7 Fun And Easy Everyday Kid Activities

Windy City Nanny and kids playing with Play-Doh

Bust boredom with these classic, kid-friendly ideas any time of year

When kids are bored, they’ll tell you over and over and over again. While occasional boredom has been shown to improve creativity and motivation, kids who lack stimulation can become restless—and sometimes that leads to misbehavior. With this in mind, caregivers should try to find a healthy balance between activity and inactivity.

When you want to conquer boredom, think outside of the box! It’s easy to turn on the TV or open an app to cure boredom, but there are risks associated with excessive tech time. Instead of turning to technology, find fun, new ways to spend time with the children in your life. As you brainstorm things to do, ask the kids for ideas. Try to guide them towards activities that will spark their interest, make memories or teach them something new.

Here are seven ideas just to get you started:

1. Indoor Scavenger Hunt

Scavenger hunts are a great indoor activity for kids. A basic scavenger hunt includes items that are easy to find around the house, like a penny from the piggy bank or a pink building block, and clues on how to find them. You can also make the search harder for older kids by making it a more complex riddle treasure hunt. Including a reward at the end will help incentivize kids to play, and it can be as simple as a treat or a few minutes of screen time.

2. Play a Sport

Take the fun into the backyard or down to the park by playing a sport. Frisbee, soccer and basketball are all activities that don’t require too much equipment. Plus, sports are a great way to meet other kids in the neighborhood. For younger kids who aren’t old enough for school or rec league teams, playing a game in the park is the perfect way to introduce them to what it means to be part of a team and to gain valuable social skills. They can learn valuable lessons like sportsmanship and communication, and who knows, you might just discover a hidden talent (or new friend!) out on the field.

3. Break Out the Board Games

Board games are another great way to defeat boredom and involve the whole family. There are so many different games that are appropriate for all ages. For little ones, try games like Connect 4, Quirkle and Go Fish!. Older kids may enjoy games like Patchwork and Scrabble. If you’re playing with kids of different ages, find a cooperative board game where everyone plays as a team. That way, the older kids can work independently and the younger ones won’t mind being supported in their role. You could even make an event out of it and have an impromptu family game night. For families with multiple children, let one kid decide the game, another the pizza toppings and let another child decide the ice cream flavor.

4. Build a Fort

If you’re looking for an activity that’s equally fun before, during and after nap time, you should build a fort ASAP! Grab every blanket and pillow you can find then just get creative with it—let your kids become little architects as they bring their visions to life, however grand or humble. You can use this as an opportunity to teach about teamwork and strategy. Incorporate an element of pretend play by creating a backstory as to why you’re building a fort. Are you adventurers spending the night on the side of a mountain, or a royal family building their castle? The possibilities are endless.

5. Cook Together

Cooking is a rewarding way to bond with your children. With so many responsibilities and ingredients to keep track of, there’s a way for the whole family to get involved. I recommend picking simple, kid-friendly recipes that can be snacked along the way (like a fruit salad or macaroni and cheese) so that the little ones stay interested and don’t get *too* hangry. ;)

6. Write and Act Out a Play

Use your imagination to write and act out an original play. Raid your closets to find costumes for the big show and create a curtain out of a sheet or blanket. Pretend play helps children build social, emotional and language skills, so let your kiddo take the lead. If they’re struggling to come up with an idea, encourage them to include characters from their favorite movies or books. Acting out a story they’re familiar with can be so silly and fun! Invite relatives or neighbors over to watch, or record the show and send it to the family afterward.

7. Craft

There are so many DIY crafts for kids that help build motor skills and encourage them to express their thoughts and emotions. Crafting is also a great way to let kids think outside the box. If they’re feeling restless and cooped up, don’t be afraid to dive into the craft drawer. Construction paper, crayons, markers, stickers, stamps––give them all the tools they need to let their imaginations run wild. Encourage your kids to try writing and coloring “thank you cards," making turtles out of paper plates or making mesmerizing nebula jars.

When boredom strikes, you’ve got options! Follow me on Instagram for more childcare tips and resources.