Image of a child playing in a living room.

Indoor Activity Ideas for Kids

Updated January 1, 1 . AmFam Team

When you’re at home with the kids full-time, you may find yourself looking for ways to keep kids active indoors. Take a look at our go-to list of great indoor activities for kids for ideas and inspiration.

Everybody knows that mentally active kids are healthier and happier. And when you’re at home with them all day, keeping the young ones occupied can seem like another full-time job. But by carving out a schedule for activities and fun chore routines sprinkled across the day, you can keep the kids occupied and engaged, creating less stress for everyone.

Keeping kids active can help create a more predictable rhythm for the whole family. Parents will be able to get work done on their own, and the kids will know what to expect as the day unfolds. Take a look at our tips to keep kids’ minds active — and figure out how to thrive during your time at home with them.

Use a Whiteboard to List Daily Activities

Each morning at breakfast, have the kids pick a few activities from a hat, then jot the name of the activity down on a whiteboard in the kitchen. Assign half an hour for each project and remember to schedule breaks for lunch and other school-related tasks.

This way, they’ll know when to study and when to play. You’ll find they’ll be more excited about their indoor activities by mixing it up like this, and they’ll be less likely to get bored with a wider variety of things to do. Best of all, with the kids safely occupied, you'll free up time to attend to your own needs

Indoor Activities for Kids

Many of the ideas below require very little preparation and can help to keep youngster’s minds active. Focusing on crafts that build fine motor skills while allowing their creative minds to thrive is a winning combination. Over time, you’ll find their skills improving while they’re sharpening their critical thinking abilities.

Start with a scavenger hunt

Kids love digging in the dirt, and that natural curiosity translates perfectly when kids are home and looking for something to do. Be sure to have a small reward at the ready after they successfully complete the hunt.

Add a little more mystery by hiding sticky notes with the objects they’re searching for that tell a rhyming story, cryptically leading them to the next item. Check out sites like Good Housekeeping (Opens in a new tab) and The Spruce (Opens in a new tab) for tons of great scavenger hunt ideas.

Create free choice stations

If possible, think about converting a guest bedroom or an area in the basement into your kid’s activity center. Work on creating a space that has the following:

  • A few individual tables or desks
  • Open, carpeted space for playing games on the floor
  • A bookshelf or cabinet that stores games, crafts and art supplies

Place printouts of age-appropriate math challenges at one station. Another can be reserved for Play Dough and tactical fun like Legos and slime. Build out another as a science station that contains books on insects, the ecosystems of ponds and has on-topic coloring books with crayons and colored pencils.

Masking tape fun

Using low-tac masking tape, create a hopscotch course with your kids. Let them help design the layout, and don’t worry if their course is different from the one you grew up with. By working together, you’ll create something unique that the kids can revisit later to play again and again. Use crumpled up pieces of paper to toss instead of hard objects to help keep the fun safe.

Look online for other ideas to help make the most of a few rolls of masking tape. Websites that encourage creativity like Hands On as We Grow  (Opens in a new tab)and Artful Parent (Opens in a new tab) are great resources that can really keep kids engaged for hours.

Old School Activities for Kids

It’s worth remembering the value of those tried and true rainy-day activities. Mix up your fun with these go-to options that have helped parents keep their kids busy for years.

Break out the board games

From Monopoly to chess, there’s always fun for the family waiting inside those treasures collecting dust on a shelf somewhere. By taking time to review the rules and verifying that the game’s set up correctly, you can really boost kids’ focus and help them work on complex problem-solving skills.

Rethink story time

Although this may feel like it’s only for younger kids, many parents sing the praises of reading novels and chapter books to their kids in middle school and even in high school. By modeling and enjoying reading yourself, you’re encouraging them to read independently. You’ll also help them build vocabulary and dive into a love of fiction and adventure while developing a lasting bond with them. Soon enough, they just might be reaching for a book instead of the remote!

Turn chores into a dance party

From freeze dancing as they put away laundry to sweeping to a disco beat, there are a lot of creative ways to leverage those little hands to lend a hand around the house. Before the fun starts, work with your kids to make a playlist with everybody’s favorite songs. They’ll be goofing to the beat and you might just get the countertops wiped down, too.

Find Reliable Homeowners Coverage Today

While you’re working on creating space for activities with your kids, remember to check in with your American Family Insurance agent (Opens in a new tab) and review your homeowners coverages. With the kids at home full-time, it makes sense to take a look all the ways you can better protect your family and investments. You’ll have greater peace of mind with customized coverage — and that can help you relax and focus on the things that really do matter most.

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