Boredom busting ideas for children|Things to do in half term

“I’m bored! What can I do?” Oh, my goodness, how many times a day does my daughter alone say this, let alone her brothers! Do your children say it too? Well thanks to my boredom busting ideas they soon scuttle off not to been seen again for a little while until the next “I’m bored” moment. The list below is just a start and once you get going you will soon have a list as long as your arm to keep them from the boredom blues. So, let’s get started…

Boredom busting ideas

Why are they bored?

Why oh why are they bored after all the gifts you bought them at Christmas, the birthday treats they received and pocket money they spent on themselves??? It’s a good question and to be honest I don’t really know the answer. Maybe it was a craze thing I bought and now it’s over so is the fun, maybe its not the right weather for the activity I don’t know but a few things I check first are;

Are they hungry or thirsty?

Sometimes they don’t know what to do with themselves when they are hungry or thirsty, so a quick snack or lunch stops the boredom and they can concentrate again on entertaining themselves.
Too much stimulation? With everything always switched on and the world in such a hurry the kids are often over whelmed with too much choice. I simply offer them a choice of “this” or “that” everything else is put away, cleared up and turned down!

Too hot or cold?

It’s the simple things that can make them grumpy and whinge, even at teenage years. Often they walk around saying “I’m cold. Can I put the heating on?” only for me to look at them and see they are wearing a short sleeve top with no socks on and their bedroom window open! Make them feel comfortable and soon they can think for themselves again.

Are they tired?

Too many late nights and early mornings is what makes my daughter almost unbearable and totally bored. Nothing pleases her or is good enough. She is eight years old and so daytime naps are out of the window, although she was never a fan of them as a toddler! Anyway, I usually have to bite my tongue, grin and bare it on these days and try to do the quieter things on the list below then get her to bed early. But tiredness effects children more than they want to admit so use your parent powers of deduction and be selective with the ideas below for a calm day.

Is it just you they want?

The list of boredom busting ideas below is a great starting point to help the children but, sometimes, they just want you! Whether that is 10 minutes snuggled together on the sofa, a cuddle as you pass or for you to join in with them. Its just you they want. They might not even realise it but think to yourself, “When was the last time I had quality, un interrupted time with my child?” I know with having four children this time scaled answer can be anything from 10 minutes ago to 2 weeks ago so no need for anyone to feel guilty. Each of my children’s needs are different and so the time scale might be right for them but when they are bored, and they are just crying out for my attention giving them me for even a short period of time is enough.


What next…..

So now their basic needs have been met, they are bored! Great, well don’t panic, just have a look below and you’ll be entertained in no time.

Boredom busting ideas

Many of these ideas are self-explanatory and so I’m just going to list them for quick reference. A great tip for how we choose which idea to do is to write them out on paper, put into a jar and pull one out when needed! Give it a go….

  • Make a mud pie in the garden
  • Create a list of things and make them from Lego
  • Prepare a meal together
  • Create a homemade fort (inside or outside)
  • Sort through toys-they always find one they have been missing for a while!
  • Play a card game
  • Create a home cinema and watch a movie
  • Bake a cake
  • Make paper aeroplanes and see how far they go
  • Sing a song together
  • Have a dance to a silly song
  • Go for a walk
  • Read a book together
  • Make playdoh
  • House chores
  • Play a sport-tennis, rounders, football, basketball etc
  • Watch one of your favourite TV shows together
  • Have a makeover
  • Use masking tape to create roads inside the house for toy cars
  • Teach them a DIY skill
  • Have a picnic at home or at the park
  • Go to the park
  • Write a letter to a relative, then pop out and post it
  • Play a board game together
  • Do some gardening
  • Learn a new language
  • Make a potion in the garden
  • Draw and design your favourite outfit
  • Colouring in (print out sheets or free draw the picture)
  • Take photographs and create a book
  • Scrapbooking
  • Create a journal of memories
  • Grab a net and go pond dipping
  • Go berry picking
  • Create a collage with things you found on a walk


This is just a starting point for you, I’ll add to it as we discover more at home but you’ll begin writing them down and soon enough you’ll think of your own ideas to bust that boredom!

If you want a more adventurous day out have a look at my post on 5 great places to visit with children.

Please leave a comment below with your ideas too.


Have fun

Jemma Louise Mc xx


PS This is a great tool to give you another 10 minutes peace! Get the children to ask themselves these questions before they say “I’m bored,” to you.


Bored poster. Stop children being bored and use this simple but effective chart to check.
No more “I’m bored”. Use this simple chart to get the children more proactive.

Easy to do boredom busting ideas for the family

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