Stuck inside due to rainy or snowy or too hot weather? Looking for ideas for indoor kids activities? Here are 50 fun, easy and cheap indoor activities for kids.
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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! Here are 50 ideas to inspire you!
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 Rubbings
Collect a variety of different shaped leaves and with paper and crayons you can have fun making leaf rubbings!
Looking For More?
Download our Free Indoor Activity Checklist stuffed full of ideas for indoor activities from art to games!
#3. Indoor Treasure Hunt
Our free indoor treasure hunt sheet has – a selection of things to do – things to find – 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. Family Orchestra
Get all your instruments out or make some cheap versions to have a family orchestra. Start with something simple like Baa Baa Black Sheep or Itsy Bitsy Spider if you’re all musical amateurs.
#6. Enjoy a Board Game
Play some board games together. Here are the 10 best board games recommended by Mykidstime Parents.
#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
#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 in our 15 fun card games for kids.
#12. Bake Cookies
#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 printables / 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 free Apps available for smartphones or Tablets. Here are 20 Free Apps for Kids reviewed by Mykidstime parents and 20 Free Educational Apps for Kids, again reviewed by families.
#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. Here are 10 Great Stories for Kids and The 100 Best Ever Bedtime Stories if you need some new ideas.
#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
Find your knitting needles and some wool and teach the kids to knit a scarf. Can be for themselves, or their favourite doll/teddy. There are lots of helpful resources out there to get you started.
#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. 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 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
Using some masking tape, create a racing track for cars to race around the living room by using the tape twice to make a parallel track.
#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
Make some fun pipe cleaner crafts and creations.
Here’s how to make a Pipe Cleaner Girl (6 pipe cleaners & sequins).
You will need:
- Pipe cleaners
- Pencil or marker
- Decorations such as pom poms, wiggle eyes, sequins, feathers.
What to do
- Make a bundle out of pipe cleaners for her head leaving it open at the top.
- Use 1/4 of a pipe cleaner to make a loose S-shape for each of her curls. Hook them onto the top of the head bundle.
- Use 1/4 of pipe cleaner to make a very small bundle to cover the top of her head.
- Make a spiral for her upper body, and skirt for her lower body. Insert arms and legs through the spiral.
- The legs can hook on to the end of the upper body spiral (inside the top of the skirt).
#38. Listen to a Podcast
Radiolab is a radio show and podcast weaving stories and science into sound and music-rich documentaries, it’s suitable for older kids. Other recommended podcasts for older kids include AstronomyCast or Stuff you should know. Here are some more podcast ideas for kids.
#39. Make Play Dough
Children adore making 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
Get out the old magazines and some paper and glue and pens and have a collage-making session.
#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. Ride ‘Em Cowboy
Equipment: Per team: 1 hat; 1 cowboy belt, holster and gun; 1 chair; 18 inflated balloons.
Divide the group into teams. A chair is placed about fifteen to twenty feet in front of each team. On ‘Go’, the first person on each team puts on the hat, cowboy holster and gun and places a balloon between his knees. He proceeds in bowlegged fashion to the chair, where he places the balloon on the seat and rides the ‘bronco’ until it ‘breaks’.
He returns to his line, passing his hat and belt to the next cowboy. The game proceeds in this relay fashion until all broncos have been broken.
#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.
Over to you now! Do you have any favourite indoor activities for kids? Share them with us in the comment box below!