Looking for ways to keep your kids entertained during the school holidays or a rainy weekend?
We’ve put together this list of 25 awesome things you can do with your children that will stave off their boredom.
Most of the activities that feature on this list are free or will only cost you a minimal amount. But they can be a lot of fun, and should create some wonderful family memories.
So here they are!
1-Make Bath Bombs (Ages: 6+)
Bath bombs are always a winner!
They are easy to make, – all you need is a few scented supplies and some kitchen equipment – and involve a bit of crafting and science experimenting, which you will need to help them with.
But once made, the kids can use them to splash about in a bath of brightly coloured water, while parents can relax in theirs later with some lovely, scented oils.
2-Go Fruit Picking (Age: 3+)
Fruit picking ticks a lot of boxes. Not only does it get children outside, exposing them to fresh air and Vitamin D, but it also gets them excited about fruit!
It also ensures they eat some of their five a day.
If you live near a strawberry farm or an apple orchard, a visit to it provides a very inexpensive way to entertain the kids.
You’ll be able to eat what they pick as part of a picnic, while often these destinations also have a shop to visit, or other activities like a playground, pony/tractor rides or cooking classes, for them to enjoy.
3-Make a Tik Tok Video (Ages: 8+)
TikTok burst into the world’ consciousness around 2020 and quickly started a trend of viral lip-syncing and dancing videos.
While you don’t have to make one with the intention of it going viral, why not produce your own video.
You don’t even have to be on Tik Tok to create one. All you need to do is prop up your iPhone against something and then sing and dance away.
To really make an event of it, why not encourage your children to dress up, choose the song, select some props, and then after you have recorded the performance, you can send it to family and friends for a laugh!
4-Blow Some Bubbles (Ages: 2+)
Kids love bubbles!
One of the best ways to entertain them is to take them to a park or beach and blow bubbles into the wind for them to chase.
They will want to spend hours trying to pop each one before they float away, and the chances are they will be joined by other children they will end up playing with.
You can buy long tubes of bubbles very cheaply from most supermarkets and discount stores.
However, if you pay a bit more you can also invest in a bubble machine, which you can set and then sit back and relax, as you watch the kids chase after them!
5-Indoor Treasure Hunt (Ages: 7+)
You’ll know by how much fun they have at Easter that kids love a ‘hunt’, so why not surprise them by creating one for them?
This treasure hunt doesn’t have to involve chocolate – you could wrap up anything from small craft items to cheap toys.
But if you provide clues for them, it will engage your child(ren) with lots of fun, as they try and work out where the treasure is!
6-Get Messy with Play Dough (Ages: 2+)
Whoever discovered you could make play dough with little more than boiling water, flour, oil, salt and cream of tartar is a genius!
Not only is it so easy to make, but it also allows your child to enjoy a creative and hands-on activity.
They will be able to colour and scent it any way they want, with ingredients you should have in the pantry, and they will want to play with it for a long time once it is ready.
7-Plant something in the Garden (Age: 5+)
Gardening is a terrific thing to do with kids.
Not only does it get them out into the fresh air, but it also gives them a fantastic opportunity to get their hands dirty, whilst also creating something too.
There are plenty of plants or vegetables you can grow, which include everything from herbs and veggies to small trees and Zinnias.
The kids will love to keep track of how what they planted is growing, and if you don’t have a garden, you can always use a small pot or window box.
Depending on what herbs and vegetables you grow, your kids should well be interested in eating it too!
8-Go for a Bike Ride (Ages: 4+)
Going for a bike ride is a great way to do something active with your children.
If you all have bikes, why not just pick an easy destination to ride to, like a park or along a walking track and take in the scenery as a family?
If you don’t have bikes, you can hire them, or buy them fairly cheaply, second hand online.
9-Play Keepy Uppy (Age: 3+)
Also known as ‘don’t let the balloon touch the ground’ Keepy Uppy is a wonderfully simple game that provides kids with lots of fun.
As its name suggests, the only goal of the game is to ensure the balloon never touches the ground. Which is something you can do by any means necessary.
To give you all a bit of room to jump about, why not take this game to the beach or park?
10-Visit Your Local Library (Age: 6+)
Libraries are brilliant places to go on a rainy day.
Not only do they have thousands of books for your children and you to peruse, but they also have computers they can use, as well as toys to play with, and things like storytelling sessions.
Best of all, a trip to the library is free, so you can go there for as long or as little time as you like.
11-Hold a Tea Party (Ages: 4+)
How many times has your child played tea parties with their dolls or toys?
Well, why not have a tea party with your child?
They can help you make the sandwiches and/or the cakes, get the teacups and saucers out and set the table.
Once you are ready, you can enjoy a lovely experience which you can have indoors at the dining table, or in the garden patio.
12-Build an Indoor Fort with Pillows (Ages: 4+)
Another fabulous rainy-day activity is to build an indoor floor with pillows.
All you need is a few pillows or cushions, as well as a sheet or blanket and you can let your children’s imagination run wild.
Should you not want your lounge room messed up, why not let them completely take it over your spare room?
According to Raising Stars, play based learning like this is very important for a child’s development.
13-Paint Rocks (Age: 2+)
Painting rocks is a very good two phase activity, and one which your kids are sure to love.
Firstly, you will have to go and source some appropriate size rocks, which gets them outside at the beach or a parkland.
Once they have accumulated enough, they will also get to paint or decorate them in any way they see fit.
When completed, they could even display them, as their own art collection, in a homemade gallery.
14-Do a Science Experiment (Age: 9+)
If your child has an aptitude or liking for science, why not embrace that by conducting a series of DIY experiments.
There are hundreds of fascinating, fun and science statements you can do with everyday household objects and food items from your kitchen.
A quick Google search will provide you with a lot of them. But a couple of trusty favourites include Mentos in a glass of Coca Cola or the old Egg Sink or Float?
15-Take a Walk (Age: 6+)
If you don’t fancy going on a family bike ride how about going for a walk instead?
Regardless of whether you live in the heart of the city, in a rural town or in a remote country area, there are plenty of places you can explore which you have not visited before.
A good idea is to head to a place with a fantastic view, or somewhere with a lot of history like an old church or a bridge.
If you are not sure where to go, again a quick Google search will help.
16-Get Stuck into a Craft Kit (Ages: 3+)
Pretty much all kids love arts and craft activities, so one of the best ways to entertain them for a prolonged period is to give them a craft kit.
Featuring everything from painting and building to glueing and sticking, these packs are widely available, relatively cheap and provide plenty for kids to do.
Some of the things they can make include a dream catcher or some decorative elements for their bedroom.
17-Take a Museum Tour (Ages: 4+)
Just like with libraries, museums are an excellent and free rainy-day activity.
Many of them have interactive sections that are specifically designed for children and showcase fascinating exhibits, which will have their little minds working overtime to process too.
One of the best things about taking them to a museum is that you never know what interest might spark within them.
18-Host a Dance Party (Age: 8+)
Kids love to dance! So, it follows that they would love to host a dance party.
Why not invite around some of your child’s friends, then put on some tunes from Spotify and let them dance till they can’t dance no more!
To make it extra fun, why not throw some balloons into the mix, so they can play with them while they dance.
Also be sure to provide them with snacks and drinks!
19-Get into Painting (Age: 7+)
Painting is a time-honoured way to keep your child busy.
Whether you are happy for them to freestyle, or you provide a prop for them to paint, giving your child a canvas or large pieces of paper to get creative with is a sure-fire way to stave off the boredom.
If they are open to the idea, there are plenty of tutorials for kids online, which will provide them with lots of advice and tips on techniques, as well as plenty of inspiration and ideas too.
20-Go to the Beach (Age: 2+)
If it’s a nice sunny day, then the beach is a fantastic place to take the children for a while.
They can splash around the water, surf, boogie board, build sandcastles, collect shells, explore rock pools or just run about till their heart’s content.
Many beaches also have children’s play equipment nearby, which will provide another fun distraction for them too. Just be sure to pack a picnic, as they will get hungry after a while.
21-Do a Big Jigsaw Puzzle with them (Ages: 10+)
Does your pre-teen or teenager like a challenge? Well why not ask them to help you do a massive jigsaw puzzle?
Something like a 10,000-piece puzzle will keep them busy for days on end, especially if it is of an image they love, or can relate to.
If you have a spare table, they could easily start putting the pieces together and then keep going back to it, until it is complete.
22-Sing Karaoke (Age: 8+)
Once you’ve done the Tik Tok, and had the dance party, why not channel your inner pop star with a spot of karaoke?
If you own a games console, something like SingStar is a great option to get you blasting out your best Rihanna or Harry Styles.
Alternatively, you should be able to get your hands on some karaoke CDs quite cheaply from music stores or the library, or online.
It’s a good idea to create a stage set, and when you do be sure to sing with your children as well!
23-Make Paper Mache (Ages: 6+)
Like playing with dough, Paper Mache is so much fun!
There are lots of different recipes online, go through some of them with your child to see the one that appears easiest to them, then let the fun begin!
Pro Tip! This is a messy activity so you might want to do it in the garden, or at least put a big sheet down.
24-Make a Family Tree (Age: 9+)
If your child wants to know their family history, a great idea is to sit down with them and devise your family tree.
One of the best places to do this is Ancestry.com which can provide you with a chart to map your family history.
This could lead to a fascinating journey of discovery from your children and even yourself. Who knows what stories you may unearth about your own family that you were never previously aware of?
25-Cook Something (Age: 2+)
If all else fails, bake something!
Whether it be cakes, biscuits, bread or dinner, kids love to help out in the kitchen.
Pick a few easy recipes you can cook with them and then let them peel, chop, mix. pour, baste and stir as required, to produce a food creation they will be very proud of.
Letting them lick the spoon, or bowl, when making sweet treats is half the fun of this experience too.