Looking for some fun things to do at home with kids? This post includes a free printable of boredom busters for kids ages 8-12 years old. These creative, unique, and entertaining ideas will help cure cabin fever for big kids stuck at home who need help finding something to do.
What are some fun things to do at home with kids ages 8-12?
The 8–12-year-old crowd can be a complex crowd to entertain at home.
How do we help them from active, playing, learning and away from the dreaded bored word? With activities for kids that are genius.
And trust me, these activities are brilliant.
RELATED: Looking for great multi-age activities? Try this list of “boredom busters” for ages 2 to 12.
How to use this list of boredom busters
First of all, these activities are amazing. I’m absolutely going to toot my own horn because this list is something special.
The idea for this list is that kids can access it themselves. This is a list you can print off, hang on the fridge or in a bedroom, to give kids some ideas of what they’re capable of doing.
This list is engaging, creative, and actually doable for kids independent of parent help.
Print this out. Share with them some of the ideas. And keep it posted for kids to come to on their own.
RELATED: Journal writing is a great activity for big kids – check out this list of journal entry prompts.
How this list was created
There are a lot of boredom buster lists for 8–12-year-olds, but this printable of fun things to do at home is different.
To create this list, I enlisted the help of three teachers who have taught grades 4th to 6th for almost 20 years. They know their stuff and they know this age group so well.
I also enlisted the help of my 9- and 10-year-olds to help make these activities just right for their age group. Having their help was invaluable (and they made a lot of changes to my first draft).
RELATED: Need some for new books for kids 8-12 years old? Check out this awesome list from a school librarian.
Boredom Busters for Big Kids
Twenty ideas for kids ages 8-12 years old to do independently
Boredom Busters for Kids ages 8-12 years old
- Comic Book Writing: Fold paper together and make your own comic book.
- Music Art: Turn your favorite song or lyric in art. Write down the words and paint them.
- “I Wonder” Journal”: Staple together paper to collect thoughts. Write down things you wonder about, like “I wonder why moss is spongy?” “I wonder how plants grow?” “I wonder how concrete is made? “I wonder what makes something funny.” Later, try to find the answers.
- Create a Zip Line: Use string to make a zip line and send LEGO creations down it.
- Make a Treasure Hunt: Create and hide clues for a treasure hunt and treasure map around your house.
- Nature Art: Using materials found all around the outside of your house, create a piece of art or a self-portrait. Think leaves as hair, moss as eyebrows, rocks as eyes, etc.
- Animal Research: Love animals? Research an interesting animal and copy down facts about them. Share them in a poster, picture book, or slide deck with your family.
- Make a Code: Create your own alphabet code and write some cryptic notes (example: a is z, b is y, c is x etc.). Write a letter to a friend or family member.
- Be an Expert: You’re already an expert in something. Share information on that topic (in a poster, brochure, or booklet) and present it to your family.
- Poetry: Write about your family, friends, and life. Try lyric, haiku, and acrostic poems.
- Survey: Create a survey then text friends/family for their answers. Graph the data.
- DIY Puzzles: Grab some boxes and draw pictures on them, then cut into puzzle pieces.
- Mail Day: Send letters and pictures to your friends.
- Make a poster: Create a poster about a book, movie, or video game you love. Add labels, pictures, and infographics.
- Make a Board Game: Design your own board game. Use a box, dice, cards, and game tokens,
- Fan Fiction: Loved a book, video game, movie, or show? Write down ideas for a sequel, create a new plot line, or come up with a different ending.
- Boat Sink or Float: Build your own boat (use paper, LEGO bricks, etc.) and set it in water. Add 1 penny at a time until it sinks. How many did it hold?
- Old Toy Play: Go find a toy you used to play with. Sit with it. Draw it, write about it, or play with it again for old times’ sake.
- Paper Plane Building: Research how to build the best paper airplanes and test each design.
- Be a Designer: Draw designs of your dream room or dream outfits.
Frequently Asked Questions
Instead of looking at yourself as the entertainment, help your child see their potential to find fun. This starts at a young age learning to self-entertain and be comfortable with being alone. As kids get older, it’s still important that they learn to self-entertain. This list does a great job at helping kids find fun and play without needing an adult.
A lot of the ideas on here involve writing skills, fine motor skills, and general life knowledge that are most often found in big kids. I set this list as 8-12 years old, thinking of the 3rd to 7th graders in my life as I created it.
For younger siblings, I have a great list of indoor activities for them to try and a free printable for them as well.