What parent hasn’t heard their child utter the familiar phrase “I’m bored” at some point?
Despite a seemingly vast array of toys, electronics and other items at their disposal, children can be quick to sulk and say there’s nothing to do when stuck at home. Parents can counter “I’m bored” with these eight boredom-busting activities that are certain to help pass the time in entertaining and sometimes educational ways.
1. Craft time: Pick a theme and gather the materials for the project. For example, kids can evoke a trip to the ocean by creating handmade sea creatures. Paint a paper plate and hang brightly colored yarn underneath it to create the “tentacles” of a jellyfish. Kids can use salt dough clay to fashion seashells, sea snails or crustaceans.
2. Painting: Shaving cream is a great sensory material that is relatively easy to clean up. Kids can whip up a batch of shaving cream paint and use it to finger paint on a table or even in the bathtub. Simply mix shaving cream with food coloring in a bowl, or use a muffin tin to separate the colors.
3. Build a birdhouse: Birdhouses or bird feeders can be made from scraps of material found around the house. Scavenge for spare lumber or other supplies in the shed or garage. An adult or older sibling can help cut the wood into pieces. Young children may enjoy painting the house. Wood adhesive or screws can be used to assemble the project.
4. Plan a garden: Kids can help to design a garden the entire family will maintain and even be responsible for a special parcel that’s all their own. Gardens can grow food, flowers and more. Add a touch of whimsy with figurines for a fairy garden or even small superhero figures for a spot for boys to tend.
5. Box makeovers: Tissue boxes or cereal boxes can be made into many different creations with paint or construction paper. Use a few craft supplies like pom-poms or wiggly eyes to turn boxes into “monsters.”
6. Boat races: Build a small sailboat for each member of the family. Fill up a long, shallow container and take turns racing the boats by blowing on the sails.
7. Leaf art: Gather leaves and twigs from around the yard and then combine pieces to make them look like various animals.
8. Spray park: Create an at-home spray park with a garden hose and a pool noodle. Poke several small holes into the pool noodle on all sides. Stick a garden hose into the end of the pool noodle and hot-glue a wine cork into the hole at the other end. Turn on the water and let kids run through.