With Summer approaching, kids are out of school, and the ever-famous complaint, “Mom, I’m bored!” is well on the horizon. Get ready to bust boredom forever with these 55 fun and simple ideas! 

Whether you’re looking for something for the whole family to do or seeking independent activities for busy days- I’ve got you covered with a variety of fun, educational and creative ideas. Read on for 55 fun activities to keep the boredom away, rain or shine, at home and on the go!

siblings playing jenga on a table

INDOOR ACTIVITIES FOR KIDS

Need, stuck inside games for a rainy day?

Don’t fret; any one of these 25 creative and engaging indoor activities will keep your kids occupied for hours!

1. Play Dress Up

Don’t have a dedicated stash of dress-up clothes and accessories on the ready? No problem! Pull your old high school prom dress out of the closet and grab some fun costume jewelry. Give your kiddos free rein to use their imaginations and get fancy for the afternoon.

2. Play Board Games

Board games are one of my favorite rainy day activities for defeating boredom. Garage sales are a great place to stock up on a variety of games appropriate for all the ages in your household. 

Bring back family game night, spend a quiet afternoon playing one on one, or make it educational with a math or reading game! I love collecting new games to play with kindergarteners, pre-teens, and the whole family. 

3. Get Cooking! 

Opening up the kitchen to your children offers an opportunity for learning and lots of messy memory-making. Try a new recipe, whip up a fun dessert, or put the kids in charge of making dinner! 

4. Create a Home Movie Theater Experience

Use your imagination to turn your living room into a movie theater! Your kids will love making their own tickets and collecting yours before the movie starts. Don’t forget the popcorn! 

5. Start an Art Project 

Draw, paint, color, or make a collage! Gather up whatever you have lying around the house and use it as inspiration to create an abstract art piece. Use this time to let the creative juices flow! 

6. Do a Science Experiment

One of my kids’ favorite things to do is play with science. Whether you keep it simple with Oobleck or really dig in and make your own exploding volcano, scientific experiments are sure to entertain and educate. 

7. Read Aloud

Reading to your children (or having them read aloud to you) is a great way to have some good, quality bonding time and promote strong reading and comprehension skills.

8. Silent Reading Time

Need a break? Schedule some individual, silent reading time and enjoy the peace and quiet. 

9. Build a Fort

Fort-building is an excellent activity for exercising your imagination and boosting your engineering skills. Be creative with your fort- think outside the box by using a wide variety of materials.

Forts make a great hideaway for reading a good book, playing a game, or having a living-room sleepover! 

10. Indoor Scavenger Hunt

Make up a list of 10-15 things for your children to find in the house. The first child to find all of the items gets a prize! Get as creative as you want with these items. The more imaginative you get, the longer the activity can last. 

11. Have a Lego Building Challenge

Your kids can challenge each other (or you!) in an epic LEGO battle. Decide on a build, set a timer, and see what you can create! 

12. Tidy Up the House

I know this is not the most fun activity in the world, but some of my favorite activities to offer when my kids tell me they’re “bored” are chores. Having an “everybody helps” attitude keeps our home tidy and keeps everybody occupied.

13. Reorganize the Playroom

Sometimes, changing things up in your creative space is just what you need to get you off the bored bus and enjoying fun activities again. 

If you and your kids are stuck in a rut, try rearranging the furniture and reorganizing your play space. You’d be surprised at the difference a new environment can make, and the number of old toys and activities you’d forgotten about! 

14. Refresh Your Arithmetic Skills

Take advantage of an indoor day and refresh some of those arithmetic skills! I like to keep a few workbooks on hand that offer easy, tear-out sheets for simple computations and mental math practice.

15. Put Together a Sensory Table

Sensory tables offer limitless fun and stimulation. Fill up your table with water beads, rice, sand, dinosaur figurines, beans- you name it! It’s fun to consistently change things up so that your kiddo is surprised by new materials. 

Don’t have a sensory table? No problem. A large bin or mixing bowl works just as well! 

16. Make Your Own Play Dough

Made at home or bought from the store, play dough offers hours of entertainment and sensory skill development. 

17. Write a Story

Give your child a topic and let their pen run wild! Writing a story is a great independent activity, but if your child requires more help, I recommend taking turns coming up with and writing each sentence.

18. The Floor Is Lava

Throw some pillows on the floor, kick off your shoes and challenge your kids to a game of Floor is Lava! Set whatever ground rules you want but remember, don’t touch the floor! 

19. Recycle Old Boxes

Got an extra refrigerator box lying around? Grab some markers, crayons, scissors, and tape and create something new! Large boxes are perfect for making your own boat, car, or rocket ship. A favorite in my house is creating your own food truck, complete with a menu and order window! 

20. Work on a Puzzle

Putting together a puzzle is a challenge and can be done all at once or over time. We like to put the pieces out on the kitchen table, build the outline first, and then fill in the rest here and there as we walk by. 

21. Watch a Documentary

Learn something new on an indoor day by watching a documentary. Give your kids questions to look for ahead of time, or just enjoy watching and learning together. 

If your kids find the topic particularly interesting, you can spend some time researching more information together when it’s over! 

22. Move Your Body

Get your wiggles out with some exercise! Do a yoga video, have a dance party, or spend some time stretching out tight muscles. 

23. Play Pretend 

There are indeed no limits to the imagination. Role-playing games like “doctor” or “restaurant” are always a good time!  

24. Brain Teasers

Word searches, crossword puzzles, and other enriching activities are readily available for free online. Print out a few new activities and let your kiddos exercise their brains. 

25. Obstacle Course

Just because you’re indoors doesn’t mean you can’t go on an adventure! Put together an indoor obstacle course in one room or throughout the entire house. If your kids like a bit of competition, make it a race! Just be sure to keep it safe and avoid breakable items.

Many different kids, boys and girls running in the park on sunny summer day in casual clothes

OUTDOOR ACTIVITIES FOR KIDS

Getting outside and soaking up the sun is the perfect way to spend a summer day. We do a lot of outdoor time around here, in all kinds of weather. These next outdoor activities are so much fun you’ll want to keep your feet in the grass, rain or shine! 

26. Backyard Camping

Camping at home is the ultimate way to feel “outdoorsy” with all of the comforts of home available at your fingertips. Build a campfire, make smores and tell ghost stories! When it’s time for lights out, kids can sleep in a tent in the backyard or head back inside to their warm, cozy bed. 

27. Go on a Nature Walk

Getting outside to appreciate nature is always time well-spent. Have your kids bring a small notebook to take notes and draw pictures of the natural beauty and wildlife they see. 

28. Sidewalk Chalk 

Sidewalk chalk can be used endlessly for hours of fun. Draw pictures, write your name, or create a roadmap for your bike! 

29. Go for a Bike Ride

Bike-riding is a fun way to get a little exercise and some Vitamin D! Find a safe area and send the kids on an independent bike ride, or get the whole family together for a total biking adventure! 

30. Visit a Beach

Grab your swimsuits and sunscreen and head to your local beach! Kids will have a blast swimming, making sandcastles, skipping rocks, and building forts out of driftwood. 

31. Go to a Park 

Swing sets, giant slides, basketball courts, fields of grass, what more could you ask for? Pack a picnic lunch and spend the afternoon playing together at the park. 

32. Check Out the Zoo

Visit the animals and learn about their lives and natural habitats at your local zoo. Use this visit to learn something new and practice map-reading skills. Eat lunch together at the zoo cafeteria, or bring your own sack lunch for a picnic.

33. Play a Sport

Get the neighborhood kids together and play a game of baseball, kickball, or basketball. Your kids will get some exercise, build their skills, and develop friendships! 

34. Foot Race

Challenge your children (or have them challenge each other) to a foot race! Set up the boundaries, wait for the signal, and GO! Your child might also enjoy using a stopwatch to challenge themselves to beat their own fastest time. 

35. Blow Bubbles

You can buy bubbles very inexpensively at the store or use a super simple recipe to make your own

36. Water Play 

Start a water balloon fight, fill up the kiddie pool, or get those sprinklers going! Enjoy a sunny, warm day by cooling off with some water play. 

37. Climb a Tree

Keep it old-school simple and climb a tree! Be sure to help your child find a sturdy, safe tree to climb and be on hand to help them should they need you. 

38. Watch the Clouds

The perfect mellow outdoor activity is lying on your back in the grass and watching the clouds. Your kids can lie back together with you or on their own and spend time finding “shapes” in the clouds! 

39. Outdoor Scavenger Hunt

Start a scavenger hunt! Give the kids a list of 10-15 items (a pinecone, a yellow leaf, a red flower, a blade of grass, etc.) and have them collect the items in a small sack. When they’re done, they can use these items to create art! 

40. Ice Cream Date

Is that the ice cream man I hear? Get some cones or popsicles and enjoy a sweet treat outside. No ice cream man today? Pick up a few sundae-makings at your local grocery store and make your own at home!

41. Build a Fairy House

Gather sticks, flowers, and moss to build a little fairy house for the imaginary magical creatures on your property. 

42. Make a Daisy Chain

Teaching your child to make a daisy chain is a fun way to make something creative and beautiful using only materials found in your yard! 

This video gives quick, simple instructions for making a daisy chain:

43. Wash the Cars

Washing the cars can be fun! All you need is a bucket, some rags, and some car wash soap. 

44. Help With the Yard Work

Invoke the “everybody helps” mantra and get your kiddos to help with the weed-pulling! They will enjoy pulling old dandelions and “making a wish” as they blow the little seeds away. 

45. Make a Rock Garden

Who needs flowers? Make your own “rock garden” by painting rocks with colorful, unique designs and placing them in a special area of your garden. 

46. Walk the Dog

Walking the dog means healthy exercise for your kids and little Fido! Be sure to go over dog-walking etiquette, and don’t forget the doggy bags! 

47. Lemonade Stand

Kids can embrace their entrepreneurial side with their very own lemonade stand. Make the lemonade, set prices, set up a storefront, and sell to the neighbors! Mom and Dad can supervise on the sidelines while the kids gain confidence in their business-building skills. 

48. Hold a Garage Sale

Summer is the perfect time to declutter and purge the old. Have your kids go through their rooms and set aside anything they no longer need or want. Let them help set up and “sell” items on the day of the sale so that they can earn their share! 

49. Go Hiking

There are so many beautiful hiking spots with kid-friendly trails to choose from! Check out your local state or national parks and spend a family day in nature. 

50. Paper Boat Race

Create your own paper boats and hold a race! Your backyard pond or kiddie pool works great as a course. Let the wind carry your boats across and award a winner! 

kids playing games in the back of a car

FUN ACTIVITIES FOR ON-THE-GO

Boredom can strike anywhere- at home or on the go. When you have a ton of errands to run or a long road trip to embark on, try these ideas for keeping the kids occupied.

51. Magnet Games

Fun games like tic-tac-toe, chess, checkers, and more are often available in mini, magnet versions. These make great activities for the car because the pieces stay on the board, even on bumpy roads.

52. Word Games

Word games like “I’m Going Camping” and “I Spy” make awesome activities for the car or while you are out and about. When running errands, fill in the time waiting in line or doing other mundane tasks with these fun, quick games that require nothing other than an imagination! 

53. Car Sing-Along

Roll the windows down, crank up the tunes and sing your heart out! My kids love singing along to the radio or going acapella on their favorite songs. Take turns picking out which song to sing next. 

54. Mad Libs

Mad Libs make a great activity because they combine comedy with a bit of language arts practice. Your kiddos will be laughing so hard they won’t even realize that they are practicing their vocabulary and the eight parts of speech! 

55. Audio Books

Choose a new story or an old family favorite, and listen over the car stereo as a family. Can’t decide on just one? Pop in some headphones and let each child choose a story that interests them.

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