100 Activities to Foster Your Child’s Creativity and Make Boredom Constructive

Although past studies found that boredom leads to frustration, there is now proof that constructive boredom can be beneficial. Indeed, research now shows that while parental intervention is not always beneficial when your kids claim to be bored, children need unstructured but stimulating environments to arouse their creativity.

Some studies have found that children who engage in unstructured play are better able to develop their decision-making skills and discover their own areas of interest. They also have more creative freedom.

According to one study reported on BBC, “children need to have stand-and-stare time, time imagining and pursuing their own thinking processes or assimilating their experiences through play or just observing the world around them.”

There are doubts, however, about children’s ability to manage unstructured time. Although Professor McNamara has primarily analysed boredom in school environments, she joins a number of researchers who argue that the lack of structure and the absence of organized activities can lead to frustration: “children need guidance, role models and activities that help them connect and maintain their friendships”.

Constructive boredom therefore means providing opportunities that allow your child to use his/her creativity.

Below are 100 activities that focus on creativity for both boys and girls. Most of these activities require minimal intervention from adults.

1. Do a puzzle

2. Make an animal sculpture out of clay. A Little Bit of Dirt has awesome ideas to help reconnect children with nature.

3. Play LEGO. Get tips on how to choose appropriate construction toys here.

4. Come up with a secret language or a secret code

5. Play with Playmobil

6. Fold origami. You can find free instructions for origami for kids here or     get Creativity for Kids Origami.

7. Write a story

8. Create a picture story

9. Be a reporter for a day (come up with a storyline/interview family        members)

10. Make a video

11. Make a documentary about things found in your external environment (garden, park)

12. Make a documentary about things in the house

13. Paint sea shells

14. Play Simon says

15. Use Youtube to learn a magic trick

16. Plant a garden

17. Colour a Mandala. You can make some yourself, download free models         here or get the Kids’ Magical Mandalas.

18. Plan a meal that doesn’t need cooking

19. Prepare a meal that doesn’t need cooking

20. Take a walk and count all the insects (animals, trees …) you see

21. Create something using recycled material

22. Take a picture of insects in your environment

23. Pick and dry leaves.

24. Make a rainbow. You can find easy instructions here.

25. Write a comic strip

26. Measure grains (such as rice) to learn about volume

27. Put up a teepee tent using sticks and old clothes/material

28. Read. Check out my book recommendations for kids here

29. Prepare a picnic

30. Finger paint using Washable Paint

31. Take a walk and name all the colours you see

32. Play hide and seek

33. Make shapes with dry spaghetti and play-doh

34. Paint rocks

35. Play with leaves

36. Pick flowers

37. Put up a tent using recycled carton

38. Play “I-spy”.

39. Complete dot-to-dot drawings. You can download free worksheets here.

40. Colour in a book

41. Invent a board game

42. Explore using a magnifying glass. The Curious Kid’s Science Book has over 100 great ideas for 4- to 8-year olds.

43. Play a board game

44. Make a costume

45. Make ice lollies

46. Make a monster from recycled items (tin foil, cardboard, old clothes)

47. Record a song

48. Make leaf prints. Easy instructions here

49. Invent a ball game

50. Play a ball game

51. Draw a picture from a model

52. Play with stickers

53. Make a still-life painting

54. Make a pearl bracelet or necklace

55. Draw using rice grains

56. Make an obstacle race

57. Use Google Maps to find favourite places (your home, relatives homes,       school, library, etc.)

58. Organise a treasure hunt

59. Participate in a treasure hunt

60. Build a den with recycled carton

61. Make a string phone using paper cups

62. Make a robot from recycled items (tin foil, cardboard, old clothes)

63. Try the “does an orange float or sink” experiment

64. Play inside a cardboard box

65. Start a collection (stamps, coins, insects…)

66. Participate in a scavenger hunt. 30 great free printable scavenger     hunts for kids available here. A scavenger hunt the whole family can participate in is available here.

67. Pretend you’re an explorer

68. Make a card game

69. Draw a picture of the house’s exterior

70. Make a kite

71. Make fruit skewers

72. Come up with a dance choreography

73. Prepare a skit

74. Prepare for a show (make tickets, prepare snacks)

75. Use a globe to find five countries in each continent.

76. Search the Internet to find out how people from a different culture live (how they dress, what they eat, etc)

77. Make homemade bubble solutions. Different ways to make solutions           here.

78. Make sandwiches for lunch

79. Write a poem

80. Make a mask from cardboard and other recycled materials

81. Find the capital cities of 10 countries and memorise them

82. Draw a portrait

83. Draw an imaginary planet

84. Create a pretend restaurant

85. Make a lemonade stand

86. Make up a song

87. Organise a family night

88. Design and build a house using recycled materials

89. Come up with a puppet show

90. Disguise yourself

91. Invent a scent

92. Do a crossword

93. Speak “in rhymes” for the next 20 minutes

94. Learn how to create something from Youtube

95. Invent the next episode of your favourite program

96. Turn recycled water bottles into bowling pins. Ideas here

97. Make a postcard

98. Make an animal using paper rolls

99. Do a paper collage using recycled paper

100. Cut out shapes (or trees, or flowers…) from old magazines

Still short on ideas? Check out 150+ Screen-Free Activities for Kids.

What creative activities didn’t make it to the list? Let me know in the comments below.

Please share if you’ve enjoyed reading. I’d appreciate it.

Subscribe here if you’d like to receive updates directly in your inbox every Tuesday