Did You Just Google “Things to Do with Kids Near Me?”
Because if you did, you’re in the right place. You just found a huge list of clever kids activities that you can do at home with regular household supplies. You won’t need to search for things to do with kids anytime soon now that you’ve got this resource filled with fun activities to do at home!
“I’m Bored” is like a 4-Letter Word in Our House
I am not a “bored” person. Even as a kid, I did not get bored. There were way too many things to investigate, read, create or do.
But I’ve got a kid that drops that tiresome word every day. If he’s not on screens, he’s “bored.” It makes me want to pull my hair out. He has no clue how lucky he is to be a kid and have so many toys and projects at his disposal. Plus, being bored can be good for kids…
I’m learning that sometimes, he just needs some ideas that intrigue him. This boredom-buster list is for kids who want to do something, but don’t know where to start.
Bored Kids Feel Even More Adrift During Social Distancing Quarantine
Prior to the coronavirus outbreak, my kindergartener murmured the “bored” word maybe once a week. Now, though, it’s every day. He’s already played outside (in our cold and rainy weather) and read a bunch of books. And several more hours stretch before him where he can’t go to the playground, can’t have a friend over, and can’t go to the library or museum.
The dude is feeling a little trapped.
Which is why we put together over 250 boredom busters for kids who are playing at home.
The Big List of Boredom Buster At Home Kids Activities for Six Different Age Groups
These ideas don’t require a special trip to the store for supplies or for you to take a field trip anywhere (oh field trips, how we miss you!). Bust that boredom with common household items.
And, don’t let our age groupings stop you from trying something new from a different category. Many of these fun activities to do at home are for all ages – read through the whole list, see what sounds fun, and jump in!
At Home Kids Activities by Age Group
Toddler Boredom Buster Kids Activities
Oh, mama! Keeping a toddler entertained is a full-time job. It’s so adorable to hear those little voices playing make believe with their toys or watch them figure out how something works. But most of the time, we’re just cleaning up one big mess after another, aren’t we?
Toddlers are investigators extraordinaire! While the messes are tiring, their sense of wonder at basically everything is delightful. Here are some things to dazzle your toddler with and help pass the days at home.
- Have a teddy bear picnic.
- Make cardboard box trains, houses or airplanes.
- Put some tape on a doorway and throw pom poms or ping pong balls at it and see how many stick.
- Squirt some shaving cream onto a pan and play.
- Set up your own bowling alley and bowl with a ball and plastic bottles or paper towel rolls.
- Make a necklace with big beads and string or pasta noodles.
- Make a crazy tape path on the floor in different shapes and designs, and walk across it.
- Get out the kinetic sand.
- Put some hair gel into a plastic bag and add food coloring, googly eyes, and beads.
- Play with your stuffed animals in an empty, clean, dry bathtub.
- Put a spaghetti noodle in some playdough and see how many cheerios you can stack up on it.
- Take some ice or a popped frozen water balloon and squeeze warm water onto it, and watch it melt.
- Blow bubbles for them to catch outside.
- Use a toy hammer to hammer golf tees into styrofoam.
- Make some cloud dough with flour and oil – and if you have it, oil-based food coloring.
- Tape cardboard tubes to the wall and roll pom poms through them.
- Teach them how to do somersaults.
- Don’t recycle that box! Let your toddler decorate it with markers or stickers. Or put their toys in it. You know how mesmerizing old boxes are!
- Play hide the pajamas before bedtime. Parents, hide your kid’s pajamas around the house (or just the bedroom) and tell them “hot” or “cold” as they search for them.
- Make colored rice.
- Give them a mesh strainer and have them “fish” for items in a sink full of water. (Throw in bath toys, plastic alphabet pieces.)
- Play-dough. Don’t have a lot of the “tools?” Use household objects to make impressions, cut out shapes, etc.
- Make edible finger paint with cornstarch, water, and food coloring. This can also be used outside on sidewalks.
- Give your toy cars a carwash in the sink or the tub.
- Make bath paint with food coloring and shaving cream.
Preschool Boredom Buster Kids Activities
Sometimes I think that preschoolers are the funnest. I teach Sunday School to 4 & 5 year olds and I hope church staff never asks me to try another age group. Preschoolers are curious, they are beginning to grasp bigger concepts, and they say the funniest things, all the time.
When you’re not hurriedly scribbling down the latest thing they said (today my son had me guessing why we needed a Truck House in our life, until I realized he meant a motorhome!) or convincing them of the merits of quiet time, try some of these fun activities to do at home that preschoolers will dig.
- Join Kristen Bell & Dax Shephard’s Camp Hello Bello – a virtual camp for kids, complete with camp counselors, badges, and all sorts of other activities you’d expect from camp.
- Lego Masters at Home: Challenge all participants to build the same thing and compare designs. You could have everyone build a hotel, a house or a car. Can combine all houses to build a small neighborhood, or all cars pull up for a car show when finished.
- Build a foil boat and see how many pennies you can add to it before it sinks.
- Make a mask out of a cereal box.
- Make a cloud in a bottle with your mom or dad.
- Create a homemade obstacle course.
- Create a bubble painting.
- Create a marble painting.
- Craft a story together.
- Dig in the dirt
- Build a house of cups.
- Build a cardboard train.
- Go on a walking (or stroller?) tour of your city. Don’t forget snacks.
- Play dress-up.
- Make a path of pillows to use as stepping stones – or call it Hot Lava.
- Play I Spy with colors.
- Draw pictures in chalk on the sidewalk.
- Play Finger Twister.
- Have a Hula-hoop competition.
- Make a cereal necklace.
- Play Freeze Tag.
- Do a puzzle.
- Having a baking theme day. Choose a topic and a recipe to bake. Follow actual baking with pretend kitchen play, and then go outside to explore and create “recipes.”
- Play Hide and Seek.
- Build a city out of toys.
- Make a tea party.
- Painter’s tape + chalk art = Stained Glass window sidewalk chalk art.
- Play Go Fish.
- Go on an outdoor scavenger hunt.
- Make a car wash for riding toys.
- Plant a seed and watch it grow.
- Sing along and then add your own verse with Kevin Kammeraad.
- Jump rope.
- Create a spider web with glue-coated spaghetti.
- Race pompoms by blowing them with a straw.
- Make paper-bag masks and decorate them.
- Play Follow the Leader.
- Make Fireworks in a Jar.
- Make your own bubble solution and bubble blowing devices.
- Polish each other’s nails. Or, trace and cut out a hand on cardboard, draw on the nails, and polish those.
- Make hand shadow puppets.
- Do storybook yoga with Renew Mama.
- Make a paper-bag puppet.
- Keep a balloon in the air as long as possible.
- Play Hot and Cold with a hidden object.
- Do the Magic Paper Towel activity.
- Make a bird feeder with a rice cake, peanut butter, and birdseed.
- Stick Magna-Tiles to your garage door and make designs.
- Trace shadow figures. Put one of your favorite animal figurines next to a piece of white paper, and use either the sun or a lamp as a light source to cast a shadow. Trace the shadow that your figurine casts onto your paper!
- Create bunny or dinosaur doodles!
- Have a fancy tea party. Get dressed up and pull out the fancy plates and cups (however you want to interpret that with a preschooler) for an afternoon treat.
- Meet adorable baby farm animals in Critter Barn’s Facebook live videos.
- Make a homemade vending machine.
- Make art with pinecones.
- Paint ladybug rocks.
- Play Paper Plate Tennis.
Grades K – 2 Boredom Buster Kids Activities
Early elementary kids can play a lot more independently, and can read and understand simple science concepts. They can miss afternoon quiet time and still keep it together (mostly). This means that you can do even more projects with this age group.
We tried to include in this K-2 list a mix of fun activities to do at home that either involve you or have them playing on their own.
- Draw a picture with some funny drawing prompts. We personally dig these funny daily drawing prompts in both English and Spanish.
- Go on a virtual scavenger hunt with Goose Chase. You can have your family, extended family or friends even join, and you can all play in your own homes. Everyone from age 2 to 92 can have fun with it!
- Do the Naked Egg (Dissolving Egg Shell Experiment.)
- Build an epic fort! Here’s how.
- Learn to play an instrument from mom or dad – or YouTube!
- Make Salt Art.
- Listen to free Audible Children’s Books.
- Make a card for your Grandma, Grandpa, or other favorite adult, telling them why you love them.
- Access the Time for Kids digital library (free for the rest of the school year). Turnkey teaching tools, with worksheets and quizzes for families or teachers, available at timeforkids.com
- Make a maze on the floor with painter’s tape.
- Do the classic vinegar & baking soda experiment – with a twist.
- Make your own popsicles.
- Doodle along with Mo Willems.
- Make rock candy.
- Do a family bootcamp workout.
- Gather up recyclables and see what kind of art you can make out of them.
- Do at home PE and other active moves.
- Make Glow in the dark fairy Jars.
- Get your moves in with Go Noodle on YouTube. (Tip: Start with Pop Se Ko.)
- Read or watch some Little House on the Prairie and then color the characters as paper dolls.
- Dream up an obstacle course inside or outside of your house.
- Make a sidewalk chalk obstacle course for your neighbors to do as they walk by.
- Join the GooGenius Draw Club.
- Watch the beluga whales at the Georgia Aquarium.
- Save cardboard rolls (toilet paper and paper towel) to build a complex ball contraption on the wall.
- Take a trip around the world – and see all of the animals – with the live cams at explore.org.
- Make slime. Instructions here.
- Build a Lego volcano and then put in baking soda/vinegar/soap for the eruption.
- Make a treasure bottle.
- Look at your city – then your state – then the world – from Google Earth view.
- Learn to bike without training wheels.
- Make your own sock puppet – and then put on a show.
- Practice tying shoes with laces.
- Do Zumba for Kids.
- Paint a rock pet. Or paint rocks and hide them around your home for family members to discover later.
- Learn how to Hip Hop Break Dance.
- Express yourself with SadMadBadGlad Poetry.
- Make a stuffy hunt for your siblings. Hide favorite stuffies around the house and have them search for them.
- Head outside and bike, scooter or rollerblade.
- Go birdwatching.
- Go to Mars. NASA’s Curiosity Rover recorded the surface to give you this 360 view.
- Make a Time Capsule with your family.
- Go on a Home Safari with the Cincinnati Zoo. Zookeepers hang out with and teach you about red pandas, Komodo dragons and more.
- Roast marshmallows and have s’mores with your family.
- Have a Just Dance party with your siblings.
- Have an indoor snowball fight (aka Sock Wars). Set up your living room with two barriers. Choose teams and get a stockpile of socks on each side. Whoever doesn’t get hit wins.
- Bake and paint salt dough ornaments.
- Make your bed into a fort and sleep in it like that overnight.
- Tell “Strange Stories.” Draw 5 pictures or words from a pile (that you created) and tell a story using those images or words.
- Go fly a kite.
- Become a penpal with a buddy from school or a far away cousin.
- Stop in at the AirZoo’s YouTube channel to virtually explore planes or watch story time with an astronaut.
- Draw eyes on an Amazon box and then PARTY.
- Play Burning Hot Lava outside. One person is the lava monster, and everyone else has to avoid getting tagged, but warning – the grass is hot lava! Jump from stone to stone, or porch to swings as you avoid getting burned.
- Meet some of the animals in behind-the-scenes videos at John Ball Zoo.
Grades 3 – 4 At Home Kids Activities
Kids who are 8-10 love playing independently and learning about the world around them. They become more sure of themselves and their skills and interests and can be trusted to do creative activities on their own with relatively less mess (maybe??).
You can set them loose on YouTube to watch a tutorial while you do the dishes. You can even tell them to do the dishes if that tutorial didn’t spark their imagination and they’re still “bored.” (Pulled that on my third grader today when she dropped the B word. She quickly disappeared for a while.)
Basically, 3rd and 4th graders can take a little guidance from you and then run with their fun activities to do at home.
- Build a Lego metropolis.
- Play town with your siblings. Create jobs and names for each person, as well as your own currency. Visit each other’s businesses and even invite mom and dad to visit your town.
- Practice rollerblading backwards.
- Have your mom or dad make up the name of a fictional character. Write a story about that character.
- Do the GR Public Museum’s Science Scavenger Hunt.
- Teach your dog a new trick. Here are 10 cool tricks to start with. (My 3rd grader just taught our dog high five today!)
- Find that old sock that hasn’t had a match in forever and make a sock puppet with googly eyes, yarn, or whatever you can find around the house. (Ask mom or dad for permission to use this rogue sock. Also have them help you with hot glue gun.)
- Build a house out of cards and see what it can hold.
- Skype a scientist. Fill out a form so they can match you with a scientist for a Q&A chat about your questions or topic of interest.
- Do pilates with toilet paper rolls.
- Make a surprise story book with your siblings or parents.
- Make a map of your house and neighborhood.
- Write and illustrate your own book from start to finish.
- Play Cards Against Humanity – Family Edition. It’s free for now. Beware of the potty humor, but otherwise, we think this is safe. Ages 8 and up.
- Dive into the Google Arts & Culture App. Take a selfie and apply it to a historical painting, take a virtual tour of famous museums & more.
- Draw a little bit every day with Wade.
- Put on a virtual talent show with your friends using Zoom.
- Create a Lockdown Diary. Write your own – or fill out these forms.
- Set the table and serve your family a “fancy dinner.” Everyone comes to the table all dressed up.
- Take the one-hour cartooning challenge.
- Mail a handwritten card to your teacher.
- Make Mexican rice and homemade tortillas.
- Learn how to throw a frisbee.
- Learn how to throw a yo-yo, plus 11 other yo-yo tricks.
- Send a video puppet show to your friends or family, and challenge them to send one back. You can use re-imagined nursery rhymes or stories, or make up your own!
- Do family karaoke, where each person can pick a song. You can find Karaoke playlists on many music streaming services, YouTube, and even through cable (like Comcast’s Music Choice Karaoke).
- Learn how to grow new plants from your house plant cuttings (water propagate) and set out some experiment planters.
- Movie Series Marathon! Get some cozy blankets and popcorn, and then binge-watch Harry Potter, Pirates of the Caribbean, or some of the Avengers series.
- Have a spa day. Paint nails, do your hair, put on face masks – whatever you want! (That your parent approves of.)
- Dribble your soccer ball.
- Learn how to tie knots, be a tree detective and more with Michigan DNR.
Grades 5 – 6 Boredom Buster Kids Activities
If you have tweens, it may be beneficial for them to stew in their boredom for a while. Often they’ll come up with their own creative ideas. Other times, they may need a bit more of a nudge to find fun activities to do at home.
If they’ve stewed for a while and are ready to do something, let them loose with this list.
Tweens, have fun with these ideas. We tried finding something to do for each personality – which things on this list look really fun to you? There are tons of cool ideas for all the other ages too, that also work for your age.
- Get your siblings to recreate a pic of you together when you were really little.
- Ask your Mom what her favorite animal is. Research weird facts about that animal and see if you can stump her.
- Make up new rules for a board game you’ve always played.
- Take up the science challenge with these cool experiments from the James Dyson Foundation.
- Get a head start on making Christmas or holiday gifts for relatives.
- Make a pinball machine with recycled material.
- Practice Origami. Here are some easy animals to start with.
- Do a puzzle. Timed.
- Plan a meal for the family. Bonus points if you make it and clean it up yourself!
- Bake something. From scratch. Please clean up your mess before you eat it.
- Make invisible ink (with lemon juice) to write messages.
- Plan a movie night for your family. Pick the movie, start time (confirm with a parent) & snacks. Make and hand out invitations to your family.
- Research your state bird, flower, tree, etc, and see how many of those you can find in your neighborhood.
- Facetime/Skype Grandma & Grandpa and ask them what games they played when they were your age.
- Create a dinner experience for your family. Pretend you are in Paris, what would dinner be like? Pretend you’re on an airplane – what would dinner be like?
- Go for a bike or scooter ride.
- Make rice krispie nests.
- Plant flowers.
- Build your own lava lamp and make milk explode with the Michigan Science Center.
- Facebook messenger with a friend.
- Sport it up. Play basketball, kick a soccer ball or practice T-ball.
- Learn how to draw a dog.
- Start a new hobby – what have you wanted to learn?
- Write a chalk note on a neighbor’s sidewalk.
- Try a minute-to-win-it game such as cup stacking.
- Learn to do new hair on YouTube.
- Learn a new language.
- Create a new language with your siblings.
- Learn morse code. Then write a letter to a cousin in morse code.
- Take a careers quiz to see what kind of profession you’d be good at.
- Build a simple kite with a parent, and then fly it.
- Learn to sew a button.
- Paint Rocks and place them around the neighborhood.
- Make a ‘stay-at-home” playlist together.
- Make a tie-dye shirt.
- Play Exquisite Corpse.
- See how many times you can jump rope in a row. Now try to beat that number doing it backwards.
Grades 7 – 8 At Home Boredom Buster Activities
Activities for big kids come in handy while at home. They need an outlet for all their energy. Whether it’s a step-by-step instructional project or more of a free form open-ended fun activity to do at home – it gives them a way to put those budding skills to action.
Kids this age can explore possible career or hobby interests and use their free time to really develop new skills.
Middle schoolers, we didn’t even try to have “uncool” adults make you this list. We outsourced this one to a really creative middle schooler who knows what’s up. You’re welcome!
- Do a Lip Dub.
- Follow a Bob Ross tutorial.
- Make your own Stop Motion Video. Use this one for inspo.
- Plan a dance party – complete with outfits and music.
- Doodle a positive message for your mom.
- Make rad paper airplanes. But not like when you were a kid. These airplanes are totally extra.
- Do a 1000 piece puzzle.
- Host a virtual hammock party with your friends. Everyone hops in their hammock and then do a FaceTime or Zoom call together.
- Paint an elaborate design on your nails.
- Make popcorn and deliver a serving to each member of the family in a unique container. If no popcorn in the house, substitute dry cereal.
- Plan and present a themed dinner for your family, like this teen who’s done the hibachi experience, princess theme, and Mexican Cantina night.
- Make a video of you jumping on a trampoline or playing outside. Or make a Tik Tok video of it.
- Find a new author and read a book.
- Learn how to bullet journal.
- Rearrange your room, books, etc.
- Bake cookies.
- Photograph/draw/paint spring flowers emerging from the ground or something else in nature.
- Do crossword puzzles.
- Writing a letter/draw a picture, and actually address and stamp an envelope and put it in the mailbox.
- Make donuts that taste better than Krispy Kreme.
- Make Macrame Friendship Bracelets.
- Create a Streamyard news broadcast with a friend.
- Try a fun makeup tutorial on YouTube.
- Design a slogan or image for a t-shirt.
- Choose a recipe to memorize and practice until you can make it without looking at written instructions.
- Play Toy Story 3, IRL. Sort books, toys, and games to find things you’ve outgrown. Then think of who might enjoy them.
- Create window art with washable paint.
- Go for a run.
- Do some yard work.
- Go for a nature walk.
- Call a grandparent or older relative or close family friend who might be bored, too.
- Get assigned a character from Disney’s random character generator. Now you have to talk and act like that character for the next 30 min, but don’t tell anyone in your house what you are doing.
- Learn to crochet or knit.
- Write a letter to your favorite musician telling them why you love their music.
- Take an enneagram test to learn about your personality.
- Ask your parents if you can take over (or help with) the family budget for a month and learn about finances.
- Make a list of things that make you happy.
- Plan a dream vacation. Research the destination, where you would go, what you’d do, and how much it will cost.
- Learn a choreographed dance from YouTube.
- Take a free online course from Great Courses.
- Read a book from 100 greatest books in literature.
- Plan your next party with X budget. You have an imaginary budget of $X to plan ________ (your next birthday party, a Halloween party, a party for your sibling/best friend, Mother’s day/Father’s day) Use the internet for pricing and decide on your venue, food (ingredients or restaurant meals), entertainment, decorations and so on. Is there a dress code? How many people will you invite? What will the invitations look like?
- Practice a tripod handstand.
- Create a neighborhood scavenger hunt for the little kids in your neighborhood.
- Have straws? Make a geodesic dome.
- Make a mini bow and arrow out of a popsicle stick.
- Have a virtual face masking party!
- Go for a walk and think up nice notes you can write to your neighbors as you walk by their homes. Then send them.