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100+ things for kids to do at home when bored (from toddlers to teens)

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Does it drive you crazy when your kids complain for the umpteenth time that “Mom, I am bored”? 

Or is it just me?

I wish there was a magic wand that could solve this problem! 

I don’t know why kids think being bored is not their problem, but their mom’s.

Whatever! We are moms, and we are here to help them solve their problems. They know that mom has a solution for everything, hence the whining. 

So, what to do when your kids are at home bored?

Make a list!

Yes, that’s what we do when we can’t find anything to do. This is true, especially for the summer holidays when the intensity of whining reaches its peak. 

But before we make a list, let me tell you two things.

Boredom is not all bad.

Kids being bored is not something we need to be worried of. As a part of raising wholesome adults, kids need to be trained on managing their idle time too. 

But more points if they can do it without shoving a screen on their face 24×7. 

It is doable if we manage to raise kids to manage their screen time from childhood. 

According to science, children require boredom to function at their highest potential. This is because boredom helps to develop curiosity, creativity, and out-of-the-box thinking. 

They learn to be resourceful if we let them be on their own when they are bored. 

I think today’s kids feel that they need to fill each and every second with an activity or else they will look for a screen to engage themselves. 

I somehow want to convince them that staring at space and daydreaming are good activities too. Because when you come back from the daydream after traveling through your deepest desires or wildest imaginations, you somehow can feel happier and inspired. 

Isn’t it from those daydreams you get to know what kind of life you want to live? Don’t those daydreams help you understand yourself better?

Staring at a screen doesn’t give you the space or time to think. 

So, instead of fearing kids’ complaints of being bored, encourage them to sit with themselves without doing anything at all. 

things for kids to do at home when bored

You are not responsible for managing their time

Kids somehow manage to unleash all their emotions and rants with their mothers more than with their fathers. 

They do a pretty well job of holding their emotions until they get a glimpse of mom.

As comforting this piece of truth as it can be, moms also start feeling the need to be responsible for managing kids’ free time

In the earlier decades, parents could let their kids wander outside as much as they wanted and only saw them when they returned from playing outside. Or they could be just hanging out with friends and chatting. 

But, today it’s different. In fact, some surveys show that kids today get only half of the outdoor playtime compared to what their parents got. 

Some contributing factors are fear and ease of availability of technology.

Since kids are indoors more, they are also more bored. But still, it doesnt mean we should be held responsible to engage them all the time. 

You can make sure they have the appropriate toys and tools to engage themselves with. 

You can provide guidelines or offer suggestions on how to manage their free time, but also let them know subtly that they are the masters of their time.

That being said, as a part of raising independent kids, we can help kids create a list of boredom-busting activities from which they can choose what to do at each given point in time. 

Once you create the list, you don’t have to rack your brain hard each time when kids complain of boredom. You can just remind them of the list and ask them to select one activity from it. 

You can either create a list and stick it somewhere or you can make a boredom-buster jar. 

things for kids to do at home when bored

If you want ideas that will end boredom for kids, here are some:


Toddlerhood is all about exploring and therefore activities that promote visual, gross, and fine motor skills are beneficial for them.

  1. Do crafts 
  2. Counting activities
  3. Playing with soft toys
  4. Finger painting
  5. Play with water toys in a kiddie pool
  6. Big chunky puzzles
  7. Bubble wraps
  8. Building blocks
  9. Sensory bin play
  10. Treasure hunt games
  11. Rock painting
  12. ‘I spy’ game to teach the names of objects
  13. Play hide and seek
  14. Bake with them (make them knead and roll the dough)
  15. Read with them
  16. Play doctor
  17. Play with a cardboard box (get inside it or paint it)
  18. Water some plants
  19. Play with play-dough or do activities with egg tray molds
  20. Draw with chalk on a board
  21. Play with bubbles
  22. Pretend play
things for kids to do at home when bored - play with bubbles


  1. Coloring and drawing
  2. Do Ice painting
  3. Scavenger hunt
  4. Outdoor play – running race, playing a sport, skipping, blowing bubbles, etc
  5. Puzzles 
  6. Music and dance
  7. Go for a walk and count the number of blue cars
  8. Paint their nails
  9. Cook together – make easy recipes like lemonade, nice cream, easy sandwiches, etc
  10. Do science experiments
  11. Play board games
  12. Do simple sewing or crochet projects
  13. Do yoga
  14. Go to a park or a pool
  15. Make a colored salt dough
  16. Make fruit kebabs
  17. Make mud pie
  18. Play Minute to Win It games
  19. Bake some cookies, make hot chocolate, pop up a teepee tent and play indoor camping
  20. Do activity books or activity sheets from the web
  21. Make slime and play with it
  22. Play truth or dare
  23. Have a chat session with these questions. These will help you to learn about them better and also make them think.
  24. House chores. House chores can be an efficient way for them to deal with boredom. They will feel much more productive and happier after cleaning up/organizing a space. Set a timer and ask them to clean a space as much as they can in 30 minutes. 
  25. Read an encyclopedia and learn a new fact. Read up more on a topic they are interested about and watch videos too.
  26. Build a fort
  27. Solve a crossword or sudoku
  28. Go on a bike ride 
  29. Make handmade gifts for someone
  30. Play charades
  31. List your favorite things
  32. Try finger painting
  33. Build a fort using pillows, blankets, sheets, and lights. Play pretend games or board games inside it and have yummy snacks too.
  34. Download and do fun or educational worksheets
  35. Write a letter to your grandparents or friends and send it by snail mail. Ask them for a reply letter too. There is nothing more fun and rewarding than receiving handwritten mail in this digital era.
things for kids to do at home when bored - write a letter to grandparents or friends


As kids grow up, it gets harder to find things that they can occupy themselves with other than a screen. 

From what I see around me, even at my own home, 10-year-old or 12-year-old kids have the tendency to grab a screen immediately when they feel bored. 

It’s a bit hard to persuade them to engage in creative activities especially if you have kids who don’t love the outdoors much or prefer to sit somewhere idly after a long day at school. 

The easiest thing for them to do is to sit with a screen. But as we all know, too much screen time can cause addiction and it snatches away their precious time that can be used for creative pursuits. 

And we may be paving the way to raise adults who have too much screen dependency as most people are today. 

So, what can a 12-year-old do when bored at home? 

Here are some ideas. 

Remember, it’s not easy to persuade older kids to do things they don’t feel like as we can do with an elementary-aged child. 

So, it’s better to make a boredom buster list for your tweens and teens after consulting with them, so they can pick an activity when they are bored. Or even better, ask them to make it on their own.

Here are some boredom-busting activity ideas for tweens and teens.

  1. Learn something new like a language or an instrument. Here is a great language-learning website that I personally use for myself and my daughter. I love how the lessons are laid out in an easy bite-sized format and the structure of each lesson with audio, pdfs, etc. Highly recommended!
  2. Read a book. If your teen loves reading, this hobby can be a great boredom buster and a substitute for screen time. Get them a library membership and let them read to their heart’s content. Or get them a Kindle for buying books at a smaller price than paperback versions. I also love how Kindle helps us to store thousands of books in the device and therefore no clutter in your living space.
  3. Board games 
  4. Make a comic
  5. Write a short story
  6. Bake something- tweenage is a good age to start with baking cookies or brownies if they haven’t yet done it. Help them bake cookies, brownies, and even bread. If they like doing it, everyone at home gets to eat yummy treats once in a while. 
  7. Gardening. If you are into gardening, teach them about the basics of taking care of plants. If they are not into growing ornamental plants, they can try growing vegetable plants or herbs too.
  8. Do an art project. Make a drawing, color a picture, or do bottle art. Youtube has tons of resources to get started.
  9. Start a Youtube channel
  10. Learn about a new topic by reading books on it and watching documentaries and videos.
  11. Learn crochet or knitting. Tweenage is a good age to start playing with yarns and making pretty stuff. 
  12. Teach them how to take care of pets and let them raise a puppy or a cat (or any animal of their liking). Playing with pets and taking care of them will help them to ease their stress and boredom too. 
  13. Teach them how to fix their meals and let them do meal prepping for school
  14. Get them adult coloring books. They are great for de-stressing and unwinding after long hours of studying. 
  15. Get outside. Play a sport, ride a bike, play frisbees or just take a walk in nature with your tween.
  16. Make a bucket list of things they wish to do in life and make a goal list. This will help them to daydream a bit and find ways to turn those dreams into reality. Having a direction to follow early on in life can be a great motivation to get more invested in studies or other hobbies they wanna take more seriously. 
  17. Help them make a vision board for all those goals
  18. Get them into building things – woodworking or even simple projects to do with clay
  19. Watch great documentaries on Netflix or Youtube. Here are some recommendations for documentaries to watch with kids from Flixboss and Cafe Mom.
  20. Learn to code. There are tons of opportunities for kids if they know a coding language.
  21. Learn calligraphy, watercolor painting, or acrylic painting. Here are some tutorials to start painting. You can also look up Youtube for tutorials.
  22. Do workout videos from Youtube. They can choose between yoga, pilates, dance workouts, etc. 
  23. Declutter their room and get rid of the toys or other things they don’t use anymore. And also donate the old clothes that don’t fit them anymore.
  24. Redecorate living space. My daughter loves playing interior decoration games online. So letting them experience the thrill of it in real life is also a good idea. They can buy cheap lights and some interior decorative stuff online and try redecorating their space for a change. 
  25. Side hustles. There are tons of opportunities for teens to earn some pocket money today. Like babysitting, dog walking, simple online jobs, lawn care, content creation or assistance, etc. 
  26. Sew a pillowcase
  27. Help with meal prepping and planning
  28. Help with ordering groceries online
  29. Paint someone’s nails
  30. Learn your favorite song on an instrument
  31. Learn about your favorite country’s history, food, and culture
  32. Memorize country names and capitals
  33. Wash the car – cleaning is therapeutic
  34. Make jewelry for themselves or gift it to people.
  35. Offer to help someone. Help a neighbor or family member with a chore.
  36. Host a family game night. Let them plan everything from scratch including food, decor, etc.
  37. Visit a museum, or art gallery and learn about the history and culture.
  38. Make your favorite candy from scratch using healthy ingredients
  39. Take lessons on a new sport
  40. Create a savings goal and make a plan on how to earn money and how much to save each month
  41. Conduct scientific experiments
  42. Make and fly a kite
  43. Design a card for a friend or family member for their upcoming birthday
  44. Try rock painting
  45. Do a 7-day Random Acts of Kindness challenge.
  46. Do a photoshoot in your garden and learn to take pictures of objects or self-portraits
  47. Make friendship bracelets
  48. Learn origami
  49. Make bookmarks and gift to friends
  50. Try DIY soaps, lotions, and creams. Or what about bath bombs?
  51. Join an online program to improve a desired skill
  52. Conduct a tea party for your friends by making snacks, baking cookies, adding some crackers, and decorating the table.
things for kids to do at home when bored - have a tea party for friends


  • Make sure your kids are exposed to different activities from a young age- including fun, recreational, athletic, and learning-oriented activities. This will help them to grow their interests in different areas and learn more about their interests.
  • Make sure to impose a limit on daily screen time. The addiction itself can cause them to lose interest in other activities and start becoming restless at the slightest hint of boredom. For eg: During car rides, when waiting for food at a restaurant, when standing in queues, etc. Let them get used to sitting with boredom, which is only good for us.
  • Try to engage in activities with them or be a present parent when they are around. If you are used to scrolling on your phone all the time, they learn to depend on screens automatically too. Kids crying out of boredom is not always because they are bored. They might just be seeking some connection with you and wants your attention.

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