I recently shared a post about the importance of being prepared with a list of easy-to-pull together activity ideas for those times when your children need a little redirection into purposeful activity. With many in the Northern hemisphere embarking on summer vacation and us on the cooler side of the world starting our mid-year school holidays, my very talented friend Kate of Picklebums suggested that a printable planner could be a really useful tool for those wanting to create their very own list of boredom buster activity ideas.
We’ve called it the Boredom Buster planner and it’s so easy to use – just print out the two page planner and then fill it in. Display page one of the planner somewhere central where your children can refer to it whenever they are bored. It’s got room for all sorts of activities – indoor and outdoor, creating and cooking, as well as space to brainstorm places to visit and things to do as a family. Using the second page is obviously completely optional – it’s super helpful for those who like to get organised over the holidays, just fill in what your plans are for each day for both you and the kids to refer to.
To make it even simpler (if that is even possible!), Kate and I have each compiled lists of activity ideas that you might like to include on your planner. Why not have a browse through each of these lists with your children as you choose which activities to add to your planner 🙂
50 Boredom Buster Activity Ideas for Preschoolers
Art & Craft
2. Be really brave and let the children decorate their own floor rug for the playroom or their bedroom.
3. Combining stickers with any activity is always a hit with toddlers and preschoolers! Try this sticker drawing activity
4. Make your own Soap Crayons together for creative fun come bath time.
5. Have fun painting with ice. Add permanent markers to include bigger kids in the fun.
6. Trace around your body on a BIG piece of paper and dress up your body outline – here are five ideas to get you started.
7. Have you ever been on a threading hunt? Use the things you find to make a sparkling mobile to hang in your garden.
8. Create an extra special work of art on canvas.
9. Baking Jam Tarts introduces children to all sorts of great processes in the kitchen.
10. Host a tea party with these Peaches and Cream Muffins as the star of the show.
11. Make lemonade together (with this fabulous recipe that the kids will love) to sell to the family in your very own lemonade stand.
12. Enjoy a history lesson as you bake an Australian classic – Anzac biscuits.
13. Dress up a bowl of home popped popcorn with these flavouring ideas from Little Eco Footprints.
14. Buzz up a batch of banana soft serve – you won’t believe how easy it is!
15. Get rolling with these tasty Date & Coconut Balls.
16. Make a treat to share with friends with this easy peasy recipe for Chocolate Crackles.
17. Whip up a batch of 5 cup scones with Kate Says Stuff.
18. Make a batch of homemade playdough for hours and hours of playful fun!
BONUS FUN! Here are 10 more easy things to cook with kids!
19. Create a fabulous pretend play space – we have 21 easy-to-make fun play space ideas to get you started!
20. Find a fun new way to play with your toy cars – here are six fabulous suggestions.
21. Make each other laugh with these silly sentence chatterboxes.
22. Make a set of puppets and put on a show.
23. Learn a new song, make up a new dance or try the plate dance!
24. Learn a new skill with these fun ideas for sewing with kids.
25. Have a laugh as you make new shapes with your body with these printable body shape cards.
26. Fill a tub with some lovely smelling sensory rice fun for hours of filling and pouring and measuring fun.
27. Make a cave for your toy dinosaurs or wild animals.
29. Listen to your favourite story as an audio story.
30. Build with your favourite blocks or other construction material and then draw what you’ve built. See if Mum or Dad can re-build your creation using your instructions.
31. Create an indoor obstacle course or try one of these other fun ideas for movement play when it’s too hot or cold to be outdoors.
32. Make a fort and hide out in it with a torch and your favourite toys.
BONUS FUN! Check out these NEW ideas for playing with Duplo (or Lego).
33. Have fun washing your favourite figurines, toy cars or baby dolls.
34. Choose one of these ten fun ways to play in your sandpit.
35. Sneak in a little math learning as you Dig for Buried Treasure!
36. Choose a spot outdoors and make it over with this easy-to-make colourful chalk paint.
37. Gather some friends and learn a new game – like Duck, Duck, Goose!
38. Start a nature journal.
39. Raid the garden for supplies for your very own magic potion!
40. Be brave and make your very own mud play space.
BONUS FUN! Here are 101 more ideas for playing outdoors!
Places to Visit
41. Visit somewhere new – it might just be a new-to-you playground. park or beach or it might be somewhere you’ve been meaning to visit for a long time.
42. Head to the zoo on a zoo hunt!
43. Visit a local farmer’s market.
44. Have fun exploring an art gallery.
45. Plan to hit the road for the day with a family road trip to somewhere not-so-far-away.
46. Cook dinner together as a family.
47. Invite the birds to visit by making a birdbath for your garden.
49. Have a family movie night – here are 10 nature inspired family movies to choose from.
50. Make plans for a family adventure with these ideas for moving beyond your backyard or local neighborhood.
To download and print your planner: Download the file here. To print, select “Fit to printable area” (or similar) to fit to your printer type and local paper size.
What activities do you have planned for your school free vacation?