- Family and Parenting
20 Indoor Activities for Kids
Be a kid again!
With so much on the agenda, and holidays left and right, life seems a bit chaotic and hectic. Everyone deserves a break; everyone deserves some fun!
When it comes to the kids, and keeping them busy at the same time, you may find it easy to just plop them on the couch in front of the TV. Why not get creative, and make memories while having a great time. We all need a break from the norm, and to explore our inner child every-so-often. Here are 20 ways to do that; 20 indoor activities for kids. Parents may not necessarily need to help with all of these ideas, and are ideas for kids of all ages.
Oh, and did I mention that most of these are inexpensive, if not free, and easy?
- Create a storybook. Write a story, and create illustrations, a cover, and an "about the author" page. Staple or string the pages together, and read aloud together. For the illustrations, use many different craft tools, like markers, glitter, stickers, and pipe cleaners. That way, children can more easily express their thoughts, and be more creative!
- Have a sock hop. Take off your shoes, put on some fun, comfortable clothing, turn on some fun (child-friendly) music, and dance away! Have dance contests, or teach each other some moves.
- Bake. Easier said than done (with children), but older children especially, can really benefit from helping in the kitchen. My not even two-year-old niece helps her mother with baking in the kitchen! Not only does this create great bonding time, but is a good learning experience as well, as children will figure out how to make a certain dessert/food. Bake cookies, cake, pie, or another simple dish. Once done, decorate together, and then -of course- have a treat for all of the hard work!
- Bowl. Yes, indoor bowling! Take some tupperware, or empty plastic bottles, and set them up in a triangular shape. [This is done best in a hallway, or large room with few breakables within reach.] Use a large bouncy ball (playground-style, that is light and usually only a few dollars to buy), and roll it towards the "pins". Keeping track of the score is entirely up to you!
- Act out a play or musical. Either create a play/musical to act out, or choose one that is easy for the kids (or that they may remember), and recreate it! Hang a curtain or tablecloth over the edge of a kitchen table, and place props underneath it. The kids can act out the scenes from behind the table, and the audience can sit in front. Of course, this is just a suggestion.
- Bath time made fun! There are so many ways to make bath time fun, and not just with a rubber ducky! Run a bath, but add bubbles. Not just bubbles, but ones that are scented or colored. Go snorkeling! Give your child goggles and a snorkel, and let him/her roam the seas! Go fish! Create (or buy) a waterproof, kid proof fishing rod (you can use pipe cleaners or an array of other craft tools). Cut-out pieces of foam in any desired shape(s). Punch or cut a large hole in the top of the foam pieces, so that the "fishing rod" will be able to "catch" them!
- Play cards. For kids 5+, play a simple game of cards, like Old Maid, Go Fish!, or War.
- Play a game or play with playdough. There are countless board games that children of all ages can play, along with interactive games, but there are also free, imagination-fueled games, like "Mother May I" and Hide-n-seek. Children can make a small mess with playdough, but it can keep kids entertained and crafting for quite a long time.To spark more creativity, allow your children to make a game!
- Cardbored? No, cardboard! A cardboard box is a blank canvas for many kids. Upon entry, the box transforms into a new universe, space shuttle, island getaway, or Grandma's house. Why not decorate it, or turn it into a boxcar or space shuttle? Easy to do, and so much fun, but also inexpensive!
- Create an obstacle course. Parents will probably want to monitor this one. Set-up obstacles, like a stuffed animal, pillows, cones, etc. and take turns going through it. The course is as hard and elaborate as you and the kids make it!
- Write a letter. Have the child(ren) write letters to family members, a favorite cartoon, TV, or movie character, a teacher or neighbor, or a pet. You can give specific instructions, or let them write freely and see what happens! To take this a step further, give or send the letter. Of course, that is done at your discretion, but will show the letter-writing process in full. Decorate the letter, and, most importantly, sign it! If you plan on keeping the letters, have the child(ren) write the date on it. That way, you will have a trail of letters for when they are older.
- Make a collage. Like, a "leaf collage" or "cartoon collage". Take fallen leaves, dry them, and paste them onto wax paper, in whatever design you desire. Place another piece of wax (with clear glue in between, around the leaves) over the bottom sheet covered in leaves, and press lightly together. This could also be used as a place mat! Or, cut out pictures and words/sayings from magazines, old greeting cards, or ones that you have made, and paste them onto paper. Feel free to decorate with other craft tools.
- Play an instrument. Not having an instrument does not mean that one can not be played! Make a drum or tambourine, hand bells, xylophone, or cymbals. Or, use the classic pots and pans! Have fun making the instruments, and then playing them. Parents, keep an open mind about this one! The kids' learning experience (& possibly finding something that they enjoy/are good at) may just be worth the noise!
- Have Show & Tell. This can be done in a couple of creative ways. First: Have the kids find something in the house (unbreakable, if the kids are younger), and describe it ("show it off") to the rest of the family. Second: Find something in the house that you do not know about (have everyone do this. Parents, choose something that you want the kids to learn about.). Then, trade items. Have each person either describe the item, or try to guess what it is, and create a story about it. Then, when everyone has gone, go back and talk about what everything is.
- Help with chores. No one likes doing chores, not even us adults. =] So, how can you make it more appealing to the kids? Buy mini's! Buy a miniature broom and dustpan (a play set would work just fine), put on "small" gloves for scrubbing or washing dishes, etc. Another suggestion is to give some sort of incentive, like a dollar for reorganizing or cleaning-up toys, or a "coupon" for something, like to watch 1/2 hour show on a certain day, or for a dessert after a meal (if you do not normally have dessert). Another idea is to play music while doing chores, and dance while sweeping, dusting, or cleaning! Make sure to thank the kids for helping!
- Take/make tests/quizzes. Kids 7-11 may enjoy this one more so than kids of other age groups. Make up simple tests for the kids to do, like "Words that start with an 'R'", or "Words that rhyme with...", "Multiplication", etc. Then, allow them to take the test. Grade the test (very, very nicely), and give a sticker or quarter as a reward! *I honestly have tutored kids that absolutely love taking tests. It's easy, and so beneficial!*
- Make poems and madlibs. Give the kids a templet or ideas, and let them write a poem! Create a few easy madlibs, and let them fill in the blanks to make a funny, scary, or science/math-related story!
- Take pictures, or make a movie. For older kids, (or supervise younger ones), allow them to take pictures inside the house. Then, help them to make a photo album, or picture collage. Kids love cameras! Or, if you have a video camera, allow them to make a short movie. Help them to send it to watch it, once done, and maybe send it to friends/family, or post it online. Show it off! =]
- Play dress up! Not only do girls like doing this, but I know some little boys that tend to wear daddy's clothes! Let the kids play in your closets for a bit - under supervision - to create an outfit. Shoes are fun, too (as they are just too big for their feet!), so let them pick out a pair. For girls, put on a dab of mom's make-up. Or, really dress it up! Get some fun outfits, like crazy hats, dresses, scarves, and jewelry (accessories are a must for little girls playing dress up!). My mom used to keep dress up clothes in a chest (you can use a box) for my girl friends and I. To make dress up even more fun, have a pageant or fashion show!
- Build something! Use legos, blocks, cardboard boxes, or anything else, to build something. If room and parents allow, (when finished) knock it over and start again!