8 boredom-busting crafts and activities for the whole family

From painting to a bread-making kit, here's how to stay busy.
By Kerry Breen

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As shelter-in-place orders are extended and social distancing continues, people are spending more time than ever at home.

Parents are looking forward to a summer with camps canceled and little to do, but lifestyle expert Ashley Bellman shared some fun, creative hobbies that anyone can pick up without leaving the house.

Help! I’m Bored: Things You Can Do at Home

1. 5D DIY Diamond Painting by Number Embroidery Kits for Adults

"This is the new, must-have craft," Bellman said, noting the popularity of diamond painting kits.

Diamond painting uses small resin diamonds and an adhesive canvas to create a gorgeous image. It's similar to paint-by-numbers and is a great long-term craft for older kids who can put up with the small pieces and intricate placement.

2. Paint by Sticker for Kids: Zoo Animals

For younger children, there's a paint-free option called "Paint by Sticker." A relatively new trend, Bellman said that this option is perfect for creatively-minded children.

"This is something for the whole family," said Bellman, calling it one of her favorite options. The kit comes with 10 different card stock pages, each with a unique animal design, and plenty of stickers to help put the image together. "It's really pretty. You could frame this, too, and the kids will feel really accomplished that they completed the art project."

3. Magical Microbes DoughLab Bake and Learn

Jenna noted that bread baking has become a quarantine staple, with plenty of home bakers showing off their creations on social media. Bellman recommended this kit for anyone looking to dig deeper into the popular new hobby.

"You create three different loaves, and you get to see the difference that happens when you put the salt in one, when you put the sugar in one, the yeast in the other," Bellman said, calling it an experiment that the whole family can participate in. "It's really cool to see what the ingredients do — and don't worry, they all taste good."

4. Lite Brite Ultimate Classic

The "throwback" Lite Brite cube was the project that really caught Hoda's eye during the segment!

The nostalgic 90s toy has been updated for the current era, combining the best parts of the classic craft with modern technology.

"All the things that we know and love from the classic craft (are here)," said Bellman, calling attention to the cube's variety of stencils and adding that people can also create their own designs. "I love this because you can put your art on display."

5. Padalily BalmDiggity DIY Lip Balm Kit

Jenna said that her daughters really love playing with makeup, and with this DIY kit, it's easier than ever to make lip balms at home.

"This is so fun and it's so easy," Bellman said, reassuring Jenna that her girls would love the multi-step kit that allows kids to choose their own lip balm flavors and decorate the tubes. It's a little bit messy, but the craft is perfect for entertaining children of all ages.

6. Planters' Choice Succulent & Cactus Growing Kit

For anyone looking to add some plants to their home, but not blessed with a green thumb, this prepared kit is the perfect first step.

"It comes with everything you need," said Bellman, noting that the kit includes soil, pots, seeds and a thermometer. Step-by-step instructions mean you learn all sorts of things about the planting and growing process, making it a fun and educational experience.

7. Solight Complete Candle Making Kit

Another craft you can make at home: candles!

The kit comes with meltable soy wax and scented essential oils and tins. Mix and match colors, scents and more to make the candle of your dreams.

"(The candles are) great to have around the house but are also really cool gift ideas," Bellman noted. "It's a little more sentimental, knowing that you made it and it comes from the heart."

8. Pink Picasso Leading Lighthouse Paint by Number Kit

If diamond painting is a little too detailed for your family, try a traditional paint-by-number kit. They're just as intricate and time-consuming, but you won't have to worry about small pieces. Bellman praised the Pink Picasso brand, which sends you the canvas, paint, and brushes in one neat kit.

"I like the idea that you can have one at your house, send one to your mom or best friend, and then you can organize a virtual paint and wine night," Bellman said. "And then you'll get this beautiful piece of art when it's done."

While the detailed images are typically called "adult" paint-by-numbers, there's no reason that older kids can't give it a try!

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