School holidays, weekends, and over the last few years, lockdowns. There’s so many times you might want to to entertain kids and you don’t have to spend much money, or go out on endless outings to do it.

“Mum… I’m bored!” How many times have you heard that lately? Some people feel like you need to be constantly taking the kids out for fun days or money costing adventures but one of the best ways to foster a sense of security with children (and parents) is just to have fun and spend time together! Spending some time enjoying activities with your children will not only help your kids to feel safe and happy in uncertain times but will help alleviate your stress levels too.

So if you’re looking for ideas on things to do with your kids that doesn’t involve endless day trips or winning lotto to afford it all, take a look at some great ideas for keeping the kids entertained at home. Most of these activities can even be done by the kids themselves, if you need them to be entertained while you get some work done.

Great home activities to do with your kids

  1. Have a treasure hunt. Hide a favourite toy somewhere in the house and then create clues to help your kids find it again.
  2. Go through your clothing. Try on all the clothing in your wardrobe and drawers. Cull things that are too small and donate them to charities if they are still in great condition.
  3. Play dress ups. Kids can dress up with stuff they have or even in mum and dad’s clothes. Do a photoshoot or a fashion parade.
  4. Graffiti the garden fence or paving with chalk. Create some great artwork with chalk. Its easy to clean off later or with rain.
  5. Go through old photos and videos. Get out your photos, videos, old kids craft and paintings and go through them. Look at them with your kids and tell them memories and stories of what happened or where it came from. It’s a good trip down memory lane and a way for the kids to get to know some family history.
  6. Have a Living Room disco. Play music, play freeze, musical chairs and have a dance off.
  7. Create a day spa. Do a Mani/Pedi/foot soak/face mask
  8. Put on a puppet show. Pull out the couch a bit and create a puppet show using toys behind the couch.
  9. Do a backyard scavenger hunt. Create a list of things for you and the kids to find in the backyard. Tick them off as you see them.activities for kids to do at home
  10. Organise your Lego. Take some time to organise your Lego and then have a building challenge. Who can build the best house, hotel or shop?
  11. Make a batch of play doh. You can easily make play doh at home and use it to create some masterpieces.
  12. Have a bake off challenge. Great for older kids, go through recipe books together and have a bake off challenge. Who can decorate the best cake?
  13. Gardening. Great for a day when the weather. Pull weeds, trim bushes, collect flowers for a vase.
  14. Find three toys to give to charity. Clean out the kids toys and get them to choose 3 toys they don’t play with anymore to give to charity.
  15. Write some notes. Write notes of love, compliments or doodles and hide them around the house for family to find
  16. Do some outdoor craft. Try shadow drawing, leaf rubbings, painting bark or stones.
  17. Make a stop motion movie. Using Lego characters or other small toys, make a stop motion movie (download the app Stop Motion to your phone or iPad)
  18. Draw some portraits. Use a mirror to draw a self portrait.
  19. Origami. Make Origami animals or paper ninja stars.
  20. Go for a walk. Take a family walk or ride your bike around the block.
  21. Board games. Go through your board/card games and challenge yourself to play them all. Or have fun designing your own game.
  22. Build a fort. Build a fort using the couch, chairs, sheets and every cushion/pillow you can find.
  23. Watch cat videos. Not everything has to be educational all the time. Grab the computer, phone or tablet and watch funny videos together on YouTube.
  24. Draw a map of the house. Create a floor plan / map of the house and garden.
  25. Create a rain cloud! Make DIY rain clouds in a jar using shaving cream, food colouring and water.
  26. Create an obstacle course. Possibly better as an outside activity but use whatever you have to create and obstacle course to work through.
  27. Play party games. Play things like pass the parcel, musical chairs, egg and spoon race and sleeping lions.
  28. Put on a talent show. Get the kids to create a show using the singing, dancing, musical or entertaining talents of family members.
  29. Create a paper crown. You can create one for each member of your family and decorate it.
  30. Find 10 different shapes in the garden. Look for shaped leaves, rocks, sticks etc in the garden.
  31. Learn to braid hair. Look on YouTube for hair tutorials and leans some new funky styles.
  32. Make some cards. Make greeting cards for the stationery cupboard to be used for birthdays and other occasions through the year.
  33. Write a short story or poem. Get creative and pick some things to write a story or poem about. For example write something that includes a dog, an umbrella and some sushi.
  34. Make a paper chain. Use it to hang up and decorate the dining room or another room in the house.
  35. Have a picnic lunch outside. Take books and toys with you and spend the afternoon in the fresh air. If you need a large, easy to clean picnic blanket use a Tesalate XL Towel. These towels are great to use on grass or sand on the beach and fold up small to carry with you or keep in the car.
  36. Build things with cards. Build a house or bridge with a deck of cards. See what else you can come up with.
  37. String up the Christmas lights in your living room. Bring some cheer into the house with some light decorations.
  38. Learn how to bake bread. It’s actually relatively easy and makes the house smell great.
  39. Fold paper planes and see how far they will fly. Have a competition to see who’s goes the furthest.
  40. Outdoor games. Get outdoors and play games like egg and spoon race, tag team races, three legged races, or play stuck in the mud.
  41. Keepy Uppy. Keep a balloon in the air as long as possible.
  42. Choose an inspirational quote and create a poster for your room. Make it colourful and bright.
  43. Do some exercise together. Make up a workout and do it together (eg: 25 star jumps, 20 squats, 15 crunches, hop like a bunny around the lounge room, frog leap your partner)
  44. Have a movie night. Play cinema – make tickets, popcorn and watch a movie together.
  45. Play hotels using your bedrooms as ‘hotel rooms’. Or restaurants by setting up the dining room like a restaurant with menus (or hospitals, vets, banks, etc)
  46. Press flowers. Put flowers within a few heavy books to create pressed flowers.
  47. Listen to a kid’s podcast or audio book. There are some great kids and family podcasts out there and Audible have released a bunch of audio books for free at the moment as everyone is in isolation.
  48. Using butchers paper, trace a partner’s whole body. Now try to include as many body parts and organs as you can.
  49. Take some artistic photos. Use colour and black and white. Play around with filters and see what you can create. You could use a phone or learn how to use the proper camera (if you have one).
  50. Sort through all your crafts and art supplies. See if something inspires you. Organise and sharpen all your pencils and test all your markers.
  51. Research your family tree. See how far back you can go.
  52. Go camping in the backyard. Set up camp in the garden and play inside the tent.
  53. Lie on a rug in the garden and spot cloud shapes. Make up a story about what you see.
  54. Work together to create a family emblem and motto. Include elements that are important to you and your family.
  55. Make a paper cut out family. Don’t forget to include your pets too.
  56. Can you draw or paint with your feet? Create a masterpiece using your feet instead of hands.
  57. Organise the books on your shelf. Do it alphabetically or into a rainbow of colours.
  58. Do some reading. Choose a picture book each and read aloud to each other in the biggest bed in your house.
  59. Create a sensory shaker bottle. Use an old bottle, glitter and water (and whatever else you’d like to put in there!)
  60. Have a house Olympics. Create your own events. You can even have an opening ceremony.
  61. Make shadow shapes. Turn off the lights, close the curtains, and with the help of a torch, take turns making shadow shapes on the walls with your hands. See who can make the best shape.
  62. Play cards. Teach the kids some cards games, or let them teach you any they know.
  63. Do some colouring. Get out the colouring books and pencils or textas. If you don’t have anything to colour, print off some things you can find on the internet.things to do at home with your kids
  64. Make sock puppets. Get some odd socks out of the drawer (we all have some somewhere) and find some stuff that can be used for eyes, a nose and a mouth.
  65. Measure rainfall. Get a large cup or cut the top off a plastic coke bottle and put it outside. At regular intervals, or when the rain has stopped, measure the height of the rain that day (or hour) and make a chart of the rainfall over time.
  66. Do the walking water experiment. Teach your kids about colour with this fun experiment. All you need is jars, water, food colouring and paper towel.
  67. Build a Lego zip line. There are so many fun things to do with Lego around the house. This Lego zip line is just one you could come up with.
  68. Do a Yoga class together. Yoga and meditation are great for the body and the mind.
  69. Try a no bake recipe. If your kids aren’t old enough to be around a hot stove or oven yet, there are plenty of no bake recipe’s to try and get the involved.
  70. Create fruit animals. Create some fun and healthy fruit animals for morning or afternoon tea.
  71. Play charades. This classic is great getting kids thinking. And it introduces drama and performing into their lives too.
  72. Have a pajama day. Sometimes we just all need a break. Have a quiet day in your pajamas doing things like watching movies and reading books.
  73. Create a family band. If you don’t have any instruments, make some yourself. Pots and pans with wooden spoons and some rice in a jar are two very quick ones, but there are many more you can create. Then put them all together and have a jam session.
  74. Pillow fight. Just because they’re fun.
  75. Call family and friends using Google Hangout or Zoom. If you can’t get together in persons, then create a video chat full of friends and family. It’s a great way to keep in touch.

There’s nothing wrong with screen time, but when your stuck at home for an extended period, even a tv or iPad won’t keep them entertained for long. Sometimes it’s hard to come up with new ideas, especially when you’ve got a heap going on yourself.

With these ideas, you can keep the family entertained, and maybe become even closer at the end of it. And if all else fails, get the kids to come up with their own game. After all, some great creativity can come out of being bored.