40+ Fun (And Easy) Indoor Activities For Kids
Whether you’re stuck inside because of illness or it’s a rainy day, prevent the kids going stir crazy with our list of 40 fun indoor activities for kids.
Remember that there are benefits to letting your kids feel bored.
That said, sometimes they need occupying so try one or some of the below to make staying in the new going out, child style!
We’ve temporarily updated our guide on things to do now you’re stuck inside with the kids to include things on TV, audiobooks, exercise – anything to help us get through the day!
40 indoor activities for kids when you’re stuck inside:
Sometimes the very best indoor activities for kids are old favourites. Most children like to colour and draw but when was the last time you gave their supplies a good clean out and restocked?
Make sure they have new colouring pencils, crayons and felt tips, a good pair of child-friendly safety scissors and a large variety of different types, colours and sizes of paper.
Put some music on in the background to get the creative juices going and join in for maximum fun.
Close the curtains (which also means you can stay in your PJ’s all day) blast your favourite tunes as loud as they go and get your family groove on.
You can even hold a dance competition with prizes for the winners.
You probably already have a dress up box of clothes that your children like to rummage through and try on but why not kill two birds with one stone and have a good clear out at the same time?
Go through your wardrobe with your children and any clothes you decide to donate can have a second short life as playthings before you bag them up. Your little one will look hilarious in some of your old clubbing clobber!
Call up some other mummy friends and try a virtual playdate/tea party via Zoom.
The kids will keep each other busy while the adults get a chance to catch up, have a natter and maybe even a cheeky glass of vino or two.
Indoor Obstacle Course
This activity is best set up of an evening when the kids have gone to bed. Prepare to be woken up with squeals of delight as they find their very own indoor playground right in the living room!
Grab a few cheap hula hoops, bean bags and different size containers and small balls, as well as a few large blankets, some child-sized chairs and even some old clothes.
Lay out your course providing things to climb over, crawl under, weave around and scramble through.
Stations can also include skill testing such as balancing items on their head, standing on one leg, racing to put on silly oversized clothes and shooting balls into targets.
You don’t need to have special supplies to have a fun day with face paints- your own outdated makeup will do as long as it’s suitable for young skin and can be taken off easily.
If you’re up for a laugh challenge your children to make you over instead and be sure to take plenty of photos!
If you are stuck for school holiday ideas to keep bored kids busy scan the internet for some simple kitchen science experiments and combine learning and fun.
Really simple investigations like adding vinegar and food colouring to baking soda provide lots of opportunities for kids to make predictions and observe and talk about reactions, all excellent early science skills.
YouTube has lots of ideas.
A little preparation can make a day of cooking fun and delicious for the whole family.
Set up stations with pre-measured ingredients so that kids can work and prepare their dishes with limited adult help.
Cookies and cupcakes are traditional favourites but why not try other easy to assemble recipes like pizza or salads?
Once everything has been sampled, pop on a movie while you tackle the washing up.
Raid the local charity shop for cheap board games and puzzles, just make sure they have all the pieces first and then hold a games day.
Start with high energy games designed to wear kids out like Twister and musical chairs, before moving on to sit down board games and puzzles and keep tabs on the winners.
Even very young children can begin to understand simple games like dominos, Snakes and Ladders, or Ludo and they help to develop turn taking, sharing and maths skills.
Create a fleet of paper aeroplanes and encourage your children to decorate them before holding paper plane races.
See which plane can go the farthest, reach a target, or just looks the best.
(Digital) Library Day
One of the easiest things to do at home is to enjoy a good book.
Pop to the library/download some books and get a bevvy of new titles, spread them out in a comfy spot in your home, with cosy blankets and pillows, put some relaxing music on in the background and provide drinks and snacks to enjoy an indulgent day of imagination and reading.
Later in the day, you can choose a movie inspired by literature to break it up a little.
Inflate a few balloons and tell your children that the balloons cannot touch the floor and go!
You can also have targets to direct the balloons towards or have balloon races.
Make Some Life Size Friends
Lay out a roll of craft paper on the floor and tell your child to carefully lay down on top of it as you trace around their entire body.
When they get up they will have a life-size “friend” to colour in, cut out and play with.
You could make a whole gang of them wearing different clothes and tape them up around the house, or arrange them as an audience and get the kids to put on a music or puppet show for them to enjoy.
Create a Fort
Making an indoor blanket tent is one of the most timeless indoor activities, in fact, you probably made one on rainy days when you were little with your mum!
Use some sturdy chairs or a clothes horse and drape sheets or blankets over the top to create secret little caves.
Join a few of them together to create a whole world, then crawl inside with a torch, a storybook and a plate of biscuits to create some warm memories.
Keep it old school with some good old fashion pen and paper games. We’ve rounded up 15 easy games to play and the only supplies you need are pencils and paper.
Although it might feel like British weather is, well, unpredictable it’s not actually as bad as you might think.
London typically gets less rain than a lot of other cities around the world, despite the myth of soggy old London.
So be brave, put on your wellies and grab an umbrella and go for a walk or, if the kids are contagious, spend some time in your garden if you have one.
Once you get outside, have fun jumping in puddles before warming up with a cuddle and a nice mug of hot chocolate.
Grayson Perry, Antony Gormley and Gillian Wearing are creating free at-home packs for budding artists.
Minecraft Educational Worlds
Until June 30, kids can tour the International Space Station or explore the inside of a human eye.
Explore renewable energy, marine biology, Greek history or get involved with lesson plans that involve creative writing activities, build challenges, and tricky puzzles.
National Theatre At Home
National Theatre Collection will now be available to pupils and teachers at state schools and state-funded further education colleges via remote access in partnership with Bloomsbury Publishing.
Schools will be able to share log-in details with pupils to access resources at home.
Celebrating the best of contemporary British theatre, the titles support learning across the primary and secondary curriculum and include:
- Shakespeare set texts including Macbeth, Othello, Twelfth Night and King Lear (Donmar Warehouse) in vibrant modern stagings
- Novels brought to life in exciting literary adaptations such as Frankenstein, Treasure Island, Peter Pan and Jane Eyre
- A range of theatrical styles and genres from Greek tragedies including Medea and Antigone to 20th century classics such as The Cherry Orchard, The Deep Blue Sea and Yerma (Young Vic)
- Examples of extraordinary design and theatre craft in productions ranging from One Man, Two Guvnors to Les Blancs
- Adaptations of Romeo and Juliet and The Winter’s Tale created especially for younger audiences and suitable for primary schools
Ask your school to sign up at nationaltheatre.org.uk/ntcollection
Audible says their books for kids will be available for free ‘for as long as schools are closed.’
There are classics on there for kids of all ages including Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland, The Age of Innocence, Winnie the Pooh and Pride and Prejudice.
Scrabble is an absolute classic and for good reason; it helps your kids improve their vocabulary and spelling. Plus there’s the thrill that comes with using all your letters (50 extra points please!) and the elusive triple word score.
Another oldie but goodie, Rummikub helps teach patterns, sequence, and number.
Perfect for younger kids, Connect 4 helps improve strategy skills and competition.
Best for kids age 8 and over, The Game Of Life will show them how expensive they really are!
Hours can be spent strategizing on Monopoly but beware things can go south quickly so put someone honest in charge of the bank and try and keep tears and tantrums to a minimum.
There’s a Peppa Pig https://amzn.to/2JbbAWb version for younger kids and both versions help build vocabulary and strengthen problem solving skills.
Kids age 12+ will enjoy this one; pick teams and try to describe as many card entries as possible within 30 seconds. No “rhymes with” or “sounds like” allowed!
Grab your colouring pencils and create your own History Heroes masterpieces with educational colouring sheets.
Test your History knowledge by playing the Timelines games – can you work out who are the four History Heroes and put them in birth date order? How many do you know? Find out more about the ones you don’t already know.
The History word search sheets contain 12 famous History Heroes – can you find them all?
Start the day at 9am with Joe – kids love him!
Headspace and Calm Apps
They’re not totally free but both have released free content to deal with mental health issues brought about by these unique times. There’s a ‘calm kids’ resource that was developed especially with kids in mind.
Kids get to choose to learn from over 20 languages including French, German, Italian and Spanish. If you have more than one child, it’s fine to sign up with different email addresses so they can have a login as well.
Kids age 4 to 12 can sign up for maths classes that tie in with the National Curriculum.
Thor, aka Chris Hemsworth, has made his Centr home fitness programme free for six weeks. Probably more suitable for teenagers, the programme includes workouts (physical and mental) plus meal plans.
Enrol in a 30-day trial where older kids (and you) can enjoy HIIT (high intensity interval training), boxing and dance.
Sign up to the Royal Opera House Facebook and YouTube channel to see performances like Peter and the Wolf and Acis and Galatea.
Fender is offering free online guitar courses for three months – but be quick as there are only 100,000 available.
Enjoy a free seven day trial where you can watch Disney classics like The Lion King, Snow White and Frozen, every Pixar film, including Toy Story 4 and Finding Nemo and the entire Star Wars and The Simpsons back catalogue.
We’ll be signing up to watch all the Marvel movies.
Take out a 30 day free trial and choose from thousands of films and TV shows.
Not a ton of content for kids but worth it for the free seven day trial.
Walliams is reading a free children’s audio story every day for the next month. Sign up and listen away.
Sadlers Wells Digital Stage
Five family workshops created by Cherie Coleman, who runs Family Friday sessions at Sadler’s Wells, will be available to watch on the Sadler’s Wells YouTube channel.
Aimed at children aged 2 to 6 years, the activities include balancing, jumping, rhythm, colours and animals to follow at home. The family workshops can be found online here.
What are your favourite indoor activities for kids?