101 Things to Do When Kids are Bored

Tired of hearing how "boooooored" the kids are? We've got solutions!

By Valarie Fisher, Publisher of Macaroni Kid Roseville-Rocklin-Lincoln, CA July 22, 2020

How many times this summer have you heard "Mom, I'm booooored!"

We're here with 101 solutions for kids who say there's nothing to do! These tech-free ideas will keep children entertained at home — no matter what time of year.

Make it fun (and happily take yourself out of the equation!) by creating a game: simply write these ideas on slips of paper and put them in a jar. When the kids need something to do at home, have them pick one at random.

The only rule: They have to do what's on the slip for at least 15 minutes. They might resist at first, but once their interest is piqued or their imaginations are sparked, you'll likely find that 15 minutes turns into 30, or even an hour or two. Sweet relief, mama!

One piece of advice that we learned the hard way: make sure you have all the supplies needed for the activities you choose for your jar... unless you want to make running to the store part of the adventure!

  • Plan and prepare a meal
  • Have a family movie night, complete with popcorn – see our lists of classic movies from the '80s and '90s
  • Organize a living room campout
  • Create a collage
  • Make English muffin pizzas
  • Construct a marble run with toilet paper tubes
  • Set up a Domino run
  • Bake cake mix cookies
  • Host a sleepover
  • Play hot potato (with bean bags or balls!)
  • Write and illustrate a comic book
  • Craft a poem
  • Laugh over Mad Libs (or make up your own!)
  • Fold origami
  • Complete a puzzle
  • Create a sock puppet
  • Make homemade ice cream sandwiches with cookies
  • Learn a magic trick
  • Play charades
  • Play balloon badminton, using a craft stick and paper plate as your "racquet."
  • Write a letter to a friend or relative 
  • Play "I Spy"
  • Learn sign language
  • Play a board game – or make your own!
  • Make a treasure map to find hidden treasure 
  • Look for geometric shapes in the house and yard
  • Create a robot out of cans and other recycled materials
  • Color
  • Host a tea party
  • Puzzle over a word search
  • Play "Would You Rather" ("Would you rather do _____ or _____?")
  • Bake cookies and deliver to neighbors
  • Battle with foam dart guns
  • Write a story with words cut from magazines and glued to paper
  • Create shadow puppets on a wall
  • Play tic-tac-toe
  • Camp in the backyard
  • Organize an outside movie night
  • Jump rope
  • Play hopscotch
  • Plan a picnic
  • Master the hula hoop
  • Play with bubbles
  • Organize a game of hide and seek
  • Watch the sunset
  • Stargaze
  • Make a time capsule and bury it
  • Make a pool noodle sprinkler
  • Create a slippery water slide with a roll of plastic
  • DIY your own themed summer camp
  • Make slime  
  • Create art with stickers and stamps
  • Play classic yard games like Simon Says or tag
  • Get creative with a cardboard box
  • Use marshmallows and toothpicks to build things 
  • Dye noodles and make necklaces
  • Tie-dye a T-shirt
  • Trace your body onto a large sheet of paper and color it in
  • Make paper bag puppets and have a puppet show
  • Play hangman
  • Organize a lemonade stand
  • Play in a sandbox made from a child's pool
  • Climb a tree
  • Try to catch bugs or butterflies
  • Make mudpies
  • Study shadows at different times of the day
  • Have a neighborhood parade with bikes, scooters, and skates
  • Plant a garden
  • Make a backyard obstacle course
  • Make a bowling game with 2-liter plastic bottles as the pins
  • Practice cartwheels
  • Throw a flying disc
  • Have a water gun fight
  • Draw with sidewalk chalk
  • Plan a scavenger hunt (get our FREE printable)
  • Organize a water balloon fight
  • Paint kind messages on the sidewalk with chalk
  • Watch the sunrise
  • Lay on the ground and find shapes in the clouds
  • Identify the birds in your yard


Check the Macaroni Kid calendar for local in-person and virtual events!
Find your family fun!®