Finding fun things to do for kids indoors when it’s cold or rainy outside can be tricky. Kids can quickly burn through their typical go-to fun, like video games or texting and sit moaning about how bored they are.
Besides the easy ideas, like “read a book” or “play a board game” (remember those?), there are lots of ways to keep kids occupied when they have to stay indoors. Kids can sort the list below by their ages, interests and abilities.
20 fun things to do for kids indoors
- Activity or Wipe-off books
- Homemade playdough
- Scavenger hunt
- Write a gift list for each family member’s birthday & make something from each list
- Clean out a toy closet
- Make a “Rainy Day / Indoor Day Things-to-Do” idea jar
- Sort jewelry boxes
- Play dress-up
- Rearrange a room (paint, if you dare!)
- Take digital pics and make an online photo book of the day
- Make decorations for an upcoming holiday
- Make and decorate cupcakes
- Make a time capsule
- Make a drum set out of durable kitchen items
- Put together a puzzle (a real one, not a digital one)
- Start seeds
- Plan and prepare snacks or a meal
- Invite over a friend to join in the fun!
Each of these ideas can be tailored to the moment and to the ages and interests of the kids. Adding extras, like make-up to the dress-up time or getting out the cookie cutter collection for playdough making just adds to the great times.
One of the main ways to keep kids occupied indoors is to let them participate – in planning and making dinner, in replacing a light bulb, organizing the monthly bill payments or fixing the broken leg on a chair. Parents tend to shy away from having kids help out, sometimes thinking parents are depriving children of the time to “be kids”, or because tasks (even the fun ones) tend to take longer when kids participate; however, finding a balance in all things, from playing to learning responsibility, is always best.
So many times, adults get caught up in the idea that kids must be occupied, or be kept out of the way. Kids learn best by doing, and it’s great for parents to connect with their kids by having them join in the tasks of the day.
Let them be bored!
Strangely enough, it’s actually good for children to be bored. In the technology-driven world they thrive in, kids actually need practice in and benefit from using their imaginations and problem-solving that comes with being bored.
Some parents might find building “bored time” into their children’s otherwise busy schedules will be good for them. Come the next indoor day, it might be the kids who are coming up with their own lists of things to do!
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P.S. Looking for the "+2" promised ideas? They're right at the top of the article: those good, old fashioned rainy-day fun ideas of "read a book" or "play a board game"! Happy Indoor Fun Day! - S.