Are you guys self-quarantined? And are you getting bored of it yet?
Phones and computers are fun for a while, but I hope that’s not all we’ll do for weeks or months while we’re stuck inside! Today I’ve brainstormed some ideas of interesting activities that don’t require public places, large amounts of people, or social media (except this blog 😛 ).
I’m usually rather disappointed with the boredom buster lists on Pinterest: they’re often just the obvious “read a book” or specific little crafts which don’t last long. Which is nice, but I feel like we all know those already… So hopefully you find a few new or at least less commonly thought of ideas here to keep you and your family from going stir-crazy. Make the best use of this unexpected time to create memories and beautiful things and maybe conquer your TBR list instead of scrolling your phone for 8 weeks! 😉
Alright, let’s go bust some boredom!
These are in no particular order or categories. I’m just gonna throw them at you. Ready? Catch!
1. Have a Memory Show. Pull up some old photos on your phone or computer (connect to a bigger screen for easier viewing), pop some popcorn, and enjoy laughing over forgotten stories and beautiful memories. My family and I had so much fun with this at New Year’s!
2. Go for a drive. A great and simple fix to cabin fever! Gas is cheap right now and traffic is light, so take the opportunity to get out of your house without exposure to germs. Turn on some music and explore back roads you’ve never visited, go on a hunt for the prettiest spring trees, or take the scenic drive and enjoy a world that is beautiful despite everything going on right now. If you have young kids, find or make up a scavenger hunt: an “I Spy bingo” for collecting sights like a red car, daffodils, a pond, etc. Or bring out your favorite road trip games to make it an adventure!
3. Start an inspiration notebook. Find an notebook lying around to fill with quotes, pictures, magazine clippings, your thoughts about life currently, or ideas that inspire you and give your mind somewhere to go. You can literally turn this into anything you want! A dream house planning book, a gratitude journal or diary, an art journal, or simply a place to make a mess. Let yourself be creative without worrying about the result. If you don’t like it, tear the page out and start over. You can even throw the whole thing away if you want later. Whatever it takes to make creating less stressful for you. Check out Johanna Clough’s YouTube channel here for inspiration.
4. Take some Mystery Pictures. Turn your ordinary, boring surroundings into something mysterious by taking super close-up photos. (See one of my ancient MP posts here for examples.) If your phone or camera doesn’t zoom well, try cropping the photo after you take it. Then test someone’s detective skills by having them guess what your subject was.
5. Draw a character game. We have a card game version of this which you can easily make yourself. Create a couple of cards with face shapes (round, oval, square, etc.), one with different eyes (sad, surprised, frowning, cartoon, etc.), and so on for all the features of a face. Then draw one card from each pile and use it sketch a simple face. This one is fun to play with kids. You can all look off of the same cards, yet everyone’s drawing will turn out differently! You can add bodies or scenes or stories to the characters if you want.
6. Make your own paper dolls. Start with a template, either hand-drawn or easily obtained online as a printable. Paste in onto cardboard for easier handling. Then trace around the doll on sticky notes, pretty paper, or magazines to design clothes. Roll up a bit of washi tape or masking tape to stick the clothes on and take them off again while pretending.
7. Listen to an audiobook. It’s amazing how quiet kids can get if they’re all listening to (and interested in) something. It’s like a movie, but without the screen! Pull up a book you loved (or ask friends for suggestions) on Audible, YouTube, or the free site libravox.com. You can color or draw or knit or do all sorts of quiet things while you listen.
8. Redo an old story or picture. Look through your old sketchbooks, file folders, or Word docs and pick out something you were proud of years ago. Redraw or rewrite it and see how much you’ve improved! This one is quite fun and satisfying, particularly if the old piece was made years ago.
8. Take an ordinary activity to the next level. Add a competitive or teamwork aspect to average boredom busters. Work together to finish a big puzzle in one day. See who can read the most books in a week. Challenge yourself to read only books that start with a certain letter or fit in a certain category. Color an entire coloring book, or work on one page collaboratively. Have everyone gather blankets, chairs, pillows, and maybe some string lights from around the house and build a massive fort; then read a story out loud in the cozy atmosphere.
9. Put away your phone for a day. DO IT. See how it makes you feel. This is an especially good time to take a break from the continual barrage of panic and bad news. Turn your phone on airplane mode and put it out of arm’s reach. Or, ask someone in your household to hide it from you! Then enjoy some of these boredom busters in peace. 🙂 You can also use the app above, called Forest, as a motivational timer to take breaks in smaller chunks.
10. Make your own bubbles. You can easily and cheaply make bubbles with household ingredients! If you don’t already have bubble wands, you can make your own with wire or even your fingers. This article has a simple recipe and some bubble game ideas.
12. Go for a walk. If you have access to a peopleless space of woods or park, this one is pretty obvious but quite rewarding. Check out my “explore with me” posts (like, “nature art” and “tiny stories”) for fun ideas to turn this ordinary boredom buster into something more interesting and engaging.
13. Make your own stamps. Use craft foam and/or cardboard to make some stamps. Then decorate envelopes wrapping paper, or a sketchbook page. You can also look up tutorials for potato stamps, but my thought is, the less food you waste, the fewer trips to the store you’ll have to make. 😉 Click here for my craft foam stamp tutorial. If you don’t have stamp ink, you can color them with markers instead!
14. Write a letter. If you can’t go out and visit friends or relatives, brighten their day and write them a letter instead! Especially elderly people and grandparents will treasure this. To make the experience even more special, package the letter in pretty envelopes like the ones above, or decorate your own!
15. Spend a whole day outside. Pack some sandwiches and other picnic food, fill some water bottles, and head outside. Take a camera and a sketchbook/journal if you like, but preferably no phone so you’re not distracted. Just soak up the outdoors without a deadline.
That’s it for today, my friends! I hope you have a productive and lovely quarantine, if that doesn’t sound like too strange of a wish. 😛 Feel free to pin the photo above to save and share, and let me know…
What are your favorite boredom busters? Let’s share suggestions and ideas in the comments!
Thanks so much for reading, dears, and have a lovely day!