12 Indoor Activities For Bored Kids

Have Fun on Hand with Classic Kids' Crafts and Activities

girl showing mom cootie catcher craft
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It’s the phrase every parent dreads—"I’m bored." Be prepared for the inevitable by familiarizing yourself with these easy, educational, indoor activities for bored kids.

  1. Make a Journal Jar: It’s not always enough to suggest to your bored child that she sit down and write a story.... she'll probably return a few minutes later saying she has nothing to write about. Ward that off by having her make a journal jar—a decorated jar filled with slips of paper with exciting story starters.
  1. Sensory Art: Scratch 'n' Sniff Painting: This is a great activity for cold or rainy days in particular. Simply by combining a little water, glue and powdered flavored gelatin, you can make your house smell fruity and sweet while your child paints his own scratch 'n' sniff masterpiece.
  2. Make a Cootie Catcher : Also known as Chinese fortune tellers, cootie catchers are an enduring childhood classic. Your child can fold and decorate and then invite a friend over to pick a number, pick another number, pick a color and learn their fortune.
  3. Make Math and Reading Cootie Catchers: If the basic do-it-yourself cootie catcher doesn't appeal to your child or doesn't keep them occupied long enough, try adding some opportunities for learning to the mix. These patterns and directions will help your child make fortune tellers that practice multiplication, sight words and even parts of speech.
  4. Make a Goal Board: Maybe your bored child needs to set some goals to help her figure out what to do with herself. The first thing on her list can be building this nifty goal board. It looks like a soccer goal and hangs in her room as a visual reminder of what she’s working toward.
  1. Building Word Family Puzzles: Younger children can work on phonics and fine motor skills at the same time with these nifty word family puzzles. Simply print a set of the puzzle pieces, write the word families on the pieces and he’s ready to start building his own sentence.
  2. Build a Fact Family House: As long as you’re already looking at families, why not look at fact families, too? This activity is a great way to help your child understand how numbers relate to each other and, in the end, he’ll also have built a neighborhood of cute little houses for them.
  1. Native American Dreamcatcher Craft: Is your child saying she’s bored around bedtime? Maybe she’s actually scared to go to sleep. Learning about the legend behind dream catchers and making her own to hand over her bed can cure boredom and might ease her nightmares a little, too.
  2. Make Newspaper Pirate Hats: Here’s a relatively low-tech way to perk up a bored kid’s day. Give them a newspaper, help him fold it into a hat and send him on his merry way. You’ll be amazed what other things he can find to do once the scallywag has a hat and calls himself a pirate.
  3. Pirate Treasure Hunts: In fact, you can help your little pirate on his quest by setting up one many different types of learning treasure hunts. From alphabet hunts to following the hints, here are four new ways to help him hunt for loot.
  4. Create a Sight Word Catcher: If your child is just beginning to read or needs some practice with it, this is a great way to keep her occupied. With simply a pair of scissors and a fly swatter, she can create word catcher. Once it’s made, there are so many ways she can use it to “catch” words all over the house.
  5. 10 Creative Ways to Use Dry Erase Paddles: If you have dry erase boards around the house (or even better, Kleenslate Dry Erase Paddles), you’d be amazed at how many ways they can be used to entertain your kids. From puppetry to polls and playing restaurant to playing Hangman, here are ten ways to use those whiteboards for fun.