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Occasionally we get stuck indoors, it’s just how life goes sometimes! It may be crazy weather outside, a virus that is spreading (obviously this option is far less common but it is certainly happening now- as of March 2020!), or a myriad of other events that change our daily routine. These 27 Home Activities for Kids will help chase the blues away and enjoy being indoors together!
#1 Build a Fort
Gather up blankets, furniture (chairs, couches, etc), jackets (they can be tossed over little hole openings!) and whatever other handy supplies and build a fort in your front room. Throw them together and suddenly you have an adventure on your hands! Crawl in there with your child and play along! You could even jazz it up a bit and have a lunch picnic inside your newly created fort.
#2 Boom Boom Down the Stairs
Say what?? This is an activity from my growing up years! My siblings and I would gather up a bunch of blankets and pile them at the bottom of the stairs. Then we’d climb to the top and “boom boom” or ride down the stairs on our bellies with our hands stretched above our heads.
If you want to get really tricky- grab a slippery blanket and ride it down, it speeds the ride up quite a bit;) We’d also go “boom boom” without blankets, footie pajamas was another favorite. This kept us entertained for hours!
Watch the videos below for fun examples!
#3 Bowling- Water Bottle Style
Set up empty water bottles in whatever formation you’d like (it may depend on how many you have). Use a ball or something that rolls fairly easily to knock them down. Have different contests to see who can knock the most down in one shot, who can get the closest without knocking any down (or the least amount) or who can do a trick before throwing a ball and still knock them down. (Tricks could include spinning in a circle, hopping up and down, balancing on one foot, etc.)
#4 Bake and Decorate Cookies
Sugar cookies are the best for this because the decorating options are unlimited! Make some easy frosting, add some color, and boom you’ve got options! Additional decorating hits include sprinkles, edible eyeballs (haha) and edible gel for writing/drawing.
#5 Freeze Dance
Turn on you favorite tunes and get dancing! Make sure to freeze in place when the music stops. In my classroom, anyone that was caught still moving after the song ended was ‘out’ for the rest of that game. Depending on how many people (kiddos) you are playing with, this could be an option! It goes quickly and they are back in before they know it.
#6 Stack It Tall
Build different types of towers! This could be done using building blocks, pillows, stacking cups, cans, boxes, or whatever other items you have lying around the house. For more fun options, take a look at Unique and Creative Building Blocks for Kids
#7 Rice Krispie Treats
Make rice krispie treats. My go to recipe includes rice krispie cereal, butter and marshmallows and voila you have a tasty, mold-able treat! Another delicious alternative to regular marshmallows is to use colored marshmallows. You can also use other cereals like Cocoa Krispies, Fruity Pebble and Lucky Charms. Use molds to create different shapes or animals then allow them time to set before eating. A commonly known fact among my family and friends is that I LOVE marshmallows of all kinds, so this is always a favorite treat for me!
There are so many great things to do with play dough! Create a whole village of little people, buildings, and supplies. Read a book then create the characters, things, or places with your child using the play dough. Roll out numbers that represent an equation with little rolled balls of play dough representing the quantity and then roll out the answer. Form letters and words.
Read read read! There are so many great stories to read! Throw down a blanket (or better yet, read in a fort) grab a snack and get to reading!
Some variations could include: Everyone chooses a different book and then takes turns reading their book (or having it read) out loud. You could get creative and suggest that everyone chooses a book that has a similar topic IE. animals, places, etc.
Yet another variation could be to invite everyone to read a book then summarize what it was about. That last activity would depend on your child’s age and independent reading ability.
#10 Get Crafty!
Sometimes during an indoor recess or at my house with nieces and nephews, they have enjoyed just creating something of there own. I provide things like paper, crayons, markers, glue, stickers, and glitter (when I’m feeling brave!) and they go to town! The creative wheels really get turning and the things they come up with are quite impressive! Be prepared to see these things hanging on your fridge or in your child’s bedroom. They are often proud of their crafty accomplishments:)
#11 Finger Painting
This could be done using child safe paint, shaving cream, or if you’d like it to be edible- pudding! It is rare to find a child who doesn’t love getting their fingers/hands dirty while creating a beautiful masterpiece. Roll out the paper and let the creating begin! Having a variety of colors is great. You could also make a fun card or craft using your child’s hand or foot prints. If you’d prefer to make your own paints, these are great homemade finger painting recipes from fun-stuff-to-do.com.
#12 Write a Story
Depending on your child’s age, invite them to write a story about anything they want! It could be about something they’ve experienced or just a completely made-up-for-fun type of story. With younger children, ask them what they would like to ‘write’ about and you be the scribe.
#13 Play Card Games
Some tried and true options: Uno, Memory, Skip-Bo, Go Fish, War (using numbered cards, see who can get the most cards by playing the highest number!).
#14 Play Group Games
Duck Duck Goose, musical chairs, Button Button whose got the button? This game may be less commonly known, but it’s a fun one I remember playing with my grandma growing up! See instructions for Button Button Whose Got the Button? game here.
#15 Name That Tune
If you have the musical ability, play out a few notes from well-known tunes. Invite your kids to guess which song it is. Continue to add more notes (usually 1-2 at a time) until they figure it out! If you’re not so musically inclined, use some familiar songs on your phone, computer, etc and play the first few notes.
#16 Singing Songs
This one is basically self-explanatory, singing can lighten any day! Some entertaining and interactive songs: “If You’re Happy and You Know It, Clap Your Hands” “Head, Shoulders, Knees and Toes” “Ten Little Monkeys Jumping on the Bed”
#17 Window Watching
Sometimes kids get a kick out of just people watching (I mean really, who doesn’t?!) Open the blinds up and watch for animals, people, cars, and airplanes. Count how many of each you see!
Oh the good old game of hide-and-seek. Choose someone to be “it” and run to hide as the counting begins! Find creative ways to hide, even just for the laugh 😉
Pull out a variety of items, whatever you have on hand, and let your child discover different ways to sort the items. This could potentially be by color, shape, size, or another clever way your child comes up with. Some suggested items you could use could be: buttons, Tupperware/lids, cups, Legos, books, or toys.
#20 Color Away
Let your child color from a printed coloring book, coloring pages, or a fresh blank page they can create all on there own. Encourage them to draw a picture using a pen or marker, then color it in with crayons!
#21 Toss ’em Down
Gather items that won’t damage your walls, but that would be fun to see tumble down the stairs! Slinky, bouncy balls, soft toys, etc. Then go to the bottom of the stairs and see how high you can throw them back towards the top! See if you can land on a step near the top without having it bounce or roll back down.
#22 Mail It Off!
Invite your child to write a letter, make a card, and/or draw a picture and send it off to a relative or friend. It is always fun to get unexpected mail that brings a smile to your face and cheers your day!
#23 Indoor Scavenger Hunt
Set up a scavenger hunt with various locations around the house that include clues at each spot to help your child figure out where to go next. Make sure to have a fun surprise at the end. Let the searching begin! Another fun option could be to have an older child create the scavenger hunt for your younger kiddos.
#24 Hot Lava!
Use a soft ball or balloon. Sit or stand in a circle and gently hit the ball or balloon when it comes near you. Don’t let it touch the ground! You could easily turn this into a review game as well. Every time someone hits the ball (or balloon) say a letter of the alphabet or start counting up. Start over when the ball touches the ground and try again to beat your highest total!
#25 Balloon Tennis
Blow up several balloons. Mark your ‘net’ space. This could be done by putting chairs up in the middle of a room and having people stand on both sides. Toss the balloon and hit it back and forth, home tennis!
#26 Percussion Pros
Grab a pot/pan with a spoon and you have an instant drum! Easily do the same with buckets, sticks, and any other supplies you find around the house that can be used for hitting, banging, and clanking together. Jazz it up by turning on some music and try to follow the rhythm on your own set of “drums.”
#27 Homemade Pinata
Party time, anyone?! If you are looking for a way to really have fun and mix things up, create your own pinata! I’m sure your kids would love to help create it, though they may love even more breaking it open and finding yummy treats or little toys inside!
Check out the video below for ideas on how to make your own pinata!
Looking for more fun activities? Take a look at these Five Senses Activities- Fun You Can Taste!