Family Games

45 Creative Things to Do When Kids Are Bored

By: Highlights Editorial
A child about to push the first domino in a row of multi-colored dominoes.
For All Ages
Critical Thinking

Are your kids having another “I’m bored!” moment? At Highlights, we understand that it can be hard to think of things to do when your kids as bored. Alas, look no further than this list of more than 40 creative things to do when bored at home. And don't forget to subscribe to Highlights magazine for a monthly dose of fun and encouragement, keeping kids of every age inspired and challenged.

1. Make a matching game using playing cards. See how quickly you can match them up!

2. Doodle your day. Show what you did from morning to night. 

3. Make sock puppets of your family members, then put on a puppet show.

4. Invent your own language. Can you teach it to someone else?

5. Rewrite the ending to your favorite story— or tell the story with some of the characters as aliens, robots, or fish. 

6. Measure how far you can jump, then see if you can beat it. 

7. Learn how something is made. Could you make it yourself?

8. Read a book that’s in a different genre than you would normally read.  

9. Make a salad or sandwich kabob. Slide ingredients like cherry tomatoes, chunks of cheese, cubes of bread and cucumber slices onto a skewer. Drizzle with ranch dressing. 

10. Create doodles from ink fingerprints. 

11. Make a long and winding row of standing dominoes, then knock them down!

12. Look through old photos to revisit memories from the past. 

13. Try a new food. 

14. Make a hideout for a pet using cardboard boxes, scissors and tape. (Make sure your pet can get in and out on their own!)

15. Write a fan letter to your favorite author. 

16. Make a mini town for your train set or cars.

17. Blow bubbles. Try to make the biggest bubble ever. 

18. Bake a giant chocolate chip cookie by rolling out cookie dough into one pizza-sized cookie.

19. Make a scroll by wrapping long paper strips around two sticks or dowels. What will you write on it?

20. Plan and help make a meal for your family. 

21. Memorize five of something—songs, quotes, words in another language, bits of trivia, jokes, facts about your town or whatever you want!

22. Balance a pen or pencil on one finger. 

23. Make a mini ice-cream sundae.

24. Invent a new holiday: Decide what it should be about and how to celebrate. 

25. Make a chalk maze or obstacle course on a sidewalk or driveway. (Wanna make your own chalk, too? Click here.)

26. Look at things through a magnifying glass. See what you can find when you look at things really closely. 

27. Do a new hairdo using gel or a styling tool (with permission). Then name it. 

28. Draw a picture using a single line—don’t take your pencil off the paper. 

29. Plant seeds and see which take the longest to grow. 

30. Call a friend or family member just to say hi.

31. Come up with a fictional character and write a description of them. What do they like to do?

32. Build a house of cards. Be patient—it can take a lot of practice!

33. Make a jumbo jump rope. Tie several ropes together, then see how many people can jump at once!

34. Do stuff with tiny stones. Pile them high, paint them, create a drawing around them or use them as the pieces in a game of jacks. 

35. Watch the clouds go by. Find a spot where you can lie on your back and see what shapes you can spot!

36. Challenge yourself to a game of chess or checkers: Play both sides of the board!

37. Do a chore without being told. 

38. Write a rap about your pet (or whatever inspires your rhyme).

39. Create a code to communicate with your friends or family. 

40. Practice a magic trick. 

41. Look in a mirror and try communicating without saying anything. For example, can you show being frustrated, excited, sorry or curious?

42. Make a time capsule and put it away in your closet to open later. 

43. Read a book out loud to a sibling, pet or stuffed animal. 

44. Make up a tune to match your mood. What is your theme music right now?

45. Send a joke or riddle to

Did you complete all 45 boredom busters? Still looking for activities and crafts to keep boredom at bay? Banish boredom with hundreds of fun things to do with kids! This award-winning activity book is filled with engaging ideas for experiments, crafts, games, recipes and more things to do that curious kids will love.

Author Photo
By: Highlights Editorial