Low-Key Boredom Busters


It's been a busy and exciting day in your programme, the kids are tired, but there's still some time before you finish for the day. It's easy to switch on a movie or let the kids chill out doing their own thing, but if a little more direction is needed, consider giving one of these games a go.

Indoor Games

Who's Missing?
Select one child to leave the room for a couple of minutes (no peeking). Choose another child who hides. The first child comes back and tries to work out who is missing and finds them. Once found, that person leaves the room temporarily and tries to find the missing person.
Rotate around the group so everyone gets a turn.

Silent Ball- several soft balls or balloons are needed
The group breaks up in to smaller groups of 3-4 children, each with a ball or balloon.
Throw and catch with one another, silently. If someone speaks, the whole group sits down, out of the game. The last group remaining is the winner.

Four Corners
One child is 'it' and stands in the middle of the room. The other kids choose a corner (North, South, East or West or 1,2,3,4) to stand. The child in the middle calls out the name of a corner and all the kids in that corner have to sit down.
Remaining players can move to a new corner. The person who is 'it' begins calling out new corner numbers or names. Keep going until there is a winner. Kids have to be quiet or else the one in the middle will know where they are.

Children sit in a circle. Someone is chosen to make up a message. The message is passed along by each person whispering it to the one beside them. When the message gets back to the start, see if the message at the end matches the original!

'I Love You Honey'.
This can be a very funny game. You may want to make up a phrase that suits your group better- it just needs to be something unexpected. Everyone stands in a large circle with one person as 'it', in the middle of the circle. Their job is to try to make everyone laugh, but the only thing they can say is 'I love you honey'. They can not touch anyone or say anything other than the phrase you have given ("I love you, honey" or other made up phrase). Anyone who laughs gets in the circle as well, and tries to make others laugh. The last person to laugh is the winner.


Pool-Free Water Activities

Cool off with these games without needing to go to the pool.

Sponge Throwing
Always a hit with kids. You need some buckets of water and large unused sponges. Make a target on the wall, throw through a hoop, or let kids be the target.

Over Under Water Transfer Relay
Have children stand in 2 lines, one behind the other. The person at the front of the line fills a container (with no lid) with water from a bucket. The container of water is passed between each person in the style of "over, under"- (overhead for the first person, under/between the legs for the next person). Alternate over and under until you reach the end of the line. The last person pours the remaining water in the container into a bucket then runs to the front of the line. The game continues , rotating the last person to the front each round until both containers at the beginning of the line are empty. The winning team is the one with the most water in their bucket at the back of the line.

*You can make this game more complex. Each person has a cup and pours their water overhead to the person behind them and the person behind must catch as much water as they can before pouring it overhead to the next person in line.

Frozen T-shirt
Soak some large t-shirts in water, place them in plastic bags, and then put them in the freezer overnight. The next day, hold a race to see who can "defrost" and pull on a frozen t-shirt over their own clothes the quickest.

Sponge water bombs
Use as you would water balloons, but without having to pick up the broken bits of rubber at the end and replacing with new ones. It's also much softer if you get a full-face impact. Use any number of sponge balls and fill buckets for the children to soak the sponge balls in.
To make- cut new sponges in to strips around 2cm wide, gather some together and tie the strips around the middle to make a 'ball'. See here for further instructions. https://thechicsite.com/2014/04/23/make-sponge-water-bombs/

Cherise Pendergrast
A mum of 3 awesome boys, I was an Occupational Therapist, now training as a Nutritionist. I write content from a parent and health professional's perspective to encourage, enable, empower and inspire.