“I’m bored.” “There’s nothing to do.” Phrases you probably hear your preschooler say at least a million times a day, and wish you never had to hear again. But, did you know being bored is actually good for your preschooler? Having a chance to be bored gives your preschooler a chance to use their imagination, and do things they may not typically do. When those times arise, here’s 22 boredom buster ideas you can give your preschooler, because there is always SOMETHING to do.
1. DO A CHORE
Okay, this one might seem like we’re taking advantage of our children’s boredom just a bit, but it’s actually extremely important to your preschooler’s development to learn how to do simple chores. Responsibility leads to accomplishment, which builds self esteem. So have them do those chores guilt free!
2. BUILD A FORT
Let them use all of the blankets, and pillows they can find and let their imaginations run wild. The best part about a fort is, after they build it you can have a family movie night in it, complete with snacks and laughter, for a day of boredom turned into a day never forgotten.
3. DRAW A PICTURE
Your preschooler probably draws and colors all the time, so this one might not seem super exciting, but being prompted to draw something specific by an adult can be exciting! Ask them to draw a picture of their favorite pet, or go outside and draw a picture of a flower they find. Hang their finished product up on the fridge so they can be proud of what they created.
4. GO ON A SCAVENGER HUNT
Create a list of items for your preschooler to find around the house. Have them find something red, something round, something they can wear on their head. They get to have fun while they learn, and that’s what preschool is all about!
5. HAVE A TEA PARTY
A childhood must. Every child can benefit from the opportunity to dress up, learn manners, and use their imagination. You can set up a fully imagined tea party, or go all out by inviting friends over and making real snacks and tea. Either way it’s a great experience.
6. PUT ON A PLAY
This idea works especially well if your preschooler has siblings, or is with a group of friends.. but there’s no reason why your preschooler can’t rock an awesome solo play either! Give them a subject or let them come up with it all on their own, then sit back and enjoy because this one will cure your boredom as well!
7. DO A PUZZLE
Age appropriate puzzles are a great way to get your preschooler’s brain working. These wooden jigsaw puzzles from Amazon will keep your preschooler busy for a while.
8. TURN ON MUSIC
If music doesn’t get your preschooler up and moving then we’ll be shocked! If you’ve ever danced around your house while doing chores then you know exactly why letting loose and dancing like nobody’s watching is so good for the soul…and if you haven’t then we highly recommend you give it a shot with your preschooler.
9. GO OUTSIDE
Seems pretty obvious, right? Yet there your preschooler is, staring longingly out of the window as if there’s just a big black hole on the other side. If suggesting they go outside and play is usually met with a “but there’s nothing to do outside,” then try some of these super fun outdoor activities.
- Play hopscotch
- Blow bubbles
- Invest in a water table like this one on Amazon
- Have an outdoor scavenger hunt
- Make a mud pie
- Play a sport
10. MAKE A SNACK
This is a perfect time to take advantage of the day your preschooler destroys your beautiful home and turns it into a giant blanket fort. Weelicious has some super fun and creative snack ideas you can make WITH you preschooler.
11. PLAY WITH PLAYDOUGH
Every preschooler needs to own playdough. All of the colors. Playdough is not only fun, it’s also great for learning, building arm strength, and expanding creativity. Check out our article “9 must have preschool school supplies” for an easy home-made playdough recipe.
Exercise is important in keeping your preschooler’s mind and body healthy. You can search Children’s exercise videos on youtube, and let your preschooler follow along, let them join in on your favorite workout routine, or just let them dance until they fall down.
13. PLAY HIDE N’ SEEK
You can play the old fashioned way.. tell your preschooler to go hide, count out loud to three and then finish doing the dishes, while you pretend not to see your preschoolers feet sticking out from under the curtain or hear their giggles. Or, you can hide all of their stuffed animals around the house and have them go find them, while you catch up on that book you’ve been meaning to read.
14. READ A BOOK
Speaking of books.. Preschoolers should be read to every day. Don’t wait until your preschoolers says “Im bored” to read to them, read to them to keep them from getting bored. The more you read, the bigger their imagination grows.. and imagination keeps the fun going even after the book is closed.
15. DO A SCIENCE EXPERIMENT
Science is so much fun! 123 Homeschool 4 Me has a great list of preschool friendly science experiments you should definitely try out.
Yes, we know… MESSY, but so much fun! You can have your child finger paint inside of a large cardboard box, or just take the painting fun outside.
17. MAKE SLIME
Because preschoolers and slime go hand in hand! Did you know there’s a ton of different ways to make slime? Seattle YMCA has our favorite ways to make homemade slime, and it’s not only because they have a recipe for an edible marshmallow slime.
18. PAINT THE SNOW
Is your preschooler over the excitement of the snow and just ready for it to melt? Grab a few squirt bottles, fill them up with water and add several drops of food coloring to each bottle, and then go outside and paint the snow every color of the rainbow! Have your preschooler draw a picture, or add a face to a snowman! Are we the only ones craving snow cones now?
19. SET UP AN INDOOR BOWLING ALLEY
If you happen to have a lot of empty bottles laying around, they make great bowling pins. Set them up and use whatever ball you can find, and have a bowling competition! Amazon has a great bowling set you can grab for next time.
20. MAKE A RAINBOW
This one is a super fun way to play with light and color! All you need is a clear glass, a mirror that will fit inside of the glass, and water. Simply fill the glass with water, place the mirror inside at an angle, and position the mirror directly into a beam of sunlight. Look for a rainbow on your wall, and if you don’t see one, play around with the angle of your mirror until one appears. Also check out Jack Hartmann’s YouTube channel where he sings super fun educational songs, like this one about rainbows.
21. TURN THE FLOOR INTO LAVA
Pretend the floor is hot lava and nobody can touch it, use different things around the house to get around without ever touching the floor or you’re out!
22. MAKE A GIANT TIC TAC TOE BOARD
Use some masking tape to make a giant tic-tac-toe board on the floor, Draw some O’s and X’s on paper plates and have a blast!