I think that some days, I could simply sit in a chair and sip an iced tea for hours, just doing nothing. My children, however, are another story. A five-minute lapse between activities is cause for disaster as they wander around the house whining and getting into mischief until something captures their attention again.
Through the years, I have discovered a few tried-and-true activities that no child can resist. These have been lifesavers for me and I hope they will be for you, too.
What to do with kids when they’re bored
First, create the tent. Construct your blanket tent using a heavy blanket that doesn’t let much light in. The key here is to replicate a nighttime setting so get it as dark in there as possible.
Next, give your child wooden kabob sticks and marshmallows to “roast”. If you want to go all out, let them build a fake campfire using empty paper towel tubes as logs and crumpled, orange construction paper for fire.
Give kids a flashlight and sleeping bags and tell them it’s nighttime in the blanket tent. They can tell ghost stories and roast their marshmallows. Maybe they’ll even fall asleep in their sleeping bags and you can grab a quick nap.
Make lava lamps
For this activity, you will need an empty water or soda bottle, cooking oil, food coloring, and a flashlight. Fill the bottle half full of water and add a few drops of food coloring. Fill the bottle the rest of the way with oil and put the lid on tight.
Turn the bottle upside down once and then right side up again. Shine your flashlight under the bottle as you watch your “lava lamp”. These are not only fun to make but kids will enjoy them for weeks to come.
Go through your house and collect as many small cardboard boxes as you can find. Empty food boxes are ideal for this activity. Give your kids a few craft supplies such as colored paper, tape, scissors, and markers.
Cut one side out of the boxes so that they look like doll houses. Cover the remaining three sides with paper and decorate the paper to look like buildings and houses. They can use small action figures and cars to complete the “city”.
I cannot count the times that we have made Oobleck in our family. If your kids have never made it, they are going to love it. Oobleck is a unique substance that is soft when you squish it slowly and solid when you pound it quickly.
Stir two cups of water and one cup of cornstarch in an 8×8 baking pan. You can use more or less, just keep the ratio of 2:1. Add some food coloring because kids love color, right? This stuff is so fun to play with that it entices toddlers to teens. Okay, even I can’t resist it.
Want some other suggestions of things for your kids to do? We’ve found a list of the best school games for kids.
Now that the kids are occupied, I’m going back to my iced tea and nothingness.