Summer Boredom Busters: 50 Screen-Free Activities for Kids

"I'm Bored." Have you heard this at home this summer?“I’m Bored.” Have you heard this at home this summer? If your answer is yes, I encourage you to muster your patience, and turn the experience into a teachable moment.

Because, truly, boredom is a choice.

As a kindergarten teacher and mother of four, I know and understand the value of teaching kids how to entertain themselves. Being “bored” can actually help children develop critical life skills and allow them to nurture their creativity and imagination.

Related:  Why Free Time for Play is So Important for Every Child

Our children need to develop the skills to entertain themselves without a screen.  In our fast-paced, tech-rich society, screen-time seems to be replacing down-time. We as parents need to remember it is not our job, nor is it in our children’s best interest to constantly entertain our kids.  Screen-free downtime is good for both children and adults.  It’s important for us as adults to be role models as well!

Inspired by my children’s occasional whining, I have compiled this go-to list of simple, screen-free boredom busters appropriate for kids aged 6 and up. If your child comes to you saying that he or she is bored, have them pick something to do from the list. Some of activities may need adult guidance, involvement and support depending on the age and independence of the child.

Here are 50 screen-free boredom busters:

  1. Play a board game.
  2. Read a book.
  3. Try a new recipe.
  4. Find or create a scavenger hunt.
  5. Set up a tent for play — maybe even camp out in the backyard.
  6. Make homemade lemonade.
  7. Play Tic Tack Toe.
  8. Build a campfire and make smores.
  9. Read the comics in the newspaper.
  10. Make window stars.
  11. Color. Set out coloring books, markers, crayons and coloring books inside or out.
  12. Play hangman.
  13. Make a daisy chain.
  14. Play baseball.
  15. Run through the sprinkler.
  16. Make ice cream.
  17. Lie on your back and watch the clouds.
  18. Play Hide-and-Seek.
  19. Practice and/or play a musical instrument.
  20. Try a lego challenge.
  21. Create a backyard obstacle course.
  22. Spend some time helping an elderly neighbor.
  23. Play with sidewalk chalk.
  24. Make giant bubbles.
  25. Read children’s magazines. You can check some out from your local library. You may even want to consider getting a subscription.
  26. Play a card game.
  27. Have a squirt gun/water balloon fight.
  28. Fly a kite.
  29. Clean your room.
  30. Make melted crayon rocks.
  31. Write in your journal.
  32. Set up a lemonade stand.
  33. Make a pom pom.  This simple project is fun and engaging for young children.
  34. Play kickball.
  35. Play with play dough.
  36. Create a play or show.
  37. Play Capture the Flag.
  38. Go to your local library.
  39. Bake cookies.
  40. Play with your pet.
  41. Make friendship bracelets.
  42. Work on a puzzle.
  43. Sort though books, toys and clothes and make a donation.
  44. Write a letter to a friend or relative.
  45. Knit.
  46. Make a fort out of pillows and blankets.
  47. Go for a bike ride.
  48. Play chess or checkers.
  49. Create a nature mandala.  This is a fun and simple project you can make out of natural items. Be sure to snap a picture of your creation!
  50. Try an activity from this Random Activity Generator from Cricket Media’s Keeping Tech in Check site.


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