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In the warmer months, it seems to be easier to keep the kids entertained than in the winter where we’re mostly limited to the indoors. (Because mama just doesn’t do cold.) We’re hoping these indoor activities for kids will be the cure-all for snow days this winter!
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 often work at home. I’m sure that you have those times in the day that you just gotta get stuff done too.
So my plan this winter is to print out this list for my kids to keep them busy, while I mark some items off my to-do list.
You can receive a printable checklist version of this list (plus access to our entire freebie library) at the end of this post. If you’re in a real hurry,click here to jump to the end. (P.S., it’s very low on color to make it more printer-friendly!)
40 Creative Indoor Activities for Kids of All Ages
Here are 40 ideas for keeping kids on their toes, unplugged from technology (always a plus!) and stretching those creative muscles.
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 ideas for all ages listed below.
- Make snow ice cream or ice cream in a bag if you don’t have snow 🙂
- Make a fort with chairs and sheets. Light it up with Christmas tree lights!
- Make homemade playdough and create a playdough village.
- Have the kids write their own play and perform it.
- Make sock puppets and act out a skit.
- Bake cookies or a cake.
- Write a story about your life or about yourself in the future.
- See how high you can stack plastic cups, or make a castle or “igloo” with them.
- Hunt for pennies around the house and make these penny spinners.
- Make homemade hot chocolate and watch a movie together.
- Paint a picture (with craft paint or whatever paint you have on hand). For younger kids, place a piece of paper inside a gallon size ziplock bag, add some paint and let them “paint” through the plastic for less mess!
- Make potato stamps and find a variety of things to stamp: copy paper, newspaper, an old t-shirt, etc.
- Make instruments with rubberbands, wax paper and toilet paper rolls or other objects (baking pans, tin cans, wooden spoons etc).
- Create a sensory bin in a plastic shoebox with hidden objects for younger kids to find.
- Grow an indoor herb garden and let kids help plan the dinner menus with their results.
- Make some kid-friendly DIY bath bombs for bathtime.
- Build a marble run out of toilet paper rolls or paper cups.
- Cut out paper snowflakes to decorate the house. Check out these free printable templates.
- Purchase a Kinetic Sand kit and let younger kids play on top of a sheet on the kitchen floor.
- Act out a scene from your favorite movie.
- Pop some microwave popcorn (we like making our own in one of these) and make popcorn garland (or just eat it!).
- Make your own snowglobe.
- Play charades.
- Color macaroni noodles with markers and string onto necklaces.
- Make “my favorites” collages by cutting out pictures from magazines of your favorite animals, items with all your favorite colors, favorite foods, etc and pasting on posterboard or a large piece of cardboard.
- Play a board game.
- Find all the Legos and/or blocks in the house and create the tallest structure possible.
- Play card games together — check out these 15 easy card game ideas for kids.
- Write a letter to an out-of-state relative or friend.
- Start a journal. (Check out our Free Printable Family Journal!)
- Make a zoo with all the stuffed animals in the house. Use laundry baskets, cardboard, string, etc for cages and fences.
- Make an indoor obstacle course.
- Play dress-up in Halloween costumes.
- Make plastic bottle bowling pins and bowl down the hallway with a basketball.
- Make costumes out of newspaper and tape – or cardboard boxes. Color with markers or crayons. (Ideas: dress up as pirates, princesses/knights or animals.)
- For older kids: organize schoolwork, pictures and artwork you’ve saved from previous years into a scrapbook or binder.
- Have a tea party with fancy outfits, real tea and cookies.
- Make some non-toxic slime. (Even better- use natural food coloring. We love this kind.)
- Go fishing indoors with a fishing pole, paperclips and gummy worms. (Instructions here.)
- Make bird seed ornaments for the birds to enjoy.
If you’d like a printable checklist version of these indoor activities for kids, fill out the form below to join our mailing list and receive it in your inbox right away!
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