Ah, those two dreaded words: “I’m bored.” When kids drop the boredom bomb, you might be tempted to just turn on the TV and let them watch a couple of hours of their favorite (educational!) program. But why not have a little creative fun instead?
We’ve rounded up 10 TV show-free ways to entertain the kids that the entire family will actually enjoy — from glow-in-the-dark dance parties to DIY projects that double as science projects. This way, you’ll all have a blast.
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1. Let them draw — all over your table
Don’t let this oh-so-pretty, paper-covered dining table fool you: Instead of placing your dishes and silverware, keep ’em in the cupboards and let the kids draw all over the table! Have them help you DIY this color-block table cover, and once done, they’ll feel like little rebels “breaking the rules” by drawing on the furniture.
2. Go squirt-gun painting
Grab some Nerf Super Soakers ($8.99 at Amazon) or plastic spray bottles, watercolor paper, liquid watercolors and an easel or two, and let the kids go wild squirt-gun painting.
3. Have a glow-in-the-dark dance party
How much fun is this?! Gather the whole gang and dance in the dark. Obviously, you don’t need to set out snacks and all the party favors if it’s just the immediate fam — the sticks (maybe some glow paint), black lights and a playlist full of dancy pop jams will do.
4. Skip the chalk & make sidewalk art with foam paint
You likely have all the items you need to make this DIY sidewalk foam paint right in your own house. The kids will love creating puffy art outside; plus, it’s an easy cleanup — all you need are Huggies wipes.
More: Want to Raise a Creative Child? Here’s How
5. Have a themed movie night
Disneyland, Paris, Hogwarts… whatever the kids are super-stoked about, put together a themed movie night for them. As you play the film from a projector onto the wall, throw some cushions on the floor, have them build a fort, make some snacks that fit the theme — really create the atmosphere, and they’ll feel like they’re there.
6. Make marshmallow shooters
This simple kids craft not only gets them outdoors running around; putting it together is also a bit of a science project for the kids. We’d consider that a win-win.
7. Host a “hoppy” hour
In just a few simple steps, you’ll turn kids’ afternoon snack time into a mini party — with this kid-friendly happy hour.
8. Make a homemade children’s book
Instead of reading a children’s book to the kids, have them tell a story of their own. Then, the two of you can create a homemade storybook they’ll always cherish.
9. Make some music together
OK, this could get pretty noisy, but tapping into the kids’ musical sides could bring out some talents you never knew they had. You’ll make some real memories jamming out together.
More: Summer Nighttime Activities the Whole Family Will Love
10. Make a DIY balloon wand
These balloon wands are surprisingly easy to make. All you need are linkable balloons, balloon sticks and a balloon pump. To really kick them up a notch, throw some confetti in them for a surprise when they “accidentally” pop the balloons after running around with them.
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