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20+ Fun Indoor Family Activities

Updated: Nov 29, 2022

SIMPLE, INDOOR FUN FOR THE WHOLE FAMILY (with items you already have on hand)

By Jill Kelsey

Rainy-day activities are something for every day lately. When you are looking online for activities, be sure to include some of the below keywords in your search string to bring up more appropriate links. The more direct you can be with your search string, the better results you will have. What is the saying? ‘Garbage in, garbage out.' Make your efforts count and search for any of the following terms or phrases:

indoor, kids, activities, rainy day, homeschool crafts, kids art projects, baby enrichment activities, Montessori at home, music for toddlers, imagination games

Below are a few games we have put together that you can do with ordinary household items. Each of these games can be modified to match whatever age you are working with. The key is to have as much fun as possible! (View as PDF):

  • Tray Memory Game: Place random small items on a tray. Start with about ten items and increase the difficulty level by adding more items. Take turns removing one item in secret and having the others try to figure out what is missing. Or, do the opposite and have someone add an item while the others figure out what has been added.

  • Balance The Stuff: In a bag, mix various toy items like a car, a doll, legos, dinosaurs, etc. Anything that is about the same size. Without looking, select about seven items out of the bag then stack them on top of each other. The higher you can stack one item on top of the other the more difficult and more fun!

  • Make a theatre: Build cardboard cars to sit in, then sit in them for a ‘drive-in’ movie.

  • Card houses: Build a house out of cards and see whose house-of-cards can withstand the greatest breeze.

  • Take aim: Perfect your paper airplane folding and aim for a target across the room.

  • Treasure hunt: Draw a map of the house and hide something where X marks the spot.

  • Garden: Plant an indoor garden together and watch it grow daily.

  • Train your pets: Teach pets new and funny tricks. No, the dog isn’t too old. No pet? No problem, teach dad a new trick.

  • Educate yourself: Utilize the multitude of free educational resources available to learn about something you’ve always wanted to learn about. Check out our FREE EDUCATION ISSUE for open-source educational opportunities for all ages.

  • Go on virtual field trips: Many museums, libraries, and aquariums offer virtual tours. You can even use programs like Google Earth to visit anywhere in the world on street view. What new places can you find?

  • Create a staycation: Pick a place in the world you’ve always wanted to visit and virtually visit by cooking foods, speaking languages, and doing home-based activities that are common to that area. Utilize Google Earth to virtually walk the streets in that area and explore. What catches your eye? Learn more about it.

  • Add to my drawing game: One person draws part of an image. The next person adds on to it. Eventually, you end up with a pretty unique, and sometimes quite funny, image.

  • Pick a subject: Once a subject is chosen, find the books, toys, etc. that relate to that subject. If you choose dinosaurs, for example, the kids can don their dino costumes, get out the dino toys, read about their favorite t-rex in one of the dino books, and even watch a film on dinosaurs. If you want to go even further, you can see what they eat and prepare a special ‘dinosaur meal.’

  • Play dress-up: There is no reason you can’t wear a superman costume while you work from home. Your kids will also love having a superhero make them pancakes in funny shapes.

  • Have a family dance party: Play your favorite music and prepare finger foods and tasty drinks. Who has the silliest dance move? All silly moves are encouraged. Plus it is great exercise.

  • Develop a fun parent/child workout: Kids are pretty heavy after you squat 50 times while your child rides piggyback/front. Do you remember being on an airplane on your parent’s feet?

  • Get spick and span with a timer: Pick a room and see who can clean up (properly) the fastest.

  • Put on a production: Put on a home cooking show, comedy sketch, or play.

  • Puppet time: Make puppets with socks or other materials and put on a puppet show. Or, make a shadow puppet show.

  • Light-play: Use mirrors to play with light and see how it interacts with different surfaces, crystals, shadows, etc.

  • Astronomy: If you have a nighttime view, learn about different constellations from different cultures and see which ones you can find. Did you know Native Americans have different constellations? If you don’t have the ability to see the night sky, check out available online virtual telescopes and planetariums.

One thing that is important to remember is that your child needs free time to explore their imagination. Over-scheduling a day at home can be counterproductive when it comes to imaginative, creative free-play. It is when we are at play that we learn the most.

“The cure for boredom is curiosity. There is no cure for curiosity.” ~ Ellen Parr

Have fun! Feel free to post your favorite activities in the comments!

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