101 Fun, Easy, and Cheap Indoor Activities for Kids

There is a common saying at my house right now and it is the dreaded words of – “I’m bored.” When the freezing temperatures come we usually stay inside, and there is more TV than I would like. So I decided to make a 101 activity list of things to do with my kids. I had a couple of girl friends help me out and this is what we came up with.
101 Fun, Easy, and CHEAP Indoor Activities for Kids
1. Have an indoor picnic.
2. Build a fort out of blankets (use chairs, couches, yarn- anything to hold up the blankets!).
3. Make sock puppets (check out our tutorials for monster puppets and sock puppets!).
4. Finger paint with pudding.
5. Playdough- use rolling pins and cookie cutters.
6. Dance PARTY?dance to your favorite songs.
7. Have a tea party.
8. Read nursery rhymes.
9. Make your own indoor hopscotch with masking tape on carpet/wood.
10. Pedicures.
11. Play school?have the child be the teacher.
12. Make a letter book. Let the kids take a picture of something that starts with each letter of the alphabet.
13. Look at photo albums.
14. Make a movie of yourselves, then watch it.
15. Paint with water colors.
16. Play Barbies.
17. Play with matchbox cars (check out our $5 Rain Gutter Race Track and Car Caddy!).
18. Play board games (my kids love Candy Land!).
19. Color with crayons. Take off the wrapper and see the different ways you can color with them.
20. Make paper bag puppets.
21. Watch a movie and eat popcorn.
22. Go on a treasure hunt.
23. Bake cookies.
24. Play dress-up.
25. Make paper hats.
26. Make a healthy snack.
27. Make a relay race or obstacle course in your house?be creative!
28. Play hide and seek.
29. Indoor snowball fight with socks.
30. Build a fort out of cardboard boxes and duct tape.
31. Make plans and invitations for a party.
32. Play tic-tac-toe.
33. Make your own puzzle out of poster board or cardstock, color and cut it out.
34. Make your own matching game.
35. Swim in the kitchen?put down a tarp, fill up a little kiddie pool with warm water and let them play for hours!
36. Make Valentine’s décor.
37. Make a car track all around your house with masking tape.
38. Play “Monster in the Middle.” Pillows are ?safe? the carpet is the ?lava.? Jump from pillow to pillow and if the monster touches you, you are in the middle.
39. Apple stamps. Cut an apple in half horizontal and use it as a stamp using washable paint.
40. Make lacing cards with their favorite cereal boxes.
41. Learn a new song.
42. Create a giant dot-to-dot with poster board.
43. Make homemade Valentine’s.
44. Make a necklace with yarn, beads or Fruit Loops.
45. Have a talent show.
46. Cut paper snowflakes.
47. Make a paper countdown chain to Valentine’s Day or an upcoming birthday by cutting strips of paper and stapling them together.
48. Hard noodles, Elmer?s glue, and paper? need I say more?
49. Marble racing. Take 2 of your swimming pool water noodles and prop them on the stairs. Race marbles down the middle of them. The hole is a perfect size for a marble.
50. Sculpt clay, let it dry, then paint.
51. Play paper dolls.
52. Write letters to Grandma and Grandpa.
53. Play with magnets. Cut up colorful pipe cleaners into 1 inch pieces, put them in a glass jar, put a magnet to the jar and see what happens!
54. Make an advent calendar for Valentine’s Day or an upcoming holiday.
55. Make princess/king crowns (check out our Felt Crown Tutorial!).
56. Manicures.
57. Take silly pictures and e-mail them to Dad/Mom at work or other relatives.
58. Make big cars out of a cardboard box. Have the kids sit inside the boxes, cut holes for their legs and let them use their feet as wheels to move around.
59. Play red-light, green-light. Play this with #58. It is so fun!
60. Toilet paper a room in your house.
61. Make a super hero costume out of household items (check out our No-Sew T-Shirt Cape Tutorial).
62. Pillow pile. Collect all the pillows in your house and jump into them.
63. Dress up in Mom or Dad?s clothes.
64. Plan a date for your child and you (or spouse) that makes them feel special.
65. Cream painting. Put shaving cream and drops of food coloring in a cookie tray and then mix it all around with a paint brush.
66. Make a story book out of paper. Have them make it up and draw the pictures.
67. Watch old family videos.
68. Make and frost sugar cookies (try our delicious Sugar Cookies Recipe!).
69. Make paper airplanes.
70. Toilet paper trail. Give them each a roll and have them make a trail all around the house.
71. Read their favorite book to them.
72. Start a journal. If the child can?t write, have them tell you what to write.
73. Make a time capsule of their favorite things and open it next January.
74. Make flash cards (letters, sounds, addition, etc.).
75. Make homemade paper dolls.
76. Make cupcakes and let them do everything themselves.
77. Plan a family vacation.
78. Teach them to sew.
79. Do an exercise video with them.
80. Rearrange the furniture in their room.
81. Hot cocoa bar. Chocolate covered spoons, marshmallows, whipped cream, Andes mints. Get creative! What do you put in your hot cocoa?
82. Make a bird feeder with toilet paper rolls. Put peanut butter on it and roll it in bird seed. Hang it with yarn outside and watch the birds come.
83. Make little pizzas. Use English muffins, tomato sauce, cheese and any toppings you want. Cook at 350 degrees. Watch until cheese melts.
84. Put on a play.
85. Make an Ice Sun Catcher. Take a pie tin and fill it with water, leaves, pine cones, and yarn so it can hang. Then put it outside and let it freeze. When it is frozen, take it out and hang it on a tree.
86. Color the snow. If it isn?t too cold outside, fill squirt bottles with warm water and food
coloring. See what designs you can make in the snow.
87. Let them use your makeup to give you a makeover?this one is HILARIOUS!
88. Let them pick and print out coloring pages online?there are TONS!
89. Make a piñata and fill it with yummy (or healthy) treats.
90. Have a campout in the front room? tent and all.
91. Play doctor. We do this a lot at my house!
92. Mummy wrap. Have your kids work together to wrap you, or another child, up in toilet paper.
93. Practice your fire drill. Stop, drop, and roll. What is your plan and your meeting place?
94. Ball toss. Have a few different sized buckets and have kids throw balls into them. For
older kids, fill the buckets with water almost to the top. It is a lot harder than it seems.
95. Put lipstick on your kids and have them make a kiss Valentine for Dad or grandparents.
96. Read a book then act out the story.
97. Indoor bowling. Stuff socks into toilet paper rolls and line them up. Roll a ball into them and you have your own bowling alley!
98. Fill up the sink! Add some dish soap, cups, spoons, bowls and anything else that isn’t breakable. Just make sure there are a couple of towels under their chairs.
99. Play grocery store with items from your pantry. Let them check out with plastic bags!
100. Take a bath! Put in toys you usually don?t let go in the tub (that are still waterproof) and they will play forever!
101. Chores. Kids don?t always have to LOVE what they are doing, but I think it is very important to teach what chores are at a young age.
Download the printable version HERE!

 

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28 Responses to “101 Fun, Easy, and Cheap Indoor Activities for Kids”

  1. Here are 2 more ideas to add to the list!

    -Mad Hatter's Tea Party. Dress up in crazy clothes and have a tea party. Tell riddles that don't make sense and silly jokes.

    -Ice Cream Sculptures: Buy a carton of ice cream (the rectangle brick kind where you can remove the entire packaging without having to scoop the ice cream out), use spoons, eat ice cream and sculpt it into whatever creative shape you can come up with. Either do it as a group effort or cut a slab for each participant to do their own.
  2. Crystal Chelle
    These are all really creative ideas! I wish we would get enough snow to try the colored water bottles...I've never thought of doing this before. Here is a really fun and easy "science experiment" your little one can do if you have some empty 2 liters laying around. It's a tornado in a 2 liter!! So much fun to watch the funnel form! Here's a cool picture and a simple post on how to make your own tornado!
  3. Thank you for the ideas. After reading a few diffrent blogs it opened my creative side of how to entertain my kids. Here is another ideas you can add. When I was young we wouod always play "pig" with all of the neighbors. I decided to play this with my son as an indoor activity and he loved it. We placed a laundry basket on the couch and used the balls you buy for little kids that are rubbery and filled with air. You take turns trying to make a basket and if you make a basket the other person has to make the basket in the same spot the same way you threw the ball if they make it then its the next persons turn if they miss the shot then they get a letter. The first one to spell pig loses the game. If you miss a shot and its not one that you have to copy it is simply the other persons turn and you do not get a letter. My son is learning sight words so we spelled sight words instead. My daughter is only 2 and she had her own ball and thought it was fun to just try and make baskets she tried some of the silly baskets we did to. And when the weather is nice again we can play it outside with the basketball hoop too.
  4. Thank you for the ideas. After reading a few diffrent blogs it opened my creative side of how to entertain my kids. Here is another ideas you can add. When I was young we wouod always play "pig" with all of the neighbors. I decided to play this with my son as an indoor activity and he loved it. We placed a laundry basket on the couch and used the balls you buy for little kids that are rubbery and filled with air. You take turns trying to make a basket and if you make a basket the other person has to make the basket in the same spot the same way you threw the ball if they make it then its the next persons turn if they miss the shot then they get a letter. The first one to spell pig loses the game. If you miss a shot and its not one that you have to copy it is simply the other persons turn and you do not get a letter. My son is learning sight words so we spelled sight words instead. My daughter is only 2 and she had her own ball and thought it was fun to just try and make baskets she tried some of the silly baskets we did to. And when the weather is nice again we can play it outside with the basketball hoop too.
  5. Making a plant family is another great activity. Take a sock and fill the bottom with dirt and grass seed. Tie a knot to keep it from spilling and turn over so knot is on bottom. Water and put in the sun light. The grass will grow toward the sunlight creating "hair". Draw faces for each member of the family. Best part is your kids can give them "hair cuts" all spring and summer.
  6. Love your blog! So many great ideas. A couple of things my little girl and I do are icecream snowballs and a lava expierement. To make the snowballs I first make sure she's washed her hands b/c we'll end up eating it later. Put a little icecream in a bowl and let her mold it into a snowball. She then rolls it into any toppings she wants (sprinkles, crushed oreos, nuts, etc) and we put it back in the freezer for desert later.
    To do the lava expierement you need: Baking soda, vinegar, food coloring, and a medicine dropper.
    Put the baking soda into a 9x13 pan (or whatever pan you have on hand)
    In seperate containers mix the vinegar and food coloring.
    Give the kiddo the medicine dropper to suck up the vinegar and squeeze out on the baking soda.
    The baking soda will fizz and be super colorful. My daughter could do this all night!

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