Top 10 Screen Free, Indoor Boredom Busters That Require ZERO Preparation

Top 10 Screen Free, Indoor Boredom Busters That Require ZERO Preparation

Screen time in moderation has been an ongoing practice in our house.  But there are days that I would LOVE to just turn on the television, toss a tablet in the two year old’s hands and let the teenagers get lost on social media while I take a moment to breath.  It is so tempting but we have been able to stick with the moderate screen time use by always having some go to activities for those moments where I need a moment.  Here are my top 10 screen free, indoor boredom busters that require no preparation.  The first five are for older children and the last five are for younger children.

  1. Read a book or magazine.  I know ridiculously simple right?  It works though.  For the children who love to read, they will cozy up with a book and read quietly.  For the children who don’t love to read, the moment I mention “go read for 20 minutes” they are miraculously not bored anymore. Suddenly they find some project they need to work on.
  2. Create a craft.  For the younger set, I will pull out some watercolors and paper.  For the older kids, they go into our craft closet and find something to create.  They have old craft kits that they perhaps received as a birthday gift.  Even better, they just grab random stuff and start creating.
  3. Play town.  Each kid sets up a shop.  Maybe massage, maybe snacks, maybe fortune telling, any thing they can think of.  The kids then wander around visiting each other’s shops.  Sometimes, I give them small change so they can pay for the different services or items at the shops.  My kids have played this game for hours when they have the time.  Play architect and real estate agent.  You can read more about that here – Pretend Play Architect
  4. Do paper puzzles – do your kids love puzzles and mazes on their smartphones and tablets?  Try the good old fashioned paper puzzles.  Children can practice higher level thinking with difficult mazes, memory challenges, easy mazes or mix it up with a variety of puzzles like Brain Workouts or Boredom Busters.
  5. Scavenger or Clue Hunt – have the kids create their own Scavenger Hunts and Clue Hunts.  If they need a jump start, download Scavenger Hunts.
  6. Hide and Go Seek – my kids love this game.  So simple, nothing required, just start playing.
  7. Pretend Play – suggest to the kids that they play school, doctor, pet shop, veterinarian, candy shop, restaurant, detective, etc. Sometimes all they need is the suggestion and they will get started all on their own.  Sometimes they might need some extras like appointment cards, schedules, awards, spy missions which can be found here.
  8. Water – set up the sink with some soapy water.  Toss in some plastic toys and you are all set.  Don’t want your child at the sink?  Toss a beach towel on the floor and put a small amount of water in cups to pour into bowls.
  9. Pots and Pans – read this post about 5 games to play with pots and pans.
  10. Blocks – wooden blocks, Duplo blocks or Legos are awesome boredom busters

Wait, one more… I can’t leave off play dough – grab some play dough, slime or anything moldable and toss it on a tray.  Add in birthday candles, cupcake pans and beads to create some pretend cupcakes.

What is your #1 best suggestion for no-prep, screen free activities for kids?

Boredom Busters Volume #1