7 Simple Fun Activities To Keep Kids From Being Bored

Kids Get Bored easily

I do not know about your kids, but mine get easily bored.  And I am not sure I understand this.  I mean, they have toys, and games, and bikes, and swings, and I would not hesitate to say they have pretty much everything they need and more.  Yet, somehow they get bored.  The infamous phrase “Mom, I’m bored”.

I am not a helicopter parent by any stretch of the imagination, but I like to keep my kids occupied. And I do not let them watch tv outside of Saturday and Sunday morning, so keeping my kids from being bored sometimes takes a bit of effort.

When my kids were younger, I did a lot of reading on the benefits of boredom and the effects of tv on early minds.    And as a result of this boredom and no tv, my kids have found ways to keep busy and entertained.

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Things My Kids Do When They Are Bored

1. Color

My kids like to color.  And I know I am biased, but they are getting good at it.  

They have a few options for how they can color.   It is nothing too crazy, but it gives them outlets to learn as well.  They can:

  1. Pull out their coloring books.
  2. Use all of their imagination and pull out just white paper and markets.
  3. Learn how to draw some new things using Art for Kids Hub.
  4. Find an image online and make it into a coloring page.  

My kids color so often that once they start, they will be absorbed in it for hours.

keep kids from being bored

2. Imagination Play Without Toys

Sometimes toys are just too much and get in the way. So my kids will randomly start acting out some event in their head. They will get lost in this imaginary world. They will become a superhero flying around in their cape fighting bad guys, or they will become a princess with a pet dragon or anything in between. But there is no shortage of ideas. 

As they get older, these imaginary worlds they play in become more evolved and more exciting.

For the most part, I do not need to get involved.  Sometimes I need to help set up a fort in the living room, and other times I need to put a bandage on an imaginary wound, but for the most part, they are off to the races.

3. Imagination Play with Toys

Imagination play with toys is a simple activity but an effective one. Kids love their toys. So, playing with their toys is something they can always do without having to ask. Like most kids, they have lots of toys, but for some reason, never enough…

Some ideas on how to keep toys fresh:

  1. Rotate toys in and out. Every once in a while, take some toys away and pull out ones from hiding. This trick makes it feel like a new toy again.
  2. Toy swap. Speak to the parents of one of your child’s friends. Suggest a toy swap. There is nothing better than other kid’s toys!
  3. Make your own toys. Often we do not have the exact doll, pony, or action figure needed for the game. So we make our own. Either with paper or craft supplies. We currently have a whole bin full of custom-made paper dolls for every occasion.

Sometimes I find that it is helpful to direct my kids to play with a specific toy. By doing it, it will force them to shift their thought pattern and work on other skills. If they have played with their dolls long enough, I may direct them to the blocks or puzzles. Kids do not always realize there are other toys when they get sucked into the game.





4. Outdoor Play

Playing outside is fantastic for many reasons. My favorite reasons are that the mess stays outside, and so does the noise! But aside from my selfish reasons of wanting the kids outside, fresh air does wonders, there is much more space to run around, and there are often other kids outside.

Although my kids are not old enough to go out front unsupervised, they can go out back at any time to play or be out front when some of the other parents are outside. And outside play is so much fun for the kids. Some ideas to help your kids play outside:

  1. Climbing Trees – this is always fun, even after they fall.
  2. Hide and seek – an oldy but a goodie. And if there are a few kids on your street, this can be fantastic.
  3. Riding bikes – depending on the age of your kids, this may be up and down the sidewalk, around the block, or further.
  4. Swings & Climbers. We recently built a swing set for the kids as we can not go to the parks right now, but this allows the kids an outlet outside that does not require someone going to the park.

There are many more outdoor activities that your kids can do. These are currently the favorites at our house.

5. Board Games

Over the years, we have been amassing numerous board games.    Our kids are now old enough that they can play them together without use.  Depending on the day and the mood, they have their choice of  game.  

If you are looking for games that help your child learn a bit more, other than just the rules of playing with others, check out this list of STEM Games and Activities you can add to your collection.

keep kids from being bored

6. Learning-Based Video Game

Although we do not allow our kids much screen time, we permit them to play learning-based video games. Just like with any activity, we like to monitor how much time they spend on it. Sadly, we have found that even spending too much time learning will impact their mood, so there are time limits on this as well.

Currently, our kids’ favorite games are still OSMO-based learning games. If you have not heard about these, check out my 5 part review series on the OSMO system and several games. You can start here to learn about the Genius Starter Kit and Numbers the Game.


7. Reading

We have tried over the years to teach our kids that reading is fun. Between storytime, bedtime stories, and any chance in between, our kids have started to appreciate books more and more. And now that they are at a stage in life where they have learned to read a little, they will grab a book and read it to themselves. But if that fails, they will look at the pictures and attempt to figure out what the story is saying.

Reading has come a long way since I was a child, with much better pictures and much better storylines. I still remember being read a story off of a small vinyl record with my headphones all. It is nice that they have advanced technology to the point where technology can read books to your kids.  Currently, the favorite at our house is Epic Books.  There is an extensive list of books that can be accessed and the books are read to your kids helping them follow along.




The Backup Plan

Sometimes even though there are numerous activities that our kids can play to avoid boredom, they are not able to decide what they want. So, we have a backup plan. A while ago, we created a list of all the activities our kids can do, both alone and with us. It includes most of the items above and a few extras. We have all of these activities in a jar on the kitchen counter. When our kids really can not decide what to do, we pick one out of the activity jar. That is the activity we are going to do. Sometimes there are hurt feelings because one or all kids are not interested in this idea, but once it gets started, they are more than happy it happened and in our house it helps keep kids from being bored.

We also try to save this activity jar for days and times when either hubby or I can participate with the kids, allowing us some family fun time.

keep kids from being bored

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Final Thoughts

Kids are ever-changing.  By the time you figure out the current stage they are in, they have outgrown it and are off in the next one.  Leaving you behind to figure things out again.  But some things I have found work, even with all the changes in our kids are:

  1. Being bored is a good thing for kids.  It helps them learn how to fill that time with other things.
  2. Carving out time to play and teach your kids regularly increases their self-esteem and development. Helping them learn how to react to situations where they lose is very important.
  3. My kids are growing up way faster than I want them to, and I am sure you have days like that also.  Try to enjoy those days and do not dwell on the bad ones too much.   These kids will keep growing if we like it or not.

And remember, at the end of the day, you are doing a great job.  Raising kids is hard work.  

Was this Post Helpful?

Did you find this list on how to keep kids from being bored helpful?  Let me know your thoughts in the comments below!

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This Post Has 20 Comments

  1. Natalie

    I love board games. We play cards quite a bit too. These are great ideas and thanks for the tips about the resources. Very useful.

    1. Katherine

      My kids are old enough now that they will pull out the games by themselves and start playing! It’s great! But it took some time when they were little to get them into the concepts!

  2. Jennifer M Record

    Great list of inspiration and I love the links to more details like board games and books to read (my 2 fav activities)

    1. Katherine

      My kids love board games! The one downfall is, that you keep getting a larger and larger collection of them! But the kids still have fun!

  3. Karina

    I love the backup plan, what a great idea. We play board games a lot with the kids and reading have been one of their favorite thing to do lately. But love having more ideas.

    1. Katherine

      We always need a backup plan. Having 3 littles makes it hard to come up with a solution everyone likes!

  4. Love the list! It’s really nice to see reading and board games on it, I think they’re both really important, they help develop a child’s mind!

    1. Katherine

      Thanks! There are so many ways for kids to develop, but I agree, reading and board games do help wonders!

  5. Outdoor play is our go-to way to keep the kids from getting bored. We got our big pool up and ready for the summer and a little kiddie pool. We also have a slip n slide. So we are ready this summer to keep them busy.

    1. Katherine

      Oh, I remember the slip and slide from when I was a kid! That is a great way to cure boredom! Thanks!

  6. Branna

    I read this yesterday! I loved the ideas (especially since I have a little one). I recently did a post similar post like this so it’s cool to gather ideas from other’s too.

    1. Katherine

      Glad you enjoyed the post! The nice thing about others sharing similar thoughts is that we all get to learn more! Thanks!

  7. Skye

    My 3yo is starting to get into board games and they’ve become a new weekend night staple in our home.

    1. Katherine

      When my kids were that age, we got a “go fish” game. The cards were shaped as fish and they were all different colors, making it easy for them to play and understand. It’s a great age to introduce board games!

  8. Great list, these are exactly the kinds of things that keep my two occupied. My daughter could colour for hours. Stickers and playing in the sandpit are also good ones for my preschoolers. I can’t wait until they can play board games on their own.

    1. Katherine

      Coloring is still a big time filler at our house. Stickers used to be a big one, but they have grown out of it, for now. I’m sure they will return!

  9. Julie

    I agree. Being bored is an opportunity for kids to discover their own play. Sometimes setting up a table with inviting materials can spark imagination, like loose parts play and sensory bins. Happy playing!

    1. Katherine

      Boredom is a very needed part of child development! They need that time to learn to explore! I love the idea of loose parts!

  10. Rachael

    Great list! Outdoor play is always our go-to. No matter the weather you can find us outside!

  11. Catherine Brooks

    Outdoor play and board games are our favorite. Nice list to keep them busy!

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