11 Indoor Activities That Will Keep Your Kids Occupied for Hours
Posted By Pam Tyson Yasinski on January 24th, 2020
Christmas carols linger into January as we find ourselves saying to our kids…the weather outside is frightful and baby, it’s cold outside! The kids want to get out and ride those bikes Santa brought. Or play with the new basketball hoop and soccer goal. They want to ride shiny scooters and glide on their new skateboards! But unfortunately, winter may not be the best time to do that. Let’s come up with some solutions to keep the kids happy and mom and dad’s sanity intact!
Play Board Games
It might be too late for this year but you can always plan ahead for next time. Make your holiday dollars count by giving simple board games, card games, craft sets and other activity inspired gifts. You’ll have an investment that will last for years and keep the kids busy for hours!
Put on a Movie Marathon
Crank up some movie marathons. Let each child choose a favorite. Darken the room to give a true theater feel. Pop fresh popcorn for even more atmosphere while keeping little tummies happy. You’ll save a bundle watching multiple movie features at home over going to the theater where it's easy to drop a small fortune on just one show!
Bake a Treat
There’s nothing like winter windows steamed from the warmth of an oven filled with cookies. Baking certainly isn’t just for holidays! It’s almost more enjoyable after the chaos subsides and goodies can be peacefully savored by a cozy fire. Another bonus is kids will learn and keep traditional family recipes going for future generations!
Play Balloon Sports
Tennis, baseball, soccer...what’s your game? Whatever it is, have you ever played with a balloon? Make tennis rackets by taping a paper plate to a stick. Balloon baseball works great with empty paper cardboard rolls. Soccer goals can be laundry baskets or cardboard boxes. The balloon makes any ball sport possible indoors!
Build a Fort
One of my childhood favorites was putting blankets and bedspreads over the kitchen table to make a cozy indoor hut. Have a few dollar store flashlights handy for light hearted ghost stories and making hand shadows. Give the kids paper lunch bags containing non-messy snacks. Add crayons, drawing paper, good books and soft throws for hours of warm, snuggly fun.
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Play Silent Ball
Silent is a wonderful indoor game from my elementary school days! When the weather was too harsh to go outside, we sat on our desks but at home, you can sit anywhere. The main rule is you can’t talk or make a noise. Thus, why it’s called silent ball! Toss a mid-sized foam ball to any child. The kids proceed to gently toss the ball to anyone of their choice, being sure to include everyone. Players are out if they drop the ball, talk, squeal, scream etc. The last one left is the winner!
Host a Scavenger Hunt
Bring scavenger hunts indoors. I often did this when Easter egg hunts were rained out. Make several strips of paper with instructions for each child. The first paper will tell child number one to look for something in the coldest place in the house...aka the freezer. There, waiting will be a note with instructions for the next hiding spot. For older kids, use more of a riddle to make them think and figure it out. For the young ones, keep it simple of course. The clues must be in sequence. You can make the hunt last as long as you'd like. Have the last clue lead them to an inexpensive, fun prize.
Play Musical Chairs
Play musical chairs and gummy bears. This could go on indefinitely. When they’re out, give them a consolation prize of a single gummy bear to keep the happy spirit going! It’s already dreary outside, so keep it cheerful inside! Those little bears work wonders! It isn’t necessary to provide a prize for the winner because often, winning is enough!
Host Straw Races
Each participant needs a straw. You’ll also need several small squares of lightweight paper. You’ll have two teams and will need a total of four surfaces to place the papers. When the whistle blows, the first players from each team will put the straw in their mouth and use their suction power to pick up one piece of paper at a time. Using no hands, carry that piece of paper from one table to the table across the room. If they drop it, they have to sit down, lay down or whatever it takes to suck the paper back up to get it to the table. When they have successfully moved all of their paper squares, the next team member repeats the process and moves the paper squares back to the previous table. This continues until the last team member successfully places the last paper square on the opposite table. This won’t go as quickly as you might expect because breathless giggling makes the suction process hilariously difficult!
Play Potato Potty
Potato potty is a nice name for this game. Laughter will warm you from the inside out and everyone will be full of it. Laughter, that is! It’s simple, inexpensive and no prior experience is needed! Place two cheap buckets or bags at opposite ends of a room. Two people start on the same side. They’ll place a potato between their legs, hurriedly scoot to their bucket and plop the potato in. The first team to have all the players successfully release their…ummmm…potato, wins!
Sift Through Old Items
Out with the old, in with the new! Everyone from Santa to Grandma has brought gifts. Where in the world will you put everything? This simple solution can turn into a heartwarming activity. Spend icy-cold days sorting and giving. The kids have been blessed with new clothes, toys and treasures. Now, teach them to bless those less fortunate with their abundance! Children will learn to spread love, hope and generosity...which will keep them busy for a day...but will last a lifetime!