Summer has the lovely side effect of moms hearing “I’m bored!” repeatedly. Sometimes it feels like your kids have no idea how to entertain themselves, and if you’re used to having them in school for part of the day, it can get frustrating very quickly. To help you survive this summer, here are some great things to do when bored for kids.
Things to Do When Bored for Kids
This list is in no particular order and I’ve included activities that will entertain a wide range of ages so you can hopefully get kids to play with each other (gasp, I know, right?).
- Masking Tape: Create a masking tape city on your floor or on the patio.
- Water Fight: Hand out sponges and buckets of water and let the kids have a water “balloon” fight without the environmental detriment.
- Frozen Toys: Freeze some toys inside a bowl of water with a little food coloring and then let kids break it up to get the toys out.
- Water Paint: Give them buckets and paintbrushes and let them paint the outside of the house or fences.
- Potion Station: Set up a table with colored water (food coloring and water), eye droppers, baby food jars or other small containers, glitter, sequins, salt, oatmeal, or whatever you have on hand. Let them mix their concoctions. Alternatively, add stickers for potion labels.
- Nature Walk: Go for a walk in the woods, park, etc. and collect leaves, flowers, and rocks.
- Press Flowers: Show your kids how to press flowers and build up their patience levels.
- Ice Play: Freeze some ice cubes with colored water and let kids play with them, mixing colors as they melt.
- Baking Soda and Vinegar: Pour a layer of baking soda into a cake tin or cookie sheet with sides and give kids vinegar that’s been tinted with food coloring and eye droppers to drop different colors onto the tray to create a colorful, bubbly reaction.
- Fingerprint Doodles: Grab an inkpad and let kids press colorful fingerprints all over paper. Then turn each print into a little animal or figure. Use this fingerprint book as inspiration!
- Build a Fort: Hand the kids a stack of sheets and let them build a massive fort either inside or outdoors.
- Puppet Theater: Introduce them to the wonders of sock puppets, with a bunch of old socks, stickers, googly eyes and yarn. Then create a theater by hanging a sheet halfway up a doorway and let them do puppet shows.
- Do a Puzzle: Dump a new puzzle out on the coffee table and let them have at it.
- Plan a Trip: Dig out an atlas and show them how to plan a dream trip around the world. Alternatively, you can do this online using Google Maps.
- Make a Kazoo. Remember these from when you were a kid? They’re still fun! Here’s how to make your own kazoo.
- Library Day: Hit the library for some air-conditioned reading time. Check ahead to see if there are any special events being offered.
- Blow Bubbles: Buy a giant bottle of bubble solution or make your own. Let them fashion their own bubble wands with old coat hangers.
- Make a Time Capsule: This can be as simple as writing a letter to your future self and adding a couple of favorite items, then marking it with a future date to open.
- Film a Movie: Kids love making movies, so give them an idea and let them film their Lego characters, each other, or pets with a camera or phone. Bonus tip: Teach them to do stop motion animation!
- Word Searches: Grab some new books at the dollar store or make your own word searches to print here.
- Make a Book: Fold sheets of paper in half and staple them down the middle, then let kids write and illustrate their own books.
- Obstacle Courses: Help the kids set up an obstacle course indoors or out, with things to crawl under, over, and around. Give them a stopwatch to time their course.
- Water Beads: Water beads are a ton of fun, but they’re even more exciting when you have a lot of them. Try filling a kiddie pool with these awesome beads the night before and let the kids discover them in the morning.
- Build a Shelter: Have kids build a shelter for their dolls or action figures, using only natural materials they find outside.
- Make a River: Use aluminum foil to create a long river, by turning up the edges. Let them float paper boats or corks in it.
- Craft a Book: Pick your child’s favorite book and Google the book title + craft. Pick a craft to do and make something fun!
- FaceTime a Relative. Talk to a grandparent or other relative via FaceTime. Guaranteed to keep them busy for a while.
What are your favorite things to do when bored, for kids? Do you remember what you did as a child when you were bored? Share in the comments!