Whether it is Summer vacation or Christmas break, extra time with your children is always welcome. However, after a few days the excitement of having the kids around can start to wear off. Instead of letting your kids become couch potatoes you should look for some fun, boredom busting activities to engage in. Listed below you’ll find 18 fun ways to kill boredom while having fun with your children — all on the cheap!
Create Homemade Costumes
Let’s face it, kids area always going to love getting dressed up. Heck, would it be embarrassing to admit that we still like doing it? Avoid spending money on expensive pre-made costumes and instead go down to a local Goodwill or Salvation Army where you can donate to charity while creating your own little costume. Try to recreate your kids favorite character and then watch as they have fun roleplaying! If you don’t feel like donating to charities then try to recreate the costume with just what is in your house!
Build a Shoebox Dollhouse
If you have a little girl or little boy that likes to play with action figures then you need to bring their game up a notch! Work together with your child to create a little home out of shoeboxes so that their dolls have a place to live. This is a great way to boost child development problem solving abilities. Get as creative or as simple as you like.
Try out Geocaching
If you are in a reasonably popular area then you should have no problem finding a few Geocaching spots to dig up. Geocaching is essentially modern day treasure hunting. You simply look up clues on the internet, or the phone application, and then you explore outside until you find the treasure. This can be a lot of fun particularly if there are a few geocaches near a local park or even your home!
Go Bird Watching
Print out a guide or buy a book that showcases the local birds that are currently in season. Grab your kids and head down to the nearest park with a pair of binoculars. The cure to any boredom, or sleep problem even, is getting out and interacting with nature. Your kids will love looking for animals and you won’t need any helpful sleep medicines to pass out when you get home!
Create an I Spy Game
With some loose beads, a few tiny charms, and a windowed pencil case you can create your own little I Spy container. Sure, this game may not keep you entertained for very long but it makes for a great little tabletop game for a kid in need of something to distract them. The best part is that you can always update the little game to keep their brains engaged!
Have a Marshmallow Fight
So you want to have a little ‘war’ with your kid but toy guns are too expensive? All you need are a couple plastic cups, some balloons, and a bag of marshmallows and you are ready to roll. Cut the plastic cup in half, seal the top with the balloon and then load your ammunition into the open bottom end. Now all you have to do is pull back on the balloon to launch the marshmallow!
Water Balloon Baseball
For a fun riff on both water balloons and baseball you should combine the two! Prep a basket full of water balloons and get a pair of plastic bats. Take turns seeing who can explode the most water balloons. This game is particularly fun on a hot summer day. If all else fails you can start an epic water balloon fight and totally forget about the baseball part of the game.
Sure, your backyard is still your backyard but it can still be exciting. Going camping in the backyard can be a ton of fun for your kids. If your children are young enough they will see it as an adventure no matter what you do. Bust out the tents, get a little campfire going, and roast some marshmallows and smores. Tell stories and bond with your child in a whole new way.
Host a Movie Night
Going to the movies is a lot of fun but very expensive. Instead of going out you can plan to set up your home like a movie theater! Get popcorn going and then set up a few comfortable seats in front of the TV. Have your kid dress like an usher and give them little tasks to do to make them feel important and involved. If you really want to go all out you can even have them draw up movie posters for whatever movie they want to watch.
Organize a Treasure Hunt
If you are feeling motivated and want to give your kids an adventure then make up your own little treasure hunt. Hide pieces of candy or little prices all over the house or the yard and then leave a path of clues for your kids to find and solve. They’ll love the feeling of adventure and the sense of satisfaction that comes with solving the clues. Just don’t make the clues too hard to find.
You have no idea how much your kids want to feel like ‘grown ups’. Invite your children into the kitchen for a round of baking. Make cookies or brownies and let the children go all out with their decorations. Get sprinkles, frosting, and other toppings and let your children become food artists. They’ll be doubly satisfied when the cookies are cooked and ready to eat.
Put up Glowing Stars
If your kids are used to living in town then they likely have never gotten a good look at the stars. Buy a bag of those cheap sticky stars and paste them all over your kids ceiling. When you are done you can turn the lights off and draw the blinds for a fun visual experience that they’ll relive every night.
Create a Noodle Racetrack
Take a fresh pool noodle and cut it in half down the middle. Now you can lay down the noodle at a sloped angle, feeding it into a shoebox. With the halved noodles side by side you and your kid can race marbles down the noodles. This is fun, creative, and a little creative.
Make Artistic Collages
Get some construction paper, a few magazines or coloring books, and some kid friendly scissors. Let your kids cut out their favorite images and put them together on the construction paper as a sort of collage. If you are feeling ambitious you can even frame it and hang it on their walls!
Create Fairy Art
All you need are some sticks, some paint, and a little collection of bells, charms and wires. Let your kids go to town creating their own fairy artwork by dressing up the sticks with color, charms, and bells. When you are all done you can hang them in the garden.
Go on a Nature Photoshoot
Get a cheap disposable camera and head to the park with your kid. Let them go to town taking pictures of whatever they want while you watch and take your own photos. This is a creative way for you to get your child thinking artistically.
Become Pen Pals
If your kid is old enough to start writing then offer to become their pen pals. They’ll get to write you, or whoever they want, a letter that you can then send off. Encouraging them to write is a great way to keep their education sharp during breaks from school.
Create a Time Capsule
Cement this moment in time by creating a little time capsule to bury in the back yard. Let your kid put in whatever they want while also throwing in a few of your ideas. Bury it for a month, a year, ten years — whatever. When you dig it back up your kids will be touched to relive the special moment with their family.