parenting

10 Screen-Free Boredom Busters For Kids

Schools are closed for several weeks and some have decided to shut the doors until next fall. With kids home all day now, you probably have heard them complain about being bored. After all, they can’t go over to their friends or neighbors’ houses, so they are likely feeling isolated.

Isolation can be difficult but with technology, they can still connect with their friends outside of the classroom. My kids are participating in an online education program as the district is still working out the kinks. Once they got homework assignments to do, my kids aren’t so bored now. But if your kids aren’t participating in online classes, here are some great suggestions to keep them from being bored for the remainder of the quarantine.

My kids are always happy when they have technology available to use; however; excessive screen time should be avoided if at all possible. I wanted to share some screen-free boredom busters for kids.

Coloring

Coloring has many benefits other than curing boredom for an hour or so. With the coronavirus and quarantine, it is likely that your child may be experiencing anxiety, depression, or both. It’s normal. But grabbing a coloring book and your favorite crayons, gel pens, or colored pencils is a constructive way to deal with anxiety.

Work Puzzles Together

Next time you are at Walmart picking up essentials, grab a huge puzzle for the family to sit down and work on together. Dedicate an hour each day to spend together working on it. Use this time to come together as a family to talk about daily concerns and fears. This is a scary time for everyone and sticking together as a family is important.

Start a New Craft Project

Craft projects are a great way to tackle boredom. Plus, it gives your child something new to learn. Help your child find a new craft project to try during the quarantine. Here are a few examples: latch hook, cross-stitch, build race cars, make a tinfoil river and race boats, rock painting, painting, etc. If you need ideas, Pinterest is a great place to start when it comes to looking for new craft projects for kids.

Have Fun in the Kitchen

You can’t go wrong by asking the kids to help you bake a fun dessert or a new dish to try. Cooking is a great skill that every child needs to learn, especially since schools have eliminated home economics from the curriculum. Just think of all the math, science, and reading skills it takes to bake a dish. Even if your kids grumble at the thought of making something fun in the kitchen, little do they know that they are also learning too.

Read a Book

Books are a great way to keep your child from staring at a screen for hours on end and wasting the day playing video games. Reading helps stimulate the brain, improves their memory, increases vocabulary knowledge, enhances their creativity, and helps improve their writing skills.

Parents, you might have to bend the rules on this one. Libraries are closed due to the coronavirus at this time but this won’t be an issue forever. But during the coronavirus quarantine, you want your child to have access to books. They may have to use a tablet or smartphone in order to read a book using the Kindle or Amazon app.

Also, don’t let money be an excuse to prevent your child from accessing online books. Most local libraries have ebooks available for check out or you can find plenty of free books to choose from. You will have to have a library card in order to check out books from the lending online library. So next time you visit the library in the future, make sure you ask about their online library of ebooks so that they can keep reading throughout the summer months too.

Play Board Games

Dust off your favorite board games and invite your kids to play with you. Board games are not only a great boredom buster but it is also a great way to spend time together as a family. Parents, during the chaos of life, you can make it a priority to carve out this time with your kids. They will remember the fun times that you spent together and you should make this a weekly tradition.

Find and Experiment with Homemade Science Projects

The kitchen is filled with a ton of opportunities to have your own science lab. Sorry, mom, I hope suggesting this idea doesn’t upset you but hands-on learning makes it fun. Pinterest is filled with tons of ideas from making homemade playdoh, slime, paints, and so much more. Here are a few of my favorite ideas:

These are just a few ideas. Like I mentioned already, Pinterest is full of ideas and with school out, students still need to learn how to apply concepts. Don’t be afraid to ask your child’s teacher for ideas on their current material too.

Help with the Chores

Have the children pitch in and do some of the household chores. Kids need to learn these valuable life skills before they graduate high school. So if your children don’t help out around the house, now would be the perfect time to get them to chip in and help. After all, with everyone at home, there is more dishes to be done and more clutter to contend with on a daily basis.

Draw

Does your child enjoy drawing? Give them a blank drawing pad and a pencil and let their imagination run wild. Drawing not only gives your child something to do for several hours but it is also known to help relieve stress or anxiety. If your child hasn’t ever tried drawing, you can get them a book on how to draw here (aff link).

Plant a Garden

Now is a great time to start a garden with your kids. Home improvement stores have still been open during the quarantine so you should be able to get the materials needed. If you live in an area that is still too cold, you can start planting seeds indoors, you can always use a window sill greenhouse (aff link) so that you can transfer the plants as it warms up. You can also grow certain foods in potted plants if your landlord doesn’t allow you to have a garden.

Are your kids already whining that they are bored since they have been quarantined at home or while on summer break? Isolation and being forced to stay at home due to quarantine or because your parents have no money to spend daily during the summer. Kids tend to go overboard with technology and I wanted to come up with some screen-free boredom busters.

Do you have any additional screen-free boredom busters for kids?

icecreamnstickyfingers

Christy has three children. She has over 22 years of parenting experience, including parenting as a young mom, a single parent, and dealing with chronic illness/pain. When she isn't writing, you can find her coloring, playing Candy Crush, and listening to Taylor Swift.

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17 Comments

  1. I love these! We’ve been cooking some and doing crafts. The kids sort of been helping with chores, ha.

  2. My kids are a little older and on-line classes have begun so they are busy. This is a great list for younger kids but chores and reading are always good for all children.

  3. These are great ideas. When my kids were small, their favorite thing to do was invent games and play with each other. I think during this period of social distancing, siblings are bound to get closer to each other. (Even though they may also fight more.) I’m really glad that my second youngest is home from college. My youngest would be so bored without him home.

  4. I love all of these ideas! We’re currently building a scale replica of a Roman fort, and I’ve taught the kids several card games. We are planning to learn a new board game tomorrow, but I really should pull the puzzles out.

  5. My 16 year old has been eager to start learning how to make more things from scratch in the kitchen. Tomorrow, we’ll be making a birthday cake for my goddaughter and will do a drive by drop off leaving it on her porch since she will be missing out on celebrating her bday this year.

    We’ve also been doing puzzles and finally getting rid of clutter that’s been long overdue.

  6. Catalina says:

    My kids love all kind of tech devices. And it’s so hard to find an interesting alternate. Thanks for these screen free options.

  7. weve been working on some puzzles and working on more educational games for them to play on their kindle 🙂

  8. Such a great list of fun ideas. It’s been a while since we played a board game. We need to do it again.

  9. Coloring and puzzles are two things keeping us busy around here. I got a few new ideas too! This is a great resource.

  10. Kita Bryant says:

    These are some really fun ideas! Now it only I can convince them to put the phones down!

  11. These are all such good ideas. My kids haven’t said they are bored yet, they know I’ll find something for them.

  12. These are good strategies and projects to get creative. It is always a challenge to make sure there is a good balance of not too much screen time.

  13. Agnes says:

    My daughter is hooked with her gadget, the sad thing about this lockdown and no school. I wish this end soon and we can all go back especially the kids

  14. Kristine Nicole Alessandra says:

    I am going to suggest these activities to my daughter so her son won’t get bored while we are all on community quarantine. It would also help reduce screen time and foster more bonding moments!

  15. Thanks for the suggestions. It hasn’t been easy for us. My kids just want to play online games. I am going to use these tips.

  16. Ruth I says:

    Love all these ideas! It has been a little difficult to entertain my niece because she gets bored real fast. But she loves to color and draw.

  17. We are going to plant our seeds this week. The weather outside is still a bit chilly! These are great because my son and I are both getting “bored”. Funny before all of this I would have LOVED some free time now I am over it.

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