Sometimes it is too hot, sometimes it is too cold, and sometimes it is too wet. What do you do when you can’t send the kids outside to play? No need to fret, here are some electronics-free ideas for entertaining kids when going outside isn’t an option. There are actually so many ways to keep the kids having fun. Here are ten fun indoor activities kids will love and that will keep them from watching youtube all day!
10 Fun Indoor Activities Kids Will Love When They Can’t Play Outside
Making collages is a fun and an inexpensive way to get your kids thinking creatively. You don’t need fancy papers or materials, simply cut up old magazines and newspapers, or find things like colorful leaves from the garden. You could even make use of those old clothes which have been sitting in the back of your wardrobe for years by tearing them into different shapes and patterns. My niece makes the coolest collage covered shoeboxes for storing things. I need to take a photo to share with y’all but for now, you can use these collage boxes as inspiration, if you like. Collages are a great way to explore a theme- things you want in your life, animals, or colors, just to name a few ideas.
Kids love dressing-up, whether it’s in Mom’s high heels and Dad’s briefcase, or as their favorite fictional character. Not only do you get the hilarity of how they look when they’re done, but they can use these personas for make-believe games, which keep them entertained for hours. You may want to go through your closet and give them some old things they can use to keep in a costume box.
Want more fun indoor activities kids will love? Let them build a fort or den. Everyone has childhood memories of making forts. There is just something so magical about creating your own hide-away space. You can make a den out of anything suitable you find in your house, but furniture and bed sheets are always successful. You could also make a cardboard fort. Just be sure to layer the floor with pillows and blankets, and the kids can spend days inventing new ways to make use of their little home.
Getting messy is one of children’s greatest talents, and what better way to make a mess than getting to eat the results at the end? Perhaps even use baking as a method to get your kids to try new foods. And it doesn’t have to be unhealthy; there are some brilliant recipes out there which are both tasty and nutritious. Baking with kids is fun! My daughter loves to make cookies and tiny pancakes.
5. Indoor Picnics
You could take the baking one step further and use the baked goods for an indoor picnic or tea party. The prospect of eating somewhere other than the dining room table is always exciting.
Pull out your saucers and enjoy a mini picnic or tea party with your children and few stuffed animals. My kids loved to take turns being the waiter or waitress and being a customer and ordering imaginary foods and paying for them with imaginary money and trying out different fun fancy phrases on each other.
6. Making Music
Arts and crafts are much more rewarding when the finished product has a practical use. Try making your own instruments by sticking elastic bands over an empty tissue box or filling a plastic bottle with dry pasta. If you have real instruments try playing a simple piece together. It can be a whole new experience and it is a great activity to entertain kids on rainy days. If nothing else, let the kids bang on some upside down pots with wooden spoons. My kids loved that! Sing some songs together and teach them to sing in rounds with “Row, row, row your boat, gently down the stream. Merrily, merrily, merrily, life is but a dream.” This is one of the fun indoor activities kids will remember fondly forever- at least I still do!
7. Put on a Show
If the kids are feeling particularly inspired by the musical instruments or generally enjoy a song and dance, ask them to put on a show for you. They will spend hours rehearsing for it and will feel really proud after they’ve performed it. You never know, they might even have a hidden talent you didn’t know about! My kids love to put on talent shows in and then have me judge their performances and pronounce a winner. We do many rounds to avoid hurt feelings and they different rounds have different themes so that they have a new shot at winning each time.
8. Indoor Obstacle Course
Yes, I know you are thinking that they make indoor obstacle course everyday with LEGO booby traps! But, I am talking about intentional indoor obstacle courses! This is a perfect way to burn off all that excess energy and wear the kids out before bedtime. Be as creative as you can with this, using chairs, cushions, boxes, and anything else you can find around the house. You can add a homemade ball toss game in there too. You can have them run races over and over. The easier version of this works too. We have a circular path through my home and I will say, “First one to run 10 laps wins,” and they are off like a couple of race horses!
9. Cardboard Box
Perhaps the simplest, yet most valuable fun indoor activities kids will love are those that stretch their imagination. Give the kids a cardboard box (preferably a large one which they can sit inside) and let them turn it into whatever they want. The best one I’ve seen was a car, complete with a cut out door and all. It’s an excellent way to let them use their creativity and their engineering skills to build something they design!
10. Printable Resources
There are thousands of free printable resources available on the internet, from coloring pages, to word games, to more educational activities. If there’s a particular holiday coming up, such as Halloween, why not look for themed printable activities? You could get the kids to decorate the house with spooky pictures.
11. Have a Read-A-Thon:
According to Scholastic, children learn an average of 4,000 to 12,000 new words each year as a result of book reading. Now that is something to encourage! Reading is also a nice quiet activity that can keep kids busy on Gameday. Leisure reading makes students more articulate, develops higher order reasoning, and promotes critical thinking, says the National Endowment for the Arts. With so many benefits, get your child reading by providing some great kids books and some rewards, however simple, for a job well done. I kid you not, I used to get a bag of peanuts every time I finished a book when I was about 9 years old and I loved it!
There really is no need to start tearing your hair out trying to think of ways to keep your children amused when bad weather leaves them housebound. You’ll often find that the most simple ideas will be the ones which are the most fun activities to do with kids and keep the children happy for hours. I hope you enjoy these fun indoor activities kids will love. Which of these ideas is your favorite for entertaining kids indoors? Do you have any additional ideas to keep kids busy inside? Let us know in the comments.