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Mum's Guide To Romford Blog

101 Boredom Beating Ideas!


Well it's fair to say that this is not how we thought 2020 would pan out is it! We know that the thought of self- isolating is daunting for many families. Spending all day every day together with no plans for outings can certainly be tricky . Here at Mum’s guide to Romford HQ we thought it would be a good idea to put a list together to give you some ideas for things you can do to fill the time and ensure no one is bored.

We assume that if schools decide to close that they will supply families with work to do during the period, so we have been thinking about the fun stuff instead!

Some of these ideas are very basic and need no explanation but there will be some you might not have thought of. Most don’t require anything special, just bits and pieces you may have around the house. The age range these activities are suitable for varies greatly but many of the activities can be adapted to suit different ages. Take a look!


1.       Bingo – make up some bingo cards and either create number cards to choose and call out or use an app to generate numbers.

2.       Photo fun - print some photos and make a collage or fill a frame with photos of the family. Maybe even make a gift for Mum for Mother's Day.

3.       Create a family bucket list - what will you all want to do as soon as the lockdown and social distancing is over?

4.       Mirror Mirror – reflection game. Can the children watching guess who is the leader and who is following the reflection?

5.       Create a daily timetable – let’s get organised for the weeks ahead!

6.       How many can you name? Animals, animals with no teeth, boys names, trees – the list is endless and easy to differentiate for older children.

7.       Play shop – make price labels and get the toy money out. Let’s shop!

8.       Face painting.

9.       Use containers and junk to make musical instruments - we know that rice and pasta are precious but you could use other small items to make noise like lentils, split peas, small lego pieces.

10.     Create a dance routine.

11.     Create a jar of ideas – get a large jam jar or container with a lid and cut lots of pieces of paper to add suggestions for days out later in the year, happy thoughts, Sunday family time, positive memos, messages for family members.

12.     Make a dolls house out of boxes - you could use magazine pages to cut out pictures to decorate the walls etc.

13.     Write a news article and send it to the teacher.

14.     Printing – use object from around the home to create patterns. (potato, string, fork, lego etc)

15.     Read – reading is probably the most important skill and aids learning and pleasure at the same time. Read to each other or read to yourself. Share your favourite book with the family. Read a story to a grandparent over the phone or video call. They will love this especially if they are isolated.  

16.     Den building – use blankets, chairs, cushions etc to build a den at home.

17.     Lego/construction building challenges.

18.     Junk Modelling – what’s in the recycling bin that we can use?

19.     Charades

20.     Create a secret code and write messages for other family members - for example A=1, B=2 etc)

21.     Pamper party – manicures, pedicures, face packs, make up and hair styling.

22.     Write letters and postcards to family members, friends and neighbours. Everyone loves getting something in the post.

23.     Put on a fashion show.

24.     Have a teddy bears picnic.

25.     Would you rather? This is a great game to play as its fun but all you can ask some interesting questions about choices. For example, would you rather have a new bike or make sure no children in the world were hungry? 

26.     Write a limerick.

27.     Suck it up! – Transfer smarties from one plate to another using just a straw. This can be adapted to use chopsticks.

28.     Amazing mazes – create a maze using play dough or lego and make the ball/marble find the way in/out.

29.     Learn how to make hats or boats out of newspaper.

30.     Indoor camping – use a pop up tent indoors or sleeping bags in the front room!

31.     Balloon tennis – use paper plates taped to lolly sticks or wooden spoons for rackets and a balloon for a tennis ball.

32.     Paper aeroplane challenge - who can make the plane that travels the furthest.

33.     Make a bird feeder - click here for ideas.

34.     Put on a show – Stars in Their Eyes, My Family’s Got Talent etc.

35.     Make shadow puppets.

36.     The Taste Test - wear a blindfold and taste different foods and different flavours of crisps to see if you can identify what they are.

37.     Play schools – my favourite game as a child!

38.     Create a home exercise routine – let’s keep fit!

39.     Help with the chores and housework – more people in the house all the time leads to more housework.

40.     Dressing up.

41.     Plan an indoor picnic.

42.     Memory Games – objects on a tray, items removed from a room etc.

43.     Guess Who? – all you need is post it notes. Write a name of a famous person on a post it and stick it to someone else's head. They will give you one. Ask questions to get clues about who you are.

44.     Alphabet hunt – hide plastic letters or flashcards around the home.

45.     Learn a hand clapping rhyme.

46.     Simon Says – the old ones are the best. Little children love this game and it's great for promoting listening skills.

47.     Who Am I? I give one clue at a time and others have to guess who I could be. I could be an animal, a celebrity, a character from a story or film. They have just 20 questions.

48.     Make me laugh – try not to laugh as someone does their best to get a giggle – can also be done as a silent game.



49.   Keep a diary in the style of Anne Frank detailing your time in self isolation.

50.   Become a detective and research your family tree – this is easy to differentiate, younger children can phone/video call relatives for information while older children use the free online websites to research their families.

51.   Time capsule – create a parcel with items given by the whole family and find 20 things that will show someone what it is like in 2020.

52.   Create memory boxes - filled with objects that will remind you about special times and special people.

53.   Papier mache – get creative and make a desert island, a volcano, a landscape or anything that inspires!

54.   Do a research project – find facts about a place, animal, country, famous landmark, sporting team or player or celebrity and create fact files or a scrap book. Older children can use Powerpoint to create their presentation.

55.   Design a pizza menu for an imaginary new restaurant. How creative can you be? Can you make one of the pizzas for tea?

56.   Create a comic strip.

57.   Plan a road trip - this is a great one for older children. Plan a trip around the UK or abroad. Think about places to visit, transport, languages to learn and experiences. Create a travel plan.


Art & Craft Activities

58.   Sock puppets

59.   Decorate an old plain T Shirt

60.   Collage making/decoupage – use old magazines to create a collage.

61.   Spaghetti Skyscrapers – use dried spaghetti and either some play dough or marshmallows and create the tallest self-standing sculpture you can.

62.   Drawing/painting – most children just don’t have enough time to get creative.

63.   Create an Aboriginal inspired piece of art using dots made with the end of a cotton bud. 

64.   Finger painting – use fingers and thumbs to create leaves on a tree painting.

65.   Wax painting – draw something with a crayon or wax candle and paint over it was water colour.

66.   Paint a pebble - this is such a lovely activity and once the isolation period comes to an end you can get out and hide your rock in your are to be found. There is a group on Facebook called Essex Rocks with lots of ideas.

67.   Make your own slime - click here for a recipe.

68.   Make your own salt dough - click here for a recipe.


Outdoor Activities 

If you are lucky enough to have a garden then we have a few ideas for when the weather is good!

69.   Using a paintbrush and water – paint the fence and create designs. This is definitely one for the smaller kids - I loved this when I was little! It's therapeutic and relaxing.

70.   Obstacle courses – get outside and enjoy the fresh air.

71.   Plan and take part in family Olympic games – you can also spend time creating posters and bunting for this!

72.   Draw hopscotch on the path with chalk.

73.   Build a tepee.


Learn a new skill

74.   Use the internet to research how to count to ten in different languages. Extend this by learning other useful phrases in each language.

75.   Learn to crochet or knit - start with simple squares and make a scarf or a blanket. 

76.   Learn Makaton. Younger children can join in with Justin in Something Special.

77.   Practice typing - this BBC link will give you lots of exercises to help perfect this skill.

78.   Learn to code – use Scratch to learn basic coding.


Fun but educational

79.   Unscramble – make some anagrams and challenge each other to solve them.

80.   SATPIN – these are the first 6 phonemes taught in school and can be used to make literally dozens of small words. Aim for 50!

81.   Word families – someone says a word and then everyone makes the biggest word family they can. For example cat, hat, bat, fat, chat….

82.   Silly sentences – give 5 random letters and they have to use those letters to create a silly sentence. For example FHTGA – France has two green aeroplanes.

83.   Roll and read – create a table with a dice number at the top of each column and tricky words underneath. Roll the dice and read.

84.   Bingo with words,  times tables, odds and evens, phonemes, word problems etc

85.   Boggle – even if you don’t have the actual game you can draw a grid and add the letters at random.

86.   Word within a word. Write a big word and see how many small words you can create using just those letters.

87.   Draw a map showing your neighbourhood. Have a look at Google maps and how that looks. Can you give directions to local venues? Challenge others by giving directions and see if they can guess where the directions will take them to.

88.   Create a word search - this can be with spelling words or topical for example, football teams, animal names, pop stars, colours etc


Scavenger Hunts 

This has endless possibilities, just give the kids a list and send them off..

89.   Search for items of certain colours -  find ten red things

90.   Search for objects a-z in the alphabet. For example apple, bell, cat...

91.   Photo scavenger hunt – take pictures instead of collecting objects.

92.   Adjectives – give them a list with words like fluffy, crispy, smooth and they have to find objects for each adjective.

93.   Sight words – hide sight words on flashcards.

94.   Shape - Search for items with certain shapes - cubes, cyclinders etc

95.   Bug Hunt - one for outside! Woodland Trust have lots of ideas about how to be a great nature detective.

96.   Initial letters - items that start with the same letter - find ten things that begin with a 'T'.


Paper Cup Games

This is a cheap and simple resource which many of us will have lurking around after a party.

97.   Stacking – how many can you stack in 1 minute?

98.   Yank Me – stack cups unside down with a piece of thin paper in between each. Start at the top and yank out the paper so that the cup slots on top of the cup underneath and so on until the bottom cup. Can be timed!

99.   Flip It – set the cup upside down over the edge of the table, flip in and it must land upright to win.

100.   Blow Ball - tape a cup to the edge of the table and use a straw to blow a ping pong ball into a cup.

101.  Paper cup bowling – stack 10 cups and roll a ball and see how many are knocked over.



This list is not exhaustive! If you’ve got other ideas please do send them in and we can add them to the list!



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