14 Minimal Supervision Activities for Bored Kids – Many are Free!
Hip2Save may earn a small commission at no extra cost to you via trusted partners and affiliate links in this post. Prices and availability are accurate as of time posted. Read our full disclosure policy here.
“Whatta we do now mom?!”
When my kids start to go stir crazy at home and complain about being bored, I go crazy too 😩. So… I came up with a list of minimal supervision crafts and activities to keep in my back pocket on those frantic days.
(Me on one of those crazy days. When was the last time I showered?)
SEND HELP! If you know the look of boredom your kids get when they’re running out of things to do, then these will come in handy for you too. These minimal supervision crafts and activities are suited best for ages 10 and under, and many of them are completely FREE! 🎉
1. Table tents and indoor camping
Don’t forget your flashlight! This is one of my kid’s favorite indoor activities and it keeps them occupied for hours on end some days. Give your kids some sheets, blankets, and books and have them set up a magical getaway under your table.
If you have a small to medium-sized tent that’s easy to set up, that’ll work too. Have your kids gather whatever toys, books, or thingamabobs they want to take camping and then let them flourish while you get back to being super mom.
2. Scavenger hunts
This minimal supervision activity is quick and easy to set up. All you have to do is hide the scavenger hunt clue cards, and your kids will be busy hunting down their next hint for as long as it takes!
These printable clues should get them started on their hunt. The more clues you have hidden, the longer they’ll stay occupied. We kept our hunt indoors, but if you have a safe backyard space, feel free to take the adventure outside!
3. Vision boards
For this zero supervision craft, you’ll need a poster and some markers or colored pencils. If your kids are old enough to handle scissors and glue on their own, they can create the ultimate vision board with magazine clippings.
Here are a few vision board questions to get them inspired:
- What are some of your favorite toys and hobbies?
- What are your favorite places to visit? (beach, water park, arcade, relatives, etc.)
- What activities make you really happy?
- What do you want to be when you grow up? Dream job?
- If you had all the money in the world, what would you do with it?
- What skills do you wish you had? What do you want to be better at?
4. Obstacle courses
Time for a challenge! With little to no supervision, your kids will have a blast navigating their indoor or outdoor obstacle course.
Get started with some of these DIY setup ideas:
- Navigate through a streamer or string laser zone
- Crawl under tables or chairs without bumping head
- Toss ping pong balls into buckets or bowls
- Make it from point A to point B while balancing a book on your head
- Unscramble a word puzzle
5. DIY car track
Ready, set, go! All you need for this zero supervision activity is washi tape and toy cars. Have your little one create their very own race track on a hard surface. You can customize your track with different tape colors, toilet paper rolls as tunnels, and paper race flags.
6. DIY I-Spy challenge
If your kids love I-Spy books, they’ll love this activity! Find a clear container like a pencil pouch or a mason jar and hide a variety of small items underneath Poly-Pellets or rice. Since this activity involves lots of little objects, it’s best suited for ages 5 and up.
7. Indoor bowling
No need for a bowling alley! A colorful bowling set can be an affordable toy with some options coming with light up bowling balls and carrying caddies!
This is a really cool bowling set for the kids, even the older kids like playing with it. Couldn’t have purchased this at a better time, since our schools have decided to close for the time being. It’s quite sturdy and will stand on flat surfaces. I don’t think they will stand on carpet. -Amazon review
8. Home theater
My daughter is quite the drama queen, but if she’s using her theatrics for make-believe play at home, I’m not complaining. This activity will challenge your children’s imagination and get them off the couch!
Here’s a simple guide to get them started:
- Make up the story for your play (where it takes place, the characters in it, etc.)
- What’s the main goal or challenge for the characters?
- Gather props using only what’s in your room
- Practice your lines (write them down or make signs)
- Make sure everyone involved has a part to play
Amazon also has a ton of “play” accessories to make your home theater more exciting.
9. Story stones
Have your kids head out to the backyard and go rock hunting or order some smooth stones for this zero supervision craft. Your kids will love bringing their story to life!
Paint pens work best for this craft, but chalk or acrylic paint will work too (a little messier). If your kiddos are struggling to come up with their own story, they can also recreate a classic tale like the 3 little pigs.
10. Building toys
Unlike a lot of one-and-done crafts, building toys can keep kids entertained for hours on end. If you ever built a Lincoln Log town or designed the ultimate marble run as a child, you probably know how fun they can be!
It’s hard to find toys that can entertain my boys, they love LEGOs but they are so expensive to keep buying. I’ve been looking for other building toys that they can use their imagination with and these are great! -Amazon Marble Run review
Building toys challenge creativity, imagination, and motor skills– all things we want our little ones to excel at! If you don’t already have them at home, Amazon has got plenty of great building toys to choose from:
11. Online educational resources
GoNoodle.com is an incredible resource for fun and educational activities! They’ve got tons of free printables to teach your child about things like the water cycle or eating a healthy and balanced meal.
They also have mindfulness exercises and sing and dance videos to get your kids moving and grooving while learning at the same time!
I love this site and so does my 7-year-old daughter. The videos are very interactive, intelligently funny, teach important lessons, and really get my daughter moving. The yoga and mindfulness videos are outstanding. We do these as a family and absolutely love them. -GoNoodle parent review
Check out more online educational resources for kids!
12. Online music lessons
Whether your child has taken piano lessons before or is picking up an instrument for the first time, they can practice and progress with at-home music lessons.
13. Bathtub art
Contain the mess! If there’s an activity that doesn’t involve turning the house upside down, I’m ALL FOR IT. Bathwater isn’t necessary for this activity and isn’t recommended if your children are under the age of 5.
Purchase some bathtub finger paint and let your little artists create a masterpiece!
14. Emotional ABC’s
As a mom of a kiddo with developmental disabilities, I personally LOVE this resource. My child doesn’t quite comprehend a lot of social and emotional cues like most kids do and this website teaches them how to deal with impulses and frustrations.
It also teaches them self-soothing techniques for how to manage their emotions. 🙌 Keep Emotional ABC’s in mind next time your little one has an outburst!
Peace and quiet, AT LAST🙌
I’ll be honest, I’ve had days where I nearly lose my mind because I’m struggling to keep my two young kids occupied while I cook, clean, work, conquer the world, etc.
If you can relate at all, I’m here to tell you that there’s still hope for your busy household and it doesn’t involve hiring a nanny! Try a few of these minimal supervision crafts and activities at home, and enjoy a little more balance in your day 😊.
Check out this FREE printable Bingo chore chart for kids, too!
Love these ideas! Unfortunately my 10 year old would roll their eyes at me if I asked them to try almost any of these…any ideas for the10-12 age range that DOESN’T involve an electronic device. (Surprisingly, I have no problem getting them to engage with a screen – groan).
If you have an older kiddo and a younger kiddo have the older kiddo set up some of these for the younger kiddo. My older one enjoys being bigger and being in charge.
If the prize at the end is good enough :), they’d probably have fun with the OBSTACLE COURSE…they’d roll their eyes and make fun of it, but I wouldn’t be surprised if they really enjoyed it. Who knows, they might even do it for cookies :)…or don’t say it’s for them, just say you saw it online and it looked like fun, and you were bored, ha ha ha…I’m sure any 12 year old would accept the challenge once it’s already up there and no one is “forcing” them.
My tweenager likes bowling and we have a long hallway with hardwood floors so that is a winner in my household that she asked to do
Anything involving bubbles or paint in the shower is a winner with her too (she goes in the shower to blow bubbles whenever the mood strikes her until she has her fill), especially if she can have glowing stuff too
She actually suggested the blanket fort a couple months ago too and had a blast
She also said the obstacle course looked fun
My daughter is 11 and we just built a fort in her room a few nights ago. She has been sleeping in it and during the day, does her school work in it. I think we are going to try the obstacle course one too. So thank you for that idea. 😃
Forts are so fun and never get old! You’ll definitely have to try an obstacle course, I bet your daughter would love it!😊 My kids refer to it as “fun P.E. class”😂
Great ideas. Thanks!
Glad you enjoyed this Jacy❤️ Hopefully you can try a couple of these ideas at home!
Love these ideas! Thanks for posting!
If my kids complain of boredom I tell them I have some stuff they can help me with…they usually hush up when they see it’s matching socks or stacking Tupperware lol! But seriously, if you have backyard space take them outside and get Vitamin D! Great for the immune system, they can stretch their legs out and it’s 100% free to go on a ‘nature walk’. We’ve got to get these kids back to nature.
My Dad used to say if you’re bored, I can FIND you something to do (that usually involved a vacuum or a rake). We learned not to ask.
I love the scavenger hunt idea! Me and my brother love to do things like this and it passes time really quickly too! Unfortunately, it took a lot of time to set up, but we still enjoyed it! I would recommend this when you have a lot of time on your hands and not just like 15-20 minutes. Overall, I really love this activity and would recommend for any parents who want some a;one time!