University of Illinois Extension
Skipnavigation Nibbles ... Ideas for Families

Kids & Food
Help Your Child Succeed
Your Child's Health
Challenges of Parenting
Learning to Get Along
Playtime Is Fun Time
The Day Care Routine

I'm Bored...There's Nothing to Do!

These are words that parents dread hearing. Bored children will find something to do, but it may not be on a parents' list of recommended activities. The next time your kids are restless, try one of these activities with them.

  • With your finger, trace a design on your child's back. See if she can tell what it is. Give your child a turn to draw on your back
  • Play Finger Pool. Scrunch a piece of paper into a small ball. Take turns flicking it back and forth across the kitchen table.
  • Take a walk together. Collect sticks and stones. Later, sort the sticks and stones by size, laying out the largest, then the next largest.
  • Make paper airplanes. Whose can fly the farthest?
  • Make a wish list. Of course everyone needs to know that wishes don't necessarily come true. But it's fun to do anyway.
  • Play a quick game of WAR with cards. This helps teach numbers too.
  • Cut up old magazines and paste onto newspaper. It makes a mess and kids love it.
  • Make your own recording. Sing songs onto a cassette tape. Grandparents especially appreciate this.
  • Make tents. Use blankets, sheets and clothes pins. Let children have a snack and take a nap in the tent.
  • Read a book. Sounds revolutionary but it cures boredom every time.

Prepared by Becky Douglas, Extension Educator, Family Life.