Are you wondering what to do when you’re stuck indoors with the kids? Here are 50 fun, easy and cheap indoor activities for kids.that combine some household items with a little creativity!
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If you’ve been forced indoors for an extended period of time, maybe due to illness or bad weather, then in our experience it’s good to have a few ideas to help amuse the kids. Cabin fever can set in quickly!
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50 Fun Indoor Activities For Kids
#1. Make Paper Aeroplanes
All you need to make paper aeroplanes is paper and pens. First fold your paper aeroplane and then the kids can draw the pilots at the front and the passengers looking out of the windows. Then have a Paper Aeroplane race and see whose gets furthest.
#2. Do Some Leaf Crafts
As these leaves start to fall, they are the perfect source of inspiration for many fun projects, like these creative leaf craft ideas for kids.
These leaf craft ideas for kids are ideal for rainy days, and require just a few craft essentials. The colour and shape of the leaves are the central focus to all of these craft ideas, so keep an eye out for the bright reds, ambers and golds that will bring your projects to life!
#3. Indoor Treasure Hunt
Our free indoor treasure hunt sheet has a selection of things to do, things to find and fun activities to help pass the time! All you have to do is provide each child with their printed treasure hunt and a small box to collect their items!
#4. Sock Chase
Mum Ger suggests a Sock Chase – “I do this all the time with my children aged 9, 7 and 3. I hide socks all over the house upstairs and downstairs. Not pairs but single socks. I give each child a sock each and put on my egg timer which “pings” every two mins. They must return to me with the pair of socks before the bell sounds. It’s great fun”
#5. Paper Plate Ring Toss Game
Take 3 or 4 paper plates. Draw a smaller circle in the middle of each plate and cut it out so you have a ring. Your child could paint the plates before you do this so they are bright colours.
Then set up the ring toss with a paper towel roll stuck to the floor and each person has to toss the plate rings onto the roll.
#6. Enjoy a Board Game
Board games are a fun way to spend quality time together as a family – here are 20 of the best board games for families, recommended by Mykidstime parents!
And if you’re fed up of the usual suspects, here are 15 completely different board games to try.
#7. Sing Songs Together
See how many songs you can sing together. Choose some fun rounds to sing like 3 Blind Mice or Frere Jacques.
#8. Make a Home Cinema
Set up a home cinema and settle down to watch some fun family movies together. Here are 50 of the Best Family Movies of all time if you’re looking for some movie inspiration.
#9. Make Homemade Bird Treats
Be kind to our feathered friends by making some homemade bird treats for them.
#10. Crack Some Jokes
See who can tell the funniest joke that gets everyone giggling or rolling about laughing. The winning joke is the one that gets the most laughs!
#11. Play Cards
Remember the card games you used to play as a child? Why not teach them how to play Gin rummy or Beggar My Neighbour? Get some inspiration with these 15 fun card games for kids.
#12. Bake Cookies
Have fun making some classic, chewy chocolate chip cookies. You can have a cookie craving and be munching on these in less than 15 minutes!
#13. Put on a Play
Have the children put on a play or a puppet show (don’t forget to film it!)
#14. Write a Letter
So few people write letters or even send cards when it’s not special occasions, this would be a special treat for Grandparents or even cousins. Use stamps, glitter, paints and create a card to send or give to their relatives.
Print off some fun colouring sheets, get out all the pens and crayons and set up a colouring station at the kitchen table. Then set up an Art Gallery once the fabulous pictures are finished to show them off to other family members.
#16. Make a Magazine
Set up a family News Desk at the kitchen table! Decide on what stories are going to go in the magazine. Could be a profile of someone in the family, maybe an interview with a grandparent, will someone take photos or draw pictures. Maybe there could be a fun corner with a puzzle or a joke in it.
Decide on what story or item will go on what page, maybe write down on a mini magazine plan on a sheet of paper. Gather together the materials you’ll need to make up the magazine: paper, pens, photos, any other materials to decorate the magazine. Then have fun putting the magazine together!
#17. Try out Apps on your Smartphone or Tablet
Try out some of the best apps available, including educational apps for preschoolers, or handy apps for stop-motion animation that will have kids creating their own masterpieces.
#18. Have Story Time
Get out some picture books or a favourite classic novel (e.g. Charlotte’s Web, The Wind in the Willows or even Harry Potter) and settle in for some story reading together.
Check out all our favourite book recommendations here!
#19. Have a Room Clear out
Have a good clear out of the kids rooms of unwanted toys, too-small clothes, etc. for the charity shop.
#20. Get the Knitting Needles Out
If your child, or indeed yourself, want to enhance your knitting skills and add to your collection, here are 6 easy knitting projects for kids and beginners. From frogs to owls, these are sure to be fun projects to tackle!
#21. Hold a Micro Treasure Hunt
Everyone gets a matchbox to fill it with as many tiny objects as they can find. They have ten minutes to find and fit into their matchbox as many tiny whole objects as they can. Tiny Things that would fit in the matchbox could include:
- a paper clip
- a drawing pin
- a pea
- a button
- a piece of lego
- a flower petal
- a bead….
#22. Play a Game Of Animal, Mineral, Vegetable
Sometimes called Twenty Questions, the rules are one person chooses a thing and the others have to guess what it is. The person must only answer yes or no to the questions. The person who guesses gets to choose the next thing.
#23. Play Fortunately, Unfortunately
One person starts off a story e.g. A man was walking down the road when suddenly a huge tiger jumped out in front of him.
The next person starts the next part of the story with “Fortunately…”, so e.g. “Fortunately the man was a tiger tamer who knew how to calm the tiger down.”
The next person starts the next part of the story with “Unfortunately…” and so on.
#24. Hold an Indoor Scavenger Hunt
Nearly everyone has camera function on their mobile phone. Make up a list of items, that can be found throughout the house. The children must find and photograph each item on the list! Why not try finding the items on our indoor scavenger hunt?
#25. Make up a new Photo Album
Print off 20 of your recent digital photos and let the kids have fun making up a new photo album. You don’t need to buy an album, they can stick them to onto sheets of paper.
The kids can be creative about decorating each page around each photos and writing titles and making a new “album” with a specially designed front cover as well.
#26. Get Out The Old Photo Albums
Kids (and adults) love looking at photos and hearing stories so find those old photo albums and have a look at the past and share some of your adventures with them.
#27. Play the Yes/No Game
Each person gets 30 seconds of questions from everyone else where they have to avoid saying yes or no to answer.
#28. Play Alphabet Chat
Challenge each other to talk for a minute each without using words beginning with an agreed letter of the alphabet.
#29. Make Homemade Pizza
With some simple ingredients, the kids can enjoy helping make homemade pizza and putting their own toppings on.
#30. Make Invisible Ink for Secret Messages
Make some homemade invisible ink and write your own secret messages! Amaze your friends!
Here are more fun science experiments for kids
#31. Write in an Ancient Alphabet!
Try writing your name in Ogham, an old Irish alphabet, with our free activity sheet that you can download and try out.
#32. Get Crafty
Let them get creative with the arts and crafts box. If they don’t know what to make / draw / paint give them a topic to get them started. For more inspiration, here are 50 Brilliant Art & Craft Ideas for Kids.
#33. Go Camping in the Great Indoors!
What child doesn’t love building a princess castle or a fortress indoors? Pick a room in the house that you don’t mind being rearranged for a few hours, and use sheets and blankets and lots of pegs to secure them as a roof between tables, sofas and chairs.
Encourage your children to use their imaginations – they can create rooms inside with towels and other furniture, dress up and act out stories from their favourite books, and even have a picnic in there for lunch.
#34. Have a Jigsaw afternoon
Jigsaws are a whole-family activity that can work well between differently-aged siblings. Set each member of the family up with a puzzle to suit their skill level, all helping each other finish, or create teams to work on large puzzle together.
You can even make your own family-photo jigsaws using an enlarged photo printed onto plain paper from your computer
#35. Set Up a Racing Track
Supersize your rainy day activities and cream a huge racing track or road network using some masking tape, like this version from Be a Fun Mum.
Believe me, this is a HUGE success with all ages….adults included!
#36. Make a Scarecrow
Remember Worzel Gummidge? Well why not recreate him in your garden with your kids? All you need is some sticks (to hold the scarecrow up) some old unwanted clothes and cotton wool (or more old clothes and socks to stuff his body with).
You can stitch him together quickly or use glue if you would prefer. Let the children name him and if the activity is enjoyable for all, why not make an ‘Aunt Sally’ to accompany him?
#37. Pipe Cleaner Creations
Pipe cleaners are one of the simplest craft supplies for kids’ fun. We love how they come in a variety of colours, are fairly inexpensive and totally versatile, so we’ve found 15 easy pipe cleaner crafts that your kids will love!
#38. Listen to a Podcast
Podcasts are a fantastic way to learn fun facts, delve into new topics, and enjoy stories and music you may not otherwise be aware of. Now is the time to get downloading with our list of hugely entertaining and educational podcasts for kids (and the rest of the family!)
If your teen is looking for new ideas for things to listen to, then check out these interesting podcasts for teens – you might like them too!
#39. Make Play Dough
Children adore making easy play dough and they will have fun exploring different food colourings to give the dough that lovely vibrant colour. Non-toxic, cheap and easy.
Mix together 1 cup of plain flour, half a cup of salt and 2 tablespoons of cream of tartar, then add a cup of water and mix until smooth. Add a dash of food colouring followed by 2 tablespoons of oil and cook on a medium heat, stirring constantly until the dough forms a ball.
#40. Make a Volcano
Making a volcano in the sink using baking soda and vinegar.
#41. Create a Favourite Song Playlist
On iTunes, Spotify, Audiolizer or we7 you can create your own playlists of your favourite songs. Why not pick 5 songs each that you all like to add to your playlist then put it on shuffle and have a Mini Disco in the house?
#42. Make a Collage
Art and craft projects are always a fun and easy way to amuse the kids, but what do you do with the scraps and leftovers? This is where the joy of combining pieces, shapes and colours to create something new comes in!
Get started with our tips on how to make a collage, an ideal early project with toddlers that can then be fine-tuned for older children to create incredible works of art.
#43. Paint Paint Paint
Cover the table with newspaper sheets and get out the poster paints or watercolours and some paper and have an art session at the kitchen or dining table.
#44. Make a Time Capsule
A time capsule can be as simple as a shoe box full of items reserved (or even forgotten) on a high closet shelf until a later date.
Keep in mind that creating a capsule for unveiling at some future date is really a two sided adventure involving both you and those who will uncover it once again. Make sure that the items you select will add the element of surprise and discovery for those who open this curious treasure chest of history.
#45. Play Stop the Bus
Classic fun indoor games like Categories (more commonly known as Stop the Bus) are always popular! You can get full details of how to play here.
- Each person has a piece of paper and draws on columns for these headings Girls Name, Boys Name, Animal, Food/Drink, Place.
- One person says the alphabet silently in their head, then another says “Stop the Bus” and that letter is the initial for the words in each category. e.g. Say the letter is D, answers could be: Dora, David, Dog, Dates, Denmark.
- When everyone has finished you add up their scores for that round, awarding 10 points for a unique answer (one no one else has), and 5 points for a duplicate answer.
You can make it harder for older children by adding extra categories such as Colour, Sport, School Subject, Movie Title, etc. You could also set a time limit for completing each round.
#46. Have an Indoor Picnic
Spread out the picnic blanket and set out little plates with snacks and drinks and napkins and enjoy an indoor picnic!
#47. Make a Letter Book
Let the kids take a picture of or draw something that starts with each letter of the alphabet and create an Alphabet Letter book with their photos or drawings.
#48. Go Paddling in the Kitchen
Put down a big sheet of plastic or tarp, fill up your paddling pool with warm water and let them play for hours!
#49. Play Grocery Shopping
Set up a little grocery/mini supermarket with tins and packets. If you have a play till set up a checkout table and they can take it in turns to be the checkout person or the shopper. Have some bags ready to put the purchases in.
#50. Build a Den or Fort
Build a den out of the sofa cushions, chairs, clothes rack with a blanket draped over or create a fort out of a big cardboard box with packing tape to hold the sides together.
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