Fun Indoor Activities to do with Kids!
At the height of this pandemic, organising outings and outdoor activities with children can sometimes be a little complicated to say the least. Sometimes the weather may not be ideal for outdoor fun anyway - it might be bucketing down with rain, or the sun may be just too scorching hot for braving the great outdoors. Simply put, for many families staying indoors may at times seem like the only option, and it leaves many of us scratching our heads, desperately thinking something along the lines of, “now what?”, especially after a few days of indoor confinement! With this in mind, this month’s blog post is going to explore some fun, creative ideas that you can try at home to keep yourselves and your little ones entertained. Read on and be inspired!
There are many things you can do to help make the most of time spent staying home and create some wonderful family memories at the same time. All it takes is a little playfulness, creativity, and some effort! Some of you may have to work with what you have one hand, especially if you are living in an area with restrictions in place where many shops are closed, and that’s alright. None of these ideas need to be executed “perfectly” with all of the best materials and supplies in order for them to work. Remember that the name of the game is to HAVE FUN, so as long as you’re having a blast doing whatever it is you’re doing with the things you have on hand, then you’re a winner!
Make the Most of that Cardboard Box:
Whenever you find yourself with a medium to large cardboard box on hand, my advice would be to not throw it away! Something I’ve found to be true in my life is that many kids actually prefer playing with a simple cardboard box over an expensive, elaborate toy or accessory. I think it might be because where adults see just a basic brown box, children see a world of creative possibilities. Think back to your own childhood and the wild pleasure of building cubby houses, blanket forts, and the like - and you’ll see what I mean! Here are just a few ideas to help you and your little ones make the most of that cardboard box you have lying around:
Make a Cubby House: All you need is a big enough box for your children to comfortably sit in or crawl around in, some pens, crayons, or markers, and maybe some masking tape! Get your children to have fun drawing doors, windows, flowers and whatever else they might fancy for their cubby house, and if you have some kid-sized plastic furniture or smaller boxes to play with they can be used to furnish the interior. Ask your kids, is it daytime or night-time inside the world of their cubby house? Maybe draw a sun and some clouds or the moon and some stars inside of a window in the cubby house and let your children’s imagination run wild! You could even get some acrylic paint out and help your kids paint the cardboard house all the colours of the rainbow. As a final finishing touch, if you have fairy lights on hand you could hang them up inside the cubby house - your kids are sure to the enjoy the magical ambience they’ll create!
Make a Cardboard Doll House:
Doll houses aren’t just for girls! All kids can get a lot of fun out of building houses for their toys, and they can be as intricate and elaborate or as basic and simple as you like. If you have some boxes, craft paper, glue, scissors and art supplies like paint and pens, the only limit is your imagination. You could make one giant toy house or a series of smaller boxes that can be stacked together to create a sort of “apartment building” for your kids’ toys.
(Some inspiration and easy to follow instructions can be found here: https://www.todaysparent.com/family/crafts/how-to-make-a-cardboard-dollhouse/)
Stacking Boxes for Babies: for children who are a little bit too young to get much out of playing with a doll house or cubby house, this is a brilliant idea. All you need is a few smaller sized boxes and some paint. Remove the flaps on the boxes you’ve collected and paint each box a different colour. Once you have a few different colored boxes, stack them on top of each other for your baby or toddler and let them play around with stacking them in different colour combinations! If you want to add an extra touch, simply gather some fabric swatches, and attach them to the boxes with some non-toxic glue. Their little hands will love exploring how the different materials feel!
Peek-a-Boo: This is another fun one for babies and toddlers. At this stage in your child’s life, let’s face it - YOU are their favourite toy! Babies and toddlers love things like doors and windows that open and close, so grab a bigger box and hide behind the flaps. Peek-a-boo! This is a game that older siblings can get involved with too, and your baby or toddler will soon be giggling for more peek-a-boo play time.
Art and Craft Ideas:
Collect and Paint Rocks: if you can go outside for a while, how about heading down to a park or beach and collecting a few handfuls of rocks or pebbles? They don’t have to be perfectly smooth or round for this to work, because remember that the aim of the game is simply to have fun and share a few smiles and laughs. Take your rock collection home and get out any paint supplies that you have on hand and set up a little art station for your kids to have fun painting. You could even get some plastic eyes to glue onto the rocks to turn them into “pet rocks” for your children, who are sure to love that a lot. You could also get some string and glue it to the rocks to make “hair”. You get the idea! Another thing you could do with your children’s finished rock art is glue some magnets to the back of the rocks and turn them into fridge magnets to keep for years to come.
Drawing with Chalk: this is an idea that involves spending some time in your own backyard or driveway - wherever it is on your property that you might have a larger area of concrete on the ground to play with. Hand out pieces of coloured chalk to your children and let the creative adventures begin! You could let them draw whatever it is their hearts desire, or set a theme for a collaborative artwork that the whole family can participate in. Maybe you’re all drawing a jungle, with big plants and some wild animals! Or maybe you’re drawing an underwater wonderland with big fish and lots of seaweed. Another idea is to simply draw up a hopscotch grid on the concrete and your kids can take it in turns playing this timeless schoolyard game.
Set Up an Art Station: during school holiday times especially, it can be a good idea to set up a special area in the house dedicated to art and craft fun, so you don’t have to set up and pack away art supplies every single time your kids want to get creative. It can simply be a corner in a room or one end of the dining room table, but if you have the luxury of being able to dedicate a larger area to exploring creativity with your kids then definitely go for it! Ideally, you’ll need an area where you can set up a flat surface for your kids to lean their creative projects on, but it doesn’t necessarily need to be a table. You could just lay a tarp on the floor, or a rug you don’t mind getting dirty, and let your kids lay their art supplies and paper on that. Some supplies you might want to set up for your Art Station: pens, crayons, pencils, water-soluble markers (let’s avoid permanent markers for the sake of your walls and furniture!), poster paint, paintbrushes, watercolours, string, non-toxic glue, beads, glitter, feathers, and any other craft materials you can get your hands on! Just keep in mind anything that might be a choking hazard if babies and toddlers are present. A fun project for the whole family could be to do some finger painting together or do hand or footprints of each member of the family for you to then frame and keep.
Hopefully these ideas have been enough to help you get the ball rolling with what to do when cooped up indoors with your kids, but if you need some more help with inspiration then here’s a short list of some more ideas you could investigate and explore!
- Do a puzzle
- Play a board game
- Indoor hide-and-seek
- Scavenger hunt
- Make a city out of empty toilet paper and paper towel rolls (if you save up enough of them this is a fun project to try! Instructions can be found here: https://www.todaysparent.com/family/crafts/how-to-make-a-mini-city-out-of-paper-rolls/)
- Play “Simon Says”
- Make a time capsule
- Do some gardening
- Blow bubbles
- Have a family movie night
- Read books together (or suggest that older siblings read to younger ones!)
- Dance or exercise together
- Have an indoor or backyard picnic!
- Make an obstacle course using household items
- Make friendship bracelets
- Play dress-ups (mum and dad can get involved too!)
- Blow up some balloons and play balloon tennis
- Make sock puppets and put on a puppet show!
As always, we’d love to hear some feedback from our readers! What are some of your favourite family fun activities to do indoors? Please share in the comments section of this post and let’s keep the inspiration going! :)
❤️ Monika Hricko,
Inspire Baby Wear