Keeping kids active indoors on long winter days can be a challenge. I have two little girls, ages 6 and 8, and my twin sister Janice has a 6-year-old girl and a 12-year-old boy.
They all like to stay BUSY. On a rainy Saturday afternoon, you might hear my 8 year old complain, “It’s boring being stuck in the house all day!” If getting outside really isn’t an option, we have to spark their interest with some creative indoor fun.
Here are 50 of Our Children’s Favorite Indoor Activities
- Have a tea party.
Try both types of tea party… “pretend” tea is always fun, but also try making real tea using herbal fruit tea with honey and serve fancy cookies.
- Play board games and card games.
Family time begs for board games and card games. My girls ask to play Old Maid and Go Fish over and over.
- Wrap up “gifts”.
Kids love to wrap presents. Let them wrap up toys & things around the house to give to each other.
- Have a “spa” day.
Give each other facials with avocado masks and manicure/pedicures.
- Play hairdresser.
Do each other’s hair. Even boys can have fun putting their hair in funny mohawks and using temporary color.
- Look at your family photos and videos.
Tell your children stories from when the photos were taken.
- Make scavenger hunts.
My girls draw out maps and take each other on elaborate scavenger hunts.
- Have a “movie” night.
Make popcorn, set out special chairs and make special movie tickets for everyone.
- Cotton ball races.
Have races using straws to blow cotton balls across the kitchen table. A little fun competition keeps everyone playing.
- Play “pin-the-tail”.
Have your kids draw their own pin-the-tail on the donkey game. Let them use their creativity and not limit themselves to drawing a donkey.
- Do cartwheels.
If your living room or play space is big enough, your kids can spend time and energy perfecting their cartwheels.
- Play indoor “basketball”.
Place a bucket or pail in the center of the room and toss either a light toy ball or crumpled ball of paper.
- Have an “Easter Egg” hunt.
It doesn’t have to be Easter… any time is good for a hunt. My girls love to hide and hunt for all types of toys.
- Do yoga.
Kids love trying out yoga poses based on animals.
- Play “Simon Says”.
This classic game will surely distract them for a little while.
- Have a dance party.
Turn on some music and dance around the living room.
- Play “volleyball” with a balloon.
It doesn’t matter how old you are, it’s impossible to resist the urge to volley a balloon back and forth in the air.
- Make an obstacle course.
Use couch cushions, pillows, furniture or whatever to build an obstacle course. For older kids, make a “spy” obstacle course with yarn or crepe paper streamers to act as “laser beams” for kids to climb under and over.
- Have “potato sack” races using pillowcases.
My girls love pulling out pillowcases and hopping around the house.
- Clean the house.
Kids can have fun cleaning… especially if they don’t realize you want them to.
- Cook or bake a new recipe.
Kids love to cook and bake so teach them a new recipe. Challenge older children with more advanced dishes.
- Play with your food.
Make fun designs with cut up fruits and vegetables.
- Make “Stone Soup”.
Make soup from scratch and tell your kids the story of “Stone Soup”.
- Make homemade play dough.
Two activities in one… make fun colors of play dough and then get creative.
- Freeze juice into popsicles.
It’s funny how thrilled my girls are each time we make popsicles.
- Make a “sensory” tub.
Pour a ton of uncooked rice into a plastic bin to make a “sensory” tub… This might get messy, but it’s such fun.
- Play dress up.
You can inspire this timeless activity by keeping a trunk of fun clothes on hand.
- Play a simple version of charades.
With young kids, you can simply act out animals.
- Make a “roadway” around the house.
Use colored tape and drive toy cars around having them stop and yield at intersections.
- Build a fort.
The all-time kid friendly indoor game. My girls build forts everywhere with everything.
- Camp indoors.
Set up a tent and make indoor smores.
- Make shadow puppets on the wall.
Turn out the lights and use flashlights. This also might turn into a game of flashlight tag.
- Put on “puppet” or “magic” shows.
My girls love to put on “puppet” shows, which aren’t always even using real puppets, and their “magic” shows are comically simple but they entertain themselves and I love how cute they are.
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