Boredom busters

In the kitchen

♥ Make playdough!
♥ Play with flour ~ Suggested by Erinmalia
♥ Make gloop ~ Suggested by Julia
♥ Make volcanos with baking soda and vinegar ~ Suggested by Jessica.
♥ Make saltdough – Suggested by Jessica.
♥ Juice bar. Take a couple of types of juice, ice, sliced fruit, straws and paper umbrellas – prize for the best and grossest combinations ~ Suggested by Charlotte
♥ Decorate a pizza ~ Suggested by Charlotte
♥ Create a marshmallow & toothpick sculpture ~ Suggested by Leslie. Inspiration here!
♥ Make natural paints ~ suggested by Jude
♥ Make crayon cookies ~ Jude
♥ Food game. Put a small selection of food on a tray. Then get your little ones to close their eyes and see if they can guess what it is they are eating ~ suggested by Robyn
♥ Use cookie cutters to cut out shapes from a variety of flat foods. For example slices of bread, cheese or watermelon ~ suggested by Robyn

Science

♥ Experiment with color mixing using baking soda and vinegar ~ Suggested by Amy A
♥ Make magic potions ~ Suggested by Jo. Inspired by Jo’s wonderful suggestions I have put together some magic potion tutorials here, here and here!

Music

♥ Make music from household objects such as pots pans and wooden spoons ~ Suggested by Maria
♥ Put some music on and have a dance ~ Suggested by Helen
♥ Make some homemade instruments. Tutorials here, here, here and here!

Water play

♥ Do the washing. Make a child-sized washing line with some string and a couple of sticks stuck in the ground. Then have some fun ‘washing’ clothes and pegging them on the line.
Ice cube painting – it’s the perfect summer activity!
♥ Make some homemade bubbles & pipecleaner wands ~ Suggested by Charlotte
♥ A sinkful/bowlful of water with containers for pouring ~ Suggested by Jessica
♥ Use shaving cream to make bath paint ~ Suggested by Amy A
♥ Outdoor water painting. Simply use a cup of water and a paintbrush! This is a great activity for those of you in a warmer climate ~ Suggested by Susan
♥ Make a fishing game

Outdoor

♥ Make a mudpie. Grab some spoons, water and some plastic pots or muffin trays and head outside to make some muddy pies.
♥ Plant some seeds. ~ Suggested by Charlotte
♥ Go on a scavenger hunt ~ Suggested by Rachel
♥ Chalk outlines. Find a concrete area outside and draw round your child’s body using chalk – they can then draw on theri own faces, hair and clothes. Recipe for homemade chalk here ~ Suggested by Ronne
♥ If it’s raining go worm collecting. Don the wellies, and grab the washing up liquid – the worms will soon surface! ~ Suggested by James Service
♥ Do some snowball painting ~ Suggested by Amy A

Drawing/Painting/Collage

♥ Create a ‘Life Size Me’. Stick together enought pieces of paper so that your little (or not so little) one can lie down on it. Take a pencil or pen and draw around them. You’ll then have a life sized body shape for them to decorate however they like ~ Suggested by Angela
♥ Assemble a collage box and fill with cut up wrapping paper, yarn, fabric scraps, old magazines, bottle tops and sweet wrappers etc ~ Suggested by Julie
Wax relief painting ~ Suggested by Jen
♥ Make natural paints ~ Suggested by Jude
♥ Make crayon cookies ~ Suggested by Jude
♥ Make a super hero comic collage ~ Suggested by Jude
♥ Make some potato charaters ~ Suggested by Sheila
♥ Make some puff paint ~ Suggested by Rachel
♥ Sticky pictures. Put some clear adhesive book covering on a table and let your kids stick paper/cellophane scraps onto it. When you are finished stick another sheet of cellophane on the top and hang it in a window. Great way to recycle all those sweet wrappers! ~ Suggested by Ronne
♥ Marble art. Line a tray (preferably with high-ish edges!) with paper, dip marbles in paint then roll them around in the tray to create some beautiful artworks ~ Suggested by Suzukisinger
♥ Dip toy trucks in paint then drive them around on some paper ~ Suggested by Louise
♥ Bubble prints. Stir together 1/2 cup water, 2 tablespoons paint, and 1 tablespoon washing up liquid in a plastic cup. Blow into the mixture using a straw until bubbles come out of the top of the cup. Gently lay the paper on top of the cup to make the print ~ Suggested by Louise
♥ Make a play mat. Get a large piece of paper. Place on the floor and draw roads, traffic lights, houses, rivers, shops. Then get the toy cars out and let them drive around the ‘town’ ~ Suggested by Roisin
♥ Sunprints. You can buy special paper for making sunprints. If you are looking for a lo-fi version try using contruction/sugar paper instead ~ Suggested by Wendi

Sewing

♥ Introduce your pre-schooler to sewing ~ Suggested by Helen
♥ Make some sewing cards.
♥ Make clothes for your dolls or bears from J-cloths – it doesn’t fray and is cheap! ~ Suggested by Jo
Make super hero capes ~ Suggested by Mykidsmake
Make an Eric Carle collage ~ Suggested by Se7en
Salt painting ~ Suggested by Jojoebi

Dress up

♥ Assemble a dress up box ~ Suggested by Charlotte
♥ Stage a photo shoot. Raid the dress up box and strike lots of silly poses and pull funny faces ~ Suggested by Rosie

Games

♥ Play toy hide and seek ~ Suggested by Amy A
♥ Create your own games using these printable games boards. You can invent a game according to your child’s interests and skills ~ Suggested by nzAlly
♥ The tray game. Put a number of assorted objects on a tray and give your kids a certain amount of time to memorise them. Then cover the tray with a cloth and see how many they can recall ~ Suggested by Nick
♥ Make hacky sack darts ~ Suggested by Jacqui
♥ ‘Old school’ games such as sack races, egg and spoon race, and 3-legged race ~ Suggested by Helen.
♥ Shut the curtains, turn off the lights and play in the dark using torches ~ Suggested by Janice
♥ Create a bowling set using empty plastic bottles and a ball ~ Suggested by Jessica

Storytime/Imagination

♥ Create a story featuring your favorite toys ~ Suggested by Sheila
♥ Make a mini theater from a big cardboard box and stage your own productions (featuring your favorite toys of course) ~ Suggested by Kimira
♥ Make puppets from recycled household items ~ Suggested by Maggy
♥ Letter pantomime. Use your kids bodies to make each letter of the alphabet and then take photos. You can then create a collage of the photos ~ Suggested by Candice
♥ Make teddy bear passports ~ Suggested by Joanna

Let’s pretend

♥ Have a picnic in the living room – or even under a table ~ Suggested by Maria
♥ Make binoculars from cardboard tubes, hide a toy, and let the kids go on a toy animal safari ~ Suggested by Tracey

Construction

♥ Make a model building kit out of drinking straws and pipe cleaners. Push the pipe cleaners into the drinking straws leaving an end sticking out (onto which you can push another straw). You can vary the length of straws/pipecleaners ~ Suggested by Jo
♥ Make a den! Grab some cushions, a table, sheets and make an indoor den.
♥ Make a drinking straw glider ~ Suggested by Ronne
♥ Make origami airplanes ~ Suggested by Rose
♥ Make a balloon snowman ~ Suggested by Julee
♥ Make a cardboard box dollhouse ~ Suggested by Darcy
♥ Make straw necklaces ~ Suggested by Claudia

Useful resources

http://www.thetoymaker.com/
http://www.e-coloriage.com/

17 thoughts on “Boredom busters

  1. Thanks Helen – and thanks for your great suggestions! I had a few glasses of wine while putting this list together(!) so I need to check over it and add a few more things. After which I’ll put a post up announcing that it’s there 🙂

  2. We play water bowl. I set out a beach towel on the kitchen floor (tile), mixing bowls with water, smaller bowls, spoons, floating toys, etc … This will keep my son amused for quite a while. When he is done I use the wet towel to “mop” the floor.

  3. Hi Kayfinedays,

    Of course you may. I love your son’s blog by the way – it’s such a lovely idea. Always hard to know what to do with the piles of pictures. Do you mind if I link to his blog from my minieco favorites section?

  4. Just come across your site …fab!

    Instead of taping pieces of paper together buy lining paper from DIY stores – make sure it is not the pre glued type. This is excellent for body outlines and we also use it to draw maps and towns on. Also great for foot painting – our most recent one now decorates the wall on the stairs…my son loves following the footsteps all the way up!!

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