Everyone has times when they feel at loose ends and cannot think of anything to do that appeals to them. This could be due to having been busy and finishing, or from having nothing in mind to do, or because of having to stay home for one reason or another. Regardless of the reason, finding something to do can seem like an insurmountable obstacle sometimes.
When this happens, sometimes having something completely new to try can help people to break out of the feeling of ennui. Below is a list of a variety of activities that may or may not have been previously discovered in the household of the bored. Some of these ideas are twists on things that are common, while others are just new ideas. A few are meant for young children but if an adult wants to try them out, there is certainly nothing saying that is not possible!
- Make a fairy garden. A fairy garden is a tiny garden, usually using an upside down pot or other small container, small plants, and fun additions like tiny houses and other things that look like something fairy might like to have.
- Amp up a walk. The alternative reality app Zombies, Run! adds a bit of urgency to the constitutional, or ride a bike instead of walking.
- Make big feet out of shoe boxes and have games and races related to them.
- Have a bonfire. Be sure to check with the fire department in town, but otherwise, make a fire pit and make s’mores (have extra things to add like sprinkles, white chocolate, caramels, or whatever you like) and sing campfire songs.
- Set up an obstacle course. Make it fun but add a few challenges to keep it interesting.
- Do a scavenger hunt. Have things that are common and things that are rare on the list. If needed, hide some things. For more fun, have a prize for the fastest finder.
- Have a water balloon fight! To make it really unusual, add food dye to the water and wear old clothes covered with plain white shirts – everyone will end up with a fun dyed shirt to remember the occasion. This will stain skin, as well, but it will wash off after a few days. Eye protection is advisable.
- Cook or bake something new. New recipes can be found online or in one of those cookbooks on the shelf that has not been looked at in years. If you have a family cookbook, try one of the recipes Grandma used to make that everybody loved. If there are children in the family, invite them to help, too! If enough household members are interested, it can be turned into a cooking contest.
- Make your own lollipops. Use hard candies and melt them around a stick. Line them up to make different combinations. Lifesavers and Jolly Ranchers are probably the best options. Melt the candies in the oven at 350F until melty (about five minutes), then add a stick and let it harden.
- Enjoy a book in a different genre. This can be a read-aloud where one person reads to the whole family, a personal book experience, or an audiobook. If everyone is enjoying the same book, take some time to discuss what is being read.
- Most people have probably seen Perler beads, those plastic beads that can be arranged and melted with an iron to stick together. It is possible to do something similar with Twizzlers. They melt similarly but can be eaten when the craft is finished!
- Play table games. Board games, card games, imagination games – there are so many possibilities for anyone. Even people who live alone can learn new forms of solitaire or other single-player games. While the concept is not unusual, there are a lot of unusual games that can be added to the family’s experience!
- Make a greeting card. Construction paper, printed paper, or even printer paper can be used to make a fun card to send to a friend or family member who is not close by. These can be embellished with stickers, cutouts, or drawings. For a twist, make a card out of something other than paper.
- Exercise. While exercise is probably on every “beat boredom” list, it does not have to be routine. Try something different. Have a fast-dance contest. Do a new workout and see who can keep up best. Set up a decathlon of exercises and see who can get through it fastest. Make it fun!
- RPG the chores. Chore Wars allows families to set up a character for each family member, then gain achievements, XP, and virtual items by completing jobs. Presets make setup easy, but personalized jobs can also be set up within the site. Parents can choose to make some things transfer to reality, if so desired.
- Make a puzzle more puzzling. Anybody can do a puzzle, but can you do two at once? Mix together pieces from two (or more!) puzzles and test your puzzle-assembly abilities!
- Enter contests online. There are a lot of them out there! It might be a good idea to set up a separate email address for these contests, however, as some of them add you to email lists, but remember to check that email occasionally to see if anything in the inbox says “You Won!”
- Have each person create a code and write a phrase in it, then have everyone else try to crack it.
- Do paper bag skit improv. Get a few paper bags – either full size grocery bags or smaller lunch size bags – and put props into it. This can be ordinary things like silverware, socks, toys, or makeup, or odd things that are found around the house. Then divide into groups and each group gets a bag and has to come up with a skit using the props. Allow 10-15 minutes to create a skit and then take turns performing them. For an added bonus, record them on a phone and upload to YouTube!