I grew up with 2 brothers, honing that skill. We didn't have a TV for my youngest years, and when we did get one, it spent the majority of the time unplugged and put away.
Though home schooled, we didn't go a lot of places or do a lot of the activities that were offered. Our neighborhood was not conducive to forming friendships with the kids around us - except for 2 homeschooling families - 1 of whom lived rather far away for everyday visiting. My brothers and I had to come up with our own games.
We discovered that:
An old broomstick - minus the head - made a great walking stick or gun to scare off marauders.
Pillows - of all sizes - made really good grain sacks for playing we were pioneers on the way West.
A pop-up camper made a great boardinghouse (though that was mostly my own idea).
Our dad's propensity for camping supplies fired our minds to dream about how much food would be needed on a trip across the prairies. (As pioneers of course!)
Leaf filled bags became forts, chairs, houses and whatever else our minds could devise in fall time.
And since we had bunk beds in one room - we made lots of forts. And lucky us - Mom and Dad didn't mind if we left the fort up for days on end, as long as they could access the room. My brothers and I slept in them more than a few times.
I found out that a twin bed sheet and a long ribbon or bathrobe tie made a more than serviceable cloak for "nighttime" expeditions.
Hanging clothes out on the line made it a time to pretend I was a servant. (Am trying to write that one out - it evolved considerably from that beginning.)
In the spring time, when maples bloomed, I made tiny landscapes with bark houses covered in moss and fallen maple twigs in bloom for 'trees'.
In short - we used our imaginations.
And a big help in that was our reading habits. (Especially me, as the oldest I tended to be a bossy pants.)
'The Boxcar Children'
'The Bears Of Blue River' were just a few of the books we dove into. I believe one brother and myself even pretended we were the characters from the 'My Side of the Mountain' sequel with Sam and his sister Alice.
We played we were part of the Underground Railroad, complete with many hidden rooms to hide the runaway slaves; and many tricks to fool the 'slave hunters'
The article, 'The Gift of Boredom' in the magazine below articulates my strong feelings about being too connected and busy. Boredom can be a good thing.
Winter 2014 Informer Homeschool Resource Magazine