Screen Free Activities for When Kids Are Bored
No time for TV! Read here to learn 9 activities for kids when there is not much else going on.
Nasty weather can sometimes keep kids stuck inside. Being cooped up inside can be frustrating for kids and parents. Often children spend more time using screens like TV and tablets than they normally would because of their limited play options.
But rainy day activities don’t need to be a bummer! When kids say they are bored, there are many different rainy day activities and games children can try instead of using screens. From easy crafting to fun learning activities, there are so many rainy day games that can keep kids on the move and entertained. Next time your child is stuck inside on a rainy day, offer some of these fun activities when they tell you they’re bored. These also make for great indoor winter activities, when it’s more challenging to get and stay outside!
Check out these kid activities perfect for a day indoors.
One creative parent told us she made a “boredom” jar for her house. She cuts scraps of paper and writes a different activity for kids on each one. Each scrap contains suggestions like: “make paper boats”; “make friendship bracelets”, “play a ball toss game”, and other crafts and activities. Whenever her kids say they’re bored, instead of watching TV, she lets them choose three papers from the boredom jar and they can choose an activity to complete. It’s a great way to collect and store rainy day activities!
So which fun indoor activities are best to add for a day when you’re stuck at home? Anything fun and easy, such as crafts and activities that use household items, are best for rainy days and kids of all age. Any of the activities for kids below would be a great to add to your jar.
Build a Fort
Who doesn’t love a fort on a stormy day? It’s a great indoor activity for kids that can also exercise their motor skills. Let your child gather blankets, pillows, cardboard boxes, and chairs. Use them to make a pillow fort they can climb inside. Bring a flashlight and some stuffed animals and make it a party!
Indoor Obstacle Course
Obstacle courses can be a fun activity both outdoors and indoors! They also get kids moving, which works their gross motor skills, and help them to burn energy.
Kids might need help setting them up depending on their age. Try moving over and under things, rolling around, hopping on one foot or both. These moves help your child practice essential motor milestones. Be sure to let your child think of changes to make to the course as well to get their imagination going. Have a race and get involved. Remember to be safe and make sure sharp corners and breakable objects are put away or kept in a safe place.
Write a Letter
Did you know that handwriting, coloring, and cutting are a great way for children to practice fine motor skills? Get out fun stationary or plain paper and envelopes and let your children decorate the paper. Help them write a letter to a distant relative or old friend. Writing a letter can also help with their communication skills. If they’re too young to write, have them make a card with illustrations. Teach them how to address the letter and explain the how postage and stamps work.
Here’s an easy crafting activity that will last a while. Do you have any lonely, single socks lying around that just can’t seem to find a partner? Have some fun making them into sock puppets with your child. Use markers to draw faces and scissor to cut a mouth. You can then put on a puppet show with your sock puppets!
Start a costume bin in your house. Fill it with your clothes from past decades, old Halloween costumes, and goofy finds from thrift stores. Whenever your little one is looking for something fun to do, pull out the costume bin and let them step into character!
Let your child invent an imaginary pet. It can be a pet they wish they had or it doesn’t even have to be a real animal. Sometimes the mythical, made-up animals are more fun. Does it have the body of an eagle and the tusks of an elephant? Can it fly? Can it swim, but only in pools? Have your child come up with a name and story for their creature. Your child can draw pictures to tell the story of how their creature came to be.
Let your child don their fancy clothes and gather all their stuffed animal buddies. Perhaps you can play the butler and serve “tea” as your child leads conversations with his/her friends. We tend to think of communication milestones and language development when our children are learning their first words, but language development doesn’t end there. Did you know your child is learning to hold conversations and communicate socially when they play?
Have a Family Game Night
Looking for family activities kids of all ages can take part in? Then look no further than a family game night! Can’t find the right game to play? Check out this list of family-approved games, including everything from card games to games that will get everyone moving and working their motor skills.
Close your Eyes and Guess Game
This is a fun game to play to help with your child’s sensory development. Just like the name suggests, you take turns closing your eyes for this game. Brush a mystery object on your child’s hand and let them describe how the object feels and then guess what it might be. Try a feather, piece of fruit, or book. This game makes children use their sense of touch in place of vision relying on sensory integration skills to do so.
Scavenger Hunt for Kids
Who says scavenger hunts are just an outdoor activity? You can set up a scavenger hunt indoors by placing clues around the house and having your little one look for household products for the next clue (they can be simple objects, such as a toilet paper roll, a paper plate, a blue sock, etc.). Once they have found everything on the hunt, there can be a fun game or prize at the end; possibly some ice cream, or a fun craft to make. And hey, if the clouds part, then turn it into a nature scavenger hunt! There are many developmental benefits of outdoor activities for kids and playing in nature.
There are countless other fun activities you can add to your family’s boredom jar! Check out this kids activities blog where we have endless suggestions of indoor and outdoor activities that can be done at home. These can be fun activities for the entire family or open-ended activities for your child to complete on his or her own.