75 Activities for Kids at Home
Without packed schedules, school, sports, friends and clubs, filling our days with our kids at home can feel daunting. Read the list below so that you’ll be confident and prepared with these indoor activities for the next time you hear, “I’m bored!” These indoor activities are perfect for playtime, during a break from distance learning, or even on the weekends.
More: 25 Toys, Books, and Games to Stock Up On Before We're Stuck Inside this Winter
Whether you're stuck inside on a rainy day or are quarantining and social distancing during the coronavirus pandemic, these simple and fun activities are sure to be a hit with the whole family, even the older kids!
DIY Crafts and Printables
1. Craft Night
Pull out your craft box and let your littles’ imaginations take over. Give them construction paper, glue, pipe cleaners, googly eyes, markers, pom poms, paper plates, toilet paper rolls, popsicle sticks, shaving cream, and anything else you can think of for a DIY extravaganza. Unless you really love cleaning, strongly consider avoiding glitter.
2. Paint by Number
There are so many paint by number kits on Amazon to choose from depending on your kid’s style.
3. Hand Print Wall Art
Make some home decor using your little one’s hand prints. It will be fun for years to come to look back at those tiny hands.
4. Practice Photography
Learn some tips and tricks to use your camera. Gather your family to do an at home photo shoot with your new skills.
5. Make Pottery
Take an online pottery class or find a pottery kit like this one from Amazon to get you started.
6. Friendship Bracelets
Relive your childhood and learn to make friendship bracelets together.
Start putting together a scrapbook and enjoy reliving old memories with your family. It can be basic or you can get creative with stickers, printed paper and craft scissors.
8. Time Capsule
This is one of our all time favorite activity ideas perfect for New Year's, a birthday, or anytime at all. Put together a time capsule with your family. There’s no limit to what you can include. Consider photos, trinkets, current events and little memories, but get creative! Decide when you will open it and hide it away. (You can also use our free printable time capsule activity to get you started).
9. Fun with Cardboard Boxes
Get creative with all of those boxes from your online orders! Make a tunnel or a castle out of boxes. Get creative and paint or color it with markers.
10. Decorate a Recycling Bin
Decorate your own recycling bin and learn about the process to get your littles excited about sustainability.
11. Create a Sensory Bin
Sensory bins are a great way to engage all the senses to learn about the world around us. Luckily you can create your own at home with a few simple items like a bin, some rice, a spoon and a few toys. Sensory activities can be beneficial for kids of all ages, but are our top choice for activities for toddlers.
12. Make Sock Puppets
Make your own sock puppets and have a puppet show.
13. Tie Dye Shirts
Tie dye is making a comeback! Jump on the trend and tie dye some matching shirts.
14. Paper Mache
Learn to make paper mache and watch your littles get their hands dirty while they create some art.
15. Make Playdough
Make your own fun colored play dough with food coloring or kool aid. Check out our favorite homemade playdough recipes.
16. Perler Beads
The colorful little beads, also known as fuse beads or melty beads, are used to create a design and then melted together into one solid piece with an iron. You can purchase them on Amazon.
17. Latch Hook
Create some art with a cozy feel by learning to latch hook.
18. Learn Origami
Learn the beautiful art of folding colorful squares of paper into different shapes or animals.
19. Printable Coloring Pages
Bust out a box of crayons and check out our printables section for printable coloring pages for the whole family to enjoy. Pro tip: print personalized coloring pages using your own photos for extra fun while coloring.
20. Make Slime
Learning to make slime will introduce an added layer of fun to playing with it. Check out our favorite non-toxic slime recipes.
Toys and Games
21. Family Game Night
Host a family game night! These can be board games or party games, like charades.
22. Family Movie Night
Pick out a movie, grab some blankets and put together your favorite concession style snacks for a family movie night.
23. Make a Ball Pit
Turn a pack n’ play or large cardboard box into a ball bit. A big bag of plastic balls is inexpensive on Amazon and guaranteed entertainment for your littles.
24. Beanbag Toss
Have a bean bag toss tournament. You can use laundry hampers and socks as a makeshift alternative if you don’t have a set up at home.
25. Do a Puzzle
Put together a 1,000-piece puzzle as a family. (We recommend this one from Amazon that might help ease the wanderlust blues.)
26. Build a Lego Home
Legos are so much fun and allow you to get lost in creativity for a few hours at a time. Buy a set or get creative and build your own creation.
Imaginative Play Ideas
27. Build a Blanket Fort
Gather all the sheets and blankets from your linen closet and let those creative little minds construct a cozy fort. When it’s done, snuggle in and read some books by flashlight inside together.
28. Put on a Performance
Write and perform a play, have a dance recital or a talent show.
29. Indoor Camping Trip
Set up your tent and grab a flashlight and a mug of hot chocolate for some living room camping.
30. Scavenger Hunt
Design an indoor scavenger hunt for your kiddos. Give them a list of items to find or turn it into a treasure hunt with a special prize waiting at the end.
31. Tea Party
There’s no better reason to pull out your fancy tea set. Set out some snacks and have a casual or fancy tea party with your littles.
32. Play Dress Up
Littles love wearing our clothes and shoes and let's face it, they look adorable when they do. Encourage creativity by playing dress up.
33. At Home Spa Day
Relax and model good self care to your littles with an at home spa day. Soak your feet, put on a face mask and take some deep breaths.
34. Plan a Future Vacation
Part of the thrill of vacation may be from the fun of looking forward to it! Look at a big map and let your kids dream up a future destination and plan your next get away.
35. Pen Pals
Team up with another family to be pen pals. Drop a letter in the mail box for a break from our digital world and screen time.
36. Fancy Dinner Night
Get dressed up and have a fancy dinner night with a home cooked meal or takeout.
37. Make a Family Movie
Make and record a movie. You can write a script and act it out or film a few little moments from each day to compile them all at the end of the year as a keepsake.
38. Make an at Home Museum
Create some art and hang it on a “gallery wall” in your family room. Let each kiddo describe their art and place a little museum style label next to it.
39. Play School
Take turns teaching each other about your favorite subjects.
40. Attend a Virtual Concert
There are many opportunities to attend a virtual concert. Pick a genre your family enjoys and spend the night listening to a live performance from the comfort of your home.
41. Take a Virtual Vacation
Pick a place you have always wanted to visit as a family and plan your virtual vacation day. You can find fun trips ranging from Machu Picchu to the San Diego Zoo.
42. International Night
Let your kids look at a big map and pick a country they’re interested in. Learn five facts about that country while you cook a dish customary to that place.
43. Theme Weeks
Create a theme week such as “the human body” or “dinosaurs.” Make a treat, read books and watch videos all week that align with your theme. We will be making eyeball cupcakes and watching an episode of The Magic School Bus.
44. Learn an Instrument
Playing an instrument can help to reduce stress, teach patience and foster creativity. Using time at home to learn to play a new instrument can be a fun way to teach these skills and create beautiful music. You can choose anything from a recorder to a ukulele.
Plan a day to stay in your pajamas and read. You can read aloud to your littles or read silently together on the couch. You can make a colorful goal sheet to track your goal number of books to read each month to keep the motivation up.
46. Creative Writing
Write silly or scary stories. You can all write your own and read aloud to each other or brainstorm ideas together and write one story.
47. Make a Bird Feeder
Make and fill a bird feeder. You’ll have fun putting it together and then can enjoy learning about all the birds that it attracts.
48. Learn Another Language
Learning another language is easy and fun with apps like DuoLingo.
49. Ant Farm
Buy an ant farm on Amazon and learn about the lifecycle of ants while observing them first hand.
50. Watch Caterpillars Turn to Butterflies
Put together a terrarium with a few caterpillars. Give them food, sunshine and patience and watch them turn into beautiful butterflies.
51. Have a Science Fair
Let your kiddos put their smarts on display. Create some science experiments and host a science fair where your kiddos teach you and each other about their project.
52. Grow a Garde
Grow some plants, vegetables and herbs. You can plant them outdoors in a garden or get creative with a windowsill collection. Get your littles involved in growing their own food.
53. Take an Online Class
Learn something new as a family. Take an online class of your family’s choice. Learning a new skill can be a bonding experience.
54. Visit National Parks and Historic Sights from Home
Take a virtual trip to a beautiful natural wonder like a National Park and learn about the local ecosystems.
55. Learn to Juggle
This fun party trick will help teach patience and hand eye coordination.
Fun in the Kitchen
56. Cutout Cookies
Mix up a batch of your favorite cookie dough and find your cookie cutters (or buy these kid-friendly ones on Amazon) in the back of your cabinet. Let everyone decorate their own cookies with icing, sprinkles, colorful sugar and mini candies.
57. Learn a New Recipe
Open up a cookbook and learn a new recipe together. I am eager to get my hands on a copy of Claire Safftiz’s Dessert Person for some fun and elaborate baking projects.
58. Have an Indoor Picnic
There’s something special about packing a picnic lunch. Grab a blanket and assortment of your favorite snacks and have a picnic in your living room or backyard.
59. Bake a Family Recipe
Pull out the old recipe box or call a family member to get the recipe for a beloved dish. Make it with your kiddos and tell them about memories from your childhood.
60. Build Your Own Personal Pizza
Make or buy some pizza dough, cut up a bunch of fun toppings and place them on a big wooden cutting board. Let your littles roll out their own personal pizzas and load up with toppings that they love.
61. Holiday-Themed Truffles
Pinterest is loaded with ideas for cute holiday-themed Oreo truffles no matter what time of year. Last year we made turkeys with big cartoon eyes for Thanksgiving and they were a huge hit. This year we will be making Oreo red velvet for Valentine's Day. The real challenge is not eating all the Oreos before the truffles come together.
62. Make Breakfast for Dinner
Get out your waffle maker or make fun silly-shaped pancakes for breakfast for dinner night.
63. Sushi Night
Learn how to roll your own sushi. Let your kiddos pick fun ingredients to put into your rolls. You can be daring and get sushi grade fish from your local seafood shop or cut different vegetables and chicken or shrimp. For a kid-friendly treat, replace rice with Rice Krispies treats and stuff them with Swedish fish!
64. Make Homemade Ice Cream
Learn about science while making a tasty treat with home made ice cream in a bag.
65. Online Cooking Class
Take an online cooking class to step up your meal prep game. Classes range from foodie classes to cooking with kids and everything in between.
66. Decorate Cupcakes
Make some edible art with colorful icing, chocolate, sprinkles and googly eyes.
Take an online family yoga class to stretch, move and relax.
68. Take an Online Fitness Class
Find a fun themed class like this superhero fitness class for kids to get those little bodies moving.
Learn the art of mindfulness with an app, like Calm, or some flash cards from Amazon.
70. Create an Obstacle Course
Build an obstacle course in your living room and race against the clock to finish it.
71. Play Freeze Dance
This is a fun simple way to get moving and bring out those endorphins and giggles with some upbeat music.
72. Hide and Seek
Good old hide and seek needs no explanation.
73. Donate Clothes and Toys
Teach and practice some gratitude by reviewing your belongings and donating items still in good shape to a local family in need.
74. Make Care Packages
Assemble and pack care packages with toiletries and other essentials. Drop them off at your local shelter or distribute to unhoused members of your community.
75. Make a Meal for Someone in Need
Make a meal for a new mom or elderly neighbor and drop it off on their doorstep.
Looking for more ideas? Check our Entertainment and Activities Center for inspiration.
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Lauren Anderson is a new mom living in Saint Paul, Minnesota. She has a busy career in health care, and in her free time loves to hike with her husband and son, Hudson, train for half marathons, and experiment with new recipes in her kitchen.