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Fun activities for bored/unmotivated children

(22 Posts)
RoomOnOurBroom Wed 03-Jun-20 18:28:56

I'm all out of ideas. What with juggling work and everything else, fun has definitely left the building. DD is bored, angry and has no motivation to do anything unless it involves me playing on the floor with her or watching tv.

So hit me with your suggestions, for an only DD. Age 8.

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RoomOnOurBroom Wed 03-Jun-20 20:11:33

Is there no fun to be had?

OP’s posts: |
tearsandtiaras Wed 03-Jun-20 20:20:39

my dd is the same al be it 10. lonely, sad, depressed

RoomOnOurBroom Wed 03-Jun-20 20:24:36

Sorry to hear that. Is there anything she enjoys doing?

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outofservice Wed 03-Jun-20 20:39:00

DD 8 has enjoyed knitting, her gran showed her a while back but she has practiced and got quite good.
She can make a Victoria sponge by herself, we were eating 2 a week for a while. I just take it out of the oven.
She is quite arty so has enjoyed painting rocks, tie dying t-shirts, colouring the nice colouring books you get for grown-ups. I've just bought some paints and canvasses from The Works. She has to practice a few designs before she gets the canvas!
I found a little chest of drawers on a walk and the owner said we could have it so DD is sanding it down for her bedroom.
She reads a few pages of the Harry Potter books to me each evening.
We take things slowly, she can get breakfast for everyone, washes up, makes lunch, chops veg, peels potatoes, makes pizza and makes me cups of tea and seems to enjoy doing anything she can to help.
She loves her tablet and we cast drawing classes, yoga and meditation apps to the TV.
She has earned lots of pocket money dusting and vacuuming and sorts her laundry and strips the beds too.
We've not got a garden but she waters the pots and hanging baskets every day.
It sounds a bit boring but she seems to like the routine and has learned some really good skills.

RoomOnOurBroom Wed 03-Jun-20 20:54:58

That's great that you've got a routine going. Did she enjoy these things before lockdown? I struggled to get DD to do many of those things before lockdown, there's no hope now. Or at least that's what it feels like. Everything is a battle. She's happy if I'm next to her while she watches tv or plays but that's about it. She's very sociable so not seeing her friends has really impacted her.

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MrsJonesAndMe Wed 03-Jun-20 21:06:39

Can you do some baking or cooking? Getting them to choose a meal a week.

We've also done some simple experiments such as a bicarb and vinegar volcano and some others off Twinkl as sent by the school.

Would she do anything with you like tennis or throwing a frisbee?

Hot chocolate and a board game? Still working on some sort of skills, but under the guise of it being a bit of fun.

Draw/paint postcards to mail to friends.

Socially distanced picnic with a friend and her mum and you and DD.

RoomOnOurBroom Wed 03-Jun-20 22:08:16

Unfortunately she refuses to bake or cook. She doesn't have the interest or patience for science. I found it took me ages to find a suitable experiment, source the ingredients etc for just 5 mins of 'fun' before the novelty wore off and she wanted to do something else. If I even suggest science now she flat refuses and flies off the handle. Likewise board games.
She won't go out for anything and we only have a small back yard.
A picnic might work though, great idea. Enough if a novelty to pique her interest.

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goodname Wed 03-Jun-20 22:22:10

Sorry to suggest screen time but I’ve given in and allowed my 8 and 10 year old to download roblox, chat is turned off and they can only play with real life friends but they absolutely love zooming their friends while playing and joining each other in games. I was a bit dubious about it but so far it’s really simple innocent games like build a boat to find treasure etc. Seems to involve loads of laughing and so far no arguments. I’ve suggested mine plan one meal a week as well, look up recipes and tell me what to buy etc.
We bought a marbeling kit from amazon for £11 and that was a big hit.
Hama beads which we’d never used before were also really good. Mine aren’t super arty so both those activities which don’t require too much skill are good.
Marble runs
Cardboard boxes
Learning to ride a bike
Walks in the woods to find tree swings
Making fudge and tablet
Making churros
These are the things that have worked best here so far

Mumof1I Wed 03-Jun-20 22:24:26

You can download a kit to make a covid time capsule. We have just started this and enjoying so far!

goodname Wed 03-Jun-20 22:25:00

Oh and board games are good too here but we’ve always enjoyed them. My eight year old likes enchanted forest and coppit (just like ludo) dibble, uno, Cadoo, rumikub, and labyrinth
Audible is good for audio books.
And we have started zoom guitar lessons

Fishfingersandwichplease Wed 03-Jun-20 22:25:50

Got an 8 year old only too so feel your pain. Had to go against all my wishes and let her play on Roblox - can't say l love her being on it but it gave her the chance to talk to her friends and be a part of something. She knows when life goes back to normal, it will be a weekend treat only and she is ok with that. Also she has to earn her time on it - so half an hour of maths for example means half an hour on Roblox. Needs must xx

Fishfingersandwichplease Wed 03-Jun-20 22:28:24

Also have started to teach her how to touch type and ride a bike on the roads while the roads are so quiet(been riding a bike for years but only off road). And she does the odd chore too. Some days drag like hell, others fly by - all depends on how cooperative she is.

BogRollBOGOF Wed 03-Jun-20 22:29:30


My DCs are only crafty in the sense of sneaking off when I pay attention to his brother, or at bedtime. Wrong crafty.

They aren't "doing with" children. Just aren't, not in the house. We've always done our best quality time getting out.

I'm no good for anything other than solidarity!

GetRid Wed 03-Jun-20 22:32:49

My dd age 8 also struggles to entertain herself. A lifesaver has been Audible books. She puts them on and does jigsaws or plays with Sylvanians etc while listening - for hours and hours. She's not a reader so this has been a great alternative.

Has cost me rather a lot of £ but worth it.

Tigresswoods Wed 03-Jun-20 22:33:14

@outofservice is your daughter a middle aged woman? (Light hearted)

DS is also similarly disinterested in most things. However he will do a bit of maths each day & will read so he's on PS4 a lot speaking to friends but I'm taking the positives.

He will go on walks & bike rides but with both parents working full time this is usually evening only.

We're all looking forward to school reopening!!!

TorysSuckRevokeArticle50 Wed 03-Jun-20 22:42:23

Pre-lockdown what were your daughters interests?

You mention being sociable and missing her friends would she be up for arranging a zoom (insert other video calling tech here) party, planning the activities, coordinating a theme/dress code, working with her friends to plan food or a movie that they can all watch at the same time and chat over.

If she was crafty, would she use old clothes to up cycle into new ones or make into bags, rag rugs. Could she draw a mural on one wall in her room and paint it, that's a several day project. Great British sewing project is on bbc so she could get ideas from that.

If she liked outdoorsy stuff, would you be able to give her a section of the garden or some pots so she can grow her own stuff. Strawberries can be bought from the garden centre cheap, potted up in old wellies or self decorated cheap pots and they're quick to ripen and eat so not much patience involved.

If she likes quieter indoor activities could you get her to journal about the virus, write fiction, create her own poems or a novel based on her experience.

Puzzles, video games, she could design her own board or card game.

UntamedShrew Wed 03-Jun-20 22:45:33

Is it an option for you to allow a friend of hers to come for a play in the garden? Or take the two of them out for a socially distanced walk?

That’s all my DD lives for currently. That and a bit of baking and a lot of reading.

In between those times she just flops around and doesn’t want to do anything. I feel so guilty for working... sad

outofservice Wed 03-Jun-20 22:46:41

tigresswoods she has a lovely Granny who has spent lots of time with her. She's a lovely girl and I'm really proud of how she has handled the lockdown.
RoomOnOurBroom tbh we have enjoyed not rushing off to swimming, ballet and her brothers classes and having time to learn how to ride a bike and tie shoelaces. These were the things she does by herself quietly for an hour or so without having me sat next to her!

RoomOnOurBroom Wed 03-Jun-20 23:25:06

Wow, lots of suggestions, thank you!

I do think it's different for only children. Her friends all have siblings and definitely enjoy having time to themselves to do something quiet. As an only it's quiet all the time and so DD craves company. I think that's only natural.

She's never had any strong interests prior to lockdown. Tried lots of things but nothing has stuck. She likes to be moving, hates me telling her what to do/guiding her, and wants to be able to do things instantly. We've tried many of the things suggested but the novelty has worn off and she won't entertain the idea if she's already tried it. It's so frustrating. None of her friends are on Roblox/Minecraft. Zoom hasn't been a huge success, she just wants to hog the conversation and gets frustrated she can't play. Audible is a great idea though, she likes to have the tv on while she plays sylvanians and she has an amazing imagination.

Other than that, I'm seriously at the point of considering breaking lockdown and seeing if there's another family that wants to form a bubble. We could swap kids while we work (why the government hasn't thought of this, it would help so many children and families while still limiting the spread to some extent).

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Fishfingersandwichplease Thu 04-Jun-20 05:48:28

Totally agree it is harder for only children, although nice not having to put up with arguing siblings as many of my friends are telling me about! But in the last week, we have met up with my friend who has an only, all outside of course - it has improved my daughter's mood no end so if there is a way you can safely do that then l would go for it x

LockdownLou Thu 04-Jun-20 09:25:05

She sounds like my 8 year DD who’s extremely sociable and missing her friends. We mix now with my sister and her kids and it’s helped immensely. I take her out for an hours walk each day come wind, rain or shine! Helps to blow the cobwebs away, and we always come home to a nice lunch. It’s not perfect though and she gets tired and sluggish.

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