Sometimes we choose to stay inside and sometimes inclement weather, illness, or another situation makes it necessary to spend time indoors. Whatever the reason, sheltering in your home becomes enjoyable with indoor activities. In this article, we have indoor activities for kids and adults, as well as indoor games for kids, pre-schoolers through teens. Our suggestions take almost nothing in the way of preplanning or additional equipment. Read on to find your favourites and enjoy indoor time.
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Indoor Activities for Kids
When kids are home for any length of time, we hear, “I’m bored!” or “There’s nothing to do.” Staying inside can be fun with the right indoor activity. We have games, art and hobby activities, crafts, and other suggestions guaranteed to keep the kids busy and happy.
- Bake something with a mix (to make it easier).
- Put on some favourite kid’s music and cuddle up with a good book.
- Make microwave popcorn and watch an animated movie.
- Write some cheerful notes to share with residents in a local elderly care centre.
- Play a game of freeze dance using a playlist of kid’s songs.
- Blow up some balloons and play keep away.
- Get out the Legos or building blocks and create a city.
- Create some paper bag puppets and have a puppet show.
- Make a fort under a table or behind a couch with pillows and blankets.
- Fill the bathtub or sink and get out some toys and play in the water.
- Get out a board game and challenge your siblings or parents.
- Set up a jigsaw puzzle on an out-of-the-way table.
- Build an indoor obstacle course with toys and furniture.
- Have a karaoke or dance contest.
- Move the furniture back and play Red Light-Green Light or Leapfrog.
- Get dressed up in your best clothes and have a tea party.
- Get out all the toy cars and trucks and make a racetrack with tape on the floor.
- Dress up all the dolls in their best outfits.
- Organize school papers and make a scrapbook of your best ones.
- Ask your parents if you can rearrange the furniture in your room.
- Play with your pet, if you have one.
- Teach your pet a new trick.
- Get out the art supplies and get creative.
- Grab your colouring books and choose a favourite picture to colour and post on your wall.
- Make a craft out of a recyclable such as an egg carton. (Ask your parents if they will find one for you on the Internet.)
- Save seeds from fruit and plant them in paper cups.
- Call a friend or relative for a chat.
- Make paper airplanes and practice landing them on a tape landing strip.
- Play a video game you haven’t tried yet.
- Watch a kid’s podcast.
- Bounce a ball against the wall and catch it.
- Sit down and have a nice, long chat with a parent and maybe tell jokes to each other.
Indoor Activities for Adults
Even adults can get bored if time must be spent indoors. We have a list of fun indoor activities for adults, some relaxing and some providing or requiring extra energy.
- Work on a puzzle
Choose a jigsaw, Sudoku, crossword, or another type.
- Begin a blog.
Blogging is a great way to share your thoughts and ideas with others.
- Give yourself a facial.
Recipes for face masks using fruit, veggies, eggs, and other on-hand ingredients abound on the Internet. Find one for your skin type to mix up and try.
- Take a long, relaxing bath, perhaps with soft music and candles.
Bath oils, a bath bomb, or bubble bath added to hot water provides a luxurious soak.
- Try cooking a new and special dish for dinner.
Pull out your favourite ingredients, find a recipe, or get creative and make up your own. Add candles and your best china and silver for a truly special meal.
- Have an indoor picnic.
Make sandwiches, grab some chips and canned soda, put a blanket on the floor and have lunch alone or with the family.
Pull out a colouring book you have, print colouring pages from the Internet, or create freehand.
- Start a windowsill garden of herbs.
Use to-go food containers to start seeds, then transfer to pots.
- Give yourself a manicure and/or pedicure.
Soak in soapy water, towel dry, trim nails, and finish with your favourite polish.
- Get creative with crafts.
Search the internet for craft ideas using recyclables.
- Watch a classic movie.
Make popcorn and find an old Hitchcock mystery, John Wayne western, or another genre for viewing.
- Binge on a TV show.
Those “thirty-minute” shows are much shorter without commercials, so binge watch an old favourite.
- Read a book.
It is fun to grab a book, a large glass or cup of your favourite drink, curl up in a comfy chair and read for hours.
- Play a video game.
Even if you seldom play video games, doing so can be a fun way to pass the time alone, with one of your kids, or your mate.
- Shop online.
Just be sure to set a limit ahead of time on how much you want to spend.
- Make a smoothie.
Blend your favourite fruits or veggies with ice and some juice or milk to create a soothing and healthy drink.
- Bake something.
Pull out the cookbooks and find something yummy to bake, or try your hand at bread making.
- Play board games with your mate and/or kids.
Pull out a favourite board game and get someone to join you.
- Play solitaire.
If there is no one to play with, try a game of solitaire.
- Listen to a podcast.
We all have a topic we would like to know more about. Search for a podcast or two and expand your knowledge.
- Have an at-home workout.
Purchase or get out a stored video or find an on-line group and exercise.
- Plan and execute a DYI home project.
You can start small. What about cleaning and refreshing kitchen cupboard doors or putting more shelving in the pantry?
- Declutter a room.
Decluttering a room is more achievable than a whole house. You can start small with the laundry room or one area of a room.
- Create a picture album.
Everyone has pictures in drawers that need arranging. Create a themed album or one with school pictures arranged chronologically for one of your kids.
It is said everyone has a book inside, so write yours. It may be a how-to, a novel, or a collection of memories.
- Clean out the garage.
Garages frequently become places to stow stuff. Get rid of anything you haven’t needed in the last year and rearrange tools, bikes, and boxes.
Indoor Games for Kids
Rainy days, hot days, and days when kids cannot go out for whatever reason can be long and boring. We have a collection of indoor games for kids that are simple, fun, and help pass the time. Some can be played alone, some with siblings, and some with a parent. We have divided the list into those for pre-schoolers, older kids, and teens. You are sure to find the perfect game for your kid(s), regardless of age or interests.
Indoor Games for Pre-schoolers
Little minds need simple games, but pre-schoolers like activity. Our selection of indoor games for pre-schoolers matches their skill level while requiring little preparation. Some your little one can complete quickly, while many are designed to keep your little one occupied for a long period of time. Clear an area for the more active games and have fun!
- Indoor Obstacle Course
Use pillows, couch cushions, ottomans, and throw rugs to create a soft and safe obstacle course for pre-schoolers to jump, crawl, and somersault through.
- Keep the Balloon Up
Simple and fun, the goal of this game is to keep a blown-up balloon from touching the floor.
- Sensory Boxes
Pre-schoolers love learning about the world around them, and sensory boxes satisfy that curiosity. Create a touch-and-feel box with dry food such a rice and pasta or use natural objects like leaves, small stones, acorns, and large seeds.
Your pre-schooler can sort buttons by sizes, spools of thread by colour, and toys by type. Provide bins or create areas on a table top with tape.
- Bubble Blowing
Turn bubble blowing into an indoor game with a plastic covered table, bowls of dish soap and straws for blowing. (Remind them not to suck up the soapy water!)
- I Spy
A fun guessing game, I Spy works with one or many children. You can vary the game by saying, “I spy something _________ (colour, shape, size, feel, etc.)”
- Balancing on a “Balance Beam”
Use painter’s tape to create a line on the floor or carpet. Have the kid(s) walk, jump, or walk backwards down the line.
- Tape Maze
Create a simple tape maze kids can walk through. Alternatively, let them kick or bounce a ball through the maze.
- Object hunt
In a relatively clean area, hide small objects in the same category around the room for kids to hunt. Suggestions include small stuffed animals, toy cars, and plastic figures of people or animals.
- Puzzle Hunt
To vary the game above, hide pieces of a large jigsaw puzzle and have the kids bring the pieces as they find them and assemble the puzzle.
- Musical “Chairs”
Use pieces of coloured construction paper taped to the ground for a pre-school friendly game of musical chairs. When the music stops, each child must be on a coloured square. The child without a spot is out.
Indoor Games for Older Kids
School-aged kids enjoy a bit more complicated and time consuming game than pre-schoolers. Most of the games on our list of indoor games for older kids can be adapted for pre-teens and teens.
- Race Track
Create a race track with tape for miniature cars and trucks. For even more fun, let the tape wind around and under furniture.
- Sock Games
Have the kids create balls from clean, unmatched socks and then play one of the following:
Use a laundry basket or cardboard box to practice shooting. See how far back you can stand and still make a basket shot.
Tip your laundry basket or cardboard box sideways for hockey goal shots.
Cut holes of various sizes and shapes in a cardboard box and assign points to each. Throw your socks and keep score. For variety, try a small ball or stuffed toy instead of socks.
Set up barriers and get your siblings or parents to have a sock war with you.
- Hot Potato
Use any item that is soft and easy to pass for a fun game of Hot Potato. The goal is to not get caught holding the item when the music stops. You will need to enlist siblings or parents for this fun game.
- Indoor Bowling
Any item that will stand alone and tip easily when hit will work for indoor bowling. Try empty plastic water bottles or inverted plastic cups. Any small ball will work for knocking over the “pins.”
- Card Games
Play a classic card game, such as Canasta, Rum, or Spades with a parent or your siblings. If you are alone, play Solitaire.
- Paper Games
All you need is paper and a pen or pencil to play Hangman, Tic-tac-toe, or Dots and Boxes. Add dice and play Cootie.
Indoor Games for Teens
Finding indoor games for your teens can be challenging. They seem to want to spend all their time on their phones or video games. We have suggested a few ways to use those electronics. However, we have also found a selection of indoor games for teens to help them pass the time on hot summer days or whenever they are caught at home.
- Play charades.
- Watch a scary movie.
- Set up a card table and play a challenging board game
- Play a card game with a sibling or family member.
- Play solitaire.
- Set up dominoes and knock them down.
- Play a new video game.
- Play Hide and Seek in the dark.
- Set up and have a scavenger hunt.
- Set up an obstacle course and run it blindfolded.
- Play “camp out” indoors complete with tent and sleeping bag.
- Play balloon or sock soccer or basketball.
You don’t need a big house or lots of equipment to keep all the members of the family occupied and having fun when indoors. Be sure to move furniture and breakables out of the way for the more active games we have listed here. Try inviting friends and neighbours to join you for some of the games requiring more than one person. As for our indoor activities, most are individual activities, however, you can ask someone to join you for many of them. Whether you choose to be alone or have siblings or parents join you, HAVE FUN!
Susan majored in English with a double minor in Humanities and Business at Arizona State University and earned a Master’s degree in Educational Administration from Liberty University. She taught grades four through twelve in both public and private schools. Subjects included English, U.S. and world history and geography, math, earth and physical science, Bible, information technologies, and creative writing.
Susan has been freelance writing for over ten years, during which time she has written and edited books, newspaper articles, biographies, book reviews, guidelines, neighborhood descriptions for realtors, Power Point presentations, resumes, and numerous other projects.