How to keep your kids (and yourself) entertained at home
What does it mean when your kids say they’re bored? According to experts it could be that they’re being a little lazy, they need more challenging activities, or it’s kid-code for wanting to spend more time with you.
Not to mention, the endless boredom we’ve all faced during quarantine. Family activities can help challenge the kiddos and give them more quality time with you. Yes, we’re all spending all of our time together. However, working from home while your kids are distant learning next to you is not quality time.
Enjoy this curated list of fun family activities you can save for any time the kids (or you) are feeling bored. Whether you need a great family activity for spending quality time together… or just activities for challenging the kids and getting some quiet time.
Make cheerful DIY games using bright printable postcards and color-coding stickers. Colorful school and/or office supplies are awesome for crafting.
Games and toys for family activity night
1) Treasure hunt. Create a series of clues or riddles and hide them in safe spots around your home and/or yard. Leave a prize (or a coupon for a special reward) at the end of the trail.
2) Kinetic sandbox. Kinetic sand has all the sensory play benefits of regular sand without the mess! You can just buy some and dump it a shallow tray, or if you’re feeling ambitious try making DIY kinetic sand with your kids.
3) Twisted fingers game. Make your own mini game based on classic Twister®. Use simple color-coding stickers to recreate a tiny version of the famous game.
4) Puzzles. A classic family activity for a reason. If your kids have mastered flat puzzles, you can even branch out to 3D puzzles.
5) DIY slime. Making DIY slime is great for practicing measuring skills, math and learning about chemistry. There are many recipes online, but we think this STEM slime experiment video is an awesome (and educational) family activity.
Family activities for performing arts lovers
6) Talent show. A great family activity that can give budding performers in your home the stage time they’re missing during quarantine.
7) Learn a dance. Let your kids pick out a dance from their favorite music video or dancer. Find a tutorial online and learn it together for a healthy family activity that gets you moving.
8) Lip sync battle. Perfect for performers at heart, even if their singing belongs more in the shower than on a stage. Encourage costumes and pick judges to award points for each performance.
9) Neon dance party. Shake up family exercise time with glow sticks and a black light if you have one. Then turn down the lights and turn up the music!
10) DJ of the day. Get the whole family involved in taking turns making playlists for various family activities, such as pump up songs for household cleaning soothing songs for wind-down time before bed. You can draw lots on whose playlists gets played for the day.
Arts and crafts are a time-tested at home activity for kids. Lean into it! Display their artwork and help them try new exciting crafts like DIY tie dye.
Crafty family activities that will entertain the kids for hours
11) Family art show. Get the kids to “curate” their own artwork, asking them to pick out their favorites. Create a “gallery” for the whole family to view and print your own achievement certificates to award to the artists.
12) Card making. Making cards with your kids is an awesome family activity. You can go simple and just make greeting cards to give to friends and family or make cards to send a smile to people din your community.
13) Friendship bracelets. Etsy is a great resource for cute friendship bracelet kits (complete with instructions) for kids. They’re super fun for exchanging with friends and easy enough to mail in a regular envelope.
14) DIY tie-dye shirts. Did you know you can tie dye with permanent markers? Bonus: it’s a great at-home science lesson about chemistry, solubility and solutions!
15) Sock puppets. Making sock puppets is the perfect family activity that keeps on giving with hours of make-believe after the crafting is done.
Fun family activities you can do in the kitchen
16) Learn a new recipe. Cooking is one of the best family activities for bonding. The sense memories of delicious smells and interesting textures like kneading bread dough will stick with your kids forever.
17) Indoor s’mores. Get right to the best part about camping— the snacks! Luckily s’mores are easy to make over the stove, or using a candle. The kids will love making a blanket fort with you and snuggling in to enjoy their treats.
18) Homemade ice pops. The beauty of this family activity is that you can make your ice pops with almost any beverage. Iced coffee for mom, fruit juice, lemonade, chocolate milk—the sky’s the limit!
19) Ice cream science experiment. Everyone loves ice cream. It’s the perfect incentive for a STEM family activity. Try this simple ice-cream-in-a-bag recipe video for a tasty at-home science experiment.
20) Grow something to eat. Growing your own food is a very rewarding and educational family activity. Herb gardens and tomatoes are easy for kids to grow inside. If you have space for an outdoor kitchen garden try some of the easiest vegetables to grow from seeds.
Getting more fresh air and sharing your thoughts and feelings are healthy habits for the whole family. Try a backyard campout or adding conversation cards to any family activity.
Outdoor family activities the kids will love
21) Fairy garden. Encourage kids to set up flowers, painted rocks, pebbles, twigs, small toys/miniature furniture, etc. in order to attract “fairies.” Parents can get in on the fun and help fairies add things to the garden when the kids aren’t looking.
22) Nature museum. Have the kids spend a few days collecting interesting things from nature and setting up a display. When their “museum” is ready let them give you a tour.
23) Backyard campout. If you can’t go camping, make camping come to you! You can make this family activity as simple or detailed as you like, from just setting up a tent in the backyard, to making your own at-home summer camp.
24) Picnic lunch. Ideal to do as a family activity or just to give kids a much-needed screen break during school days. Simply pack up lunch, grab a blanket and head out to the backyard..
25) Map the stars. Star gazing is a family activity that’s probably as old as mankind. Help your kids learn to identify the constellations with print outs they can reference. If it grabs their interest, investing in an inexpensive telescope can provide hours of entertainment for years to come.
Family activities that build community
26) Family conversation cards. Make simple conversation-starter cards geared towards kids and incorporate them into daily family activities. It encourages listening and learning about your loved ones.
27) Family kindness jar. Set out a jar, blank business cards and markers or pens in a common area. Start each day with asking everyone to write down a compliment for a family member and drop it in the jar. End each day by picking a card to read out loud to the family.
28) Senior pen pals. Contact a local senior home and ask if your kids can send cards and letters. This is a lovely family activity to help your kids connect with older generations and help combat loneliness in your local community.
29) Caring cards. Another amazing community-builder family activity. Have your kids make DIY get well soon cards and help them send the cards to hospitalized kids or people in convalescent homes.
Boredom-busting family activities keep kids entertained and bring you closer together
“The family that plays together, stays together.” It’s a platitude with a lot of truth. Family activities that challenge kids, help them learn new things and give them more quality time with you make your family stronger.
What’s your favorite boredom-busting family activity? Did it make our list? Tag us on Instagram to share your favorites.
Supplies to recreate the family activities shown in this article
Treasure Hunt Clue Cards
- Blank brightly colored postcards (by the package 35704)
- Repositionable 8-1/2″ x 11″ matte white sticker project paper (by the package 3383)
- (Optional blank matte white 8-1/2″ x 11″ labels by the sheet 94268)
- Marks-A-Lot® fine tip permanent markers, assorted colors (9231)
Finger Twister DIY Game
- Color-coding stickers, primary colors assorted pack (5472)
- Blank white postcards (by the package 3380)
Family Art Show
- 9″ x 12″ self-laminating sheets to protect/display art (73603)
- Printable artistic achievement certificate template
- Browse all certificate templates and other family worksheets
DIY Tie-Dye with Permanent Marker
- Mark-A-Lot® chisel-tip permanent markers, assorted colors (24800)
- Rubbing alcohol
- Rubber bands
Family Conversation Cards