40 Creative Indoor Activities for Kids of All Ages

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.

These fun and easy indoor activities for kids are perfect for winter or rainy days. Free printable available. #Activities #Kids #Fun #Winter #Indoors #Crafts #Games

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.  It’s a win-win.

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

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.

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 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!

Indoor fort - activity idea

3|  Make homemade playdough.

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

4|  Write a play

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

5|  Make sock puppets

Dad’s old tube socks make great puppets!

6|  Bake cookies or a cake

You could also sign them up for online cooking classes!  Check out this popular one: Kids Cook Real Food.

7|  Write a story

Retell a famous fairytale or write about yourself in the future.

8|  Stacking Cups

Stacking cups: 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 car!) and make these penny spinners.

10|  Movie Night

Make homemade hot chocolate , pop some popcorn and watch a movie together.

11|  Paint a picture

Use 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!

12|  Make potato stamps

Indoor activities for kids- potato stamping

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

13|  Make instruments

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

15|  Grow an indoor herb garden

Let kids help plan the dinner menus with their results.

16|  Make some kid-friendly DIY bath bombs

17|  Build a marble run

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

18|  Cut out paper snowflakes to decorate the house.

Check out these free printable templates.

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.

Kinetic Sand: Indoor Activities for Kids

20|  Act out a scene from your favorite movie.

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

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.

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.

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.

25|  Make “my favorites” collages

Cut out pictures from magazines of your favorite animals, items with all your favorite colors, or favorite foods, etc and paste on posterboard or a large piece of cardboard.

26|  Play a board game.

Lately, our favorites are Carcassone and Sequence.

27|  Lego hunt & build

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

Stacking legos - indoor activities for kids

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 below and build a journal together you can look back on each year!

Our family journal ad

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.

33|  Play dress-up in old Halloween costumes.

This one hardly needs explanation! My younger kids love any chance to dress up.

34|  Indoor bowling

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

(Or buy a set like this one.)

35|  Make creative costumes

Indoor Activities for Kids - Newspaper Pirate Costume

Use newspaper and tape – or cardboard boxes.  Color with markers or crayons.  (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.

37|  Have a tea party

Wear fancy outfits, make real tea and cookies.

fun things for kids to do inside when stuck at home

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

See if you can identify the birds these attract!

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 printable version of this list, simply click on the image below:
free printable list of activities for kids
 
Fun indoor kids activities that encourage creativity and imagination at home. Easy, cheap or free ideas for all ages, toddlers through big kids. Free printable list. #Activities #Fun #Indoors #Creative #Kids #Printable #Parenting

Originally published December 15, 2018; last updated 5/30/21.

4 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.

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