Tools for Tackling Boredom In Children

Written by April, Contributing Writer
“I’m bored.”
“Are we there yet?”
Those are a parent’s two least favorite sentences.
Whether you are home or on the road, having a bored child is tough and finding solutions for that boredom can sometimes prove tougher.
Quiet Time Bins and Travel Busy Bags have been God-sends for me and my children. Whether I am preparing dinner or we are mid-way through a 600 mile road trip, each of these have entertained my children when they have needed something to occupy their minds.
Quiet Time Bins and Travel Busy Bags are not difficult to create, and they don’t have to cost you a lot of money either. Read on to see how you can create your own – –

Quiet Time Bins
Quiet Time Bins can be used for any aged child, but where they are truly helpful is for children who are transitioning out of naps. It is ideal to have 5-7 bins, each filled with different activities. This prevents your child from getting bored with the same activities.
The materials needed to make Quiet Time Bins are pretty basic: activities and things to store them in. I use plastic bins with easy-to-open lids for my children buy you can also use shoe boxes or other containers already present in your home.
For activities, think age-appropriate.
Toddlers: lace & trace cards, small stuffed animals or dolls, board books or small photo albums filled with photographs of family members.
Preschoolers: magnetic or paper dolls, cars, Aqua Doodles or Magna Doodles, building blocks, and books
School-aged children: puzzles, coloring books & crayons, sketch books, books, PlayDoh or modelling clay.
You can view a more extensive list of options for Quiet Time Bins on my blog, Holistic Homemaking.

Travel Busy Bags
Travel Busy Bags are very similar to Quiet Time Bins except that they are more portable. Small crates, reusable shopping bags and backpacks are just a few examples of containers for activities.  I try to include different items than what I have in my children’s Quiet Time Bins. This not only holds their attention longer but it also makes the trip a little more exciting and fun to have some new things to do.

Some of my favorite Travel Busy Bag items are:
  • books {Where’s Waldo or I Spy books. The books in the Follow The Line series are also great.}
  • travel board games

    Leap frogtoys

  • aluminum foil {use it to sculpt masterpieces … a lot neater than PlayDoh or clay}
  • magnets and a small cookie sheet
  • glow sticks {if you will be travelling at night
In what ways do you help your children battle boredom?

April is editor and author of Holistic Homemaking, a blog dedicated to intentional living and the multi-dimensional life of homemakers. She is the wife of a campus minister and the homeschooling mom of three children. Her passions are photography, herbal remedies, frugal living and the outdoors.

In addition to her blog you can also find April on Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, and Goodreads.

About Rachel

Rachel is a mother to four children and a wife to a wellness doctor. Her passions are faith, family, and health. You can find her writing about her family adventures and inspiring you to make healthier choices for your family.


  1. If there is truly a boredom problem I will sit down and do something with them, like read a story, play a game, give them Play-Doh, work on a craft/puzzle, bake or even watch a movie.

    A lot of times I believe children need to be allowed to think and find things to do for themselves, so if that is the case I give them a chore that they can do to help me. It’s amazing how much help I get and how busy they make themselves when they don’t want to do “work”.

    I do have a “Toddler Box” and “Preschool Box” that I let them choose one or two things from when I am working with older kids on school or when I am busy and can’t do something, but they need a little constructive activity. These are similar to the busy boxes you’ve made. Sometimes I make them seasonal as well. I’ll be making our boxes with a fall theme this weekend.

    I’m checking out your site for more ideas, cause it’s fun to put something new in their boxes every month.

  2. I have some animal cards that I found in the dollar section of Target this summer. They are a favorite in our preschool box. She loves to look at the pictures and if I have a couple minutes we look at some of them together and read some of the facts on the back of the cards.

  3. We pack a bag with things for our Preschooler to do in the car but I don’t have bins for home like this. I hear “I’m bored” too, and I really like this idea of bins at home. I need to put together 5-7 for her. Thanks for this idea. I pinned it to my Parenting board on Pinterest too.

  4. I will treat them with puzzle cards based on education and wild life. If they still feel negative then I will take them out.