101 indoor games and activities for kids
It’s easy for children to get cabin fever when they’re stuck inside because of a bad weather day. That’s why it’s a good idea for you to have some fun indoor games and activities for the kids to do while they wait for the rain to go away.
If the kids start to get a little stir crazy, parenting expert and pediatric specialist Jennifer Chung recommends throwing a dance party. “Kids have tons of energy to burn,” she says. “So if the weather is keeping everyone indoors, turn on some music and let them dance it out.”
Alternatively, if you need to dial it down, Chung suggests making a fluffy nest of blankets and pillows on the floor and having a little storytime.
“Indoor activities are awesome and can be anything from big and elaborate to small and quiet," says education specialist Leah Kyaio.
We've put together a long list of indoor games and activities — both big and small — organized by topic that kids are sure to enjoy.
Fun food activities for kids
1. Bake and decorate sugar cookies.
2. Play a game where kids shut their eyes and you feed them different types of food. Have them try to guess what they're eating based on flavor alone.
3. Cook a special family dinner.
4. Have an indoor picnic in the family room. Everyone can pick out or make something to share.
5. Construct marshmallow toys using mini-marshmallows and pretzel sticks.
6. Prepare breakfast in bed for someone special.
7. Make snack bags with everyone’s favorite sweet or savory treats.
8. Make cupcakes for a friend.
9. Make pancakes for breakfast (or breakfast for dinner!) and see who can come up with the most creative shapes.
Artsy activities children will enjoy
10. Make a giant crayon cupcake craft out of old, broken crayons.
11. Collect family photos, and make an album.
12. Color dry beans and make art.
13. Learn how to whip up homemade body lotion and lip balm, and have a DIY beauty spa day.
14. Make your own lava lamp and make science fun for kids.
15. Make dream catchers out of paper plates and string.
16. Take the items you found on your last nature walk, and use them to create multi-textured art. Glue flowers, sticks and sand to a piece of construction paper.
17. Inspire a future decorator or architect, and design a dream house out of clay.
18. Create colorful bracelets and necklaces for friends and family out of colored thread.
19. Get out the face-painting kit, and make crazy faces on each other.
Games for kids that require no prep
20. Play your favorite rhyming game.
21. Play “Duck Duck Goose.”
22. Pick favorite animals or people and play the “who am I?” or “what is it?” guessing game.
23. Play “Follow the Leader.”
24. Play patty cake.
25. Play the “Clapping Game.”
26. In a basement or large space, do some crab walk or wheelbarrow races.
27. Play “I Spy.”
28. Play hide-and-seek.
Sports-related indoor activities for kids
29. Set up an indoor hopscotch grid using painter’s tape.
30. Set up a "balance beam" using masking tape on the floor.
31. Set up an indoor basketball game using a bucket and a rolled up sock.
32. Make your own sports triangles to play paper football.
33. Set up indoor bowling using empty water bottles and a tennis ball.
34. Blow up a balloon and play “Keep It Up.”
35. Build an indoor mini-golf course using plastic cups set up around your living room.
36. Set up an indoor obstacle course.
37. Try some easy, kid-friendly yoga stretches.
Activities to bring out a child’s musical side
38. Have a sing-a-long.
39. Gather objects from around the house (pots, spoons, paper towel tube, etc.) to make your own musical instruments, and play your favorite songs.
40. Look up popular YouTube dance videos for kids and follow along with the choreography.
41. Sing karaoke.
42. Have a dance party.
43. Pick out your favorite songs, and play the “Music Freeze” game.
44. Create noise makers out of empty bottles and beans or rice.
45. Play musical cushions, just like musical chairs but using cushions spread out on your living room floor.
46. Gather around the fireplace and sing camp songs.
Educational activities kids can have fun with
47. Try some simple science experiments.
48. Plant indoor flower pots or herbs.
49. Write a story together.
50. Create a touch-and-feel box by cutting a hole in an old shoebox and filling it with different items that your child will be able to identify by feel.
51. Make your own bookmarks for storytime.
52. Practice chemistry that smells nice by making your own perfume. You only need three things.
53. Take turns reading to each other. Everyone reads a sentence or a page.
55. Start a piggy bank or coin collection.
56. Learn how to sew, and make hats with colorful pom poms for yourself.
Games that get kids moving
57. Have a pillow fight.
58. Have an indoor snowball fight using balled up socks.
59. Play “Pin the Tail on the Donkey.”
60. Find a hula hoop and see how long you can keep it going.
61. Using a bandana, try out “Blind Man’s Bluff.”
62. Create a DIY “Twister” game using masking tape and colored paper.
63. Using a broom, try out some “Limbo.”
64. Place a balloon between one another’s torsos and see how far you can walk without dropping it.
65. Grab a potato, beanbag or ball, and play “Hot Potato.”
66. Get some exercise, and see who can do the most jumping jacks.
Activities for children using simple toys and objects
67. Collect all your kid’s toy cars, and have a mini car wash in the sink.
68. Set up a miniature train and village.
69. Build a skyscraper out of blocks or Legos.
70. Make and blow bubbles that are safe for indoor use.
71. Build a pillow fort.
72. Build an ocean in your bathtub and fill it with toy boats.
73. Fill a balloon with a little sand using a funnel, and blow it up halfway to make a fun ball to play with.
74. Using string, play “Cat’s Cradle.”
Sit-down games to play with kids
75. Play a classic game like “Old Maid.”
76. Play pickup sticks.
77. Make your own tic-tac-toe or hangman games.
78. Make your own Bingo cards and play.
79. Play the “I Doubt It” card game.
80. Try a concentration game by setting up a group of stuffed animals. Take one away and ask your child to figure out what’s missing.
81. Have some fun with a game of “Cranium.”
82. Play “Guess Who?”
Easy crafts for kids using paper products
83. Using sheet paper, make an origami fortune teller.
84. Make cards for loved ones like grandparents and put them in the mail.
85. Construct an indoor sandcastle using paper towel rolls and miscellaneous cardboard and construction paper.
86. Make binoculars out of TP rolls and personalize them with art supplies.
87. Cut up magazines and newspapers and create a collage.
88. Create snowflakes with scissors and a sheet of paper.
89. Paint or draw a picture on cardboard, cut it into shapes and create your own puzzle.
90. Get large pieces of paper and trace one another’s bodies on the floor.
91. Create your own paper beads out of magazines for a necklace or bracelet.
92. Build a homemade telescope using a paper towel roll.
Entertainment and pretend play activities for children
93. Learn a few good magic tricks.
94. Sit in a circle or around a fire and tell each other ghost stories.
95. Host your own matinee movie.
96. Drag out the costume box and have a fashion photo shoot. Must-haves include feather boas and necklaces.
97. Dress up in old costumes, or create new ones.
98. Teach them how to tell a joke.
99. Try different hairstyles on each other.
100. Do some silly shakes when you need to get the energy out.
101. Set up a stage, and put on your own show.