Friends with Good Ideas

It's good to know smart/creative people.

My friend Krysta sent a list out to our old Sunday School class, and I couldn't keep it to myself!

50 Fun Things to Do For 30 Minutes

Other than Watch TV

These time-tested favorites are mostly for ages 2 and up. Throw a few of these together with some free play and a snack and you have a complete morning.

  1. Read! Books, poems, magazines, summarize the paper or magazine you are reading…
  2. Twist pipe cleaners into animals, glasses or jewelry.
  3. Cook together
  4. Bubbles
  5. Paint the driveway or fence with water.
  6. Run through sprinklers.
  7. Wash the car and outdoor play toys.
  8. Visit an older neighbor or invite them over to play. Use this time to teach your kids how to be a host or hostess.
  9. Take a bath – even if no one needs one.
  10. Make cards
  11. Research a topic on the Internet and share your interest with your kids. Bookmark sites ahead of time so you won’t loose their interest – i.e. pick an animal, a foreign country, how something is made or a sport.
  12. Make Popsicles. Try layering different things like juice, yogurt or fruit.
  13. Have a dance party and play all different kinds of music.
  14. Make a fort.
  15. Play hide and seek.
  16. Sidewalk chalk. Teach them hopscotch or 4 square if they are older.
  17. Kid friendly websites –,,, and
  18. Write or draw in shaving cream.
  19. Call grandparents and great-grandparents.
  20. Play dough
  21. Work in the yard together – pull weeds, water plants or sweep.
  22. Go for a nature walk and find a leaf, pine cone, blade of grass, rock, etc.
  23. Make a pine cone bird feeder.
  24. Catch bugs.
  25. Teach your kids how to sort clean laundry and put away their socks, underwear and pj’s. Even a young 2 can do this, but be forewarned it might take half the morning, but in this case that’s a great thing!
  26. Let them “help” you clean the house with things like a damp cloth, a floor swiffer, a duster. They can go to town on baseboards and cabinets and their toys.
  27. Teach them how to sort dirty laundry, load washing machine/dryer, load dishwasher, putting away groceries, emptying dishwasher, etc. It takes a lot of watchfulness but they start to learn how to do the chores that we want them to help with as they get older AND it fills time. =)
  28. Play with a ball – kick it, throw it, balance it on your head, hold it between your neck and chest, hold it with your elbows. Who can do it the longest? Challenge each other!
  29. Look at old pictures of the kids or other family members and reminisce.
  30. "Dictate" a letter to a friend or grandparents while mom writes and then make a trip to the mailbox. Hopefully that person will write back and you can read the letter together.
  31. Practice letters/sounds using letter flashcards, how many things can you think of that begin with ___, make up silly words/sentences using a certain letter
  32. Organize/reorganize toys, books, clothes, etc. Maybe even set some aside to donate?
  33. Decorate sugar cookies with frosting, sprinkles, etc.
  34. Learn a new song or practice singing favorite songs.
  35. Play instruments
  36. Take turns leading a parade of instruments around the house.
  37. Make an obstacle course.
  38. Go on a “campout”.
  39. Hide Easter eggs and have the kids hunt for them.
  40. Have a scavenger hunt - i.e. find a blue sock, find a purple ball, etc.
  41. Play with flashlights.
  42. Memorize scripture together. Check out
  43. Listen to books on cd.
  44. Play tag.
  45. Play with your pet – try to teach them a new trick.
  46. Play I Spy.
  47. Mystery Bag – Put an object in a dark plastic bag and let the kids feel it from the outside and guess what it might be. Then, let them reach in and feel it and guess again.
  48. Go bird watching and listening: Can you find a robin or a cardinal?
  49. Show your kids your newest exercise move…yoga, zumba, push ups, pilates, etc.
  50. Pretend- doctor, dentist, fireman, judge, nurse, vet.


Amy R said...

I wish I had this list when I was a stay-at-home mom! But this will come in handy for evenings and weekends and when Jeff goes on his fishing/camping trip in a couple weekends!

Shelby said...

Thanks for posting!! I'll be referencing this!!

Faith said...

Thanks so much for sharing this!! I don't have kids, but am a nanny and my kids LOVE watching TV. I hate them watching TV, so these things will be great to try out!!

SmallWorld at Home said...

What a great list! Your little girls are blessed to have such an inventive mama!

Big Fat Mama said...

These are such GREAT ideas!
Big Fat Mama

Roan said...

I love this list. It reminds me of the things I used to do when my first three children were younger. In those days, I had to think of things to fill our days. Not any more! I have two young children now, and our days are so full of busyness, that I don't make the time to do these simple activities with my younger ones. Your list has inspired me. I am going to use it, and add to it.

I found your blog from Kelly's Korner.
Your ultrasound pic of baby #3 is so clear! Wow- they have really improved those!

Have a blessed day!