50 Fun Activities for Kids

diy succulent vase

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If there’s two words that strike fear into the heart of any parent, it’s the dreaded “I’m bored.” No matter how many toys they have, no matter what their screen-time allotment is, no matter how many books they haven’t read, the boredom blues still seem to strike when parents are least prepared for them.

No longer. These DIY activities for kids will ensure you have an arsenal of boredom-busters ready and at your disposal, most of which only rely on household materials. Some are indoor activities and some can be done outside, so you’re not depending on the weather. There are toddler activities that can be aged down for even 1-year-olds to do, but there are also DIYs that teens and tweens will be thrilled to take on and hang in their bedrooms. Most of these ideas are more on the craftier side of things, letting kids get out all their art supplies and go wild with their creativity. Others are more physical, though, in case you’re looking for a new spin on a backyard game. There might be a learning component to the activity, or it could be just for fun. When they’re done, they might have forgotten about their screens altogether.

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Falling Leaves Snow Globe

Marbled Paper

This is a fun activity that gives kids a chance to dig in their hands as they make art. Fill a tub with foaming shaving cream, add food coloring or paint on tip, then swirl with a butter knife or stick, and when you lay a piece of paper on top, it comes away with a cool, marbled pattern.

Get the tutorial at Studio DIY »

DIY Lava Lamp

Lava lamps are back, baby, in a groovy new way. And if you want the homemade look, you can do it yourself with vegetable oil, food coloring and antacid tablets.

Get the tutorial at Aww Sam »

Sensory Bin

Fill a plastic tub with dry rice, raw pasta, Kinetic Sand or water beads, and let the kids go to town scooping, pouring and digging for little treasures you’ve hidden. These sensory bins expose them to different textures and helps them work on their fine motor coordination.

Get the tutorial »

Orange Peel Bird Feeder

Kids can whip up these bird feeders from birdseed, popcorn and an orange peel. When it’s hung, give them a sketch book and some art supplies and see if they can draw and identify the visitors that stop by.

Get the tutorial at Typically Simple »

Paper Chain Wall Hanging

We know tweens and teens love nothing more than personalizing their rooms, and wall art made from paper chains is a versatile DIY for these purposes. They can use the tutorial to get the rainbow pattern, or sketch out their own ideas on graph paper.

Get the tutorial at White House Crafts »

Pool Noodle Obstacle Course

Tattoo-Patterned Planter

If you have a printer, you can get some printable temporary tattoo paper and use it to dress up old planters, mugs, pencil cups and the like. (And if you don’t have a printer, you can just use a lot of little, store-bought temp tattoos.) Tweens will have a great time finding patterns that match their bedrooms or school supplies.

Get the tutorial at A Kailo Chic Life »

Mini Lid Banjos

These may not sound like the real thing, but they look adorable — and you can dress them up basically any way you want. They’re the perfect doll-sized instrument for a pretend band.

Get the tutorial at The Craft Train »

Flight School

These paper planes are perfect for kids — just fold and let your imagination fly. Increase the challenge by making some cardboard targets for the planes to fly through.

Get the tutorial »

Paper Bracelets

We love a two-for-one activity: First, paint abstract shapes with watercolors, and then have older kids cut the paper into strips and fold them into wearable art.

Get the tutorial at Picklebums »

Felt Elastic Bookmarks

With bookmarks this cute, they might even be motivated to do more reading. You can whip these up in a snap with some felt, googly eyes, glue, and elastic.

Get the tutorial at Cutesy Crafts »

Dress-Up Mermaid Tail

You’ll probably have to help with the sewing on this one, but the kids can help design and craft their own slip-on, slip-off mermaid tail for pretend undersea adventures.

Get the tutorial at Ikat Bag »

Polka Dot Slime

Slime is the trend that’s never going away, and the only thing better than making a mom-approved mess is doing so with the extra fun of polka dots. (Can you guess what they’re made from?)

Get the tutorial at Fun at Home With Kids »

Mini Volcanoes

This explosive science experiment (disguised as permission to make a mess) is a lot more palatable when contained in a glass dish. Add food coloring for colorful lava.

Get the tutorial at MomDot »

Story Stones

Take rock painting a step further: After the paint’s dry, the images on the stones become characters in a story everyone can tell together.

Nature Craft Bugs

Your kids can use things they find in nature to replicate what they see in the great outdoors. The secret to this craft is using a coat of Modge Podge to make the bugs shiny (and keep the leaves from drying out).

Get the tutorial at The Craft Train »

Tie-Dye Spin Art

Transform your salad spinner into a carnival-style spin art machine. Just make sure you fill squeeze bottles with washable paint, in case splatters land outside of the coffee filter canvases.

Get the tutorial »

Origami Frogs

These paper frogs really jump! When the fun of folding origami frogs is over, extend playtime with sidewalk games to see which hopper can jump the furthest.

Get the tutorial at Itsy Bitsy Fun »

Kiddie Car Wash

The old backyard sprinkler gets a major upgrade with this kiddie car wash, which uses PVC pipes and a hose connector to become the ultimate backyard car wash. Your kids will have endless fun running between the sponges and pool toys.

Get the tutorial at Mom Endeavors »

Fairy Garden

To you, it’s just glitter; to them it’s magical pixie dust. Sprinkle some over your pint-sized garden and wait for the fairies to come out and play!

Get the tutorial »

Outdoor Concert

Thrift store finds become a backyard music station (and save your everyday cookware from your little maestro’s enthusiastic playing). With a few modifications, you can probably set up an indoor version of this one-man band wall, too.

Get the tutorial at Fun at Home With Kids »

Magic Wands

Fashion straws into 3D shapes for an activity that’s one part science, one part silly fun with bubbles. With practice, you can make square and triangular bubbles!

Get the tutorial at Babble Dabble Do »

Water Balloon Batting Station

Funfetti Play Dough

Skip the cupcakes and make this sprinkle-packed, two-ingredient play dough instead. The mixture is even edible (but nearly all sugar, so don’t turn your back on little ones for too long).

Get the tutorial at Smart School House »

Pool Noodle Water Wall

When they start using pool noodles as makeshift swords, tie the toys to a pegboard and hold a good, clean water race instead. Just be sure to keep the towels handy.

Get the tutorial at Teaching Mama »

Soap Boat

File this under genius parenting hacks: A piece of rain gutter picked up at the hardware store becomes a slick race track when you add water and an adorable soap boat. All kids get to make their own flag!

Get the tutorial at I Heart Naptime »

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