FFTC’s Guide to Family Boredom Busters

unexpected boredom busters

Sometimes boredom is a reality. As parents of kids, we know that some boredom is good for kids, but we want to help them use this time constructively and wisely. And keep everyone sane. We have collected 10 Ideas for Boredom Busters for your family to use to be productive and create some fun memories together. Keep scrolling for details.

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Our Top 10 Boredom Busters:
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    Ideas for Implementing These Boredom Busters

    Create an Experience

    Our homes provide a safe haven, but after a while the same ol’ thing bores even the most patient person. Set up an obstacle course in your backyard (or even in the living room, if you’re up to it.). Create a spa in your bathroom. Have a soda taste test. Build a library complete with a shelving and cataloging system. Or, I don’t know, clean out the fridge!

    Girl wearing spa towel and laughing
    Create a spa in your bathroom

    Explore Your Own Backyard or a Park

    When we are able to go outside, find a patch of green grass, pull out a magnifying glass and observe the trees, count the birds each day and create a chart. Whip out our big list of 65 Fun Nature Play Ideas for Kids.

    You can do this in a nearby patch of nature if you don’t have a yard. Or, at parks across the Twin Cities are great  for the exploring. Our Parks Search tool can connect you some new options.  Take at least 20 minutes every day to get outside.

    Watch Airplanes

    Drive to your local airport and watch the airplanes take off and land.  Pack a lunch and count the number of planes that land in 10 minutes.  I love going to Post Road, a designated aircraft viewing spot near the Minneapolis-St Paul airport, where you can watch all the action.  There are no restroom facilities, so plan accordingly. This fantastic activity gets you out of the house but not into the middle of the masses.

    Do Science Experiments

    While the thought of this makes me cringe, if you can get past the imminent mess this will probably be one of the most thrilling things you do with your kids. We have collected a lot of different ideas in our Science at Home roundup. Make rainbow snakes out of bubbles, make a mess with sudsy eruptions, concoct homemade ice cream or even host a mini science fair at home!

    Play Games

    Both indoor games and outdoor games!  We love playing different games as a family.  Many times we need to set our own house rules for games to help our kids feel like they’ve got a chance.  But as they get older, we can readjust those rules.  Here are some of our ideas.

    Outdoor Games – Kickball, Four Square, hopscotch and jump roping are just the beginning. We have 60 games or activities on this list that will keep them entertained outdoors for hours. Or, ’tis the season for spring yard cleanup and gardening prep!

    Try also our list of 45 Fun Physical Activities For All Ages! It’s got tons more ideas on getting the heart pumping.

    Indoor Games – Balloon games, tape games, indoor scavenger hunts, charades and dozens more. This massive list of 75 indoor games and activities will banish boredom for a long stretch.

    Try Something New

    This is the perfect time to learn how to do something alongside our kids. Need some ideas?

    • Finger knitting
    • Basketweaving (I’m not even joking)
    • Write a poem or a script to perform
    • Choreograph a dance routine
    • Scrapbook a memorable family vacation
    • Create your own “bucket list” of new things to try.


    Create your own family book club. Read a book together, make a snack that would fit the book’s theme, and while you are eating your snack, chat about your book.  So much good comes from families bonding over stories (and food).

    Family Movie Time

    Pop some corn, break out the movie candy/healthy snacks, pull up a classic on one of the streaming apps (or go to the library.  OR I have a novel idea, watch the movies you already own!), and snuggle on the couch.  Make it a fun family way to relax and enjoy each other’s company.

    FFTC Recommended (and maybe forgotten)

    • The Parent Trap
    • My Neighbor Totoro
    • Akeela and the Bee
    • The Adventures of Milo and Otis
    • Newsies
    • Babe
    • Spy Kids
    • Wallace and Gromit
    • The Sound of Music

    Make a Craft

    The great thing about crafts is that there are lots of different kids of crafts you can make simply out of paper. Or order in a few supplies from Amazon. I’m really excited to have a reason to do some of these crafts together, especially seasonal crafts to celebrate the current time of year!

    We’ve collected a lot of ideas to keep you busy at home or in the classroom in our Arts and Crafts Throughout the Year article.

    Serve Others

    Times of boredom can be times to think of others.  How can your family serve those you love and/or are around you?  Serving others helps us to keep busy and active.

    Bake cookies for your neighbors (instructions below). Make a grocery run for your grandparents. Write a letter to your cousins (yes, an actual letter! Resist the email or text, if possible.)

    More Boredom Busting Resources for the Whole Family

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