Yes, we all love sunshine and going out for fresh air. But it doesn’t always work like that. Sometimes the weather is too bad, or we are stuck at home due to some unexpected events (like we have been for the past two years). For one reason or another, sometimes we just have to be at home with the kids. Although it may seem like it is easier to find things to do outdoors, there are many fun and educational activities that you can do indoors with your kid!
This list of activities will include something for every type of kid. If your child loves doing arts and crafts, we’ve got you covered. DIY projects are almost always fun, so there will be lots of that. You will even find some puzzles and little games, quality time like reading a great book together, or even cooking activities with fun recipes!
Fun Indoor Activities for Toddlers
Cardboard Box World
You probably have heaps of cardboard boxes lying around at home, waiting to be turned into something. Well, this is the chance! Gather up various sizes of cardboard boxes in the middle of the room and let your child’s imagination run wild! You can also provide them with shiny and colorful craft paper that you cut into various shapes. They can use this to do whatever they want, or you can give them directions and options to try out.
One of the things they can do is turn the cardboard boxes into cars and trains . Help your child stick four oval craft papers on the bottom of the boxes to be the tires, as well as some rectangle windows on the top. Or you can ask them to create a robot out of many small cardboard boxes. Let their imagination work its magic.
Bowling at Home!
Bowling is almost always a good idea, and you can easily create a bowling alley at home! All you would need is some plastic bottles, empty toilet paper, or paper towel rolls that you can turn into pins! Take a blue tape or any other kind of tape that you have at home to shape out your alley on the floor. Put x’s where the pins would go. Then give your child a ball and have them roll and hit as many of the pins as they can!
You can also practice numbers if your child is old enough. Count how many pins they managed to knock down, have them add their score, or write it on a piece of paper to keep tabs. Toddlers LOVE knocking things down, so they will get a real kick out of this activity that you can prepare really easily!
Sort the Pom Poms
This activity is excellent for developing and boosting the fine motor skills of your child. It is really easy to prepare and doesn’t require much preparation ahead of time. All you would need is big and small, colorful pom poms, and a container that has multiple sections. Muffin pans work great for this activity.
You can start by color sorting the pom-poms and saying the colors out loud. Then ask your child to take the pom poms out of the sections and put them in there themselves. While sorting the pom poms by their colors, your child will learn to recognize the colors, match them, and work on some essential fine motor skills like gripping and pinching.
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Indoor Halloween Activities
What a time to be festive and have some spooky fun! Trick-or-treating may be a staple for Halloween, but you don’t always have to go out to have fun. There are many Halloween crafts and activities to try out indoors!
Pumpkin Seed Counting
You will need to print out or draw some pumpkins and number cards for this game. Have as many as you would like or target the numbers suitable for your child’s age. The goal is to have the sheet with the pumpkin on it and put a number card on the top corner. This will be the number of seeds the child has to put inside the pumpkin. Of course, you can get your child’s favorite small candy for this activity to make it more fun!
This activity will help boost your child’s fine motor skills when they pinch and pick up the candies to put inside the pumpkin. In addition, they will get a lot of chances to practice numbers and counting!
Ghost Hunting at Home!
This activity is an excellent alternative for trick-or-treating outside. You would need to prepare a little and do some crafts and makeshift black light, but it is worth it! You will need white paper, a black marker, and a black light flashlight with some candy. If you don’t have a blacklight flashlight, here is a useful tutorial on youtube where you can turn your phone’s flashlight into one!
Cut out some big or small ghost-shaped papers. The size of the ghosts will depend on what you will hide underneath. Put eyes on them with the black marker. There you have it, various-sized ghosts. Now, you can hide candy, treats, or small objects or prizes you want. Place these items around your house and put ghosts on them. When it’s dark, turn all of your lights and have your child look for the ghosts and the hidden prizes with the black light.
Bean Bag Tossing Game
Bean bags can be a lot of fun during Halloween, too! If you are already planning on carving out pumpkins for decoration, you might as well give this activity a try. Find some big, medium, and small pumpkins and carve out faces and a big mouth to all three. Then, stack them on top of each other, with the biggest pumpkin at the bottom.
The goal here is to have your child try and toss bean bags into the pumpkins. Play this game with your family and keep score. For example, you can earn 10 points for the bottom pumpkin, 20 for the middle, and 30 for the top pumpkin.
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Indoor Winter Activities
Blind Snowman Drawing
The creations of your child will make the whole family giggle! This is an amazing activity to play with multiple kids and join them while you are at it! Gather the children around a table and give each child a piece of paper and color pencils. Have them close their eyes, and without looking at the paper, give them prompts to draw a snowman. For instance, you can say,”Draw a big circle at the bottom. Now draw a smaller circle on top.” and so on. Once you are done with every part of the snowman, tell them to open their eyes and share their creations with the other kids.
Snowball Fight Without Snow
Snowball fights are half the fun in wintertime. So why not bring it indoors! This energy-filled activity will entertain kids to no end. For this activity, roll up balls of paper (try to use waste paper rather than wasting a brand new sheet of paper) and start playing! You can even use white socks or try to make your own snowballs out of fabric by filling them with pillow stuffing. Give each child a bucket of fake snowballs and have them toss these around and at each other.
Making warm cookies with your child and drinking hot cocoa with them around a picnic blanket in the house will help you spend the coziest time ever during winter. You can find many cookie recipes online. Try to include your child in this process, where they will be able to pick the flavor or the shape of the cookie. Handle the heavy-duty stuff yourself (like putting the cookies in the oven and taking them out) but try not to interfere with the rest. Prepare the cookie dough and use fun snowy cookie cutters, and then decorate!
There is something magical about hot cocoas that make everything cozy! Eat the cookies you baked together and drink your hot chocolate on a picnic blanket and create your own indoor picnic!
Indoor Summer Activities
Yes, yes, we just got out of summer and are preparing for the cold weather and activities related to that, but we still wanted to give you a couple of summer activities that you can try out with your kid at home!
Chances are you have a lot of toilet paper rolls lying around the house, waiting to be turned into a project. Well, now is their time! You can cut them out, merge them, stick one on top of the other and turn them into fun marble run tubes! Here are detailed instructions and what you will need for this fun project to build with your kiddo.
Escape the Volcano
Entertaining kids is essential, of course. But entertaining them while also teaching them is an amazing use of time while you are at home. This activity/game will give you exactly this: fun and learning at the same time. There is a bit of preparation to do and a bit of DIY, but your child will have so much fun while also learning to recognize color, name shapes, count, sing, and develop their gross motor skills. You can find detailed instructions and what you will need here .
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Art projects are always a good idea to try when you are spending time at home. Why not make it big? Get your child and do a mural! You can use an oversized cardboard box or a bedsheet you will not use anymore. Spread your material on the floor or you can also hang it on the wall. Make sure that you put a drop cloth to protect your floors if you hang it on the wall. Give your kid washable paint and make sure that the paint is kid-safe. And let them do their thing. You can also do this activity with multiple kids as a collaborative activity. Don’t forget to include your child in the decision-making process, where you will decide what to paint or draw or the materials you will use. You can also glue some items like macaroni on your mural to make it more three-dimensional!
Indoor Physical Activities
Sometimes it seems like kids have bottomless energy. These physical activities will complement this energy and channel it into fun and educational moments!
Throw a Dance Party
Music and dancing will make your child get some exercise and have fun! Do this as a family, play some upbeat and energetic music, and let loose! You can try dance-offs and let your child show off their dance skills. Also, you can turn this into a competition by playing musical chairs and have dance competitions while the music is playing!
This is the indoor version of the potato sack race. Give each of your kids a pillowcase, have them step into the pillowcases, get them at their waistline. Draw a start and a finish line with blue tape on the floor. Make sure that the field is open and empty so that if they fall, they don’t hurt themselves. Have your kids race by hopping through the ”race track” and see who will finish first!
Build an Obstacle Course
Obstacle courses are always lots of fun for kids. You don’t have to be outside to have that much fun because you can build an obstacle course at home! Use whatever you have around the house, like pillows, blankets, buckets, cardboard boxes, and other stuff. Make sure to create this course over a large area so that it is not that cramped, and try to include various activities that children will have to try like jumping, balancing, and crawling. The rest is up to your imagination. Include the children in the design process and get their ideas, and have fun!
Indoor Activities For Kids with Autism
It may be challenging for any parent to find activities that will entertain their child with autism or special needs while also contributing to and boosting their developmental skills like communication and social and fine and gross motor skills. Here, we have gathered a couple of activities that you can do indoors.
There are many sensory bin activities that will entertain your child and improve their fine motor skills. One of the sensory bins you can easily build at home is the beans or rice sensory bin. Get a big plastic container and fill it with rice. Then, get items and toys around the house and put them into the container. Another way to make it fun is to create a list of items and prompt your child to find them one by one. You can also use plastic letters and ask your child to find the letters that spell their name!
When we are outdoors, exercise comes a little easier as kids can run around. But many activities can help your child do a little exercise at home for their muscle health. One of these activities is the Simon Says. You can turn Simon Says into a little time for exercise and hit two birds with one stone. This activity also teaches your child listening skills while also working on gross motor skills.
An example of the activity can be: Simon says, “hop on your one foot 5 times”. If you think your child can follow multiple-step directions, like “Simon says ‘touch your nose 2 times, hop like a frog 5 times’”.
Building with new materials
Building activities are great to do indoors with your child. Try to gather around some items your child likes, like their favorite toys. Let your child’s imagination run wild! Bring various materials like empty cartons, shoelaces, paper towel rolls etc. This is an amazing opportunity for the entire family to get together and have immense fun!
Another fun activity that you can try with your kid is drawing or painting. Many children with autism are visual learners with specific inclination toward this skill. Recreating famous paintings with your child and asking them to paint their own version of this painting will improve their fine motor skills and provide great entertainment!