Inside: Are your kids stir crazy cause they’re stuck in the house? Not anymore with these boredom busting indoor activities for kids that you’ll enjoy too!
It was day 4 of negative degree weather. The polar vortex was here and it was colder than Antarctica, (not exaggerating even a little bit).
At first it was nice that we didn’t have to get up early to get my daughter to school. We could chill and have lazy days…
But as day 3 came around, it felt less like a luxury and more like we were trapped. Cabin fever was most definitely here, (for both me and my kids!).
My kids were itching to go outside and play in the snow and it sucked to have to tell them they couldn’t because it was dangerously cold. They didn’t really understand, so I had to resort to telling them Elsa from Frozen would end up freezing them if they went outside because that’s how cold it was! (They still love her, they just have a healthy respect for her ice powers now).
So to liven things up, I had to get creative and think of indoor activities that would keep my kids entertained and that I wouldn’t get sick of.
These are some of our favorite ways to liven up being stuck in the house no matter what the weather’s like.
So if your kids have energy to burn, or you’re stuck inside because of the weather and you’ve exhausted all your go-to activities, try these out!
(Psst. Want even more activities to do with your kids? Get 12 months worth of kids activities here!)
22 Indoor Activities for Kids
Play your favorite board games
When you can’t bear the thought of playing dolls or cars for one more minute, (there’s only so many times I can have the exact same doll/car conversation!) these board games for kids are an amazing lifeline! They’re a great change of pace and keeps you guys occupied for more than 5 minutes.
Snuggle up and read books together
This is one of our all time favorite activities. Both my kids grab a stack of books and we spend awhile reading or acting them out. Learn more about why it’s so important to read to your kids.
Here’s some great books to read with your kids:
Make a fort
You can use blankets, pillows, chairs, cardboard boxes, whatever you’ve got on hand and make a secret fort. Kids LOVE forts!
Have an indoor picnic
Anything you do that deviates from your normal routine will be an exciting change for your kids. Instead of having lunch at the table, spread out a blanket, (or towels) in a different room, and enjoy your meal together on the floor.
Play freeze dance
This is a fun way to burn that excess, (and enviable) energy your kids have!
Play don’t step on the lava
Kids love a challenge. Throw some pillows, (or rags/towels) on the floor, and challenge your kids to make it through the room without stepping on the floor (lava).
If your kids get good at this, you can try running over the pillows and see if they can avoid falling into the lava.
Play Simon Says
You can take turns being Simon to make it more fun for everyone.
If your kids love science experiments or making things, try making slime. My kids are obsessed, they play with it for over an hour!
Paint a picture
Let your kids get creative and paint some masterpieces. Once they’re dry you guys can make a gallery and put them up on the walls.
Make a car wash or doll wash in the bathtub
Grab some water friendly toys, bubble bath and let your kids have a blast washing their toys!
It’s probably best if you put your kids inside the tub versus having them sit outside the tub as they’ll likely get lots of water and soap everywhere.
Play with water beads
These beads are cool because your kids can watch them grow in the water from teeny tiny beads to marble sized. You can either do another activity while you’re waiting or them to get full sized, or turn it into a science experiment.
Every hour check on the beads and record what they look like to show the growth progression.
Once they’re ready, you can make a sensory table or bucket for your kids to play with them in. If you think your kids might put them in their mouth, you can try tapioca beads instead!
Play a card game
You can teach your kids some easy games like Old Maid, Slapjack, Memory, or War.
Make a sensory activity
Another idea for a sensory table or bucket can be cooked noodles and uncooked noodles so your kids can see the difference in texture.
You can again turn this into a science activity by talking to them about what happens to noodles when they’re in hot water, and discussing the texture, (soft, hard, crunchy, smooth, etc.). Plus obviously these are edible so this is perfect for young toddlers too.
Go on a color hunt
If your kids are older, you can write down on a piece of paper specific items of a certain color, or tell them to find specific shapes and colors, (ex: green triangle).
If your kids are younger, you can tell them to find 3 things that are green and bring them back and keep going through the colors.
You can create fake menus, use pretend food, and have someone be the waiter and the other people be the customers, (then take turns).
Your kids’ll enjoy this special treat and they’ll love getting to help make, and eat them.
Related: 25+ Awesome Fall Activities For Kids
Play follow the leader
You guys can get silly with this by having the followers do funny moves or actions, or use it to your advantage by cleaning things, (and having your kids follow you and clean too!).
Have a dance contest
Really this is another great way to expend that energy. You can get creative with it by seeing who can dance the silliest, the slowest, the fastest, or dance like something specific, (cat, elephant, bunny, etc.).
Have an indoor race
Your kids will probably love the thrill of a race indoors! Just make sure you have plenty of room.
Play red light green light
A fun game you played as a kid that you can teach your own kids? Yes please!
Go on a scavenger hunt
Similar to the color hunt, you write down specific items that everyone needs to find and the first person to find them all wins.
Play musical chairs
You can set up chairs, look up a musical chairs song on YouTube, and enjoy the game! You don’t need lots of people to play this game either, my 5 ½ year old loves to play with just me and her!
Get your exercise on
Find some workout videos for kids on YouTube and do the exercises with your kids. It burns energy for your kids in a new way, and you get the perk of burning some calories too!
There’s also yoga videos for kids if you want to wind down and relax rather than get hyped up. (My kids adore Cosmic Kids Yoga!).
Being stuck inside doesn’t have to make you and your kids stir-crazy.
The next time you guys are rained, snowed, frozen in, or if it’s just too hot out, use this list of indoor activities for kids that’ll make the time fly by because you guys are having so much fun!