23 Fun Indoor Activities for Kids—That Don’t Require a Craft-Store Run
With families across the country hunkering down to stay safe (and keep others safe) from the COVID-19 outbreak, many are quickly burning through their craft supply stash. So, with potentially weeks to go before school or daycare opens, and most stores closed, what’s a mom or dad to do?
It takes a little creativity, but there are still ways to keep your kiddos busy at home—even when it feels like you’re out of options (or materials!). That’s why we’ve put together a list of fun indoor activities for babies and toddlers to try that don’t require a trip to the craft store (or waiting around for a package delivery). With very few tools or materials, but lots of love and imagination, you can help your kids create afternoons full of fun—and even some learning.
Fun Indoor Activities for Kids:
Paper Tunnels Obstacle Course: Create a fun and easy course of tunnels by taping paper to the floor and letting your toddler try to roll balls through them.
Carpet Hopscotch: Use tape to create hopscotch lines and let your kids bounce out their energy by jumping around the boxes. If you ran out of tape, try lining up socks to create the lines.
Build an Epic Sofa Fort: All you need is your couch to build this magical castle looking fort for the kids to play in (err, reign over?). After you get it set up, try reading a story about kings and knights to really immerse everyone in the adventure.
Turn Your Living Room into A Mini-City: Using tape or washable chalk (try it on a small piece of upholstery first) draft city street lines over and under furniture and let your kids go bonkers with their race cars.
Build Marshmallow Shooters: Get your little ones excited for a game of tag by shooting yummy marshmallows at each other with this simple DIY project that requires not much more than empty TP rolls, a balloon, and marshmallows.
Feel & Find Box: Grab some fun textured objects from around your house and hide them in a box. Then simply cut a hole and invite your baby to explore shapes and textures with this super fun activity.
Baby Drum Circle: You might need some Advil after this one, but it’s worth it. Set your child in the center of a circle of pots and pans with a spoon in hand and let them go to town banging and clanging.
Spider Web Puzzle for Babies: With little more than a laundry basket, some stuffed toys, and yarn or string, you can create a spider web trap that your child has to figure out how to set the stuffed toys free.
Egg Carton Button Puzzles: This easy-to-make DIY baby puzzle will help your child learn fine motor skills while also having a ball. No trip to the craft store necessary!
Family Activity Dice: Take a box and write fun activities like ‘jump’, ‘wiggle’, and ‘dance’ then get the kids together and have everyone take a turn tossing the dice. Add some fun by playing music or setting a timer.
Colander & Pipe Cleaners: If you happen to have pipe cleaners, then bust them out and hand them to your toddler for hours of fun threading them through the holes in the colander. Ask them to try to create patterns or shapes or have them just fill the outside with bright colors.
Fruit-Loop Stacking: If you can spare a few spaghetti strands from your food stash, this is a fun activity that builds fine motor skills. Stick the uncooked pasta in some playdough, and then task your toddler with threading fruit loops on the dry noodles.
Toy Car Wash: Fill up a plastic bin with water and suds, give your child sponges, washcloths, or even an unused toothbrush, and have them give their toy cars (or other plastic toys!) a scrub-down.
Scratch Art: You've gotta love an art project where the only materials you need are crayons and paper!
Supersized Bath Time: Under normal circumstances, you might feel like you’re always rushing to suds up your little one, with the clock ticking toward bedtime or daycare in the background. There’s simply not time for an extended splash sesh…until now! Fill up the tub with your little one’s favorite toys and let your kiddo luxuriate without time limits. (Of course, make sure that there’s an adult constantly supervising).
Peeling Crayons: Let your baby or toddler go ahead and peel those crayons. It might be messy as heck, but it helps build fine motor skills and it gives your baby the chance to explore (plus it eats up a lot of time!).
Ice Skate on the Kitchen Floor: Tie old rags or sponges on to the bottoms of your child’s feet and let them slide (carefully!) across the wet kitchen floor while you mop. They get to have fun, help clean, and use their imaginations.
Wall Shadow Art: Tape big sheets of paper or deconstructed paper grocery bags to the wall. Then, give each of your kids a piece of chalk or washable crayon and have your kids draw the outline of your shadow on the wall. Then ask them to sit down and fill them in with crazy colors.
Homemade Playdough: This activity is like two activities in one! First, enlist your little one to help you mix up some homemade playdough. Then, the real fun begins as they mold and shape the dough to their hearts’ content!
ABC Scavenger Hunt: Have some Post-It notes tucked away in your home office? Write each letter of the alphabet on a different sticky note, and then put them around your house for your toddler to hunt down. Once your tot has found them all, challenge them (if they’re ready) to put them in order. Also works with numbers or shapes, depending on where your kiddo is developmentally!
At-Home Bowling Alley: If you have a ball and some empty plastic bottles, you’ve got yourself a hallway bowling alley! Stack up the “pins” and then let your little one toss the ball to see how many they can knock down.
Sock Match: Okay, this one is a little bit devious, but you know that pile of unfolded laundry? Your toddler is about to help you sort it! The object of this “game” is to find as many sock matches as possible.
Need more ideas? Take a look at our list of virtual storytimes, tours, activities, and other online educational resources for cooped-up kids!
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Disclaimer: The information on our site is NOT medical advice for any specific person or condition. It is only meant as general information. If you have any medical questions and concerns about your child or yourself, please contact your health provider. Breastmilk is the best source of nutrition for babies. It is important that, in preparation for and during breastfeeding, mothers eat a healthy, balanced diet. Combined breast- and bottle-feeding in the first weeks of life may reduce the supply of a mother's breastmilk and reversing the decision not to breastfeed is difficult. If you do decide to use infant formula, you should follow instructions carefully.