25 Things for Kids to Do When They're Bored Online
Bored online? Impossible! If you’ve got an Internet connection and you know where to look, there’s a whole world of fun, enriching, creative, and educational things for kids to do online.
“I’m bored. What can I do?” … is something those of us with jobs and chores and parenting responsibilities would absolutely love to be in a position to ask someone once in a while. But for a kid, it can be a real existential crisis, and many parents are reluctant to answer that question with, “Why not kill some time on the Internet?” But it turns out that there are plenty of fun things for kids to do online that kill boredom and encourage learning, problem-solving, and creative play at the same time. Here’s a great list of options to get you started.
1. Build Digital Jigsaw Puzzles
There are plenty of sites that offer fun and satisfying digital jigsaw puzzles with varying degrees of challenge. The Smithsonian has a great roundup here to get you started.
2. Play Chess!
Whether you’re still trying to remember how the knight moves or you’re on your way to becoming the youngest GrandMaster in history, Chess.com is a wonderland of puzzles, lessons, and online play for every level.
3. Take a Virtual Museum Tour Through Google Arts and Culture
In partnership with 2000 cultural institutions, Google has created an incredible archive of images, videos, and artifacts that anyone can access to experience art and culture from around the world and throughout history.
4. Become a Super Sleuth With Carmen Sandiego
The infuriatingly elusive Carmen Sandiego is STILL AT IT. You can hunt her down and learn a little bit of geography while you’re at it with these online Carmen Sandiego games.
5. Listen to a Story Read by a Celebrity
Storyline Online has an incredible collection of books for kids read by celebrities like Rose Byrne, Wanda Sykes, and Oprah Winfrey. Who could possibly be bored when they’re listening to Oprah read “The Hula-Hoopin’ Queen”?
6. Create Stories, Games, and Animations With Scratch
Scratch is an online story-creation tool that “helps young people learn to think creatively, reason systematically, and work collaboratively” by making their own games, animations, and other interactive projects.
7. Make a Movie!
Once you’ve created a unique story, why not make it into a short film? Brain Pop’s Make-a-Movie Creator helps kids to turn their story ideas into animated masterpieces.
8. Try the Learning Games on ABCYa!
ABCYa! has more than 300 learning games geared towards kids in PreK through 6th Grade. They’re sorted by age, type, and subject matter, so it’s easy to find the perfect game to suit any kid’s needs.
9. Watch Animals Live!
Contrary to popular belief, the Internet’s not just for cat videos! With these live animal cams, you entertain yourself by watching senior dogs hanging out together, eagles nesting, or tropical predators!
10. Learn About Physics With Tinker Ball
Use this simple but versatile interactive feature to learn about problem-solving and physics by creating as many different paths as you can to help the ball reach its goal.
11. Get eBooks for Kids From Epic
Epic is a digital library that lets kids personalize their reading, track their progress, and build reading confidence with 40,000 classic titles for kids 12 and under.
12. Play a Board Game Online
Safe Kid Games has tons of options for safe online play, and their board game collection, including classics like Snakes and Ladders, Solitaire, and Sudoku is a guaranteed cure for the “What Can I Do?” blues.
13. Download Audio Stories From Audible:
Audible Stories has an amazing collection of audio stories for kids of all ages that are free to stream! Settle down with classics like “White Fang” and “Anne of Green Gables” or modern masterpieces like “Promise the Night.”
14. Or Download a Coloring Book
Hey, why not do some coloring while you’re listening to those incredible audio stories? The New York Academy of Medicine’s annual “Color Our Collections” festival brings together libraries, museums, and other institutions to offer downloadable coloring books.
15. Learn to Code a Game
16. Get Moving With a Fun, Interactive Movement App Like GoNoodle
GoNoodle is an app that turns screen time into active time. Tons of fun mini games keep kids active, engaged, and on the move.
17. Learn About Nature With National Geographic Kids
Kids who love animals and nature can watch videos, learn about natural history, and take fun quizzes over at National Geographic Kids.
18. Learn to Doodle With Legendary Kids Book Writer Mo Willems!
From the genius who brought you “Don’t Let the Pigeon Drive the Bus” comes a delightful YouTube series that will teach kids to explore their artistic sides by doodling.
19. Take a Yoga Class!
It’s never too early to experience the peace and positivity that Yoga can bring into your life. Here’s a list of great online yoga classes just for kids.
20. Listen to a Great Podcast, Just for Kids!
The world of kids podcasts has been getting bigger and better in the last few years, with tons of fantastic shows made for younger audiences. Here’s a great roundup of the very best podcasts for kids.
21. Sing and Dance Along to KidzBop
Kids who love to sing and dance can enjoy family-friendly, kid-created versions of their favorite pop songs at KidzBop.
22. Laugh Out Loud With These Printable MadLibs
Grammar has never been more fun than when you’re filling in a MadLibs, and these printable MadLibs mean you can fill them in over and over.
23. Take a Ride on the Oregon Trail
There’s nothing more engaging and entertaining than catching dysentery on the Oregon trail after losing your wagon in a river. Learn a bit of history as you go with the classic Oregon Trail game online.
24. Learn to Cook With America's Test Kitchen Kids!
America’s Test Kitchen Kids has tons of recipes, videos, and learning materials for young chefs to get creative in the kitchen.
25. Get Some Exercise!
YouTube has a huge library of fun exercise videos to keep kids fit and active. Get started on a fun fitness journey with P.E. With Joe’s 30-minute workouts.