20 Ingenious Ideas for Indoor Games and Activities

Jill Holtz

February 11, 2019

indoor games for kids

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Are you wondering what to do when you’re stuck indoors with the kids? There are lots of ideas right under your nose that make ingenious ideas for indoor games for kids!

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These clever ideas for fun indoor games are all free or low-cost, so they are perfect for when you’re cooped up inside and need some entertaining ideas!

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Indoor Games the Kids Will Love!

fun indoor activities for kids

#1. Indoor Treasure Hunt

Our indoor treasure hunt has a selection of things to do and things to find to help pass the time! All you have to do is provide each child with their clues!

#2. Paper Aeroplane Race

All you need to make paper aeroplanes is paper, and pens if you want to colour or decorate your plane.

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.

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#3. 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, put on my timer and send them off to find the matching pair. It’s great fun!” – Ger, from Meath

#4. Animal Walks

“Animal walks….bear walk, duck walk, horse trot, frog jump, a frog with broken legs, the bunny hop, the crab walk, the crazy crab, turtle crawl, seal crawl, the bird, the elephant, the caterpillar, to name a few. Assign each child an animal and they must walk the walk from one side of the room to another. Can be timed with races, and can include sounds… it’s great fun!” – Aileen 

#5. Animal, Mineral, Vegetable

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.

#6. Indoor Scavenger Hunt

If it’s a day for some indoor activities, what about trying something frugal fun with this fun indoor scavenger hunt around the house? This simple activity is perfect for all ages, and children can work alone or in teams.

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#7. Racing Track Game

Masking tape roads

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!

#8. 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.

#9. Play Alphabet Chat

Challenge each other to talk for a minute each without using words beginning with an agreed letter of the alphabet.

#10. Dance-a-thon

“I have a dancing competition with my kids. We play fun songs and see who can do the best dance moves….it’s so much fun and the kids love it! They always end up sweating so much I have to pile them all into the bath.” – Eavan

#11. Micro Treasure Hunt

paperclipsEveryone gets a matchbox to fill with as many tiny whole objects as they can find within a set time frame.

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

#12. Ride ‘Em Cowboy

Equipment (per team):

  • 1 hat
  • 1 cowboy belt, holster and gun
  • 1 chair
  • 18 inflated balloons
  1. Divide the group into teams. A chair is placed about 15-20 feet in front of each team.
  2. On ‘Go’, the first person on each team puts on the hat, cowboy holster and gun and places a balloon between his knees.
  3. He proceeds in bowlegged fashion to the chair, where he places the balloon on the seat and rides the ‘bronco’ until it ‘breaks’.
  4. He returns to his line, passing his hat and belt to the next cowboy.
  5. The game proceeds in this relay fashion until all broncos have been broken.

#13. The Button Game

Get out your button stash and set up a tray with different coloured pairs of buttons. Mix them all up and your child has to match the coloured pairs together again.

It is essential that young children are supervised at all times to prevent any accidents or choking.

#14. Indoor Obstacle Course

Create an indoor obstacle course with plenty of climbing, crawling, hopping, jumping, falling on cushions/mattresses and let the kids go mad and try to beat each other’s times round the course.

#15. Play Dress Up

Dinosaur dress up

You can let the kids use their dress-up boxes, but they’ll have much more fun if you let them loose in your wardrobe!

Ideally drag out some of your older clothes, that are not fashionable anymore, but that doesn’t mean your little one won’t love running around in them!

#16. Balloon Ping-Pong

All you need are some balloons and either table-tennis bats, or make your own bats using paper plates with sticks for handles. Clear some space and remove any breakables, and off they go!

#17. Stop the Bus

Classic fun indoor games like this are always popular!

  • 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.

#18. Play Outdoor Games, Indoors!

Not all outdoor games can move inside, and the trampoline is definitely best left outside, but you can easily play skittles in the hall, or hold hula-hoop competitions if you have enough space.

Alternatively, how about setting up indoor hopscotch with masking tape and a beanbag as your “stone”?

#19. Play Shop

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.

#20. 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.

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What are your standby indoor games to play with the kids? Leave a comment below and let us know – we’d love to hear from you!

20 Ingenious Ideas for Indoor Games and Activities - Mykidstime

Like this? Share it with your network!

Like this? Share it with your network!

Published On: February 11th, 2019 / Categories: Things To Do / Last Updated: April 1st, 2021 / Tags: , , , , /

About the Author: Jill Holtz

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Jill is one of the co-founders of Mykidstime and a mum of 2 girls

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