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Stuck at home? Bummer. Following are some fun things to do at home when you’re bored and haven’t planned anything for the day.
Without a doubt, being stuck at home can be one of the most frustrating things ever!
Which one of these best describes your current situation?…
- You’re staying home from work today — due to illness, maternity/paternity leave, or vacation.
- School is closed for the day — and you weren’t prepared for an unexpected day home from school, so you (and/or your kids) are just bored.
- The weather outside is frightful — and no one in your community is leaving their house until things change.
Finding fun things to do at home when you’re bored can be challenging, especially if you weren’t planning on staying in the house on this particular day.
I can help!
Here are some really unique ways that I’ve come up with to help pass the time and maintain your sanity when you’re stuck at home bored. Yes… all things that I’ve actually done.
Fun Things To Do At Home When You’re Bored
#1 – Organize your photos. If you have a bunch of prints, either put them into photo albums or arrange them in some meaningful order in photo boxes. If most of your photos are digital photos stored online in the cloud or on your computer, then now is a great time to start tagging, labeling, categorizing or otherwise organizing your photos. Doing this will make it easier for you to find the ones you want really quickly from now on. (TIP: Do your best to keep them organized every time you take new photos! Trust me, I have over 176,000 digital photos saved — so I know how important this is.)
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#3 – Learn a new hobby. Take advantage of how-to’s on the Internet, in videos and in books & magazines. Or, invite a friend over to spend some time together and share pointers with each other on a hobby or business that you both share. Fun ideas: scrapbooking (in paper albums or digitally online), rubber stamping, knitting, cardmaking, quilting, writing, sewing, etc. And… here’s how to make money from your hobby!
#4 – Make an idea notebook. Pinterest is the digital online version of an idea notebook. But some of us still enjoy the old-school ways of doing things — using paper, a pen, printed pictures, and a 3-ring notebook! Here’s my idea notebook for my dream home. You can make an idea notebook for just about anything: Your baby’s nursery, your first dog, the wardrobe of your dreams, places you want to travel, your ultimate bucket list… you get the idea!
#5 – Quiz yourself. It’s relatively easy to find fun quizzes in printed books and magazines. Online, you’ll also find a boatload of quizzes, trivia questions, tests, and games to test your skills, knowledge, or abilities. Or, along these same lines, you may want to tackle a lifelong dream… like solving the Rubik’s Cube!
#6 – Try a new DIY project. First, browse Pinterest for clever ideas using the Pinterest search bar to find things that you’re interested in (like jewelry making, DIY dog stuff, printables to help you get organized, etc). Then, jump in!
#7 – Start a journal. It might be your own personal journal — filled with your own thoughts and feelings about life in general. Or, it might be a baby journal where you write about the weeks leading up to the birth of your baby. Either way, getting the thoughts out of your head and onto paper is quite satisfying and a fun thing to do at home when you’re bored.
#8 – Start a blog. It could be a mom blog where you talk about your personal experiences while being pregnant, and then share all of the exciting things about being a new mom with others online. Or, if there’s a topic you’re passionate about, handy with, or knowledgeable about in general… write about it on your own personal blog! Others will appreciate your honesty and experience when they’re trying to do the same things you’ve done and they’re researching the topic online. Here’s how to start a blog — and this is the path that I took to full-time writing.
#9 – Look for valuable coins in your spare change jar. I did this for the first time awhile ago. And I repeat the process every now and then. I know nothing about coins — but I do know where to go to find out how much specific coins are worth. The easiest part of the process though is to simply look for these coins in your spare change. It’s actually quite fun!
#10 – Write reviews. When you’re stuck at home, you could write detailed reviews on your own personal website — or contribute your opinions and personal experience on sites like Epinions and Amazon. Your opinion is helpful to others! Sharing your 2-cents will help others make their own decisions before buying something or trying something new.
#12 – Make some money. If you’re crafty, you can make fun things to sell on sites like Etsy. Another fun idea is to explore Fiverr.com and think of something that’s quick and easy that you could charge people a nominal fee to do it for them. (One idea: write letters from Santa, the Tooth Fairy, etc.) If you like writing, you could write articles and submit them to websites that pay for content. Don’t overlook the fact that magazines pay writers quite well, too.
#13 – Make useful things for your dog. I’m talking about things like… a new dog bed for half the cost of buying one (…and NO sewing). A dog crate from an old piece of furniture you no longer use. A dog ramp — so your dog can get up on the bed or into the car easier. A dog house for the times when your dog has to spend long hours outside. And, of course, DIY dog toys. Here are lots more DIY dog ideas to get you started!
#14 – Clean something. Actually, I like to clean. So yeah, tackling a very specific cleaning project can be a motivating and fulfilling way to spend the day — for me. I like to save all of my favorite cleaning hacks and then dig into them on occasion when I’m ready to find some new home remedies to try — like when I’m stuck at home, bored.
#15 – Organize your recipes. I use Google Docs, but there are a number of computer programs, and cell phone apps, and 3-ring notebooks that help to simplify this process. Having your recipes grouped into meaningful categories and then streamlining the process of gathering, copying, and organizing them for faster retrieval is something that you and your family will benefit from for years to come.
#16 – Participate in sweepstakes, rebates, and online offers. Some people take this so seriously that they’ve managed to score lots of big-ticket items that are both fun and practical. Or, you could do it just for fun and see what you happen to win.
#17 – Find free & cheap stuff that’s available near you. This is one of my favorite ways to pass the time lately! Simply navigate to Facebook Marketplace (it’s free), adjust your location (I set it to 11 miles, because that’s the farthest I’m willing to travel), and then check out the results! Best of all, you can search for anything specific that you’ve been hoping to find a good deal on — like dog leashes, a Pilates machine, flower, pots, you name it.
#18 – Sell items you no longer use. Gone are the days of having to host a yard sale to get your gently used items in front of dozens of people at once. Now you can simply use Facebook! See how I use Facebook Marketplace to sell my stuff — I made almost $1,000 in my first 2 weeks of selling items online this way.
#19 – Reconnect with old friends or relatives. In this fast-paced world where everything’s online and people primarily communicate via text messages and social media, who wouldn’t enjoy reading a handwritten letter? If that’s not your style, then try to find old friends on Facebook and have fun re-connecting, looking at everyone’s photos, and chatting about old times. (As you can see, Facebook is a great source of fun things to do at home!)
#20 – Make a bucket list. A bucket list is merely a growing list of goals — a wish list of sorts. But instead of things you would like to buy (or receive), your bucket list is a list of things that you would like to do. You can create a bucket list for yourself… your family… your kids… even your dog… whatever you’re feeling at the moment. All that’s required is to jot down your thoughts, dreams, and wishes for the future. Here’s a fun Bucket List Journal that makes it easy to start ticking things off your list. TIP: Watch the movie The Bucket List first, and then make a bucket list for the rest of your life! Here’s why to do it. Here’s how to do it.
#21 – List your goals. By jotting down your life’s goals, you’ll start to feel that you are accomplishing much more every single day. What’s the difference between a bucket list and a list of goals?… Goals are clearly defined, measurable tasks that easily fit into your everyday life. A bucket list includes activities that you might (or might not) ever get the opportunity to do in life. This is one of the easiest things to do when you’re bored at home — and it’s motivating too!
#22 – Work on a puzzle. While challenging, yes… there’s just something that’s incredibly satisfying to complete a jigsaw puzzle! (Even to simply complete the borders can be quite fulfilling. Wouldn’t you agree?) Here are some of my favorite jigsaw puzzle tips and strategies. For me, puzzles are my go-to for fun things to do at home with family members.
#23 – Take an online course. Online courses are a great way to learn a new skill FAST. If you’ve been saving some online courses that you would like to try… now’s the time! Here are a few ideas to get you started:
- Become A Virtual Assistant & Work At Home – they show you how to be an online assistant helping companies and entrepreneurs complete tasks they don’t have time for. All of the training, resources, and support you need is provided.
- How To Organize And Be Free Of Clutter – Jane Alais is a professional organizer. She teaches you how to simplify your daily chaos. This course is a great place to start when you’re feeling frustrated by clutter in your home.
- Brain Training For Dogs – Adrienne Farricelli is a professional certified dog trainer. She shows you how to teach your dog 21 challenging games… as a way to improve dog obedience and behavior while having fun with your dog at the same time
- How To Start Breastfeeding Like A Pro In 90 Minutes – Stacey Stewart is a Certified Lactation Educator. She has super helpful breastfeeding advice for new moms! There’s also an advanced course: How To Pump Like A Pro In 90 Minutes.
- Blogging Like You Mean It – Carly Campbell truly has some of the best online courses that I’ve ever taken! My favorites are Pinteresting Strategies and Affiliate Marketing For Bloggers. I’ve also gotten a lot of great tips from her FREE Pinterest course: Perfectly Pinteresting Pins and her FREE Blogging course: How To Start A Profitable Blog From Scratch.
#24 – Have a spa day. Pedicure… manicure… soaking bath… facial mask… foot massage… you get the idea! These pedicure shortcuts will come in handy — depending on whether you want a 3-minute quickie pedicure, a 5-minute soaking pedicure, or a luxurious 35-minute spa-like pedicure. Spa days are fun things to do at home with your spouse, your children, or your friends. Your day of pampering is well deserved!
#25 – Read. Either books or magazines you already own that you haven’t read yet (or want to read again) or books/magazines from the library or store. Personally, I found someone on Freecycle who recycles all the magazines she buys. After she’s read them, she passes them onto me! I then pass them onto someone else when I’m done, or share them with my own friends and relatives. The only other type of reading I do is to browse through my Pinterest boards and articles that I’ve bookmarked to read later — books aren’t really my thing.
#26 – Meditate. Quiet meditation will help you relieve stress, concentrate better, and feel more in control of your life. Here’s how to do mindfulness meditation and 4 ways to meditate anywhere! My favorite is to simply practice deep breathing — to stay focused and to fall asleep faster at night.
#27 – Gather up things to donate to charity. The best part about this one is you’re cleaning out your house at the same time! You’ll definitely want to keep track of your donations and get a receipt for your tax records. But, whatever you do, don’t almost give.
#28 – Watch movies. There’s nothing like binge-watching an entire season (or many seasons) of a particular show… right? You can find movies online through sites like Hulu, Sling, Roku, Amazon Prime, and Netflix. These sites are great because they put literally thousands of movies right at your fingertips. Whether it’s one good movie or a season’s worth of shows in one sitting, this is one of the most fun things to do at home when you’re bored.
#29 – Play games in the backyard. Just because you’re stuck at home doesn’t mean you can’t go outside! If friends and or family members are home with you, then games are some of the most popular things to do at home. You might already have some of these backyard games. If not, check out these DIY backyard games that are borderline genius — like a DIY sprinkler or water balloon fight!
#30 – Make your own greeting cards. You can start with blank greeting cards from the dollar store, or make cards from scratch using crafting materials that you already have. Craft days are fun things to do at home whether you’re alone, with your kids, or with your friends.
#31 – Post your best ideas on social media. Sure, people usually share things to social media randomly (whenever the mood strikes) — to make themselves happy. But the idea here is to focus your efforts on making a difference in someone else’s life! One of the easiest ways to help people is to share your own experiences — so they can use that information to help them make a decision on something. Whichever one of these you choose to concentrate on will get your own unique ideas out to the masses. Some examples:
- Share your favorite tips & ideas that are found online for one specific subject matter to a Pinterest board (or share many topics to many boards).
- Start posting regularly on Instagram. If you share your own personal experiences about a very specific topic often enough, you might even become an Instagram influencer!
- Create Facebook notes to share your ideas and opinions with the world — instead of creating blog posts on a separate domain that takes a lot of time and a fair amount of money to maintain.
#32 – Have a picnic (inside or outside). It doesn’t have to be anything fancy. You can prepare your own foods or grab some at the deli counter of the nearest grocery store. This list of 50 outdoor picnic ideas for kids is brilliant — lots of fun ideas to choose from! And if the weather isn’t cooperating, then these indoor picnic ideas for all ages are also fun things to do at home.
#33 – Make a time capsule. Gather items from around your house that reflect this year in your life. Items with dates on them are always good (newspaper, magazine, store receipt for something “big” that you bought, as well as a receipt to reflect the current price of groceries, gas, etc). Toss at least one print photo of yourself, and maybe a flash drive filled with some other memorable photos/videos from this year. Make a letter (or video) to your future self… or your child. Finally, put everything inside a durable container (like a holiday popcorn tin or a large Rubbermaid bin), seal the lid permanently, write today’s date and the date you intend to open it. (TIP: Pick an “open date” that’s way into the future — so it will be funny to look back on “how things used to be”.)
#34 – Clean up your Amazon wish list. My favorite online shopping hub is Amazon. So, whenever I have some downtime, I like to clean up my Amazon wish list. (By the way, I save everything there — not just Amazon items!) The process of cleaning up your wish list includes deleting items you’re no longer interested in or already bought, adding notes to items so you’ll remember who recommended each item to you, and re-organizing things so it will be easier to find items whenever you’re shopping online. That way, you’ll know exactly where to go the next time you’re wondering, “What was that new mascara I wanted to try?… Where are those items I’ve been saving for when I redecorate the powder room?” This works best when you create several Amazon wish lists for yourself to organize all of your saved items. For example, mine are:
- Beauty & Personal Care
- Clothing, Shoes, Accessories
- Dog Stuff
- Food & Supplements
- Gadgets & Electronics
- Games, Puzzles, And Time Wasters
- Household Items (I also have a few sub-cats: Household-Living Room, Household-Guest Room)
- Travel & Motorcycle Stuff
You can name them anything you want! (I also have a wishlist for each person in my circle of friends/family that I buy items for.)
#35 – Research your family tree. If you want to take the fast track toward exploring your family heritage, then start with popular websites like Genealogy.com or Ancestry.com. There are a number of other helpful genealogy resources as well. For example, if your family has lived in the same area for a long time, then the local library can be a useful resource — they can help you find old birth certificates and other family records. Stuck at home? This is a great way to spend the time!
#36 – Rearrange your furniture and/or wall decor. You don’t need to buy anything new in order to “redecorate” your home. You can spruce things up at home simply by moving things around! And with so many rooms to choose from in your house, you’ll likely run out of time before you run out of fun things to do at home to improve your home decor.
#37 – Turn an old laptop into a digital photo frame. This is really easy to do and it’s super cool to watch all of your favorite photos fill up the screen throughout the day — just as with a “real” digital photo frame. I currently have 3 old (very slow!) laptops in our house that are constantly shuffling through literally thousands of digital photos each and every day. Neither the age of the computer, nor how fast it is impacts your ability to use a laptop as a digital picture frame. This is such a fun way to relive all of those great memories… daily!
#38 – Make a plan to reconnect with your spouse. How?… Write a letter to your partner. Start some rituals as a couple — like chat for 10 minutes every night right before bed, have morning coffee together, schedule a date night for every Saturday night, etc. Build a love map.
#39 – Make candles. You can do this several different ways:
- Try using several old pillar or tealight candles you already have.
- Jar candles that are mostly used up are another easy way to make nice “new” candles.
- You can also make your own candles from scratch — all you need is some wax, wicks, and essential oils.
- Don’t overlook the fact that you can give your candles as gifts. You can eve make money selling your candles!
#40 – Play games. Some games (like online games and game apps) you can play by yourself. My favorites are the free web versions of Sudoku and crossword puzzles. Others (like board games) are more fun with your family or friends. One of the most fun things to do at home is to have a board game tournament — with the winner receiving a fun (valuable!) prize. With so many choices for games, you won’t be bored, despite the fact that you’re stuck at home.
#41- Shop online. Don’t overlook the fact that you can buy groceries and other household items online these days. Some places will even deliver the items to your house! (Fast food delivery, too.) It can be fun to simply explore all of your options for curbside groceries and fast-food delivery in your area.
#42 – Change the mood using rock, paper, scissors. Want to really lighten up the mood at home and get everyone out of their funk? Then make it a requirement that everyone use rock, paper, scissors to settle everything today!
#43 – Read the Bible. It can be quite motivating and uplifting to read scriptures from the Bible. You can flip through the pages of your own Bible at your own pace, or read the Bible online. They even have Bible reading groups online now! See… your options for fun things to do at home aren’t just solo activities.
#44 – Have a talent show. This is one of the most fun things to do at home with kids — because a talent show gives youngsters a way to burn off some energy! Be sure to record it and then upload it to YouTube, so your closest friends and family members can enjoy it.
#45 – Try DIY dog grooming. Instead of spending a fortune taking your dog somewhere else to get a bath, get brushed, a nail trim, ear cleaning, and teeth brushing… try doing these things yourself at home. I do all of my own dog grooming. It’s a great way to interact one-on-one with your dog. My dogs crave the one-on-one time, so they actually love being brushed, trimmed, and cleaned.
#46 – Get free prints of your digital photos. This is something you can set up to happen automatically each month — it’s a-mazing! Clearly, with all of the photo-related ideas that appear on this list of fun things to do at home, it’s obvious that I’m a digital photo fanatic! I mean, I have over 176,000 photos that I’ve taken stored on my hard drive (and copies of them all saved in the cloud) right now. But I actually think it’s fun selecting the free prints that you want to receive from the photos you’ve taken each month — and even more exciting going through the prints after they arrive!
#47 – Find new ways to use old gadgets. For example, here are 20 things you didn’t know your smartphone could do, 10 ways to use a digital camera for more than just photos. By the way, how well do you know your TV remote control?
#48 – Make a canvas print of your favorite photo. The fun lies in going through all your photos to find your favorite ones. Then, pick one (or a few) that would look great hanging on the wall in your home printed on a canvas! You can do this entirely online.
#49 – Cook something new. Try your hand at some of those recipes you’ve been saving. There’s no better time to explore your skills in the kitchen than when you’re stuck at home bored. Because everyone’s gotta eat! Here’s a fun idea… bake a loaf of homemade bread using only 4 ingredients. (Got beer? Then you can make bread!) And if you happen to have some dried yeast on hand, you might want to try this easy homemade bread recipe that’s more traditional.
#50 – Plan your dream garden. Think of all the ways you’ve been wanting to spruce up your yard, gardening, and landscaping around the exterior of your home. Now, browse fun ideas on Pinterest or Google:
- If you’ve been wanting to start growing your own food… explore that.
- Does your yard have spots that are overly shady or overly sunny? Want to find the perfect flowers for those areas?… Explore that.
- Want to attract butterflies, bees, or other beneficial insects to your garden?… Explore that.
- Does your backyard need an overhaul to include a more user-friendly outdoor living area — complete with a grilling station, sink, patio or deck?… Explore that.
There are lots of fun things you can do to make the exterior areas of your home feel warmer, cozier, and more useful year round.
#51 – Test your dog’s intelligence. See how smart your dog is with this Dog IQ Test. Or, explore these other ways to give your dog unique challenges to perform. Not only do these types of activities keep your dog from getting bored, they also make it possible for you to get more things done around the house while your dog is doing these things. You can also use games & activities to improve your dog’s behavior at home and your dog’s manners in public.
#52 – Attract birds to your home. First, pick out a birdhouse that you like. (I’m partial to birdhouses that look like little log cabins, but there are lots of different designs.) Then, put out the right type of food to attract the birds you want. Finally, watch… and wait. Before long, the birds you want will start to call your house their home!
#53 – Take funny pictures. Either use the filters on various smartphone apps, or simply try to capture your own clever poses and funny faces with your regular camera. Include yourself, your pets, your kids… whoever is home with you.
#54 – Have a staycation. Instead of viewing this as time stuck at home, view it as a staycation! If it’s warm outside, pitch a tent in your backyard and enjoy stargazing, eating smores, and making glow in the dark bubbles! If it’s cold outside, then enjoy a spa day at home or do some simple arts & crafts projects. If you’re not necessarily crafty but more Type-A, then adult coloring books are the perfect way to prevent boredom!
#55 – Determine your net worth. You can use a free spreadsheet program (like Google Sheets) to track your personal assets and debts. Then let the spreadsheet calculate your net worth! This is one of those fun things to do at home that might actually save you money in the long run.
#56 – Fold money into fun shapes. It’s a fun hobby for many, a pastime for others — and a clever way to leave a tip when you go out to eat. This is one of those fun things to do at home now that will have a big payoff later — when you see the smile on the face of the person you’re giving folded money to!
#57 – Listen to a podcast. A podcast is simply a digital audio file — a recorded conversation between 2 or more people on a specific topic. To me, it’s similar to good old-fashioned talk radio, but the topics reflect today’s trends, by subject matter. The fun part comes in finding interesting podcasts to listen to! (By the way, podcasts are free.) Personally, I like the Bobby Bones Show and This Week In Google. Some podcasts, like the two I’ve mentioned, also have videos that accompany them — so you can watch what’s happening in the studio at the same time. TIP: You do not need to use “a specific” podcast player listen to any podcast — just pick one that has the format you like best.
#58 – Blow bubbles. I like to do this with my dogs — but most people probably blow bubbles with their kids. Both kids and dogs quickly become enamored with bubbles that blow away in the wind or pop when they’re touched. To make your own homemade bubbles, combine 1/4 cup of dish soap with 3-3/4 cups of water. For even larger homemade bubbles, add these ingredients. You can use just about anything with a round opening as a “wand” — just dip it into the soap solution before you wave it into the air. (Some ideas: a coffee can or plastic cup with both ends cut out, large cable ties, drinking straws, wire or plastic hangers, even the open handle of a pair of scissors.)
#59 – Exercise. I put this one at the end because — for me — it’s not “fun” to workout. Pilates is my fave. It’s the only type of workout that I don’t hate (because I can literally feel the stretch in my arms, legs, and core — so I know it’s working). I have a Pilates machine, and when I’m bored at home or feeling blah, I try to hop on for a few minutes while I’m watching TV. That way, I’m not a complete couch potato! By the way, here are 5 Pilates moves that don’t require a Pilates machine. Yoga is another low-stress form of exercise I like. (For what it’s worth, I keep my Pilates machine set up at all times to make it easier to workout on a whim. If you happen to have a catwalk overlooking the living room like we do, I think it’s the perfect place to keep it — because no one ever walks there!) Here are 15 of the best free workout apps to help you work out at home.
#60 – Enjoy a little bit of day drinking. For a change of pace, day drinking can be a fun way to chill out and relieve some stress. Just for fun, experiment by making your own mixed drinks from scratch. Or try a few drinks that you’ve heard about but never tasted. Here’s how to make mixed drinks using ingredients you already have.
Want more? Here’s my list of 25 fun things to do when you’re stuck at home with your dog!
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I like to help people find unique ways to do things in order to save time & money — so I write about “outside the box” ideas that most wouldn’t think of. As a lifelong dog owner, I often share my best tips for living with and training dogs. I worked in Higher Ed over 10 years before switching gears to pursue activities that I’m truly passionate about. I’ve worked at a vet, in a photo lab, and at a zoo — to name a few. I enjoy the outdoors via bicycle, motorcycle, Jeep, or RV. You can always find me at the corner of Good News & Fun Times as publisher of The Fun Times Guide (32 fun & helpful websites).