I’m Bored!!

I'm Bored page

We have listed below activities you can do with bored children!  If you have ideas you would like to share please email us at info@playscotland.org

Disclaimer:  Play Scotland would ask that appropriate supervision is in place for any young children using our messy play recipes and that they avoid consumption.


Are we there yet? 

Listed below are ideas for games to play on a road / train trip.  If you have any to add please let us know at info@playscotland.org

  💡 Noughts & Crosses

All you need are two players and a pencil to play this game.  For ease we have a free pdf grid you can print off – Noughts & Crosses

💡 Car Bingo

See who can complete the bingo cards.  We have a choice of 5 cards to download.  Car Bingo – 5 sheets

 💡 Road Trip ‘I Spy’

Can you find something starting with each letter of the alphabet. Download the alphabet sheet Road Trip I Spy

This sheet can also be used in a variety of games, for example:

  • can you name an animal with every letter of the alphabet
  • can you name a boys / girls name with every letter of the alphabet
  • can you name a colour with every letter of the alphabet

 💡 The Banana Game

Every time you see a yellow vehicle you shout “banana”.

You can do this by using a point system that the person with the most “banana” sightings wins”

💡 The Baa Game

Every time you see a sheep you shout “baa”.

You can do this by using a point system that the person who sees the most sheep wins.

 💡 The Moo Game

Every time you see a cow you shout “moo”.

You can do this by using a point system that the person who sees this most cows wins.


 💡 Licence Plate words – for older children

Can you make a word from the licence plate of the car in front of your or behind you?

i.e.  DG12 CWO  – that could be dog and cow.

See how many words you can see!

💡 Licence plates from around the world 

Can also see how many different countries you can see from the symbol on the licence plates?

ie: GB – Great Britain,  D – Germany,  DK – Denmark

You can find a full list here

💡 Simon Says …

One person in the car is picked to be ‘Simon’, you must then do everything that ‘Simon’ says.

‘Simon’ must always start by saying “Simon says” example “Simon says touch your nose” everyone in the car must touch their nose.

“Simon says scratch your head” everyone in the car must scratch their head.

But if ‘Simon’ just says “scratch your head” and you do the action you are out the game.  Last person in the game takes the turn to be ‘Simon’.

💡 I Spy

This can be used either by using a letter “I spy something being with R …”  or for small children use a colour “I spy something that is red …”

 💡 Tunnels

Every time you go through a tunnel you have to hold your breath (except the driver).

 💡 Spots 

You can do this in a variety of ways, examples:

Can you spot a –

  • Red car
  • Blue car
  • Street sign which has 30 on it / 40 on it
  • A sign that has an animal
  • A tractor
    and lots more!


 💡 Story time!

Make up a story.  Every person in the car adds a sentence to the story, this can get very funny!


Driver:  I went to the shops today
Uncle Jimmy:  I went to the shops today and I bought a horse
Auntie Betty: I went to the shops today and I bought a horse and a huge marshmallow
Cousin It: I went to the shops today and I bought a horse and a huge marshmallow and then I bounced all the way to the beach
… and so on.

This can be played anywhere and it is lots of fun.


 💡 The Colour Game

Each person in the car is given a colour of a car t.e. red, blue, green, black etc  and the first to get to 20 of seeing their colour wins.


Ideas for indoor fun  😀 

You can find a variety of indoor games here

Spaghetti Snakes
Cook spaghetti and once cool, add into a basin with a little water (to save from sticking) for your child to play with. You can even add in food colouring and shaving foam for extra fun.


DIY Sensory Board
Get a large piece of wood and attach various snibs, latches, baking trays (these can then use magnetic letters and numbers), push on push off battery operated lights, a calculator, light switch, chains, keys attached to ribbon, small wheel which would go on a box and lots more.  Lots of fun will be had with these.

💡 You could get your child to draw a house on the board then add the snib / latch to the front of the house.


Textile Sensory Board
Using a large piece of wood or cardboard attach various materials to give a variety of textures to play with and touch examples: cotton wool, felt, ribbon, tin foil, zips, mirror, sponge, zip lock bags with hair gel / shaving gel / conditioner – even add in glitter!


Match the Pegs
You will need string and coloured clothes pegs.

Peg the coloured pegs to the string.  The object of the game is for the child to find an object in the house, the same colour as each peg.


Pebble Painting
When out on a walk collect lots of flat stones/pebbles.  These can be used to paint on.  You could make dominos or paint faces and make up stories.


Boxes Galore
Give your child various boxes, tape and watch their imaginations come alive!


You will need: a bucket and rolled up socks (or a soft ball).  Lots of fun trying to throw the ball into the ‘basket’.   Great for hand to eye coordination.


Obstacle Course
Make an indoor obstacle course.  You can use cushions, pillows, small tables, hula hoops etc.

Make a balance beam by marking a straight line on the floor with masking tape.

Add in the basketball (see above).

Jump in and out of circles (mark these using masking tape).

Climb high, lie low, jog on the spot, star jumps and lots more!


Lava Floor
Object of the game is to get from one side of the room to the other without standing on the floor!  You can use cut up carpet tiles, pillows, cushion, cut out cardboard as stepping stones.


Count the raindrops
On a rainy day, can you count how many rain drops run down the window.


Treasure Map
Make a treasure map and let your child find the treasure.  Or they can make one and you can find the treasure.  You can down load our activity sheet below:

A6 How to Make a Treasure Map


Balls in the Box
Ideal for younger children.  Get a large box and cut holes in the top of the box the size of coloured balls, like the ones you use for a ‘ball pit’ and let them place the balls through the holes.

💡 You could colour code each hole for colour learning fun.


Picasso Box
Ideal for younger children.  Get a large box and take top of the box off.  Pop your child inside or lie on floor to enable them to get in and out,  give them crayons and let them draw their masterpieces inside the box.


Indoor hopscotch
Using electrical or masking tape mark out the hopscotch on the floor and use rolled up socks for the ‘peever’.


Indoor Bowling
You will need 6-10 same size 1 litre plastic bottles.  Fill up with water and ensure top is screwed on!

Mark the start line with electrical or masking tape.  Use a soft ball and have fun bowling.

💡 why not pop a glow stick in for glow in the dark bowling.


Indoor Scavenger Hunt

Download this pdf for items to found in the house:

Indoor scavenger hunt



Treasure Chest

The undernoted are ideal to keep in a ‘treasure chest’ to play with and can also be transported easily.

Collect various items when you are out walking, for example: smooth and rough pebbles; shells; small sticks etc

Household items, for example: milk bottle tops; yoghurt cartons; silver foil; buttons; beads; lolly sticks; feathers; glass beads etc

Let your child’s imagination run wild.

Note: Supervision required with young children due to lose parts


Rolling Pin Art

What you need:
Rolling pin
Paints on a flat tray
Items which can be wrapped round rolling pin i.e.:
elastic bands in various widths; bubble wrap; string in various widths

What to do:

Wrap an item round the rolling pin to create a stencil.

Paint rolling pin and roll onto paper – see what art shapes you can create.

If you don’t have a rolling pin, try using a cardboard tube.

You can also get large sheets of paper, place blobs of paint on this and roll over the paint to see what shapes this creates.


Glow in the Dark Bowling

What you need:
Empty plastic bottles  (preferably the same size)   
Cold Water
Glow sticks

What to do:

Fill the empty bottles with cold water.
Break glow stick to activate
Pop in the bottle and close the lid.

Once dark these will glow – now it’s time to bowl!


Magnetic Leaves

What you need:
Magentic strips
Googly eyes

Collect leaves, flowers and feathers when out and laminate these.
Cut out and glue magnetic strips on the back.
Add eyes to make leaf people.
Use baking trays or fridge door as the canvas.


Popping Hopscotch

What you need:
Bubble wrap cut into squares

Cut a square for each number and paint number on 1 – 10.

Place in hopscotch format.  Play!  When you hop on the square it will pop!


Scratch n Sniff Paint

Details on how to make scratch n sniff paint, great for sensory play

Click here

Play Scotland Activity Sheets

We have a range of activity sheets which use materials that are free, recycled or low cost.  All are available as pdfs to download.  Should you wish a hard copy or these emailed to you please let us know.

A1 bug and butterfly painting

A2 15 Things to do Before you are 12

A3 How to make Papier Mache

A4 How to Make Gloop and Washable Finger Paints

A5 How to Make Funny Faces and Washable Finger Paints

A6 How to Make a Treasure Map

A7 Few Ideas for Cardboard Tubes

A8 A Few Ideas to make with Stones

A9 – All Year Round Snow Play

A10 – How to make clay

A11 How to make Moon Sand

A12 – How to Make Pavement Paint

A13 – How to Make Crackle Foam and Goo

A14 – How to Make a Tooth Fairy Door

How to Play Conkers

Details on how to play the traditional game of Conkers.

Make a Lava Lamp

This lava lamp looks like great fun to make.  Full details here


We have lots of boards on pinterest which are full of  Play ideas:

Christmas Messy Play Crafts

Halloween messy play

Messy Play

Messy Play gifts for Dads and Grandas (any male in your life!)

Scottish Messy Play Crafts

Sensory Play

Traditional Games

Water Play

What you can make with a cardboard box!


150 Fantastic ideas for Outdoor Play in the Autumn from Nature Detectives

Full list

15 Ways to Have Fun Outside- In The Dark

For 15 ways to have fun in the dark click here

Natural Trust – 50 outdoor things to do before you are 11 3/4

The Natural Trust have published a list of the 50 coolest things to do outdoors before you are 11 3/4. To view click here

Persil – Top 10 things to do before you are 10

Persil have released an adventure booklet of Top 10 things to do before you are 10. For a copy click here

Pretend, Create and Learn with Play Dough

34 fun ways to play with Play Dough. To view click here

FREE Summer Activities

Free activities from Nature Detectives. Full details click here

How to Build a Den

For details click here

How to Build a Willow Den

For details click here

Science with Children

Science does not need to be daunting, below are a few links which shows you have can introduce science into playing!

Science in the Park

Science in the Playground

Nursery songs and rhymes

Click on this link where you will find a collection of nursery songs and lyrics.

Fun Outdoor Play Ideas

Find faces on trees

Flower Hunt

Blindfold Tree Exploring

Fun – indoor and outdoor activities

To view click here