Summer is a magical time for kids – time at the pool, water balloon fights, running through sprinklers, playing at the park – fun outdoor activities are plentiful during this time of year. Unfortunately, sometimes Mother Nature interferes with our outdoor plans and forces us all inside. Whether it is dumping down rain or the heat is skyrocketing, sometimes being outside is just not an option. These indoor activities for kids are fun for the whole family!
Here are 10 indoor activities for when your family is stuck inside.
Plan a treasure hunt.
In this activity that kids of all ages usually love, each clue leads to the next until the final clue leads to the “treasure”. The number of clues and difficulty level can be tailored for a variety of ages.
The final clue can lead to a special snack or a game you love to play together. You can also help each child create a treasure hunt for their sibling, or have older children create treasure hunts for each other or their younger siblings.
Construct an indoor city.
If it’s too hot to play outside, an open space in a kitchen, dining room, or entryway can serve as the perfect spot to create an indoor “city”. Have your kiddos lay down “roads” with masking tape or painter’s tape that span out in different directions. Add wooden blocks for buildings and toy figurines to populate the city. Then grab the matchbox cars or other toy cars for a race around “town”.
Design a yarn maze.
Start at the front door and wind yarn all around the house. Under furniture, up the steps, around the legs of the chairs—be creative! Little ones will have fun following this “maze” to see where it takes them. You can also place a small treasure or treat at the end for a fun surprise.
Older siblings can easily take the lead on this activity as well. One tip: if you have larger animals, you will probably want to keep them out of the maze zone, so they don’t accidentally destroy it!
Create an indoor sidewalk.
Drawing on sidewalks with chalk is a great way for budding artists to express their creativity, but butcher paper and crayons or markers can be a fun substitute. Roll a long stretch of paper across your dining room table or floor and tape down the edges.
The width of this type of paper provides an oversized canvas to create a one-of-a-kind masterpiece. (This can also be a fun way to create a unique table runner for holiday meals throughout the year.) Your kids can design a scene together, or each have their own area on the paper to fill with drawings.
Make homemade ice cream.
This sounds more complicated than it actually is. You don’t need an expensive ice cream maker to tackle this project. You just need a few simple ingredients and some Ziplock bags. Do a quick web search of “ice cream in a bag” to find several easy recipes.
If it’s really hot outside, this can be a fun (and delicious) way to try to stay cool!
Do a holiday-themed activity.
Dig out the plastic Easter eggs and have an indoor egg hunt. Instead of candy, fill the eggs with small toys that have been buried on the bottom of the toy box. Have a costume parade with stored Halloween costumes. Wrap a few favorite toys in holiday paper and play a game of twenty questions to guess what’s inside the package. Make heart-shaped sugar cookies.
Or pick a holiday and see what other ideas your kids can come up with.
“Camp” in the living room.
Pull out the sleeping bags. Have your child(ren) draw a picture of a campfire, and tape it to an empty wall. Make s’mores in the microwave, sit around the “campfire”, and read books or tell stories.
If you have a small tent you can set up, this makes the experience even more fun for kids. You can also easily turn this into a family sleepover in the living room that evening if you wanted to.
This does take some prepping ahead, but you can make family movie time a little more exciting by adding in a game of bingo. Pick out one of your family’s favorite movies and then create bingo cards (they don’t have to be fancy!) with various things that are shown in the movie.
Your kids can mark off these items with a pencil as they see them as the movie is playing. The winner can choose the next movie the family watches together.
Create your own family comic book.
Brainstorm with your kids to create a superhero identity for each member of your family. What will each costume look like? Which superpower will each family member have? What kind of predicament does your family find themselves in?
Grab some blank pieces of paper, some colored pencils, markers, and crayons and have fun creating your own family comic.
The floor is lava!
I remember playing this game as a kid and my kids love it as well. You can design a course for them or let them create their own. Grab pillows, cushions, blankets, chairs, etc. and spread them around your living room area or another fairly big space.
The object of this game is to get from one side of the room to the other without touching the floor. If you do touch the floor, you have to start back at the beginning. My kids love to be timed as they race through the course, and then try to improve their time on the next turn. This is also a good way to get some energy out when you are stuck inside!
Being stuck inside when the weather is not cooperating isn’t fun for anyone. I hope this article has provided you with some fun indoor activities for kids to try next time your family is stuck inside!