If you’ve been spending a lot of time at home, you might need some fresh ideas for indoor activities for kids. This huge list has tons of simple, creative ideas for kids of all ages.
Need some new ideas for indoor activities for kids?
While life is pretty much back to normal, a lot of our “normals” have changed. Parents are working from home while trying to entertain kids! Do you need some new ideas for indoor activities for kids? I’ve got you covered with a huge list of activities for kids of all ages.
These indoor activities are for kids of all ages
I’ve separated this list by activity type and shown some variations that can be done with little toddlers.
Don’t feel like you have to entertain your children all day!
I certainly do not entertain my children all day and don’t feel like you need to either. Obviously smaller children and certain activities on this list require additional supervision, but a lot of these activities can be done independently.
Plus, that quiet independent play is when the creativity really comes out!
Here’s a printable version of this list so you can hang it on your fridge
It might be helpful to print this list out and put it on the fridge or in another high traffic area. If your kids need some indoor activities ideas, direct them to the list and their creative wheels will immediately start turning!
Print it out RIGHT HERE.
These indoor activities for kids are screen-free and great while staying home.
We love playing games as a family, but my kids also love playing games together! Check out our favorite family games right here!
Some of our favorite family games:
- SET. It’s easy learn and fun for only 2 players, but can have as many players as you’d like.
- NINE INNINGS. Another great one with only two players, but can have lots! You play this with a standard deck of face cards.
- SLEEPING QUEENS. A great game for younger kids just learning to play card games
- BATTLESHIP. If you and a friend both own this game, it’s a great one to play over FaceTime.
- HOUSE OF FIRE. The instructions for this game are on my instagram in one of the highlight bubbles!
Games that little kids can do too
2. Arts and crafts
If your house is anything like mine, your kids have plowed through about 2,000 sheets of paper in the last month. So much drawing going on over here! But I love seeing their creativity, and there are a lot of fun arts and crafts projects you can do with kids at home.
We’ve been getting lots of fun and simple craft ideas for kids from my friend Sara’s instagram page, Tell Love and Party. She’s sharing a daily craft idea and they’re all so fun!
These are some fun arts and crafts activities you can do at home with your kids
- ART FOR KIDS HUB. This is the best art youtube channel for kids — if you haven’t checked it out, it’s a must.
- COLOR BY NUMBER BOOKS
- PAINT BY STICKER BOOKS. Have you seen these? They’re like paint by number, but it’s all stickers. So cool!
- ORIGAMI. There are a lot of books out there, but this is a great YouTube video to help them start and make a few cute things.
Ideas that work for little kids too
- PLAY DOUGH My boys spent hours playing with play dough. We love the Doughsie Dough boxes that come with dough and accessories for maximum play and imagination!
- MAKING NOODLE NECKLACES. Remember doing this as a little kid? It’s great for fine motor skills too!
- BUTCHER PAPER MASTERPIECES. Unroll a huge piece of paper, lay it on the floor, hang it on the wall, and let the kids have at it.
- SIDEWALK CHALK. This is a fun activity for the back patio or the driveway.
- GIANT BUBBLES. This is a good recipe!
- WATERCOLORING. Perfect for kids of all ages. This is a good set!
- MODEL MAGIC HANDPRINTS. Create a circle, press your child’s hand into it, let it air dry for a few days, and then use acrylic paint to decorate them once they’re completely dry!
- DECORATE BALLOONS with stickers or markers
3. Quiet activities
In our house, we believe in quiet time. I wrote a whole post about quiet time here. It’s a really important time for kids to recharge, be creative, and be by themselves.
Indoor quiet activities for kids
- READ A BOOK. If you need some ideas, check out my sister’s book blog here. Even before my boys could read, I’ve give them a huge stack of picture books to look alone at during quiet time.
- LISTEN TO A PODCAST. My boys listen to them on Alexa or on the iPad (and they know they lose the iPad if they play on it during quiet time). Their favorites are Wow in the World and Circle Round.
- LISTEN TO AN AUDIOBOOK. I have a whole post with some favorites HERE.
- PLAY LEGOS. This is my boys’ favorite quiet activity. Usually during their quiet time they build with LEGOs or draw/color while they listen to a podcast or audiobook.
4. Bigger activities and projects
There are lots of fun bigger projects that will keep your kids occupied for a long time!
These are all really fun activities your kids could do indoors
- BUILD A FORT with sheets, blankets, and pillows!
- Create a “LASER MAZE” with string, ribbon, or crepe paper. Something like THIS.
- Have a DANCE PARTY
Ideas that would be great for little kids
- CARWASH STATION. fill a bin with soapy water and wash all the toy cars – applies to any other toys – lego wash, dinosaur wash, etc.
- TOY PARADE Stick blue painters tape on the floor in lines and line up cars or toy animals on the tape
- ROCK PAINTING (go outside and collect medium sized rocks – wash them in soapy water with a brush scrubber – let them dry, then paint them. Once they’re dry, place them around your neighborhood)
- CREATE A TAPE CAR TRACK. Use masking tape or painters tape and create a track around your house. Let your kids drive their little vehicles around on it!
I love cooking and baking with my kids. This is a really fun activity to bring you together and get a yummy treat or meal out of it.
Some great things you could cook or bake with your kids
- ARTISAN BREAD. I’ve been wanting to make artisan bread for years and finally made this one. It was actually so simple and super delicious.
- POP TARTS. The boys and I made these homemade pop tarts a few weeks ago and they were so fun!
- CHOCOLATE CHIP COOKIES. This is our favorite recipe right here.
- DECORATING SUGAR COOKIES. Decorate them together and deliver to friends! Our favorite 5 ingredient recipe is right here.
- Put your older kids IN CHARGE OF DINNER. It’s a great time for them to learn some basic cooking skills, so help them choose a recipe, find the ingredients (or make a grocery list), and then make the dinner, It’s an empowering skill!
Ideas for younger kids
- Make HOMEMADE PLAY-DOH. This is a good recipe.
- Help MIX PANCAKE BATTER for breakfast.
5. Make photo and video memories
We love making photo books and family videos, and this is a great activity you could do with your older kids. This one is technically screen time, but it’s not just games or TV so I’m rolling with it.
Photo or video memory activities your kids can do
- Make a FAMILY PHOTO ALBUM. Sort through your photos together, choose which ones you want to use (maybe a family vacation, maybe a special event, or maybe photos from an entire year). We use Mixbook for all our photo books, and it’s easy to upload photos, arrange the pages (they can get creative here with backgrounds, stickers, and text), and then order. Use code MS40MERRICK for 40% off at Mixbook!
- Create an ART BOOK! I did a whole post about this last year. Take photos of every piece of art work or school work that your child will not throw away, and then upload them to a book and print it. You can see how we did ours here!
- Help your kids learn how to make a FAMILY VIDEO. There are tons of tutorials on how to use iMovie, and then just piece together video clips from your phone, add some music, and you have a family treasure!
6. Writing letters and sending postcards
Now is an amazing time to send some loved ones happy mail!
Have your children send happy mail to loved ones!
- SEND POSTCARDS. My friend Tara, from Rad and Happy, just launched a postcard kit that’s adorable and comes with stamps so you don’t even have to make a trip to the store!
- Send some BAKED GOODS in the mail to tell someone you love them.
- BRIGHT BOXES are little inexpensive gift boxes you can send to loved ones. They’re $5, $10, or $15 shipped and they’re super well done. You can use code MERRICK for a free add on too!
Ideas for little kids
- DRAW A PICTURE and send it in the mail to grandparents or cousins
We’re not a huge puzzle family, but I know there are lots of people out there who love doing puzzles and are plowing through them during quarantine. They’re a great quiet and calm activity that you or your kids can do together, or they can do individually.
These are some puzzles for all ages
- FLOOR PUZZLES are so fun. Melissa and Doug have some of the best.
- DOWDLE PUZZLES. They have gorgeous designs, they’re great quality, and they’re affordable!
- WOOD PUZZLE BOXES. These wooden puzzles were my boys’ favorites when they were little. Great quality, cute designs, and come in a little storage box.
Some options for little kids
- PUZZLE PRESENTS. wrap the puzzle pieces in wrapping paper and then have toddler unwrap the pieces and place them in the puzzle
- SENSORY BIN WITH PUZZLE PIECES. Hide all the puzzle pieces in a big bin of rice for a fun twist!
- MATCHING PUZZLES
8.Connecting with family
We’ve been making a huge effort to stay connected with our family while we’ve been quarantined. These are a few ways we’ve been staying connected and forming some really great relationships.
- the FACEBOOK PORTAL has been the best way to connect with family lately. I did a whole review about it here!
- The MARCO POLO APP has been my most used app recently. It’s like snapchat for adults — video chatting back and forth, and watching on your own time. The only difference is that the videos don’t disappear. I talk to my friends, my parents, and my siblings on this app many times per day.
- PLAY GAMES OVER FACETIME. My 10 year old has been playing battleship over facetime with his best friend, my boys play Taboo and Scattergories with my parents almost every night on our Facebook Portal, and my boys do drawing challenges and play House of Fire with their cousins. Get creative with the ways you’re communicating and connecting — playing games is a great way to do this!
These are a few simple activities you can do with your kids outside.
Try these activities with kids in your outdoor space
- PLANT SEEDS in cups for herbs or flowers
- MAKE YOUR OWN WATER TABLE. Just bring plastic or paper cups and bowls and let your toddlers splash around!
- SIDEWALK CHALK. I mentioned this above, but this is a great activity for outdoors.
- WALKS, BIKE RIDES, AND RUNS.
I hope this huge list gives you a bunch of great ideas to keep your families happy and sane while we’re all cooped up for a few more weeks.
If I left anything off this list, leave a comment and let me know what you would add!