Little girl in blue shirt climbing up a climbing wall at the gym.

19 Fun Indoor Activities for Kids

No matter the season, there are times when you are stuck inside, wondering what to do to keep the kids busy and happy. This isn’t a comprehensive list of fun indoor activities for kids, but hopefully, there will be some new ideas or perhaps reminders of things you’ve done in the past that could resurface into a new favorite family memory.

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Fun Indoor Activities for Kids

These are some of our family’s favorite fun indoor activities for kids. We have used them over and over again. Most of them don’t cost anything at all and can be done right in your home. Some of them may take a bit of planning or research, but that could be part of the fun as well. The best part about the fun indoor activities for kids on this list is that none of them include screen time.

Visit a Museum

Check out your local visitor’s center or Chamber of Commerce and see if there are any historical museums in your area. Often, they offer a discounted price for students or children. You might be surprised at all the options you have right in your own town.

Make Homemade Play Dough

Have you ever made homemade play-dough?  Homemade playdough is so much nicer than store-bought and it’s super easy to make!  If you’re kids are too “big” to play with playdough, make some salt dough and create ornaments that you can bake and then paint. Use these for gifts for the grandparents.

Pull out your rolling pins, cookie cutters, pastry tools, and imagination, and start crafting!  You can never have too many playdough tools!

A plastic tablecloth on the kitchen table or a plastic placemat to work on really helps the cleanup process when you’re done.  This really helps save your table from the salt in the playdough and any utensils the kids might use to create their masterpieces.  Playdough keeps really well for several months sealed in a zipper bag or in a container. When it starts to look crystalized, you know it’s time to make a new batch.

Have an Indoor Picnic

Picnic food isn’t only for the summer.  Grab your favorite picnic food (hotdogs, some potato salad, fruit and chips and you’re all set for your indoor picnic.  This might become one of your family’s favorite fun indoor activities for kids!

Spread out your picnic on a blanket or tablecloth on the floor, get your paper plates or picnic dishes and enjoy your indoor picnic.  While you’re enjoying your picnic do some reminiscing about the fun vacations you have gone on or other family memories.  Dream about where you’d like to go on your next vacation or road trip.

If you want to increase your indoor picnic fun, invite another family to join your picnic!

Build a Rube Goldberg Machine

Have you ever made a marble maze? This is one of those super fun indoor activities for kids. Your kids will love working on building a Rube Goldberg machine right at home. You don’t need a ton of expensive supplies! Just pull out the toilet paper tubes, empty cereal boxes, Legos, some balls, tape, glue, and pipe cleaners. Check out this article for more ideas and supply lists.

Pull out the Craft Supplies

What types of crafts do your kids enjoy? Can you put a twist on those crafts and make them into something new? Often, crafts can be an easy activity to take along when you travel, so think about a new craft that you can introduce to your kids that is also portable. Crocheting, knitting, weaving, drawing, painting, or beading are easy to get started on and don’t require a ton of materials.

Bake Some Goodies

Baking goodies doesn’t have to just be a holiday tradition.  Give your kids the recipe and help them mix up a batch of their favorite cookies. When the cookies have cooled, put some on a plate or in a container and deliver them to your neighbors. If you’re stuck inside, they probably are too, and would enjoy a quick visit and some homemade treats.

Family Service Projects

Many family service projects can be done inside. If you need some inspiration, here are 35 Family Service Ideas. Many of these projects are perfect to do with another family. Call the cousins, or your neighbor with kids and work on a family service project together.

RELATED: Learning Through Play – Capturing Teachable Moments with Your Children

little girl climbing up a climbing wall at the gym

Build a Fort

Do you have a stash of large, empty boxes? How about a pile of blankets and sheets? Then you have all it takes to build a fort in the house. Give your kids some markers and scissors (or help them) cut out windows and doors in their boxes. Use the blankets and sheets to create a roof and connect the boxes into a small community or city.

Fort building in the house can take up a bit of space and seem like quite a mess, but your kids will enjoy hours of fun creating, building, and playing in their fort. To add the fun and extend this fun activity for kids, you can serve a “fast food” lunch and the kids can take their lunches back to their forts. Join them with your lunch as well.

Go to a Climbing Wall

Most kids really enjoy a challenge. If your kids are anything like mine, they love to climb on things. Just like with swimming, some fitness centers or YMCAs also have a climbing wall in their facility. Beware! It looks easy when the kids climb up the wall, but it’s not as easy as it looks – in my experience. But, the payoff of doing something together while getting some exercise is loads of fun!

Create a Play

Your kids have an unlimited amount of imagination. Help them act out a story they know. Do charades, or add in talking parts where the kids narrate or create the script for the play. Help them find some costumes. Hang up a sheet in the doorframe for the curtains of the stage and set up your phone to record the play.

When the play is over, replay the videos for the kids to watch. Share the video with your grandparents.

Set up a Photo Shoot

While you have your camera set up, give your kids the opportunity to do a photo shoot. They might enjoy trying to take pictures of the dog, the cat, the stuffed animals, or their siblings dressed up. They may need to prepare a bit and fix their hair and paint their nails.

Share the photos with your family and invite them to do a photo shoot as well and send you their pictures.

Record an Episode in Your Family’s Life

Let your kids tell the stories of your family. Get your camera ready because this one is going to be good! Ask them about their favorite memories, the best present they received or gave, the most fun vacation, or how they learned to do something. These are memories you will cherish in the years to come. Kids love to watch themselves on a video, so this can be a really fun family activity.

Have a Sock Party

This is a fun game and has a decluttering aspect to it as well. Pull out all the socks in your child’s drawer and make sure they all have matches. Or, pull all the clean socks out of the dryer and match them up. Then take those matched socks and see how many pairs you can throw into a basket. If you find socks that no longer fit or don’t have mates, those go in the giveaway or trash pile.

You could play a round of sock-throwing and then declutter the shirt drawer before the next sock-throwing session.

Create an Indoor Obstacle Course

Another super fun indoor activity for kids is to create an obstacle course or maze.  You can use any room in your house to set up a course.  Make signs for each different activity with a picture or words to tell the participants what they need to do at that station.

Add exercises your child has to do at different sections such as push-ups, hopping on one foot, crawling, hopping like a frog, etc. Once your child has done the obstacle course once, change it up a bit to make it harder, and consider timing your kids. Your kids will get the idea of this really quickly and will probably come up with some new ideas for things they could change or add.

Plant Some Seeds

Most likely, you’ve got a packet of seeds hiding somewhere in your house. Now is a great time to plant something inside. Radishes come up very quickly and can be grown in the house as well as lettuce, spinach, chard, and kale. Put some potting soil in an empty (clean) cottage cheese or yogurt container, label your container with the type of seed and the date you planted it, and then sit back to watch them grow.

Go Swimming

If you have a local YMCA or other indoor pool, going swimming can be a great way to spend some time inside without having to do a lot of planning or expensive memberships. Check with your local pool to see if they have a drop in rate or perhaps you’d like to get a membership for a couple of months while the weather is cold and dreary outside.

Play Board Games and Do Puzzles

Playing games is one of our favorite fun indoor activities for kids. If you don’t have a stash of games already, call a friend and see if you can borrow some for the day or week. Look online and print off some card games to play at home. If you still have a fort set up in your living room, play the game in the fort!  All you need is a game and/or a puzzle!

RELATED: Best Games to Play with the Family

Make Home-made Bread

You may need to get a few ingredients ahead of time to be prepared for making bread with your kids, but this is another fun indoor activity for kids. Making bread doesn’t have to be hard and this Whole Wheat Bread recipe is fantastic!

Read Some Books

You may need to make a trip to the library for some new books or you may have a stash of books your kids haven’t seen for a while. Here’s a great list of books to read aloud to kids.

Listen to a Story

There are lots of great audiobooks and kids’ action stories that you can listen to on the radio or online. Some of our favorites are Adventures in Odessey, Discovery Mountain, Your Story Hour, and Down Gilead Lane.

As you think about these fun indoor activities for kids, what are you going to do first? Which one will keep your kids busy and engaged with the materials you have on hand?

Rainy days, sick days or snow days don’t have to be long boring days. Just mix up your activities a bit and add some fun activities to your planning.

You may also like these Biblical parenting links…

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