Parenting Healthy Living

30 fun indoor activities your kids will absolutely love

30 fun indoor activities your kids will love

Staying indoors need not be boring. Enjoy your time together as a family with these 30 fun indoor activities. Say goodbye to cabin fever and going stir-crazy!

Right now, the world’s going through a crisis where we must all do our bit to stay safe. With the coronavirus COVID-19 pandemic, schools are closed, office workers are telecommuting and colleges are switching to online classes. Travel has been strictly restricted. As the unscheduled vacation stares everyone in the face, this can be a taxing time especially for parents with school kids.

When kids have to spend almost all their time indoors, it can be challenging even on normal days for parents but now, with health at stake, there’s no choice but to find ways to keep the kids occupied and keep your sanity in the process.

Letting kids stay glued to a smartphone or tab screen is simply not ideal. Sure there are toys, but you can keep them occupied for only so long before they’re looking for a change.

Rather than get worked up about staying indoors and worry, how about fun indoor activities that keep you and your children physically active? You’ll enjoy them, and as a bonus, also get your daily workout while burning calories! What a win-win.

I am not going to talk about the usual board games, jigsaw puzzles, drawing, painting, building blocks and the like—I am just going to assume that you have all that ready so you can cool off after a round of physical activity.

I’ve enjoyed each one of these fun indoor activities with my son and other kids and I can guarantee that you’ll end up having as much fun as the kids, if not more. Many are classics from my own internet and technology-free childhood—activities that I looked forward to eagerly with cousins during summer and winter vacation.

Enjoy!

30 fun indoor activities your kids will absolutely love

30 fun indoor activities you can start enjoying with your kids right away

1.     Move

Of course, you move—but with children in the house, it is time to get creative and prod their imagination. How about making a list of things whose movements you can imitate?

Examples are:

    • a tree swaying
  • helicopter blades spinning
  • pretending to be a pair of scissors
  • the shape of the alphabet.

Join your kids—move your arms and legs to imitate the thing you choose. Keep going for 10 minutes until you’re laughing so much, you have to stop.

2.     Hula hoop

Ah, this one is such a riot! Buy one or a few, then clear some space in your living room, spare room or garage. Then get going. You don’t need to be a pro to have fun with the hoop because just trying is so much fun! And keeps you active.


Some variations:

  • Place the hoops on the floor and jump from one to the other.
  • Hold them upright to make a tunnel that children can crawl through!
  • Turn it into a game – who can make the most circles around their waist/arm/ankle?
  • Roll it between two people and see how long they can keep up.
  • For the little ones, just let them pretend it is a steering wheel and run all over the house.

3.     Dribble and roll

I am almost sure you have a ball or two at home. Create some space and encourage your children to dribble. Start slow, then amp up the speed. Break up into teams and bounce the balls, keeping up the rhythm.

4.     Dance

Our list of fun indoor activities can never be complete without the classic dance. Just turn on some high-energy music and bust some moves. Twist, twirl, shimmy your way around the room. In fact, let one of you play “DJ”. Have a dance off. How about some variations with musical chairs or playing “statue” when the dancers must stop when the music stops? Wrap it all up with a flash mob dance!

5.     Air chair fun

I came across this in my mom’s class—she came up with all sorts of fun things. Here’s what you do for air chairs.

  • Team up into pairs.
  • Stand toe to toe, hold hands and lean back.
  • Pretend as though you are sitting on a chair.

How long can you sit on your air chair?

A variation is to sit on the floor, facing away from each other, with backs touching, legs bent at the knees so that your feet are flat on the floor. Now lock your arms and using each other for support, try to stand and sit. Repeat for a good workout. And lots of laughter. Fun, right?

6.     Go animal crazy

Choose your favorite animal and then, act like those animals. Move like those animals. Crawl, hop, sway. Gallop, slither, jump. Turn your house into a real zoo! (was there a pun there, or what?)

7.     Sack race

This one is fun! Get into a sack that comes up to your waist when you hold it up. No sack? No problem. Wrap a sheet tight around your lower body, so you have to hop to move around. Mark a starting and an end point in your living room and have a race. On hardwood or tiled floors, sit on a pillow case (or a t shirt) and use your arms and legs to scoot around a “race” course. Watch them have fun while they work off their energy.

8.     Wheelbarrow race

For strength and balancing exercises, enjoy the wheelbarrow race where you walk on your hands, while your partner holds your legs, steering you around. To make it more exciting, scatter some stuff on the floor that must be picked up. Team up and have a contest to see who does it first.

9.     Do some yoga

Yoga is a great way to stretch those muscles, while helping with balance, focus, and good posture. Here are some great yoga poses for kids to try.

10. Go retro

Take a trip down memory lane.  Introduce your children to the games you played as a child. Some examples of these fun indoor activities are:

  • Hide and seek
  • Scavenger hunts
  • Hopscotch
  • Skipping with a jump rope
  • Running up and down the stairs



and so on.

11. Overcome obstacles

Make some space. Set up obstacles and split into teams. The one that gets to the finish point fastest wins. Some variations to try are blindfolding participants and guiding them with instructions, or using a stick to help them find their path.

12. Balance beam

Your kids will love this fun indoor activity! You will need masking tape. Roll out the tape on the floor to form a line. The rule is to walk only on that line. Or make a zigzag to make it more fun. It will also help improve the balance of your child.

13. Shapes

This one is great for the little ones, but that does not mean you won’t enjoy it! Draw some shapes on the floor. Then set the timer.  When you call out a shape the player must find it and run to it.  You can play it with one or a series of shapes. Whoever is the fastest…

14. Balloon games

Who does not love balloons? Let’s enjoy some balloon games as part of our fun indoor activities by adding some rules. This also helps little ones build their gross motor skills even as they spend that limitless energy.  Just be careful about burst balloon pieces as these are choking hazards for the young ones. They need full-time supervision.

Keep it in the air

A classic you will enjoy too! Set the timer.

The rule is to keep the balloon in the air but hitting it and not letting it touch the ground.

  • For the older kids, let them juggle more than one balloon, or do it with one hand behind their back.
  • More than one kid? Let them hit it back and forth.
  • A fun game that results in stronger arms and better hand-eye coordination.
  • Variation: hold the balloon between the knees and move across the room without dropping it.

For older kids, make it an obstacle race. Did they drop it? Back to the starting point!

If there are more than four kids, pair them in twos and make them take the race balancing the balloon between their hips and time them.

15. Bowling

Another favorite among fun indoor activities! Set up bowling “lanes” with some tape. For pins, use plastic bottles or stacks of cups or a cup pyramid. Any ball will do to bowl. Try and knock down as many cups or bottles as possible. Assign someone to keep score. Bonus point for knocking down all pins at once.

16. Lemon ‘n’ Spoon Race

This is one of my favorites! Grab a spoon and lemon—or just about any small round object that will fit on the spoon. Create a course to navigate through. The point is to make it to the finish line without dropping the object off the spoon. Once they practice a little, time them for speed. This is a variation of the egg and spoon race, but who wants to be cleaning up a messy floor?

17. Three‑Legged Race

So much laughter guaranteed here! Especially fun with more than two kids. Tie one kid’s left ankle with the other kid’s right ankle with a sock or something soft. Let them work as a team, coordinating to get from the start to finish line. Fantastic way to bond with one another while building gross motor skills.

18. Lights, and action!

Colored lights work great for this game. Assign an activity to each color and get going!

  • Green light? Jump ten times like a frog
  • Blue light? Jump up and touch the sky ten times
  • Red light? Crawl on the floor for a count of twenty.
  • Yellow light? Dance for one minute.

Add more colors and activities as you please.

19. Hide-and-Seek

Oh, this classic! Keep them active. Wonderful if you have a staircase in the mix. Whoever is found first must pick from a list of activities like jumping jacks, sit-ups, or run up and down the stairs twice. Add your own penalty!

20. Simon Says

This is your chance to do some hilarious stuff—think up all kinds of funny things for your kids to do.

Some Simon says ideas to get you started:

  • Hop around on one foot.
  • Act like a monkey.
  • Walk on your knees.
  • Hide your head in your shirt.
  • Stand on one foot for 30 seconds.
  • Sing for one minute.
  • Play air guitar
  • Draw with your feet
  • Walk like a penguin
  • Rub your tummy pat your head
  • Crawl like a baby
  • Pretend to climb a ladder
  • Walk backwards
  • Act like a robot
  • Do the disco dance
  • Spell *insert word*

Get as weird as you want.

21. Soap bubbles

This is one of the fun indoor activities that never gets old! I am yet to come across someone—child or adult who doesn’t get excited about blowing bubbles. But instead of just blowing the bubbles, make it challenging by telling your kids to pop them before they touch the ground. Expect lots of movement—jumping and diving and shouting!

22. Drama Queens

This comes naturally—to most kids, anyway! They are practicing all the time on you! So, harness this skill and turn it into a fun activity that will use their energy. Let them playact a skit. Better still, come up with one on the spot. Reel off a dialog by their favorite stars.

Find it challenging to keep your kids indoors

23. Dumb charades

Get your kids to pretend to be their favorite animal or hero. Let them imitate their signature moves. NO sounds! Only action. Everyone else tries to figure out and guess who or what they are. The first one to guess correctly gets a point. Help out the younger ones with suggestions that they can pick from a bowl when it is their turn.

24. It’s showtime!

A variation of #22, let your kids create a play with their own script around a prompt you provide them with—sports, dance, circus, fairytale—anything you can think of. When they are ready, make a video of their performance—what fun to view it later!

25. Walk the ramp

Dressing up is something kids love, so why not take it up a notch? Create a ramp by marking the floor with tape or a runner that will stay in place. Then let your fashionistas walk to the music. Give them points for style, their walk, their creativity and overall performance. Some simple prizes can be motivating!

26. Who’s the best choreographer?

Whether your kids are into dance/theater or not, this is definitely one of the most fun indoor activities to do! Challenge them to choreograph a one- or two-minute dance and perform. Nice way to nudge their creativity while you grab a quick cup of coffee! It will also get them excited as they practice their moves.

And when all the performers have had their turn, turn it into a party! Turn up the music and dance it up!

27.  Musical performances

Similar to #26, except this one is music – instrumental and vocal. Get them to compose a song with the lyrics and perform.

28. Mannequin challenge

But with variation. Turn on the music. Dance. Then stop the music. Everyone must freeze instantly. If someone moves, they’re out. Last one standing or dancing wins.

29. Cook off

I know this is not really a game but it is definitely ranks in my list of fun indoor activities. And most kids love it. Assign your kids an easy dish they can cook. For the young ones, sandwiches, salads and other no-bake no-cook dishes. Give them prompts or ingredients so they can come up with their own dish. Best dish wins, plus they’ve just learned an important life skill!

30. Treasure hunt

Few things are as exciting as a treasure hunt. Who doesn’t love finding hidden objects? Write out the clues on slips of paper and be creative. Make the clues easy to find. Leave as many as you like all over the house, forming a trail to the final clue and prize. One fun idea is to have the clues lead to coins which your kids can then save in their piggy banks. But do come up with your own ideas!

Do not forget to cool off after each round of activity. And don’t forget to join in!

Also, remember that this is a good time to spend time together. Enjoy meals together. Involve your kids in the kitchen. Teach them some important life skills and build their confidence. To cook simple stuff. To do laundry. To do the dishes. To clear up after themselves. To learn what it takes to keep a household going. Budgeting. Make it fun. Allocate responsibilities. And reward them with praise. Also, it does not hurt to get some studying done!

Staying indoors does not have to be boring. Enjoy these 30 fun indoor activities with your kids and keep them busy and happy!

30 ideas to keep your kids busy and happy indoors

What are your favorite fun indoor activities?

6 Comments

  • Reply
    Leana Lourens
    March 17, 2020 at 11:23 am

    Good morning Vidya. This is an awesome post with a lot of fun ideas. Haha when at home it’s sometimes difficult to even think if one new idea! It’s so sad that the Corona Virus is so infectious l

  • Reply
    Gwen Serrotti
    March 17, 2020 at 5:14 pm

    What a detailed list of activities. These look like so much fun! I don’t have little ones anymore, but just reading all these ideas brings out the kid in me and also want to play these games with the whole family!

  • Reply
    Richa MIna
    March 17, 2020 at 9:02 pm

    these are some really good activities and especially needed to keep kids occupied indoors due to coronavirus outbreak. i know kids would thoroughly enjoy them.
    Richa MIna recently posted…Mental Health and Chronic illness #CauseAChatter

  • Reply
    Rajlakshmi
    March 18, 2020 at 4:36 am

    If not kids I would definitely be doing a lot of these activities. I love hula hoop. It is a great way to pass time and get some calories burned too. I love the air chair game. Haven’t played it but would be so much fun to play in a group. You sure know a lot of cool games for kids. 😀
    Rajlakshmi recently posted…Purikura – Japanese style photo booth

  • Reply
    jenny
    March 18, 2020 at 2:33 pm

    Such a great post, so many ideas, I am a grandparent that does not believe in TV, so will be printing off this list of ideas for when the grandchildren visit next. Thanks Vidya

  • Reply
    Nicole Steyn
    March 19, 2020 at 11:42 pm

    These are such awesome ideas Vidya! it’s the perfect time for parents to be trying them out with kids at the moment. I’ll keep these in my back pocket for when my younger cousins visit in future.

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