Easy Activities For Kids | Set Them Up, Then Step Away!

Easy Activities For Kids | Set Them Up, Then Step Away!

(I don’t know about you, but sometimes I just want my kids to entertain themselves for a bit while I work or clean or simply drink my coffee in peace. I’m always on the lookout for easy activities for kids – the kind you can set up, then step away while they play, no parents required. That’s why I’m thrilled to introduce guest writer, Nicole Duggan! Not only is she one of my all-time favorite educators, she’s also the author of Adventure Girls! and Adventure Boys! and the founder of The Activity Mom, where she inspires children to explore and create. I’m both incredibly thankful and deeply honored to have her words grace this page. Thank you, Nicole!)

Summer is here, and I don’t know about you, but I often hear my kids say, “I’m bored!” At The Activity Mom, I share a huge collection of kids’ activities, but I’m here today to tell you that it is okay for your kids to be bored! Being bored actually helps your child become more creative and motivated.

Now we can all breathe a sigh of relief that it is okay for our kids to be bored. However, sometimes we want to have something to offer our children that will occupy them or, even better, inspire their play. I want to share a few activities that are easy to set up and will inspire creativity and new ideas for your child.

Lego Mystery Challenge

  1. Collect a variety of Legos (a handful) and put them into a bag.
  2. Challenge your child to build something using all of the pieces in the bag.
  3. When they are done, ask them to tell you about it.
  4. Take a picture and then use the pieces to build something new. How many different things can you build with the same collection of pieces?

Craft Challenge

Put a random group of craft materials in a bag or container and challenge your child to create something using all of the items.

Craft Material Ideas:

  • Glue or Tape
  • Paper
  • Coffee Filters 
  • Pom Poms
  • Gems
  • Q-tips
  • Cotton Balls
  • Recycled Lids from Containers
  • Empty Cereal or Cracker Boxes
  • Feathers
  • Glitter
  • Cupcake Liners
  • Craft Sticks
  • Nature Items (leaves, sticks, flowers)


  1. Tell a story about your creation. 
  2. Draw what you created.

Tip: Don’t spend a ton of time collecting the materials. Use what you have on hand and let your child’s brain get creative and problem solve how to use the materials. Set up a few bags at once to save yourself time, but only offer one bag at a time.

Water Play

Water play can be more than a sprinkler and a pool. Gather items from the kitchen and let the creativity begin.

If you are inside (while you are making dinner or it’s way too hot to be outside), lay a shower curtain down to keep the water contained. When your child is finished, roll it up and dump the water outside. 

Here are items from your kitchen that your child will love to play and experiment with:

  • Turkey Baster
  • Funnels
  • Measuring Cups
  • Slotted Spoons
  • Colander 
  • Different Size Bowls
  • Straws
  • Water Bottles

Add to your water play:

  • Ice Cubes
  • Glitter
  • Shaving Cream
  • Gems
  • Flowers
  • Characters and Lego People

Older children can design their own DIY water run with recycled materials.

I hope these simple activity ideas inspire your child’s play this summer!

(Friend, this is just the tip of the iceberg when it comes to Nicole’s fantastic and easy activities for kids! Please be sure to check out her website, The Activity Mom, for loads more ideas! You can also find Adventure Girls! and Adventure Boys! wherever books are sold.)


Nicole Duggan, author of Adventure Girls!, is a passionate educator with a master’s degree and many years of experience in the field. She is the founder of The Activity Mom blog, where she inspires children to explore and create, while empowering parents to connect with their children through learning. Join her on Facebook.

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