Budget-friendly ways to beat boredom

Family together indoors inside a tent

It happens to the best of us. No matter how hard you try, sometimes we just start feeling a bit ‘cooped up.’ You might have even heard it from your kids, those two little words that make parents minds scramble: “I’M BORED!” But what to do?? Here are a few ideas to keep the kiddos; from babies to teens, entertained during those times of boredom.

Fun ways to keep baby happy

For the little ones, sometimes it’s the simplest things in life that make them the happiest. Ah, if only we could have an appreciation like that.

  • Music:  The beauty of this, is that you don’t have to go and buy actual instruments!  Just head to your pantry or cupboard and find pots, pans, a wooden spoon and let them discover their inner musician.  Although you might need to invest in some earplugs.
  • Art:  Put a big piece of cardboard, construction paper, even a few sheets of plastic wrap down on the floor.  Get a couple of different colours of finger paints and strip your little one down to their diaper.  Let them be messy and make some beautiful artwork.
  • Go out:  You don’t have to make it a big expensive outing.  A visit to the library, a walk around the mall with the stroller or carrier or even a playdate will help pass the time and can help ensure a good sleep for everyone.

Tips for entertaining kids

When our kiddos get a bit older, pots and pans might not cut it and eliminate the cries of boredom. If you’ve got a child who needs some entertaining why not try these ideas:

  • Crafts:  I haven’t met many kids who don’t like to create something.  Hit up your local dollar/discount store and head down the craft aisle.  Pipe cleaners, beads, foam shapes, stickers, glue, markers, pens and hundreds of other crafts await!  My family has filled many moments of boredom by painting little wooden birdhouses and making stick puppets.
  • Science:  There are so many easy and non-toxic science experiments that you can do with your kids.  They can be as simple as making your own play-doh with ingredients you have at home (flour, salt, water and food-colouring, if you wish) or demonstrating why an egg sinks in water until you add salt to it.
  • Build:  Whether it’s building a fort out of a big old cardboard box or building a castle out of Lego, I’m definitely not a master builder, but the kids always love playing pretend.  The box that our new oven came in has been many different things:  a spaceship, a castle with drawbridge, even a town with winding roads.  If you can imagine it, you can make it.

Even when your kids turn into tweens or teens you can all still beat boredom together. Sometimes, it’s just a matter of getting everyone involved.

  • Games:  Plan a family game night.  Each week a new family member gets to choose which game will be played.  Something as simple as Charades or a good old game of Monopoly are something that everyone can get involved in.
  • Movies:  Another thing that’s fun to do as a family is plan a movie night.  This could be right in the comfort of your own living room. You could even catch a double-feature as a family at the local drive-in.  Be sure to talk to your kids after the movie to find out their thoughts on what they liked or disliked about it too.  It opens the doors for some valuable conversation.
  • Bowling:  Does this ever get old?  Divide the family into teams or just go one on one.  Bowling is a great way to get out for a couple of hours as a family any day or night of the week.

Ideas for fun family vacations

What if you’re having the urge to get away with the family? You’ve been seeing images on social media of people you know on a beach, at a theme park or somewhere away from it all, and you’d love a big getaway – just with a smaller price tag. The good news is, you don’t have to break the bank for a fun experience with the family, even stay-cations can be fun adventures.

Let’s face it. Not every moment is going to be action-packed, but at least with these helpful, budget-friendly ideas you’ll have a plan for when boredom strikes.

Brianne Ducharme

I’m a busy mom of twins with a passion for sharing stories and information. This comes from my background as a local TV producer, where I’ve had the opportunity to share experiences with viewers for many years. Now I’m finding a way to couple my background with the hardest and most fulfilling job I’ve ever had…being a mother to my amazing identical twin daughters. I write my blogs as a way to share my experiences, but also hope that it provides a bit of help to those parents out there who might be going through something similar.

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