Simple DIY projects and gadgets such as 3D printers or VR glasses help to prevent boredom. We show cool measures to escape the storage freak.
In order not to get bored in the time of general exit restrictions or on rainy weekends, there are a number of proven concepts. Some of them are even more fun with suitable technical gadgets than without. This applies not only to children, but also to adults.
Even crafting and designing takes time, but often saves money and is fun. In short: DIY projects are perfect for fighting boredom. If you can't think of anything, here are some suggestions that can also be implemented well with children.
How about, for example, a smart home-made garden (guide)? The micro gardens we have presented help with growing and growing herbs and vegetables even without real sunlight. The gardens are neither complicated to implement nor particularly expensive. The time spent of a few hours is manageable, but ensures long-term employment. Care and harvesting are fun and at the same time ensure healthy and fresh ingredients on the plate. In our view, the approximately 40 euros are well invested.
If you don't like the indoor bed because you have a large garden, you should consider ours Guidebook nesting boxes with camera and live broadcast look at. This DIY project is relatively easy to implement and offers long-term employment. From then on, anyone who has built their nesting box and then equipped it with the appropriate technology will gain insights into the life of native birds. This begins with the infeed of the animals, continues through the breeding season to the growing up of the young animals. Our test nesting box has already been taken over, but the move-in is still ongoing.
If garden projects fall flat due to the flat or the bad weather, we also have a few cool indoor projects that help fight boredom. How about a stylish one, for example LED lighting for the desk (guide)? The project upgrades work tables or furniture and is very cheap at around 15 to 20 euros. The prerequisite for the project is a little manual skill and suitable tools.
If you want to be a bit more technical when doing handicrafts, we recommend taking a look at the single-board computer. The microcomputers have now achieved remarkable performance and are equipped with the most important interfaces for DIY projects at the factory. In our Guide Raspberry Pi & Co we present thirteen different models and show what they are suitable for. The entry into the world of single board computers starts at less than 20 euros. You do not have to worry about the software either, as there are countless programs free of charge and the use is relatively simple.
For example, the Raspberry microcomputers are perfect for building an individual retro console. The best thing about this project: there are hardly any limits to your own imagination when it comes to optical design. Our DIY console in the design of Playstation One is controlled, for example, with controllers from Nintendo SNES. However, the exterior has no influence on the playable games. You gamble what you like. The DIY game computer runs game titles from dozens of different consoles. In our Instructions for building a retro console with the Raspberry Pi, we’ll show you step by step how it works. The console costs around 50 to 60 euros.
However, when working on such technical DIY projects, the home workshop quickly reaches its limits. Classic tools are simply too big and even with technical aids it often looks bleak. If you are looking for suitable equipment, see our article The best tools for the nerd workshop (guide) some interesting suggestions and specific product tips.
By the way, you don't have to tinker so that the beloved and hotly missed console games flicker again on the screen. If you don't enjoy soldering and screwing, you can get retro consoles in many variants and price ranges. In our Retro console comparison we show which devices are really worth your money.
Craft projects with the 3D pen are less technical than creative. These hand-held mini 3D printers (test report 3D pen) offer decent distraction potential and are relatively cheap at around 30 euros. They also offer an insight into the world of real 3D printers and are suitable for young and old. While some of these pens are technically capable of working with ABS plastic, we strongly advise against it. When ABS is heated, vapors that are hazardous to health are generated and should not be inhaled. Anyone using a 3D pen should therefore only work with PLA filament.
Smart socket for the DIY garden
WLAN camera for nesting boxes
Other nerdy and well-documented craft projects are available from our colleagues from DIY magazine Make on the site Maker faire.
Why spill with a pressure pen when you can pad too? The more expensive but also much cooler variant of the 3D pen would be a real 3D printer (theme page). The technology is now so sophisticated that it is neither extremely complicated nor expensive. Free print templates are available in an unmanageable number. Experience has shown that sources of 3D templates are slow but very reliable Thingiverse.
The topic of 3D printing is also suitable for laypeople and only strains the budget to a manageable degree. Whether the better-known FDM printers or the SLA printers, which have only recently become affordable, is the better choice Guide to UV resin or plastic filament – 3D printers compared.
Both variants have their own advantages and disadvantages. The FDM method is cheaper, but it is more prone to errors and experience has shown that it is somewhat more complicated. If you calibrate your printer correctly and read it into the material, you will still get good results quickly. 3D printers like the Ender 3 (test report) are available for less than 200 euros and are ideal for getting started with the topic. We show other suitable printers in our Comparison test of six 3D printers from 99 to 600 euros.
Resin printers work with UV-sensitive resin instead of plastic filament. However, the resin is relatively expensive and also toxic as long as it has not hardened. The finished prints also have to be laboriously cleaned and then hardened. The advantages of the printing process are the extremely high accuracy and the significantly less sensitive technology. Our first attempts at printing with entry-level devices were consistently successful. Even the relatively bitchy Anycubic Photon (test report) works very reliably after a short familiarization. Our comparison test of three resin printers shows how it compares to other devices.
Both types of printers should be set up outside of the rooms in which you are staying due to the noise level alone. Resin printers also have the harmful evaporation of the resin.
3D printing itself takes a lot of time. Anyone who gets bored afterwards should then edit their printed products. Painting and embellishing 3D prints (guide) is also great fun for children and is perfect for long days in the house. For pen and paper games, the self-printed characters are actually a very good alternative to the finished figures. There are also other interesting options for fans of the pen & paper genre to upgrade their game with software. There is more information in the Guide Pen & Paper digital: Virtual gaming tables for role players.
Console games and streaming services are also great for getting around long days. Modern 4K TVs master all the usual offers, such as the newly launched Disney Plus (guide) and offer high picture quality. If you are currently annoyed with your old HD TV, you should use the time and choose a successor model. In our Buying advice 4K UHD TVs for every budget we show fat 4K televisions of different price ranges.
Inexpensive devices, which are suitable for example as a second device, can be found in our Guide 4K TVs from 180 euros. If it is all about outstanding picture quality, you have to dig deeper into your pocket and go for an OLED television. Our Guide 4K TVs with OLED from 1000 euros shows which devices are available and what is important when buying. Suitable 4K / UHD Blu-ray players (buying advice) cost around 120 euros.
Getting into virtual reality is also good for boredom. In the article Oculus Quest vs HTC Vive vs PS VR (guide) we show three different technical approaches in direct comparison.
If the VR glasses are to be used on the PC, it must be adequately equipped. But don't worry, it is not necessary to spend a fortune on the hardware. In our Ratgber VR gaming PC we show suitable configurations from 520 euros.
If a gaming PC is already available, it is of course also cheaper. It is often enough to upgrade the aging computers. Of the Price / performance guide for graphics cards shows which hardware is suitable for current game titles.
So that the gamble does not become involuntary entertainment for the whole family, a few sensible headphones are then required. In our Guide to gaming headsets from 10 to 350 euros we show what is important when buying.
If a book appears more exciting than the flickering on the screen, you should simply get the latest reading material again. Especially in times of closed libraries, the investment in an e-book reader pays off. The devices offer space for a lot of reading material and also save the way to the nearest bookstore because content is downloaded online. Our Purchase advice e-book reader shows devices from different manufacturers and reveals their differences. We show models specially tailored to the young in our Guide e-book reader for children .
Reading is of course not suitable for small children. In this case, audiobooks are the right choice. Of the Guide to radio plays for children shows different concepts and reveals their advantages and disadvantages. For example, the Tonies radio play system is easy to use, but expensive. The audio streaming service Spotify also offers audio books, but a smartphone or tablet is required here. An advantage of this variant is the fact that tablets are also suitable for e-books, games, video streaming and other applications. How much money you should spend on a reasonable device shows our Guide How much tablet is really necessary .
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Toys and model making
When it comes to the employment of children, audio books or e-books are only two of the many options. A good and productive pastime are, for example, educational toys (guides). These are available both for older children and for parent-child teams.
In racing games like the Carrera-Bahn, the focus is on fun. A lot has changed here technically and the modern racing games are not only interesting for kids. In the art Carrera Bahn, Hotwheels ID, Anki Overdrive in comparison we show different concepts and how they work in practice.
If there is no space for such indoor racetracks, classic RC toys are more suitable to combat boredom. In our Awesome RC toys up to 50 euros we show exciting and curious remote-controlled vehicles for kids and the young at heart.
The use of RC drones is even more nerdy and exciting. Multicopters are available in all price ranges and in numerous different equipment variants. Video or photo drones for beginners (guide) cost at least 400 euros. Mini drones for the garden and living room are significantly cheaper. Reasonable models with a delay-free live image on monitor or video glasses are available from around 190 euros. The Blade Inductrix FPV (test report) fully convinced experienced pilots in the test. If you want to learn more about the possibilities and prices for FPV flying (First Person View), you should take a look at our purchase advice Race-Copter.
Star Wars Quadcopter
Boredom and camp freak don't have to be. With the right employment, time flies by. The DIY projects in particular are also fun together with children, without putting too much strain on the budget.
3D printers or drones are relatively complex, but the current situation is ideal. You rarely have more time to work yourself into such topics.