50+ Fun Indoor Activities For Kids + Teens
Whether you’re stuck inside because of illness or it’s a rainy day, prevent the kids going stir crazy with our list of 50+ 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 kids (of various ages) to include things on TV, audiobooks, exercise – anything to help us get through the day!
50+ 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.
The Museum of London temporarily renamed itself as the Museum for London as part of a mission to bring first-class online content to us all at home while the museum’s physical doors are closed.
They’ve now launched the Museum of Fundon; a new platform with a range of exciting online and offline activities from the Museum of London and the Museum of London Docklands for families to take part in at home.
Whether you want to become a puppeteer, test your memory skills, discover more about the Great Fire of London or just get crafty, the #MuseumofFundon is the place to go for all of that and more with content that educates and intrigues.
Not as fancy as it sounds, the British Film Institute has put together short films for kids aged five and under.
Their catalogue goes back to the late 1800s so once your kids have exhausted Netflix and CBeebies, head to the BFI website for a selection of shows completely new to them (and you).
Get the kids to read (or re-read) their favourite Roald Dahl book and then head to the Dahl website for a list of book-related activities.
The Disney store has lots of free downloadable activity booklets with colouring sheets as well as ‘how to draw’ pages featuring characters from Frozen, Marvel and more.
Cards Against Humanity are hilarious but very non friendly.
The team there has created Cards Against Humanity: Family Edition; a fill-in-the-blank comedy game that’s just like Cards Against Humanity, but it’s written for kids and adults to play together.
The cards were put together with child development experts and psychologists and they’re available for free; simply print off at home and play with your bored family.
Take out a (free) Amazon account and watch their selection of free shows for children.
Inspired by the amazing LEGO® creations being shared by people of all ages on social media, the company has delved deep into its archives and assembled LEGO® designers, STEM gurus and play experts to come up with new ways to help families stay creative, curious and connected while at home.
GOV.UK has put together a comprehensive list of online educational resources to help children to learn at home.
Sign up for the weekly newsletter to receive home learning lessons in Maths, English and more inspired by the Premier League.
A series of activities for children and teens inspired by Stephen Lawrence and his life.
Online courses for children in subjects like animation, Minecraft, LEGO and photography.
Grayson Perry, Antony Gormley and Gillian Wearing are creating free at-home packs for budding artists.
Global group fitness provider Les Mills has partnered with funding body Sport England to provide a 30-day free trial to its globally recognised on-demand platform, Les Mills On Demand.
The Les Mills On Demand app has over 800 on-demand workouts to help you stay active, including the BORN TO MOVE program.
The screen-based classes incorporate a range of movement patterns – including Strength, Stretching, Martial Arts, Core, Dance, Yoga and mindfulness – designed to support physical literacy, confidence and self-esteem.
The progressive classes are ‘for kids by kids’ with trained pupils leading their peers. Tailored for age groups ranging from 4 up to 16-years-old, the sessions feature music hand-picked by their peers.
Natural History Museum At Home
If you can’t get out far to explore nature during lockdown, there’s lots of activities and ideas to occupy yourself at home, in the garden or local outdoor space. Highlights include:
- The Dino Directory, a family-friendly encyclopaedia of dinosaurs created with leading palaeontologists.
- Naturenauts, a free web app that anyone can access on their phone which allows you to get outside and explore nature.
Download and colour in some of Quentin’s fabulous illustrations.
Polka Theatre has launched Polka Online, a new digital resource for family creativity during the lockdown.
Content created around the theme of Lions, Gorillas and Everywhere Bears explores some of the much-loved children’s books that the theatre has adapted for stage, providing online story time, workshops and activities to help families stay creative.
Over the coming weeks, Polka will share similar resources around their productions of The Everywhere Bear and How To Hide A Lion, as well as In The Winter Wood (which was devised by renowned storyteller Jan Blake) as a piece uncovering global story-telling traditions.
Apple Education have put together an activity sheet with 30 fun and creative thing for kids to try at home with a phone or tablet.
The Benedetti Foundation will provide musicians of all ages and stages, from all over the world, with three weeks of free, consistent online tuition and inspiration from Monday 11 May, preparing collectively for a final weekend of activity on 30 and 31 May celebrating the coming together of the global music community.
The Grand Finale will take place on Sunday 31 May at 4 pm.
The Sessions, hosted on YouTube, Zoom and across social media platforms will be led by Nicola Benedetti and her expert Foundation team of tutors and ambassadors and will provide:
- regular seminars and presentations
- general musicianship activities so all young people can join in regardless of whether they play an instrument
- fundamental principles providing a transformative, fun, exciting and substantive experience
- structured lessons and support
- a series of workshops in physical and mental wellbeing
- two live instrumental teachers’ sessions per week
- a weekly live session for conservatoire and university music students allowing them the opportunity to speak with and learn from inspirational figures in the music world
- two weekly sessions for parents to offer the opportunity to chat with our tutors giving advice and tips on supporting their children’s learning at home.
Amazon Future Engineer has launched a free virtual coding programme to help build computer science skills for students learning at home.
Sign up to access 20 hours of content which includes flying drones, designing smart cities and creating chat bots.
The course is designed for students aged 12 to 17 to help build computer science skills.
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.
UK charity Chess in Schools and Communities (CSC) has partnered with ChessKid, the world’s biggest online children’s chess platform, to offer one million free subscriptions to children.
The benefits of playing chess are well documented. It teaches essential skills such as problem-solving, logical thinking and concentration.
Chess has no boundaries of age, gender, ethnicity or disability, and is uniquely suited to the internet – playable on any device.
Playing the game fosters intellectual and emotional skills, crucial to a child’s wider development, and should help parents keep their children entertained in a positive and engaging way during these trying times.
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 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!
Every Wednesday a new production for young people will be made available online alongside access to backstage interviews, production photos and information about how the shows were created.
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?
Hundreds of videos from experts in everything from algebra to zoology.
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.
Chris Hemsworth recently announced on Instagram that he will narrate a series of children’s meditations on Centr.
The series of meditations have been created by clinical psychologists and certified meditation coaches and are available exclusively to members of the Centr platform.
They will include sleep visualisations and positive thoughts to help young children have a healthy mindset during this uncertain time.
Enrol in a 30-day trial where older kids (and you) can enjoy HIIT (high intensity interval training), boxing and dance.
For the first time ever, a selection of Andrew’s smash-hit musicals are available to stream worldwide for free online, with a new production announced weekly and available on Fridays at 7 pm for a 48 hour period.
Every week it’s something new – so far, Joseph and the Technicolour Dream Coat, Jesus Christ Superstar, The Phantom of the Opera and Love Never Dies have been shown.
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?