I have three primary school aged kids and most of the time they are pretty good at finding something to do and entertaining themselves. But sometimes… when they are stuck inside due to weather, when they are tired, or when they just can’t seem to get along… sometimes they drive each other bonkers because they have ‘nothing to doooooooooooooooo’.
I wish I had a list of things they could do that didn’t take loads of prep, that didn’t create lots of mess, that weren’t super involved and that would engage my kids. A list of quick little activities to break the cycle of whining!
These school holidays I decided to stop wishing and actually do it, and I put together a list of 10 easy activities for 6-10 year-olds.
Brain Teasers – These free printable brain teaser cards from Teach Mama are perfect for a quick distraction, and these riddles and brain teasers from Everything Mom are good too.
Finger Knitting – This tutorial shows step by step instructions on how to dye and cut an old t-shirt into t-shirt yarn and then finger knit with it, but you can just use any old wool or string!
Origami – You can print some of our free printable origami paper or just cut squares from newspaper. Start with something simple like this origami bunny, then try some harder things like this star box, or a gift box with a matching lid
String games – do you remember doing these when you were a kid? They take some co-ordination and practice but all you need is a piece of string.
Make a map – A map to lost treasure, a map of your favourite book land, a map of your neighborhood or a map of an amazing imaginary world! Our free printable map drawing prompt is a good way to get started!
Lego – Lego is always a winner with my kids, but sometimes a little challenge or direction can keep Lego building from becoming a minefield of arguments. Try this clever Lego Zip line, or this cool Lego marble run.
Mazes – mazes are great for a quick activity to break a mood, or fill in a gap. Crazy Dad has loads of free printable mazes from easy to really, really hard.
Drawing – my big kids all love to draw and have recently discovered some ‘how to draw’ videos and tutorials online. Dragoart and Art for Kids Hub have loads of great how to videos. Or try one of these drawing games, or some of our drawing activities and ideas.
Dice Games – There are loads of games you can play with a handful of dice. Have you tried 10 000? Or What’s Your Number?
Physical Challenge – my kids love a good challenge, and some of the more simple ‘minute to win it’ type games are great for a mood breaker – the rubber band shoot out, sock toss and penny tower challenges from this post have been a hit here and we are to try the spoon challenge and the cookie challenge in this post too.
We’ve added some of these to our free printable boredom buster list which can find here, along with some more ideas for activities for this age group.
What’s your best activity idea for this age group?
Read the comments or scroll down to add your own:
Jo @Countrylifeexperiment says
My oldest got an ipod for her birthday at the end of last year. All 3 kids have been working together to make a lego movie trailer using imovie. They have made the models and story boarded and shot it. They have had a ball.
Have you discovered the app Video Star ?
If your kids like making movies they might like this app. You can make video clips for any of the music on your ipod with all kinds of cool effects… my kids spend HOURS doing it!
Seana - Sydney, Kids, Food + Travel says
Oh this is a super useful post. I have a couple of super active 8 year olds and am so grateful we have a pool and a huge trampoline in the backyard… and thank goodness for rugby balls and for cricket – endless bowling practice going on. My daughter will love some of the drawing ideas, and I do fancy a dice game, have never played one.
What a treasure trove.
We’re a bit mad for card games these holidays – I highly recommend Sleeping Queens and Ratatat Cat, which then led on to dice games… loads of fun!
Jeanette Nyberg says
Great list, Kate! I’m excited to print out some of your maps for drawing fun. (And I’ve made a note to tell my daughter about the Video Star app) :)
Oh the Video Star app is fabulous – but be warned… you’ll have to sit through endless kid-made music videos! LOL
thanks! have been a savior during the school holidays :)