love water guns. They aren’t fans of art but I bet this is one art project they will LOVE.
Grab a Lawn Chair and head to your Drive Away (chalk or household supplies needed) – You won’t want to miss these super fun activities to beat the boredom blues. Living in the U.S., I never let my kids go outside unsupervised. So, we spent a lot of time in my front yard and drawing art on the driveaway. This resource will help you discover gross motor activities, chalk ideas, and more fun things your kids can do right in your driveway.
We all have been through times recently where our kids can’t go outside for one reason or the other. So, telling kids they shouldn’t be bored is just not the right way to go about it anymore (pointing at myself again).
I learned that being bored is a good thing a lot of the time. Instead of making being bored an offensive thing for us parents, we can take it as a chance to show our kids how to use that time wisely, constructively, and to be content in whatever situation they are in.
Jeannette is a wife, mother and homeschooling mom. She has been mightily, saved by grace and is grateful for God’s sovereignty throughout her life’s journey. She has a Bachelor in English Education and her MBA. Jeannette is bi-lingual and currently lives in the Tongan Islands of the South Pacific. She posts daily freebies for homeschoolers!