I love activities that are cheap, easy, and entertaining for more than just a minute. This is one of my favorite “go to” activities to do with bored kids. All you need is a handful of completely random objects and/or toys from around the house and a bag.
The objects in the bag can be used in SO many different ways.
Lay them all out for your kids to look at and then take one away when they aren’t looking. Have them try and remember what you took away.
Dump out the objects and give them a minute to look at them, put them away and have them try and remember what was there.
Before you show them anything, have them stick their hand in the bag and try to guess what is there.
Have them sort the objects into categories that they come up with (color, material, use, shape, etc.)
Our favorite thing to do though is to reach in, grab a handful of objects and come up with a story using those objects. Here is one story I heard today. “This is a story about a worm. A worm named Winky. Winky LOVES music. He loves it so much he decided to start a band. Winky became really famous. He even went on tour. When he got home he had a huge party with all his friends. Winky said ‘Sodas all around!’”
Bring several different bags with you and you’ll have endless play opportunities. Switch up the contents of the bag for more fun. After the structured play I usually let them mess around with the objects. Since a lot of them aren’t normal playtime toys they love coming up with ways to use them.