40 Creative Indoor Activities for Kids of All Ages

How to keep kids entertained when they’re cooped up in the house?  We’re relying on these indoor activities for kids to save the day.

When I’m not forced to think about it, I can come up with lots of creative activity ideas for my kids.

When they’re standing in the kitchen whining about being sooo bored, however, I tend to draw a blank!

And it’s especially important for me to have an arsenal of “things to do when bored” for the kids, since I work at home.

Image of child playing with cardboard sword and cardboard helmet, with second image below of kids playing with legos on the floor, with text in between images: "40 tech-free activities for kids stuck indoors"

I’m sure that you have those times in the day that you just gotta get stuff done too.

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Indoor games, crafts and more

My solution (especially for long winter days) is to print out this list of indoor games, crafts and other fun activities for kids to keep them busy.

While everyone is entertained the old-fashioned way, I mark some items off my to-do list and enjoy the (semi) quiet.

It’s a win-win.

You can receive a printable checklist version of this list at the end of this post.

Image of boy and girl siblings playing pretend with airplanes and props on a couch.

Creative Indoor Activities for Kids at Home: to Keep Kids Busy!

Below are 40 fun indoor activities for kids:

The best ideas for keeping them active, unplugged from technology (always a plus!) and stretching those creative muscles.

You could even call these January activities for kids, as we often start pulling this list out around that time.

A few will require planning ahead of time, but most of these activities involve items you probably already have at home.

There are a variety of ideas that are fun for all ages, listed below.

1| Make snow ice cream

Or, make ice cream in a bag if you don’t have snow 🙂

2| Make a fort with chairs and sheets.

Light it up with Christmas lights or fairy lights!

Two girls playing inside a homemade Indoor fort with fairy lights- concept of activity idea for kids at home.

3| Make homemade playdough.

Create your favorite animals, a playdough family or even a playdough village.

4|  Write (or ad-lib) a play

Work together with siblings, assign parts and have an after-dinner performance.

image of a brother and sister acting out a play in front of a makeshift curtain with gold banners hanging behind them. Concept of indoor activities for all ages to participate in.

5| Make sock puppets

Dad’s old tube socks make great puppets!

All you need is some markers, googly eyes and some yarn to decorate.

6| Bake cookies or a cake

You could also sign them up for online cooking classes!

Check out this one that we love: Kids Cook Real Food.

Image of preteen girl rolling out dough on a kitchen counter. Concept of teaching kids to bake as a fun indoor activity.

7| Write a story

Retell a famous fairytale in your own words, or write about yourself in the future.

8| Stacking Cups

Image of red disposable cups stacked in a pyramid on the living room floor. Stacking cups: One idea for Indoor activities for Kids

See how high you can stack the cups, or make a castle or “igloo” with them. 

9| Make Penny Spinners

Hunt for pennies around the house (or in the car!) and make these penny spinners.

10| Movie Night

Make homemade hot chocolate (my kids’ favorite recipe), pop some popcorn and watch a movie together.

Image of mom, dad and three kids resting on pillows on the sofa, watching a family movie with twinkling lights in the background for ambiance.

Some of our favorite family movies:

The Lego Movie

Miracles from Heaven


Dolphin Tale

Bridge to Terabithia

11| Paint a picture

Use craft paint, paint pens, watercolors or whatever paint you have on hand.

For younger kids, place a piece of paper inside a gallon size ziplock bag, add some finger paints and let them “paint” through the plastic for less mess!

12| Make potato stamps

Image of child painting a potato stamp. Concept of idea for Indoor activities for kids- potato stamping.

Look for a variety of things you have lying around to stamp:  copy paper, newspaper, an old t-shirt, etc.

13| Make instruments

Use rubberbands, wax paper and toilet paper rolls or other household objects.

Think: baking pans, tin cans, wooden spoons etc.

14| Create a sensory bin

Use a plastic shoebox with hidden objects in oats or rice for younger kids to find.

Image of child digging up plastic insects in a sensory bin made at home.

15|  Grow an indoor herb garden

Let kids help plan the dinner menus with their results.

16| Make some kid-friendly DIY bath bombs

If you’re a homeschooler, this is also a great science and/or craft experiment.

Your teens could even learn to make and sell these as a side hustle!

Image of colored bath bombs sitting on a bathroom shelf. Concept of a fun DIY craft for kids.

17| Build a marble run

Use toilet paper rolls, paper cups and duct tape to construct it.

Or come up with your own materials to make it more complicated, if you wish!

18| Cut out paper snowflakes to decorate the house.

Simply fold a piece of paper into different shapes, and cut little triangles and slivers of paper out of your shape; then unfold.

Or check out these free printable templates.

Image of a teen's hands holding a finished DIY paper snowflake over a craft table.

19| Invest in a Kinetic Sand kit

Now you can play at the beach indoors!

Younger kids can play on top of a sheet on the kitchen floor for less mess.

Image of a young boy and girl sitting on a purple sheet on the kitchen floor, playing with moldable Kinetic Sand: concept of Indoor Activities Ideas for Kids

20| Act out a scene from your favorite movie.

Some moms will appreciate mess-free ideas like this one.

Instead of writing their own play, younger kids especially may enjoy reenacting a movie they love.

21| Make popcorn garland

Pop some microwave popcorn (we like making our own in one of these) and string onto thread with a plastic needle.

If you want to make it pretty, add some fresh cranberries.

22|  Make your own snowglobe

I love an indoor activity for kids or craft that all four of my kids can work together to create, and this is one we love to do.

Younger kids can look for objects to put in the snowglobe and will love playing with them over and over again.

Find instructions here.

Image of snowman snowglobe held in the hands of a small child. Concept of DIY snowglobe activity.

23| Play charades

You (or an older child) can make a list of ideas; tear the list into strips and let each team take turns drawing ideas out of a hat.

24| Make macaroni necklaces

Color macaroni noodles with markers and string onto yarn. Add beads, Cheerios, or buttons in between.

25| Make “my favorites” collages

Cut out pictures from magazines of your favorite animals, items with all your favorite colors, or favorite foods, etc.

Then paste on a poster board or a large piece of cardboard.

(Save those Amazon boxes or turn cereal boxes inside-out.)

You could also repurpose and paint an old frame to turn it into room decor.

Image of teen girl finishing a collage of her favorite place (Paris) and hanging it on her bedroom wall.

26| Play a board game.

Lately, our favorites are Carcassone and Sequence – great games for all ages (or at least easy to team up together on!)

27| Lego hunt & build

Find all the Legos and/or blocks in the house and create the tallest structure possible.

Image of grade-school aged girl stacking legos on a table - idea for indoor creative activities.

28| Play card games together

Check out these 15 easy card game ideas for kids.

29| Write a letter

Think of an out-of-state relative or friend and practice your letter-writing skills.

30| Start a journal.

You can use some notebooks from the dollar store or use Our Family Journal.

(With Our Family Journal, you can build a journal together you can look back on each year.)

My youngest also likes to create her own journals by hole-punching or stapling several pieces of paper together and adding a construction paper cover.

31| Make a zoo

Gather all the stuffed animals in the house.

Use laundry baskets, cardboard, string, etc for cages and fences.

32| Make an indoor obstacle course.

Use chairs, pillows, stack up blocks…whatever you have.

Give some instructions, set a timer and see who can complete the course the fastest.

(This is a fun idea for really long, cold days!)

33| Play dress-up in old Halloween costumes.

This one hardly needs explanation!

My younger kids love any chance to dress up.

Image of two girls and a boy standing side by side in a mouse, pirate and cat costume.

If you live in a neighborhood, you could even host a dress-up party.

34| Indoor bowling

Make plastic bottle bowling pins and bowl down the hallway with a basketball or bouncy ball.

35| Make newspaper costumes

Image of preteen girl standing in kitchen with a newspaper pirate hat and newspaper sword. Concept of Indoor Activities for Kids - Newspaper Pirate Costume

Use newspaper and tape – or cardboard boxes.

Color with markers or crayons, paint, glitter, etc.

(Ideas:  dress up as pirates, princesses/knights or animals.)

36| Make a memory book

For older kids:  organize schoolwork, pictures and artwork you’ve saved from previous years into a scrapbook or binder.

Or, take pictures from a recent family trip and let younger kids put them into a photo book.

37| Have a tea party

Wear fancy outfits (my daughter loves her lace “lady gloves”) and make real tea and cookies.

Vertical image of two kids in superhero costumes, with text above that reads "Creative indoor fun for kids stuck at home". Pinterest graphic.

38| Make some non-toxic slime.

Even better- use natural food coloring. We love this kind.

39| Go fishing indoors

Use a fishing “pole” (or stick or dowel rod), paperclips and gummy worms.  (Instructions here.)

40| Make bird seed ornaments

When you’re thinking of activities for kids inside, look no further than..outside!

Bird seed ornaments are a classic kids’ activity that requires no skill but are really fun to make.

Watch from the window to see if you can identify the birds your creations attract.

Image of bird seed ornament craft hanging from a tree outside.

Free printable list of activities for kids indoors

These fun activities for all ages are some of our family’s favorites.

We hope these ideas will spark the imagination in your home, and put an end to the “I’m bored” mantra on cold, rainy days!

*For the free printable version of the Indoor Activities for Kids list, simply login below:

Image of free printable list of activities for kids- graphic to click on, to download the list of inside activities detailed in this post.
Collage image with photo of kids in a cardboard boat indoors and another image of a girl at an art table, painting a picture, with text in between the images: "40 Indoor Activities for Kids who need to unplug". Pinterest graphic depicting Fun indoor kids activities that encourage creativity and imagination at home. Easy, cheap or free ideas for all ages, toddlers through big kids, including free printable list within this post.

Originally published December 15, 2018; last updated 12/10/23.

6 thoughts on “40 Creative Indoor Activities for Kids of All Ages”

  1. You have shared some amazing indoor activities for kids of all ages. Perfect way to unplug kids from technology & involve them in some creative ideas. I think kids will have a great time enjoying these activities for long hours. Thanks for sharing such a wonderful blog with us.

  2. I am a kid and really enjoyed that but I would like more pictures to explain things. Overall I liked all the ideas.

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