There will always be a time when you will be stuck indoors due to thunderstorms, sickness, unpleasant outdoor temperatures, or maybe you just need a boredom buster for your family. Whatever the reason being, I think we all search for activities to entertain our little bundles of energy before chaos breaks out. We understand that children + energy + stuck indoors = disaster. I know, for my family, that playing with toys only lasts so long before the fighting and whining begins. From there, things go south quickly! So I started keeping a list of activities to step in with to distract them or get them moving.
You will need a few items/supplies on hand to set up some of these indoor activities. Most of my supplies come from the dollar store or are repurposed household items. At our house, we have an art closet stocked with random supplies to have available before cabin fever sets in.
So let’s dig in!
For any water-involved activity, I lay a tarp down on my kitchen floor before setting up the water stations. It makes for easy clean up afterwards.
I get our water beads from Amazon and pour them in storage tubs that you can get from Dollar Tree or Target. Add in any kitchen ladles, whisk or utensils and let them use their imagination.
This activity is probably the easiest set up and one of the activities that keep my son entertained the longest! All you need is water, a storage tub to hold the water, and anything you can pour water from. We use cups, gumbo ladles, and small pots. They work on mastering pouring skills while having fun!
This activity deserves its own post but that’s for another day. We have a large tote of things we use in our sensory bins. But just a few things you’ll need to start a sensory bin are fillers, storage tub, measuring cups, diggers, tools, and funnels. I have gotten all the things listed from Dollar Tree. Fillers could be anything from rice, sand, water, dry beans, to birdseeds.
Play Doh / Kinetic Sand
This one is pretty self-explanatory. Break out this messy stuff, on a tarp for less mess! Use cookie cutters to mold the play doh / sand. And around here, our crawfish trays are multi functional – they’re used for play doh play too!
We did this one yesterday and it took up our entire afternoon! When the kids went down for a nap, I opened a new puzzle box we hadn’t played with yet. I took all the pieces and hid them throughout the house. When the kids woke up from their nap, I gave them their old Easter baskets and told them to go look for and pick up the pieces. Once they’d found them all, we spent some time putting them together.
MOOVLEE Yoga for kids
This is currently mine and kids favorite activity! It gets my kids moving and entertained and that makes this mama very happy! Pull up YouTube on your mobile device or TV and type in Moovlee and get moooving. (get it? Haha)
Bath Time with Glow Sticks
Run some water, throw some glow sticks in there (dollar tree again), put on bathing suits and your job is done here! It’s like a glow in the dark pool party in your very own bathroom!
This activity has a ton of variations but the basis is making the moon sand and breaking out the sand toys. It’ll have you feeling like your more hanging on a beach and less stuck inside.
Recipe: mix together 8 cups of flour and 1 cup of baby oil and viola!
For this activity you’ll need marbles, any kind of paint, and a box. We used a shoebox for this one because that’s all I had on hand but any box would work. Pour in paint and marbles and let your child shake and roll the box allowing the marbles to pick up paint and create a masterpiece.
Indoor Obstacle Course
Anything goes, is the only rule for this game! Literally. Any piece of furniture or household item can be used to create an obstacle course for your little one to release some energy.
- Streams draped over chairs to create a “crawl through the spider web”
- Rolled up rugs to practice balance
- Pillows and couch cushions and a jumping zone
- Belly crawl under furniture such as the dinning room table or coffee table
My kids love playing with scissors (kid ones, supervised), which is wonderful – you know, motor skill development and all! So for a quick activity, pull out the scissors, boil some noodles and once they’re cooled, let the kids cut it up. Another scissor activity is what we call the “cut box” which is just a box with scrap pieces of magazines, construction paper, and other random pieces of paper. I take that paper and draw straight and squiggly lines on them for cutting practice.
Blanket / Pillow Fort
This indoor activity is as old as time but never fails to bust the boredom. It is also a good way to get some reading in. After we build a fort at our house, we throw in our favorite books and cozy blankets and I have my kids read books to me.
Shaving Cream and Pool Noodles
For this activity, you’ll need 2 cut up pool noodles, shaving cream, and a storage tub. Put both the pool noodles and shaving cream in the tub and encourage your child to build a tower or town. The shaving cream will hold the pool noodles together.
Tape Roll Games
This is another activity that deserves it’s own post but I’ll provide just a few options for time sake.
- Put tape in a straight line on the floor or on a yoga mat in case you’re worried of messing up your floors. Encourage your child to jump from line to line then hop on alternating legs from line to line.
- Make shapes with the tape on the floor or yoga mat then give commands like “crab walk to the circle” “bear crawl to the triangle” “run to the oval” “slither to the square”.
Never underestimate the power of a good ol’ board game. Some of our current favorites are Marble Run, Pop the Pig, and Catch the Fox.
I can already hear groans at a few of these activities. While I understand some of these can get extremely messy, especially with children younger in age – these activities will bust boredom! Mess in comparison to that – totally worth it!
So there you have it! 15 quick and easy indoor activities sure to keep your family entertained while stuck indoors!