As a parent, you probably hear the phrase, “I’m bored!” more than you care to admit. Although your children probably have an endless array of entertainment options at home, it seems like it’s never enough to satisfy their thirst for fun and excitement. That’s why we’ve come up with 20 fun things kids can do when they are bored.

The ideas below are great for children of all ages, and can be easily modified depending on their skill level and unique needs. In addition to helping them tap into their creative side, many of these tips get them moving and even teach a few life skills. Let the fun begin!

Create a boredom jar – This is a perfect one to get started with. In small pieces of paper, have your child write down something fun to do. Put each idea into a jar and when they are at a loss for what to do, they can pick one paper out of the jar and do what it says.

Wash the car – Great for younger kids since they love doing grown up things and helping around the house. You can give them different tasks such as hosing down the car, filling the bucket with water, and drying it once you’re done.

Have a dance party or belt out a few tunes – Any time is a great time to turn on some music and sing or dance. Whether you bust a few moves and have a dance battle, or grab a mic (or hairbrush) and pretend to be your favorite singer, you can make it even more fun by decorating your ‘stage’ and dressing up.

Build a fort – Building a fort is one of those childhood activities that is always a blast. Give your child blankets, pillows and any other items that will help them create a cozy space to read, play, listen to music, or anything else they enjoy.

Remodel a room – Older children will definitely get a kick out of this one. They can play with different design layouts, redecorate, or perhaps even get their own room if they’ve been sharing with a sibling.

Create a comic strip – Have your child come up with a character(s) and then create a three- to five-frame strip complete with drawings and dialogue. Once it’s ready they can share it with the rest of the family.

Try a workout video – From relaxing yoga to a fast-paced cardio session, the internet offers a huge selection of free workout videos that you can do at home. Not only will your kids have fun, but they’ll also get in some physical activity. Take it a step further and have them come up with their own workout that the whole family can do together.

Come up with a scavenger hunt – A scavenger hunt around the house or even at a local park will get even the most bored of children excited. You can make it as difficult or as easy as you like depending on your child’s age. You can challenge younger students to find items in alphabetical order, or in a specific color or shape. Older children can get more complex clues like: find an item in the house that begins with the same letter as the capital of Texas.

Sidewalk art – Create a mural or other work of art with chalk. Whether your child wants to create an inspirational message, a portrait, or a beautiful landscape, the possibilities are endless.

Whip something up in the kitchen – Few things are more satisfying than cooking or baking something and then getting to enjoy the fruits of your labor. First, choose a course (appetizer, entree, or dessert) and then either follow a recipe or come up with your own. You can make it as simple or difficult as you’d like, and either make something from scratch or go the boxed/bagged/canned route. Do what works best for your child’s age and skill set.

Create a poster about the future – Children can include what their plans are for the future: what they want to be when they grow up, the house they’d like to live in, where, and anything else they envision or hope for. They can draw and color pictures or cut them out of magazines. Encourage them to be as detailed and specific as possible.

Plan a family night – Let your child  come up with a fun family night. Things to consider: what to do, where to do it, snacks for the event, and anything else they’d like to include. They can even send out invitations.

Do a photoshoot – Tap into your child’s creative side by giving them a camera and letting them snap away. Whether it’s siblings, pets, or toys that are the subject, let your child come up with poses, choose outfits and pick out locations. You can then create an online album and share on social media with family and friends.

Write a letter – Is there a friend or relative that lives in another state or country? Have your child write them a letter to send in the mail. They’ll practice their writing skills, learn how to address an envelope, and bring a smile to someone’s face in the process.

Create a collage – Whether it’s with photographs, pictures from a magazine or their very own artwork, have your child create a collage. Make it even more fun by giving them a theme like friendship, vacation, animals, or music, just to name a few.

Design an obstacle course – Using any items you have either inside or outside your home, challenge your child to create a fun obstacle course for every family member to complete. You can even make it a competition by pitting mom against dad or one sibling with another.

Plan your next birthday – Birthdays are a big deal for every child. Get them excited about their next one by having them plan their perfect day. Will there be a huge party with cake and balloons? A fun trip? A small gathering with friends and family? A low-key celebration at home? They can write or draw what they envision and start planning for the big day.

Play board games – Nix boredom by bringing out the board games and engaging in some friendly competition. From classic games from your childhood to tons of new options, there are games out there for every age and interest. No board games? No problem! Grab a deck of cards and start playing.

Water play – Whether it’s a backyard water slide, water balloons or water guns, this idea is a refreshing, sure-fire way to beat boredom and the heat.

Blindfolded taste test – Kids of all ages will love this one. Take turns placing a blindfold on each person who will then have to taste several food items and guess what they are. Use a combination of flavors like sweet, salty, bitter, etc. for maximum fun and laughs.

One final thought: being bored isn’t always a bad thing. Sometimes, it’s ok to be bored. It allows children to be creative and inventive as they come up with ways to keep themselves entertained, stay busy, and make use of what they have around them.

What do you do when your kiddos are bored? Share your ideas in the comments below.

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