Stuck inside? 16 boredom busters to kick away the blues

Boredom bustersSummer holidays! As always, it’s boiling hot (or it’s pouring down, this is Australia after all) and the kids are bouncing off the walls. Here’s our list of guaranteed timer-guzzlers to keep the children entertained for hours on end when you’re stuck at home.

1. Build a blanket fort

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A holiday at home is never the same without building at least one blanket fort. Fill it with pillows, your best friends and some fairy lights for some extra atmosphere. No mums allowed!!! (Image via Per Oculum)

2. Hand clapping game


Down down baby down by the rollercoaster … you know how it goes! It’s time to pass on your mastery of hand-eye coordination, whilst singing nonsensical rhymes, to the next generation. Check out this awesome instructional video in case you’ve forgotten.

Down down baby down by the rollercoaster … you know how it goes! It’s time to pass on your mastery of hand-eye coordination, whilst singing nonsensical rhymes, to the next generation. Check out this awesome instructional video in case you’ve forgotten.

3. Shadow puppet theatre

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This shadow puppet theatre from Moulin Roty ($65) is so Frenchy and so chic. And not only that, it’s a time killer: writing scripts, casting, rehearsals and both matinee and after-dinner performances means it’s not for amateurs.

4. Watercolour paints

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Put a space on hold at the National Gallery, the next masterpiece is on its way! Check out the Sweet Happy Life blog for some tips on painting with watercolours, glue and salt. Pick up a Jasart Water Colour Pan Set ($14.95), o help your little ones create stunning artworks.

5. Design your own wand

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Do you have a wannabe wizard that knows the difference between Avada Kedavra and wingardium leviosa? There’s no need to head to Ollivander’s, with this Design your own Wizard Wand kit from Seedling ($29.99).

6. Elastics


The perfect inside or outside game for acrobats and skippers: a little bit like the hand clap game but with your feet! Grab some elastic from your sewing box, or pick up this fancy version from Smiggle ($9.95), then check out some instructional videos from Skipping Pebbles blog to get you going.

7. Make balloon animals

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If origami is simply too 2D for your tastes, check out this Balloon Kit ($19.95) from Eckersley’s. It’s all about the right twists and turns.

8. Learn the latest Dance craze

Lean dance moves

So your little ones have mastered Gangnam Style, but what about some golden oldies like YMCA or the Macarena? Or if they’re feeling really brave, they could attempt the new dance sensation: “tutting“. Errr we’ll stick with Nutbush City Limits, thanks.

9. 3D jigsaw puzzle

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The king of time-wasters. A jigsaw puzzle most certainly takes up a few hours, but a 270 piece 3D jigsaw of the world (Puzzleball Illustrated World Map, $27.99)? That’s some serious boredom busting!

10. Make a movie

Make a MovieCalling all future Fellinis! With your smartphone, digital camera or laptop, any child can write, direct and star in their own movie. Check out one of the Tropfest Jr  finalists and the too-cute Kindy Film Festival for inspiration.

11. Sew your own doll

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Not only will this Willow & Finch Pirate Pillow Doll ($19.95) be your little one’s new best friend, but they get to put him together from scratch.

12. Learn to knit

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The Australian sun might make it too hot to wear a wool scarf but that’s why this is the perfect time to learn how to knit! Get to grips with the basics now and you’ll have a scarf, hat and wonderfully warm mittens by winter time. Read this post from The Magic Onions for some tips on teaching kids to knit.

13. Master the seas

MumsGrapevine_MeccanoThe Tintin Unicorn Ship ($99.99) is the ultimate in Meccano engineering. With 630 parts, this project will keep your mini Master and Commander busy for hours, if not days.

14. Scrapbooking

Scrapbooking Kit

The great thing about scrapbooking is it can be as fancy or as simple as you want it to be. Start with some printer paper, some photos and old magazines, or pick up some fancy card, ribbons and embellishments from a craft store for a professional look.

15. Learn new tricks

Magic TricksMaster the dark arts with these nine easy magic tricks for young kids to learn. Not only do you now have after-dinner entertainment sorted, but each trick will take time to perfect, perhaps leaving you a moment to have a quiet sit down and a cuppa.

16. Test your dog

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The ultimate time-waster is one that keeps both the little ones and the menagerie entertained. Have the kids run your pup through the ringer by testing your furry friend’s intelligence. The ABC shares six tests will help you work out whether your canine should go to Harvard or just stay asleep on the couch.