Raise your hand if the thought of your kids cooped up in the house alternating between wreaking havoc and singing I’m bored songs makes you want to pack a bag and head somewhere tropical for a week or so.
So I’m not alone?
I could’ve used this list over our snow-extended winter break, but better late than never. Plus, there are bound to be more snow and ice days (not to mention rainy days once we defrost) when this great big list of indoor activities for kids will be the only thing that saves my oh-so fragile sliver of sanity.
Take a look at this list. Study it. Collect any supplies you might need. And then feel free to send me gifts of dark chocolate for buying you enough time to head to the bathroom alone the next time the kids are stuck inside.
50+ Indoor Activities for Kids
- Read. Make a blanket fort, grab some snacks and make an adventure out of it.
- Create a Boredom Buster jar.
- Make clay gift tags or jewelry. Sculpey clay is our favorite. Don’t have clay at home? Make a salt dough pendant or salt dough beads instead!
- Make erupting snow or a foaming snowman.
- Make your own play dough… or flubber… or unicorn slime… or play mud!
- Go Rainbow Loom crazy and use tutorials for new creations.
- Check out some free learning websites or apps (here’s a list of 5 awesome apps for toddlers).
- Turn your kitchen into a lab and conduct science experiments— a medicine dropper makes baking soda and vinegar even more fun!
- Start a visual journal.
- Draw on laminated photos of faces.
- Go wild and create salad spinner spin art.
- Make a toilet paper roll snowman.
- Make homemade stickers.
- Make snowflake window clings.
- Have an indoor snowball fight.
- Make your own bottle cap stamps.
- Do a gummy bear science experiment.
- Set up your own post office with stickers, note cards, envelopes and boxes.
- Set them up with printable sewing cards.
- Build toothpick and marshmallow structures.
- Bake something. Bonus points for having an apron and chef hat available and turning it into Cupcake Wars. Sound like too much trouble? Try no-bake veggie face pizza and wraps instead.
- Make play cookies for their kitchen.
- Make your own scratch art.
- Play a game of balloon volleyball.
- Make a laundry basket boat.
- Play indoor hopscotch.
- Make an indoor chalk city.
- Edible ice painting can be fun for even the littlest kids.
- Paint with feathers.
- Bring books to life with collages and scavenger hunts.
- Throw an indoor beach party!
- Have an impromptu dance party (this is especially handy if a major meltdown seems imminent. Distraction is key!)
- Use old magazines and catalogs to make a rainbow collage.
- Set up a game of candy and marker top bowling.
- Take turns telling stories from a bag.
- Create an indoor obstacle course.
- Keep the birds happy with birdseed hearts.
- Turn a big empty box into an empty canvas by allowing your child to climb inside and color it. Stickers would be fun too!
- Make your own bath paint with shaving cream and food coloring.
- Make tulle masks.
- Make recycled egg carton creatures.
- Make scratch and sniff paint.
- Make a cloud in a jar or make rain.
- Have a “fancy” dinner (or lunch or breakfast or snack) party complete with a dress code, candles, a tablecloth, and special dishes.
- Have a movie date with popcorn and snack necklaces.
- Do some no mess painting.
- Play Simon Says Draw.
- Make a sock puppet.
- Do a bubbly colors experiment.
- Make some crowns.
- Use up some of your extra nail polish by making marbled nail polish mugs.
- Make your own coconut butter, lip gloss, face mask or sugar scrub and turn the house into a spa.
- Are the kids into Star Wars? Print out these LEGO Star Wars challenge cards and see what they can do.
- Make a pinecone wall hanging.
- Start a few “grow your own grass” pots.
- Paint some rocks and make them extra fancy by adding temporary tattoos!
- Make your own LEGO fidget spinners.
- Make cute little fish out of reused plastic bottles.
- Design your own pillowcases.
Need more ideas? Check out these posts:
- Keep Kids Busy During Winter Break
- How to Survive a Staycation Like a Mother
- Spring Break Craft Ideas
- A Hands-On Book That Will Get Your Kids Excited About Science
- Our Favorite Audiobooks for Kids
- 50 Outdoor Activities for Kids
And if you have other ideas, feel free to share them in the comments!
This post was originally published in January 2014, but was completely revamped in January 2017.