Jun 14, 2023
Just 31 Ways To Keep Your Kids Busy For Hours
We hope you love our recommendations! Some may have been sent as samples, but all were independently selected by our editors. Just FYI, BuzzFeed collects a share of sales and/or other compensation
We hope you love our recommendations! Some may have been sent as samples, but all were independently selected by our editors. Just FYI, BuzzFeed collects a share of sales and/or other compensation from the links on this page.
If you're dreading hearing "I'm bored" one more time, this post's for you.
Take a look at the instructions at A Girl and a Glue Gun.
P.S. If you don't have yarn lying around, you can simply stick painter's tape to create a web of pretend laser beams in a hallway. Get a pack of 11 rolls from Amazon for $29.35.
Promising review: "We used to create an obstacle course in our house for our kids during our stay home order. Worked great. Fun colors. Very sticky." —lahayeb
Check out the tutorial at Pretty Handy Girl.
Get it from Amazon for $35.99 (available in three styles).
The slide's capable of holding up to 50 pounds.
Promising review: "We live in Michigan and winters can be tough for getting out to burn energy. My 2-year-old LOVES this slide. It is so easy to set up and take down, and it is a fast slide. So many little slides the kid barely starts sliding before their feet hit, but not this one. She plays with this thing for hours a day." —Joe
Check out the instructions and activity printables at Paging Fun Mums.
Get a pack of 50 plastic eggs from Amazon for $10.99.
Promising review: "Not all plastic eggs are equal! I’m so impressed with these eggs! ALL of these brightly colored eggs came withOUT any cracks or missing pieces. And the most important factor is each egg snaps together tightly! This makes stuffing the eggs with prizes such an ease! Very pleased with this product." —Lisa S
Get it from Amazon for $24.96+ (available in seven colors).
Promising review: "I bought this as a gift for my daughter. It keeps her busy for hours and I am able to get lots of work done. This was a savior working from home during the pandemic — cheapest babysitter ever! Love the colors and aesthetic of the toy, too — great idea for an interactive toy." —Karissa Heck
Get a pack of six from Amazon for $11.97 (also available in a pack of 16).
Promising review: "If you are a parent of little (or big!) kids, this is a gift that keeps giving. My kids have played with these for hours and hours. We have dogs and the balls easily wash and do not leave any residue on the ceiling or walls. The kids have created different games with them. Great $10 purchase!" —Abigail
See the step-by-step instructions at Creating Really Awesome Fun Things.
Get a value pack of 82 dinosaur toys from Amazon for $9.95.
Promising review: "Exactly what I was looking for at such a great price. You won’t find it cheaper anywhere!!!! My son likes when I put them in an ice cube tray to freeze so he can 'excavate' them! For his birthday party, we’re putting them in Easter eggs for the kids to find. So many fun ideas you can do with these!" —Bear
This science kit includes 10 natural crystal-filled geodes, one pair of safety goggles, three display stands and one learning guide.
Get it from Amazon for $29.99 (available in four sizes).
Promising review: "My daughter is 10 and this kept her busy for HOURS! She had so much fun and was excited every time she got a glimpse of what might be inside. A couple of them were pretty cool, while the rest were just white. She didn't care, she loves them all. She was so proud to gift them to her grandparents." —Michelle
Take a look at the full how-to at Mommypotamus.
But if you're feeling lazy, a value pack of readymade Play-Doh is always a good thing to stock up on. Get a pack of 36 from Amazon for $28.99.
Promising review: "What can I say? It's Play Doh, and at the price point I got it, this was the best value for the money. There are two colors of almost every shade of the rainbow and they're all the nice big 3-ounce packages, not those tiny ones. My 8-year-old and 2-year-old are happy and delighted to spend many, many hours in the play kitchen making lots and lots of Play doh food. Everyone wins!" —Shiri Dori-Hacohen
Get it from Amazon for $7.99.
Promising review: "Scissors skills are important both in and of themselves and because it strengthens the hand muscles to be used for learning to write. My 4-year-old LOVES this book. We received it this week and she has used it for a couple of hours each day. Many of the pages are cutting things out and putting them together (four-scoop ice cream cone, pizza with pepperonis, the components to build a house or a car, puzzles). We've used tape or glue to put the components together. This book is interesting enough to have caught the attention of my older children as well, although I make them let her do the cutting. :D Would make a great gift as it is so unique." —Mom of 7
Get it from Amazon for $8.99+ (available in three styles).
Promising review: "I can not give these enough stars! These are the best thing ever, they keep my 5-year-old entertained for hours!" —turbo1795
Get all the deets at Someday I'll Learn.
Get a pack of 20 sheets from Amazon for $7.99.
The stickers feature letters, numbers, vehicles, butterflies, deep-sea life, animals, fish, dinosaurs, and more.
Promising review: "I love that they are removable. They don’t leave marks on your window. You can even place them back on the plastic sheet and use them again. I have a busy box for my toddler and these stickers are in there. She peels them off and puts them on the lid of the box and then peels them off again and puts them back. She creates scenes with them. She puts them on windows at home. I peel them off and put them back. They really are fantastic stickers." —Elizabeth A. Zapf
Get it from Amazon for $29.97.
Promising review: "This is so much easier than giving your kids bubbles only to have them spill all over their clothes and the ground. It is truly a 'set it and forget it' item that provides hours of entertainment, even for a little ones! Such a great investment." —Allison A.
Get it from Amazon for $12.99.
Promising review: "Let me tell you that if you want hours of endless fun of hide and go seek without having to hide yourself, this is a must get! When its hidden it makes various toot noises and says stuff so the kids know if they are close. And when they find it and press the button to do and sing the silly poopy dance....even you will dance and sing along!!! Doesn't need batteries and come on, its poop? Who doesn't think poop and toot noises are funny and if they don't they are lying to themselves. A must-have for fun with your kids without barely doing any work!!" —andrea kelli gorman
Get a pack of 100 glow sticks from Amazon for $7.99 (available in three additional sizes).
Promising review: "We used these for bath night for my young kids. We like to do random things to make bath time fun for our kids. We turned off the lights and put glow sticks and turned on music for the kids to listen, bathe and have a fun time. They loved it! These glow sticks are a good price for the amount you get. We bought these about three months ago and still have some leftover as we don't use them every bath time. We have used them to 'hunt monsters' and it makes the nighttime not so scary for my kids. They absolutely love playing with the glow sticks!" —Meg K.
Get it from Amazon for $21.98.
PSA: Make sure helmets are worn during bump-offs.
Promising review: "The kids have been playing with this for hours. One of them even asked if they could sleep in it. It’s great for indoor fun. I highly recommend this product." —RyanAndFaith
Get the table from Ikea for $14.99 and a pack of four self-adhesive baseplates from Amazon for $29.99 (available in three colors).
Find all the info at A Thrifty Mom.
Get a pack of 16 paint pens from Amazon for $23.98 (also available in a 12-pack and 30-pack).
Each kit comes with 10 rocks, eight colors of waterproof paint, a paint brush, rock transfer designs, and tracking stickers.
Get it from Amazon for $12.60+ (available in seven styles).
Promising review: "This is one of my favorite craft kits ever! My 4-year-old found it very engaging and spent hours painting the rocks and applying the transfers. He is excited to hide the rocks around for people to find. Very cute activity." —Lou
The set comes with 36 playing cards, 264 playing chips, caller's mat and cards, and a storage box. This version is a fun twist on the classic, but instead of calling out numbers, the leader calls out words (there are 46 most-used words), players search their cards for a match and place a red chip on the match. Once a player has covered the spaces on their card needed to win, they call BINGO!
Get it from Amazon for $12.99.
Promising review: "Getting my daughter to do sight words has been a nightmare lately, she pretends she has no idea what anything is and refuses to sit down and try. But, with this game, she wants to play for hours!!! I give her two cards and we all play together as a family, she thinks it is the best game and it really is helping her learn her sight words!! Finally something that gets her excited about learning!!" —Rebecca
Check out all the deets at Someday I'll Learn.
Get a pack of 100 balls from Amazon for $18.99.
Promising review: "Amazing for a ball pit area for younger children, vibrant and beautiful colors." —Christine
P.S. Reviewers say this is a great toy for all ages — from three to 12. Get it from Amazon for $9.99.
Promising review: "I was pleasantly surprised with how popular this was! I just bought it as a side gift for a child just because it was cheap and it was a puzzle-type toy. However, this kept both kids and adults immensely entertained for hours. It was challenging for everyone but a fun challenge. I’m purchasing another so we can race each other to finish at the next gathering." —Mrs. Dinkleberg
Take a look at the crunchy slime recipe at Ginger Snap Crafts.
This kit comes with everything the kiddos need to make their own slime: glue, 100% safe slime activator, unicorn beads, inks, textures, slime containers and instructions.
Get it from Amazon for $26.99.
Promising review: "My oldest daughter has been an only child for 8 years and a week ago she was crowned big sister. I bought this slime kit for her so we could have an activity to do at home. We absolutely loved it. It was easy to make a slime or two while the baby napped and provided hours and hours of fun while giving my daughter and I time to spend together doing something she loved. You can make a lot of slimes with the included ingredients so it felt like I really got my money's worth" —Mandii Vi
Get it from Amazon for $24.99+ (available in three styles).
Promising review: "Our son is absolutely obsessed with our Dyson (the real one). Which is why we purchased this toy Dyson vacuum for his birthday. He's 2 years old and he is really enjoying having his on 'working' vacuum cleaner!!! He seriously plays with it for hours during the day. Turning it on and off and pushing it through the house just like we use our real vacuum. I would buy this again! It was his favorite gift!." —Amazon Customer
Check out all the deets at A Thrifty Mom.
Psst, looking for a building toy? Studies have shown a Magna-Tiles set will hold any kid's attention wayyyy longer than most toys. JK, but seriously, any parent who has bought this building set will attest that it'll keep your kids building for hours upon hours so you have some "me" time.
Get it from Amazon for $49.99 for a 32-piece set or $119.99 for a 100-piece set.
Promising review: "Seriously the best gift we have ever gotten our son. He has these at his preschool and, since Christmas, at home too and he never tires of them. In fact he plays with these almost every day and his creativity astounds me. He learns so much about how to put things together and his imagination runs wild. He would play with these for hours if he could!!" —Amazon Customer
Get it from Amazon for $39.99+ (available in three set styles).
Promising review: "My 5- and 3-year-olds (and me) have spent hours building towers and watching marbles clatter down these chutes, steps, gears and spirals, HOURS! And they’re not bored yet! It’s also educational learning the physics of slopes by experience. Plus, it comes with enough marbles that losing a few doesn’t matter." —Joyce Parker
Promising review: "This is a really neat toy that has provided literally hours and hours of enjoyment for my 4-year-old nephew (and me!). The pieces fit well together, it is very sturdy and stands up well even on carpet. There are an infinite number of ways to build these runs, and this toy never gets boring. Highly recommended." —Becca
Get a pack of four from Amazon for $7.69+ (available in two colors).
Promising review: "My 10-year-old nephew has hours of fun with these tossing them off the deck. They hold his attention. Very durable! Soldiers have landed in trees, on brick, in the bird feeder, in the pool, in a rose garden and once behind enemy lines (our neighbors yard with a big dig) no damage yet, not even from rose thorns or the enemy dog!" —JoAnne Smith
Pass out all the cards to the players and keep all the stacks face down. Everyone takes a turn putting a card down in the middle, while saying "taco," "cat," "goat," "cheese," and "pizza," in that order. If the picture on your card matches the word that's said, everyone races against each other to slap their hand on the central pile of cards. Whoever is last must take the pile of cards and add them to their stack, and the person who runs out of cards first wins!
Get it from Amazon for $9.84.
Promising review: "The title says it all! You must buy this game if you’re looking to get your kids off their butts, computers, phones, or TV! My children sat for hours, five to be exact, just playing this and laughing. It was a lot of fun for my husband and I to hear them not fighting and doing something together. Loads of fun!! We even loved playing with them!! 🥰🤘" —Melinda Haiden
Get it from Amazon for $11.56.
Promising review: "Great and easy to follow games. Our kids had a lot of fun and time just flew by quickly during the 5-hour car ride. Would highly recommend to friends!" —Angelasz
The reviews for this post have been edited for length and clarity.