15 Best Free Boredom Busters for Kids

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School’s out, and your kids are climbing the walls. Need some fresh ideas to keep them entertained? Here are 15 boredom busters that will engage, educate, and delight children of all ages.

These holiday activities for kids are not just fun they are free too!

Top half of the image: Three children sit on a bench in a garden looking bored, with a blue banner that reads "I'm bored!" in white text. Bottom half of the image: Two children sit on a gray couch indoors, also looking bored. Text between the two images reads "BOREDOM BUSTERS FOR KIDS" in bold, playful font.

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DIY science experiments

Kids love to explore and discover. Simple science experiments can spark their curiosity and keep them busy for hours. Try making slime with household ingredients like glue and borax.

Create a volcano with baking soda, vinegar, and food coloring—watch their faces light up as the “lava” flows.

For something more educational, grow crystals using salt or sugar, and explain the science behind crystallization. These hands-on experiments foster a love for science and develop critical thinking skills.

Indoor obstacle course

Transform your living room into a mini ninja warrior course. Use cushions, chairs, and blankets to create tunnels, jumps, and balance beams.

Add challenges like crawling under tables or balancing on a narrow path made of masking tape. Time their runs and see who can complete the course the fastest. Not only does this burn off energy, but it also improves their coordination and agility.

Change the course layout every few days to keep it exciting.

Scavenger hunt

Create a list of items for your kids to find around the house or yard. Tailor the list to their age group, including both easy and challenging items. For younger children, items like a red sock, a spoon, or a favorite toy work well.

Older kids can handle more complex challenges like finding something that starts with each letter of the alphabet. Add riddles or clues for an extra layer of fun. This activity sharpens their observational skills and keeps them engaged.

We love having indoor and outdoor scavenger hunts. Check out some of our most popular free hunts:

Craft time

Break out the glue, scissors, and construction paper for some creative fun. Projects like making paper airplanes, creating a family tree, or designing their own comic book can unleash their creativity.

For a more structured project, try building a birdhouse or a model car. Use recycled materials to teach them about sustainability. Craft time enhances their fine motor skills and provides a sense of accomplishment when they see their finished projects.

Cooking class

Get them involved in the kitchen with simple recipes. Making homemade pizza can be a fun, hands-on activity—let them knead the dough, spread the sauce, and sprinkle the toppings. Baking cookies allows them to practice measuring and mixing ingredients.

For a healthier option, create smoothies together, letting them choose their favorite fruits.

Cooking teaches basic math skills, patience, and the importance of following instructions. Plus, they get to enjoy the tasty results.

Boredom Buster - Baking Bread

Build a fort

A timeless classic, building a fort with blankets, pillows, and furniture can provide hours of imaginative play.

Use dining room chairs and sofa cushions to create a sturdy structure. Once built, it can become a cozy reading nook, a secret hideout, or the setting for an epic adventure.

Add flashlights for nighttime fun or bring in some snacks for a private picnic. This activity encourages creativity and problem-solving as they figure out how to make their fort stable.

build a fort

Outdoor water play

If the weather is warm, set up a sprinkler, water balloons, or a kiddie pool in the backyard. Water play is a surefire way to burn off energy and stay cool. For a twist, create a DIY water slide with a tarp and a garden hose.

Set up a series of water-based challenges, like a relay race where they carry a cup of water on their heads. These activities are not only fun but also help improve their motor skills and coordination.

Family game night

Dust off those board games for kids and get everyone involved.

Try a themed game night, such as a mystery night with Clue or a strategy night with Risk.

Family game night promotes bonding, strategic thinking, and can even improve their math and reading skills in a fun way.

Emojito Game Review

Nature walks

Explore local parks or nature trails. Encourage your kids to observe and collect interesting leaves, rocks, or insects.

Bring along a magnifying glass and a journal for them to document their findings. Use this as an opportunity to teach them about different plant species, animal tracks, and ecosystems.

Turn it into a photo scavenger hunt where they have to take pictures of specific items like a bird’s nest or a unique flower. Nature walks combine exercise, learning, and an appreciation for the environment.

Story time

Create a reading corner with comfy pillows and a selection of books. Let your kids choose a story or have them write their own. You can also take turns reading aloud to each other.

For a twist, act out the stories with costumes and props, turning storytime into a mini play. Audiobooks are another great option, especially for kids who prefer listening.

The best books for kids nurture their imagination, improve literacy skills, and provide a quiet, relaxing activity.

Dance party

Crank up the music and have a dance-off. Create a playlist of their favorite tunes and let loose.

Dancing is a great way to get moving and have fun. Introduce them to different styles of dance, like hip-hop, salsa, or ballet, and see which ones they enjoy the most.

For an educational twist, watch dance tutorials online and learn a choreographed routine together. Dancing helps with coordination, rhythm, and is an excellent way to release energy.

kids dance party

Puzzle challenges

Jigsaw puzzles, brain teasers, and riddles can be both challenging and rewarding. Choose puzzles that are age-appropriate to keep them engaged.

For younger children, start with large-piece puzzles featuring their favorite characters. Older kids can tackle 500-piece puzzles or more complex brain teasers like Sudoku or logic puzzles. Create a puzzle competition to see who can solve them the fastest.

Puzzles enhance problem-solving skills, patience, and attention to detail.

Gardening

Get them involved in planting flowers, vegetables, or herbs.

Gardening teaches patience, responsibility, and a love for nature. Start with easy-to-grow plants like sunflowers, tomatoes, or basil. Let them decorate pots and plant seeds, then water and care for their plants daily.

Use gardening as an opportunity to teach about the life cycle of plants, photosynthesis, and the importance of pollinators. Plus, they get to enjoy the fruits of their labor, whether it’s a beautiful flower or a fresh tomato.

Check out our free garden scavenger hunt printable too!

Art station

Set up a dedicated art space with supplies like crayons, markers, paints, and clay.

Encourage them to create their own masterpieces or follow along with online art tutorials. Try different art forms such as painting, sculpting, or collating.

Create themed art days, like painting landscapes or making sculptures of animals. Display their artwork around the house to boost their confidence.

Art projects enhance creativity, fine motor skills, and provide a wonderful outlet for self-expression.

Movie marathon

Have a themed movie day. Choose a series like Harry Potter, Toy Story, or classic Disney movies. Make some popcorn, dim the lights, and enjoy a cinematic experience at home.

Create a cozy movie theater atmosphere with blankets and pillows. For a fun twist, design tickets and have the kids “buy” their entry with play money. After each movie, have a discussion about the plot, characters, and their favorite parts.

Movie marathons provide a relaxing way to spend the day and can spark interesting conversations.

Last Updated on 2 June 2024 by Clare Brown

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