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140 BOREDOM BUSTING ACTIVITIES FOR CHILDREN or TEENS

With the spread of the Coronavirus or COVID-19, parents are wondering what in the world they are going to do now that they are left to entertain their wonderful children for who knows how long.

Here is a list of 140 boredom busting activities you can do with children or teens of all ages. Bonus: None of these involve video games:). You’re Welcome!

140 Activities for Children or Teens

  1. Find a trick you can do with magnets.
  2. Blow up balloons and have a balloon party. You can even learn how to make balloon animals.
  3. Do a kitchen science experiment.
  4. Paper Airplane contest–see whose airplane can go the farthest.
  5. Build something with the Tinker toys. Don’t have tinker toys? Make your own with old toilet paper rolls and straws–go here for inspiration.
  6. Make a chalk drawing outside.
  7. Learn to code on a computer. There are many computer programs out there to help you with this. Check out Code Academy to begin.
  8. Looking for a cool crafting project for teens? Make circular boxes out of old magazines. They look so cool. Find the tutorial here.
  9. Get a tie dye kit and have fun making a colorful shirt. These are always fun to make!
  10. Learn to make a friendship bracelet. You can even make these out of thin leather strands. Watch the tutorial here.
  11. Looking for a cool new hobby? Check out woodburning (if you are a teenager). You can make so many cool things with a woodburning kit. I got one when I was a teenager and loved it.
  12. Learn to do Calligraphy. Print out calligraphy alphabets and practice.
  13. Do some nails and string art? Don’t know what that is? Google it. There are simple projects for kids and complex ones for teens. Have fun and get creative.
  14. Make a pom pom keychain.
  15. Make a flyer/plane out of a straw and paper. Have a contest and see whose can go the farthest.
  16. Figure out how to do different types of braids in people’s hair. There are lots of videos on this. For kids, you can practice on a doll. For teens, practice on each other.
  17. Learn to do finger nail art. There are basic tutorials available online.
  18. Make a paracord bracelet. Not sure how? Check out this tutorial.
  19. Make a chalk drawing racetrack to use for matchbox cars.
  20. Design something with the stuff in our recycled trash bin.
  21. Make cookies or Rice Krispie Treats.
  22. Build a castle out of the wooden blocks. Don’t have blocks? Use old boxes in your recycle bin.
  23. Make an obstacle course in the living room.
  24. Make a necklace out of circular cereal and eat it!
  25. Have a Twister competition.
  26. Create a story using cartoon people you draw in a notebook.
  27. Build a ______ (spaceship, skyscraper, pirate ship, house etc) with Legos (give out creativity awards to each child).
  28. Practice an instrument.
  29. Play the board game of Life or Sorry (or any other board game you have).
  30. Play an indoor game of putt-putt golf. Design the course and the obstacles.
  31. Magnetic dart game. See who can get closest to the middle. Don’t have darts? Use old newspaper/poster board and some beanbags to have a competition.
  32. Build with the Lincoln Logs. If you don’t have Lincoln logs, use a bag of popsicle sticks.
  33. BINGO competition. Print a game online if you don’t have one. Play for simple prizes or for the glory of winning.
  34. Rearrange and organize a bedroom.
  35. Play 20 questions. Don’t know what that is–read about it here.
  36. Play I Spy.
  37. Build and knock down a long line of Dominoes.
  38. Write a letter or email to a friend.
  39. Color a page in a coloring book or draw a picture.
  40. Make a treasure map and do the treasure hunt.
  41. Race the cars down the racetrack. Don’t have a racetrack? Make one with old boxes or items from your recycle bin.
  42. Do a talent show–everyone participates.
  43. Turn on the sprinklers and have fun getting wet.
  44. Bubble gum bubble blowing contest. Who can blow the biggest bubble?
  45. Design a city on your kitchen table with old cereal boxes, shoe boxes, or anything else you can find. Paint or design the fronts of the buildings with colored paper, paint, or whatever else you can find.
  46. Build a cool Marbleworks race track. Don’t have Marbleworks? Design a track for marbles with old milk jugs and paper towel rolls.
  47. Learn to knit or crochet. Don’t have knitting needles or a crochet hook? You can learn to finger crochet here.
  48. Do a round of bowling. Don’t have bowling pins? Make some out of water bottles and a tennis ball.
  49. Learn to tie 10 types of knots.
  50. Play with shaving cream. You can do this on a cookie sheet or in the shower to keep it a little less messy. This activity is really fun for kids who are sensory seeking.
  51. Using tracing paper, copy a cool picture out of a magazine.
  52. Make a vision board of things you want to do this next year. Here is a simple example. Vision boards can also be made for teens and adults.
  53. Do something nice for someone else.
  54. Learn how to write a secret coded message. Check out this website to learn more about this.
  55. Watch a cooking video and make a new recipe.
  56. Make a volcano (cup) explode with baking soda and vinegar
  57. Make playdough. Find the Recipe here.
  58. Make goop or slime. Check our several recipes here.
  59. Finger painting time! Don’t have finger paint? You can learn to make it here.
  60. The floor is LAVA–how will you ever survive?
  61. Learn to play a game with Marbles. Check our several games here.
  62. Create your own TV show and have a parent or sibling video you.
  63. Time to have a jump rope competition. Want to learn a few extra things you can do with a jump rope? Check out this website.
  64. Make a sock puppet, and put on a show behind a couch or chair. Have an adult or sibling video it for you so you can watch it after.
  65. Play a game of Jacks. Don’t know how? Watch this video.
  66. Fly a kite. If you don’t have a kite, you can make one first. Check out this website.
  67. Make a sand castle if you have a sandbox in your backyard. If you need some cool sensory sand, check out this stuff. We have some and absolutely LOVE playing with it (mom included).
  68. Take photos of cool things in your backyard or around the house and do a slideshow for your family afterwards.
  69. Learn about different kinds of poetry and then write a poem. A good website to learn about simple poems can be found here.
  70. Learn to sew with a needle and thread. If you need ideas for simple hand sewing projects, go here. If you have a sewing machine, you can learn the basics of using a machine here. 
  71. Build an indoor fort. Couch cushions and blankets are a must!
  72. Build an indoor boat. Push two couches together and use a broom as a mast and a blanket to hide under.
  73. Make a fort out of cardboard boxes.
  74. A-Z scavenger hunt (inside or outside or both).
  75. Have a picnic in your living room.
  76. Make a campfire and cook hot dogs and s’mores.
  77. Water balloon fight! Get out in your yard and have fun.
  78. Make a creation with wooden popsicle sticks.
  79. Slip and slide time! Use garbage bags if you don’t have a slip and slide.
  80. Make a carnival in the backyard or in your living room. For ideas, go here.
  81. Make a circus in the backyard or living room. What kinds of acrobatics can you learn and perform? Google “beginning gymnastics floor routines” to get you going.
  82. Make your own popsicles.
  83. Learn to do a magic trick by watching a video online.
  84. Make a musical instrument (with rubber bands and a box, beads and a cup, etc) and perform a song.
  85. Figure out what trees you can see from your window. See if you can identify them by their leaves.
  86. Learn to play an instrument. There are plenty of online teachers if you would like to learn to play the guitar, ukulele, piano or violin. Ask your neighbors if any of them have any old instruments you could borrow to learn on. You might even find old instruments available for sale in the classified ads.P
  87. Paint a rock. Seriously. Go on a rock hunt, clean rocks and have a rock painting party.
  88. Origami time! Find directions online for folding a cool flower, bird or geometric shape. Give awards at the end of your folding time.
  89. Have a dance party at your home! Do decorations, pick a playlist and have a blast!
  90. Time to make a Piñata! Did you know you could make one with a balloon. You will find instructions on how to do this here.
  91. Make a pinwheel with a pencil, some paper and a pin. You could make a whole bunch and then set them up outside on a windy day for some visual stimulation.
  92. Juggling Time! Have you ever wanted to learn to juggle? Now you have time. Find three small objects (it can even be old mismatched socks with rice in them) find an online video and let your circus skills begin.
  93. Build a maze! Using household furniture, and painter’s tape on the floor, make a maze throughout your home. Time each other going through the maze and award prizes.
  94. Using mom or dad’s clothes, dress up and put on a play.
  95. It is time for a game of hangman. Everyone take a turn. You can even get really fancy and pretend it is Wheel of Fortune.
  96. Do a nature scavenger hunt in your backyard or a nearby park. Google to find cool papers to help you with making your scavenger hunt list. This is a cool free list I found online.
  97. Call a relative and ask them to tell you a story about your grandpa, grandma, aunt, uncle or parent. You can even record this to share with others.
  98. Make a family tree on a piece of paper.
  99. Blow bubbles on your kitchen counter. All you need is a straw, some dish soap and a little practice.
  100. Spa day! Time to give each other a pedicure or paint nails. Have fun with this.
  101. It’s time for a game of Hide and Seek. You can have everyone hide or you can even play Sardines.
  102. Visit the Zoo from your home. Did you know the San Diego Zoo has live webcams you can use to watch animals online? Check it out here.
  103. Wishing you could visit a national park? Did you know Yellowstone does virtual tours. Check it out here.
  104. Write a book together with your kids. Choose fun characters and have fun deciding what exciting adventures they get to have. Your children can even draw pictures. Need ideas of where to start? Here is a list of ideas to get you going. Young adults also have cool ideas. If you want to write a story with a teen find out about the hero’s journey.
  105. Learn to play Chinese jump rope. I played this as a kid with a giant piece of elastic. If you have sewing supplies at home, you can easily make one.
  106. Pizza time. Learn to make homemade pizza and enjoy how much better it tastes than buying it at the store. Don’t want to make the dough? Just use the Pillsbury Biscuit dough you can buy at the store.
  107. Make a hopscotch either with painters tape indoors or with chalk on your driveway outside.
  108. Listen to actors read a story with Storylineonline.net. This is one of my autistic son Nathan’s favorite websites and we now own many of the books they read here. He reads them just before bed each night.
  109. Start an online book club with your friends, cousins, or neighbors. Everyone read a book and set a date to Zoom call or facetime to talk about the book.
  110. Learn to speak another language. My teens love the DuoLingo app and have tried everything from Spanish to Russian. (They say Spanish is easier).
  111. Make a sensory bin. This is when you fill a small box or shoebox with rice or beans and then hide small objects in it (like pencil erasers, coins, dice, paperclips etc). You can even set a time to see who can find all of the objects the quickest. Children who seek sensory stimulation (like some children with autism) really enjoy activities like this.
  112. Make a Silhouette Portrait of a family member. I remember doing this for a class in Junior high, only we used the overhead projector. Now, it is made a lot easier with digital photography. Here is a simple example of how to make one.
  113. Play balloon volleyball with a friend. All you need is a balloon and a piece of painters tape on the ground. Don’t let the balloon hit your side of the room or the point goes to the other team.
  114. Learn how to play with a hacky sack. It isn’t as easy as it looks.
  115. Learn to do yo-yo tricks and show off your new skills to your family.
  116. Figure out how to solve a Rubik’s Cube. This has always baffled me, but there is a way to learn to solve it. Check it out here.
  117. Make a puzzle. Not sure how to do it? Watch this video here. It can be as simple or as complex as you want to make it.
  118. Make an indoor or outdoor garden. It can be simple in planters or several feet long in the backyard. I love gardening and love the square foot method of gardening (although I don’t follow it perfectly). Choose which vegetables you want to plant this summer and begin your plants indoors.
  119. Make a small aquaponics aquarium or fish tank (with or without fish) with your parent’s permission. You can do it with a canning jar. Simple directions for aquaponics are here. Easy directions for an aquarium without fish are here or here.
  120. Make designs with bakers clay and bake it until it is hard. Here is the recipe. You can even make ornaments or gifts for friends or teachers. You can even use cookie cutters to make cool shapes. Once they are cooled, you can paint them.
  121. Weave a placemat for everyone to use for dinner tonight. You can find directions here.
  122. Make paper snowflakes. See who can make the fanciest snowflake.
  123. Want to add some flare to a room? Make a tissue paper pom-pom and hang it from the ceiling. You can find a video on how to do this here.
  124. Learn to make flowers out of a plastic grocery bag here.
  125. Make a dreamcatcher. These can be simple or complex.
  126. Make a wallet out of duct tape. Find out how to do it here.
  127. Make a pen with a duct tape flower. Find out how to make one here.
  128. Do yoga as a family.
  129. Make a milkshake or smoothie. There are all different kinds. Have fun making awesome flavors.
  130. Look through old photos and tell stories.
  131. Play catch with a ball or frisbee.
  132. Organize an area of your home together. Working on tasks together can give family members time to talk and interact with each other.
  133. Have a bird-watching expedition. Can you make a list of the different kinds of birds in your area? Are they there year-round or do they migrate? You can even draw pictures of the different birds you see.
  134. Make a bookmark.
  135. Can you invent a silly song or change the words of a well-known song into a parody? Work together with other family members to see what you can come up with. Perform your song for your family or for friends.
  136. Work on meal planning together. Can you help plan and cook basic meals for breakfast, lunch and dinner?
  137. Play a game of charades. We used to do “Act out Animals” when I was a child and it was really fun.
  138. Pillow fight…ready, begin!
  139. Plan your next roadtrip. What do you or your children want to see. Be sure to check out National and State parks near you.
  140. Pick and press flowers or leaves. Not sure how to do this? Check out this website. I always used to put them in between sheets of wax paper and flatten them with large books.

Whew! That is quite a list. What will you do today? Comment below.

About the author, Tamara

Tamara K. Anderson is a speaker, author, podcaster, and is a professional in HOPE. She has four children who struggle with autism, ADHD, anxiety, visions issues, and all bring her great joy.

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