Kids can become easily bored when they are at home. However, there are plenty of ways to keep them busy and entertained. Finding ways for them to have fun doesn’t have to be fun. But if you seem to be low on ideas, you can consider the 20 ways to keep them busy. We have listed them below so you have a good idea of what they can do while they are at home on the weekends, during the school’s summer break and vacations, and more.
If you have kids and want them to have fun and keep busy while you handle the day’s tasks, then you might want to read on for all the ideas you need.
Ways To Keep Your Kids Busy At Home
No matter their age, there are plenty of ideas that will keep your kids busy and entertained. These 20 ways range from kids who are toddlers all the way up to their teens. Of course, these might be the solutions to the whole “Mom/Dad I’m bored” thing. Here are ways to keep your kids busy at home:
Skateboarding has been around for many years now. Of course, there are plenty of kids that love to ride them. They’ll use it just for the purpose of riding it from one place to the next. But some of them will be tempted enough to pull off a few basic tricks. They don’t have to be pro skaters in order to use a skateboard. Yet, the age limit for kids who can use a skateboard without adult supervision is 10 and up. That’s because a lot of kids who use skateboards might lose their balance and hit the ground hard.
Aside from the skateboard itself, it’s always a great idea to make sure that they have the right protective equipment. This includes a helmet, elbow pads, and knee pads. They’ll need to be durable, well-fit, and comfortable for your child to wear.
2. Soccer Ball
Kicking around a soccer ball between friends can be exciting (or playing a game with a net). Not to mention, it can also be a great investment for kids who have an interest in soccer. They don’t have to be good at it or playing on a soccer team. They can just simply kick the ball around themselves or kick it back and forth with a friend or sibling. A soccer ball might not be the only ball you should consider investing in.
Playing catch is a childhood pastime that never gets old. Aside from a soccer ball, you may want to consider getting other balls like baseballs and footballs. Any ball that you can through around for a game of catch will definitely keep kids busy for hours on end. While it might sound boring and tedious, a lot of kids find it fun and a great way to develop their hand-eye coordination. A soccer ball is great to have for children of all ages. However, it is highly recommended that while playing with it, they should be as far away from roadways. We cannot tell you the many stories about balls rolling into the roadway and causing accidents.
3. Pogo Stick
A pogo stick might be a fun thing for a kid to have. Especially when they are jumping up and down. If you have kids who are 8 and up, a pogo stick will be good to have. They can use it without adult supervision. Plus, adults like yourself might find it enjoyable as well. Come on, how many of us are really kids at heart? If you are looking for a pogo stick, it should be durable and able to handle a good amount of weight. Most pogo sticks will handle a person who will weight at a maximum of 160 pounds. However, the limit may vary depending on the pogo stick and the manufacturer.
4. Water Table
Now we move on to the ideas that are designed for younger children (mostly toddlers). Water tables are a fun way for kids to enjoy playing with water. You can fill up a little bit of water and they’ll use other toys that will slip, slide, and “swim” in the water. These are great for when you have a pool area, but they are too young to jump in by themselves. There’s plenty of water tables with their own features and toys. You can choose which one that you think your child will enjoy the best.
5. Sprinkler/Splash Mat
For the older kids, you cannot go wrong with a sprinkler and a splash mat. These are two of the best ways for kids to enjoy the water and get soaking wet when you don’t have a swimming pool. Most splash mats are large in size and will be great if you have a large enough backyard. They can be good for the front yard if there is plenty of space there as well. Be sure to keep it close to a water supply and have a long enough hose so your kids have plenty of water to play with. Most of the splash pads won’t require a good amount of assembly and they are easy to set up.
6. Play Kitchen
A play kitchen is perhaps one of the best things a kid six years of age and under will enjoy. Plus, they have been around for a very long time. If you are looking for something where kids can not only keep busy but let their imagination run wild, then a play kitchen will be a perfect choice. Your kids will imagine that they are top-class chefs making delicious foods for you, their #1 customer. While they might not be old enough for easy bake ovens yet, a play kitchen will probably give your children the opportunity to get an entry-level interest in the wonderful skill of cooking.
When it comes to music, there are plenty of ways to approach this. You can keep younger kids busy with plenty of videos of educational shows where they can learn skills using songs. Let’s not forget those musical toys as well. There are a lot of educational toys that will teach infants and toddlers their ABCs, 123s, colors, and so much more. Older kids however might be more suited for musical instruments. These can include beginner guitars, drum pads, recorders, and even electric pianos or organs. The options are pretty much limitless when you want to expose your children to the wonderful world and art of music.
If music is something your kids are interested in, consider the ages of your children and what they might be best suited to use.
8. Science Experiments
Science is exciting. Science is fun to learn. Plus, there are plenty of things that kids can use to learn every kind of science there is. For example, you can invest in a chemistry set so they can be able to learn the basics of chemistry and the awesome chemical reactions that occur on a regular basis. These chemistry sets are mostly geared towards older kids that are aged 10 and up. But younger kids can enjoy scientific experiments as well. There are many STEM-related toys and items that they can use without the concern of using harmful chemicals or ingredients.
Of course, you can also help kids create scientific experiments using household items. Want to teach them the science of how parachutes work? Get a plastic Solo cup and attach it to a small plastic bag and toss it in the air. Have an extra bottle of Coke and a thing of Mentos? If so, just drop the Mentos in the Coke and stand back (seriously, do it).
Let’s face it, you’re never too old for bubbles. Kids today will even enjoy them also. You can get containers individually or in bulk (typically, they are not expensive). You can even get mechanical bubble machines and mix soap with water for an endless amount of bubbles. Any way you do it, your kids will enjoy blowing bubbles and even chasing them for hours on end. We warn you though, it might be so fun that even you might get in on the action.
10. Computer Skills
Today, many kids will be using computers for the purpose of playing games. However, it’s important to teach them basic computer skills like typing, using the Internet (with supervision required), and more. Most of the older kids will learn how to type as they progress through school. You can teach them the basics that include using a keyboard, a mouse, and navigating the computer itself. It doesn’t have to be complicated and advanced. Since they’ll be using the Internet, you may need to supervise them and monitor their use. You can also get safety software that will block any inappropriate websites so they can be able to surf the web without having to accidentally come across something that is intended for adults only. And let’s not forget, communication tools may not be a good idea for young children to use until they reach a certain age.
11. Basketball Set
This is perhaps one of the timeless classics. You might have had one and your parents may have had one as well. Nothing is more fun than shooting hoops. And most basketball sets are easy to set up. Your kids can work on their shooting and dribbling skills and play some games of one-on-one, Horse, and so much more. These are great to put in a driveway (assuming you have plenty of space available). There are plenty of basketball sets that are available for all ages. For toddlers and younger children, you can never go wrong with the Little Tykes basketball set.
12. Swing and Slide Set
Why go to the nearest park or playground when you can have your own swing and slide set? There are plenty of these available and will be fun for most kids of all ages. They are easy to set up, safe to use, and require little adult supervision (depending on the age of the child). Plus, swinging and sliding are just a couple of things that will never go away over time. Generation after generation, they will still reign supreme when it comes to having fun.
13. Board Games
Board games are great for not just kids, but the entire family. You can choose such classics like Twister, Guess Who, Candy Land, and so much more. It will be great for kids to learn about team building/management skills, stoke their imagination, and even learn something new and awesome. Indeed, board games have been around for a very long time. There is never a short supply of them. If you want a really fun and exciting game that might be educational for children, Operation might be one of the best games to start with.
14. Easy-Bake Ovens
Easy Bake Ovens have changed over the years. Gone are the 100-watt bulbs due to federal law. But still, a newer version that is energy efficient and safe to use is available on the market. And it’s something older kids will enjoy using if they have an interest in learning basic baking skills. They can bake small cakes and tasty goods that will be so good you might want to bake them yourself using the kitchen oven. This is a great thing for kids 10 and up to use without adult supervision.
15. Table Games
By table games, we mean foosball, ping pong, air hockey, or even small pool tables. These can be full size, but small enough for kids to easily reach and access. And there are mini versions of these games that can be played on tabletops. No matter which game you choose, your kids will be able to enjoy playing them for hours.
At some point, kids will be riding bikes from one place to the next. Whether it’s around the block or around the yards they will enjoy riding for the purpose of getting fresh air and having fun. However, you will also need to purchase safety equipment like knee pads, elbow pads, and yes a helmet as well. You want your kids to be as safe as possible when riding bikes. For younger kids, you can never go wrong with tricycles. When they get older, you can get them a bike with detachable training wheels. Either way, there is nothing more exciting for a kid than to ride a bike.
17. Pool Toys
If you have a pool, then pool toys will be a great way for kids to have plenty of fun in the water. These will include floating noodles, pool sticks, and floating tubes among others. It’s also important to note that your kids should also wear water safety gear if and when needed. This can include a lifejacket, arm floaties, or a floatation tube (for younger children).
One of the coolest toys that kids can throw around is a frisbee. It’s a great toy for kids and adults alike that want to throw something back and forth. Even older kids will play rounds of ultimate frisbee as a way to keep themselves in good shape and have fun. Frisbees are typically used during the warmer weather days and they are reasonably cheap in price.
19. Handheld Games
When you’re on the road, your kids will often ask “are we there yet”? What you want to do is keep them busy while you are traveling the highway. There are plenty of handheld games that kids can take with them no matter where you as a family will go. You can choose electronic handheld games like the Nintendo Switch or the like. Be sure that they have the right kind of charging equipment since they run on rechargeable batteries. Likewise, if your kids are playing other handheld games that require regular batteries, then extra batteries are a must.
If there is another skill that you can teach kids, it’s to use a camera. That way, they can be able to take awesome pictures and videos. It will teach them basic photography and videography skills. When they get older, they might be able to help you take pictures or videos that you can easily post on social media for all of your friends and family to see.
Things To Consider Before Buying
When it comes to your kids, it’s important to consider a few things before purchasing what you need for them. Let’s take a look at the following:
How Many Children Do I Have/What Gender Are They?
This is a no-brainer. You know how many kids you have. You know who’s a boy or who’s a girl. This will make the decision process a lot easier. Of course, you’ll need to know their age since there are age requirements for various toys and activities. A child who is 10 years of age may not be interested in doing something that would be suitable for someone half of his or her age.
At Home Or On The Road?
Of course, keeping the kids busy and staving off boredom will be important. Consider where they will use the items in question. Will it be for home use? On the road? Or both. Bicycles can be great for both homes and on the road use (assuming you are driving to your destination).
Circling back to the age consideration of children, it’s obvious that toys that come with small parts can be choking hazards for anyone ages 3 and under. So it’s important to avoid toys that come with small parts that can be easily swallowed by a child. Also, it’s important to consider other safety precautions such as preventing the risk of electrical shock. Yes, even safety precautions must be taken when playing with a ball. Be sure to stay as far away from the roadways as possible to prevent any accidents.
Ease Of Use
It’s important to find something that will be so simple to use, a child of almost any age can use it by themselves. You don’t want them to use something that will be complex or challenging. Most of (if not all) of the items included on the list are pretty simple to use, to begin with.
Does My Child Need Adult Supervision?
This will depend on some factors. For example, if your child is riding a bike with attached training wheels (or not), they may need adult supervision depending on their age. It may come to a point where you and your child will be both confident in the latter’s riding skills to a point where they can be able to ride along unsupervised. But remember, safety will always be a number one priority when it comes to your child. They should wear the appropriate safety attire if and when necessary.
Individual Or Group Use
There are plenty of things that will keep one kid busy. Plus, there are others that will keep a group of kids busy. For example, basketball sets and board games are just a couple of examples of what kids can do as a group. If you have two or more kids, consider finding something that they can do together with each other or their friends.
Will I Need Batteries Or Additional Equipment?
It depends. It will depend on what you’ve chosen for items. Obviously, some musical instruments or toys will require batteries (mostly AA batteries unless stated otherwise). Before you buy what your kids will use, be sure to check to see if it needs batteries or any kind of plugin (assuming that it is electronic).
We understand that money can be an issue. It’s important to find something that will give your kids the most enjoyment out of every use. Quality and enjoyment will matter more than the price. Find the best that you can afford so it can last longer and be used time and time again. The better the quality, the better the longevity.
Your children are important to you. They’re best interests are important especially when they are older. Here are a few tips to keep in mind when it comes to keeping your kids busy at home:
1. Reduce Video Game/TV Time
We get it, video games or watching TV all day seem like a way to kill time. But it’s never a good idea to have a child live a sedentary life. Be sure to set limits on how long their child can play video games or watch TV. Ideally, an hour a day of video games will be sufficient for a child. And at least three hours total of TV per day will be enough.
2. Be Sure That They Are Able To Socialize
A child’s social skills are important. You want them to communicate with friends and other kids in and around the neighborhood. They can be able to build friendships that can last a lifetime. This can also lead them to keep busy because they are able to do activities with them that will last them hours.
3. Set Safety Features Where Necessary
If your child is on a computer (especially on the Internet), it’s important to install software that will keep them away from inappropriate content. There are plenty of options where you can control Internet access in the house. You can set schedules, security features, and determine which sites are good to see and what are not.
4. Get In On The Fun
When your tasks are done, what’s next? Why not get in on the fun? Your kids may enjoy playing with you depending on the activity. Family time is important especially when there is fun involved. Play board games, shoot hoops, throw a frisbee, or even teach them some skills that they can apply at any point later on in life. The sky is pretty much the limit to what you and your kids can do.
5. Listen To What Your Kids Want For Christmas
If you’re reading this and the holidays are far off, this might be a tip to keep in your back pocket. Sure, we all have exaggerated lists of what we want from Santa when we were kids. Listening to what your kids want is a hint that if you get them something that will be valuable to them and keep them busy for a while. Make sure you keep that list handy and don’t forget to “check it twice” when it comes time. Remember to keep things within your budget and stay within your financial means. And don’t be afraid to consider alternatives if you cannot afford what they ask.
Frequently Asked Questions
If you seem to be at a loss, then you can check out this FAQ guide below. This will also give you a good idea of what you can buy for your kids. Here are the following questions:
What Can a 12-Year-Old Do When They Are Bored at Home?
There are plenty of activities that a 12-year-old can do when they are bored. You can get them to unleash their creativity, give them the opportunity to learn something scientific like bird watching or rock collecting.
What Are Some Long-Lasting Activities That Kids Can Enjoy?
If you are busy and want to keep the kids occupied for hours, you can go off on a few suggestions. But it will also depend on the age. For example, your elementary school-aged kids might enjoy activities like bike riding, kite flying, or even playing with a splash pad or sprinkler. During the winter months, they will spend time building forts or snow sculptures. There are plenty of winter toys that will allow them to create either-or.
Are Video Games Good for a Child’s Development?
It’s been said that some video games will be great for developing hand-eye coordination. However, the concern lies in the content of the video games themselves. Depending on the age, there may be certain video games they are allowed to play. Pay attention to the ratings of each video game so you are able to determine whether or not they are appropriate to play.
How Many Hours per Day Should a Child Play Video Games?
If you are serious about developing your child’s social abilities, then it would be recommended to allow at least one hour of video gameplay every day. This way, you want them to go outside and be social rather than be sedentary for most of the day.
Is an iPad Good for a Child?
Whether if it’s used at home or on the go, a child can easily use an iPad. There are plenty of apps and games that are not only educational but very fun to learn. They can be able to learn various skills like math, science, geography, and so much more.
When Can a Kid Play Outside by Themselves?
Assuming that they are in a safe and secure location outside, a kid as young as five years old can play outside without the need for adult supervision. However, it may also depend on making sure that they stay away from any possible risk factors (i.e.--close to the roadways, swimming pools, etc).
If you have kids and they are dealing with boredom on a regular basis, you are now armed with a list of things that they can do. You know that you have some tasks of your own to do. Especially when the days can be hectic. If you want to keep your kids busy for hours on end by themselves, with their siblings, or friends you’ll have plenty of options for them.
Make sure that they can be able to enjoy time both indoors and outdoors. And it’s always a good idea to get them to develop their social skills and do activities with neighborhood kids and friends. No matter what their age, a child will always have something fun and exciting to do. They can also be able to learn some basic skills or any kind of educational topic.