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101 Kids Indoor Activity Ideas – Fun Things To Do When You’re At Home With Your Children

March 16, 2020

Here are 101 kids indoor activity ideas…a big old list of things to do when you’re at home with your children…

101 Kids Indoor Activity Ideas:

In a bid to spark some activity inspiration, I wanted to pull together a giant list of kids indoor activity ideas including apps, things you can watch, read, listen to, get active with, art and craft ideas and more.

There are also some sanity savers for parents at the end, because I reckon we all need these, right?

How’s everyone doing? Given current circumstances I thought this list this might be of use for Coronavirus lockdown and indoor quarantines but hopefully in the very near future, for those normal rainy days when everyone’s just plain old bored.

I’m not under ANY illusions that the whole time the children are at home will be peaceful and calm with no bickering and no-one looking at anyone weirdly or touching their hair or screams of CAN I HAVE A SNACK or MUM SHE’S PLAYING WITH MY BARBIE, with all the time wisely mapped out and filled with educational activities and no screen time. At all.

The hidden perils of your child learning to read

But I want to head off those times, the times when cabin fever sets in and you’ve done everything you can think of and already eaten lunch at 9am everyone’s climbing up the walls and bouncing off the ceiling with boredom. Including you.

So if this list contains just one idea to inspire an activity for your children that’ll keep them occupied for at least a minute, then my work here is done.

You can also read my post on how to talk to kids about coronavirus

Here are 101 kids indoor activity Ideas…

Firstly…if you can:

  1. Donate to a charity supporting families in need at this time. First Days is a children’s charity and among many other things they are currently helping families in financial difficulties being made worse by Coronavirus, by sending them packs of emergency toiletries including nappies and wipes. You can donate products, send items from an Amazon wish list or donate money. More info here.
  2. You can also help out food banks like the Trussell Trust in the UK by donating money (as well as products).

Indoor activity ideas for kids’ mental wellbeing

How to shake off the parenting blues
  1. If your children are anxious, we’ve found the Cosmic Kids Yoga Peace Outs are great. These are guided meditations for them to listen to when they need to relax. We play these before bedtime and they send everyone to sleep, including us.
  2. This is a good tip from Anita Naik (ex-Just 17 agony aunt!) around getting your kids to open up and discuss any myths they might have heard at school.
  3. If your children want to watch the news then CBBC Newsround is as always doing an excellent job at keeping kids updated at an entirely appropriate, informative and non-patronising level.
  4. You can also show them how important soap is using this trick involving pepper, oil and water.
  5. Another of my relaxing indoor activity ideas is for everyone to have a long bath (whatever time of day) with glowsticks in the water – instant disco.
  6. And here are 51 ways to shake off the parenting blues.

Apps and online educational indoor activity ideas

Amazon Fire tablet 7 and Amazon Appstore review
  1. Teach Your Monster To Read – a really fun phonics game that children love. You can play via the website and there’s also an app (it’s £4.99 but watch out as it’s often free).
  2. Mathletics – online maths quizzes and games and you can also go head to head with children around the world. We have a login from school, but you can buy a annual subscription for £39 per child.
  3. My kids also love Hit the Button, an interactive maths game.
  4. Learning resources site Twinkl is offering free access and home learning packs for each year for school closures. You’ll need to create an account first.
  5. The BBC Learning site is old but has a lot of info on there.
  6. Here are 17 virtual museum tours including the British Museum and the Guggenheim.
  7. There are free role-playing resources for younger children you can print out from Mermaids and Dragons.
  8. Follow ReadySetSchool for activities for younger kids who are starting school soon.
  9. Listen to once, sing forever – Jolly Phonics.
  10. There’s also National Geographic Kids with lots of content.
  11. In terms of fun games, Toca Boca games are brilliant.
  12. A firm favourite in this house is also My Town ,which is a series of creative / real life simulation games.
  13. Then there’s the almighty Minecraft, which I’m sure everyone’s aware of!
  14. There are loads of things to do on the CBeebies website, from games to craft ideas.
  15. And then there’s similar for older kids on the CBBC website.
  16. Download a stop motion app for your phone or tablet and make a movie. We’ve used Lego minifigs and sets to do this and it works really well
  17. Make a stop motion app video of a Lego build in progress
  18. Two of my favourite people to follow for home schooling ideas, tips and inspiration are Adele JK
  19. And also Jennie Edspire.

Burn off some energy with more active indoor activities

Kids indoor activity ideas - dancing
  1. Learn a dance routine (all of you!). Look on YouTube for Disney dance tutorials – they have ones for the routines from the Descendants films as well as Disney Zombies, which we’re loving at the moment.
  2. Have a kitchen disco, with loud music
  3. Try Cosmic Kids Yoga – active yoga routines set to stories and themes, with everything from Frozen to Harry Potter.
  4. The BBC SuperMovers are active learning videos linked to the curriculum.
  5. There are also the BBC Super Movers Times Tables videos, which feature football mascots, maths and fun dances. Were times tables this fun when we were at school? I think not.
  6. There are lots of ideas including the ten minute shake-up videos on the Change 4 Life website.
  7. Play the floor is lava to get everyone jumping up.
  8. Build a den! Get all the rugs and cushions out. Here’s our garden fort from days gone by.
  9. Join in a live Instagram dance party
  10. Play old school party games like musical chairs (with cushions on the floor) musical bumps, dead fishes, hide and seek around the house, What’s The Time Mr Wolf in your hall.
  11. Then some offline games – our favourites are Uno, children’s Cluedo, Jenga and Dobble,

Things to watch, read and listen to when you’re at home with your children

Our favourite family-friendly apps on the Amazon Appstore - and Fire tablet 7 review
  1. I’d be lying if I said my children won’t be watching TV…a lot…so iPlayer, Netflix and Prime Videos are your friends. Mine are currently obsessed with, yes, Disney Descendants and Zombies – all are mildly entertaining to watch – as well as the Inbestigators, among others.
  2. Watch one of these.
  3. Disney+, the Disney streaming service with all the Disney, Marvel, Star Wards, Pixar and National Geographic film and TV programmes is launching on 24th March. Not an ad, we just all can’t wait to watch this, especially as it will be launching with Frozen 2 which will no doubt feature heavily in our future (best film! Better than the first one – right?).
  4. Who doesn’t love Maddie from Do You Know?! (Read my post on Motherhood Mysteries – do you know?) Did you know she has a YouTube channel with loads of videos? Let’s find out…
  5. Watch Andy and The Band and sing along to the songs forever.
  6. Kids love watching things out of season, don’t they? So watch an old CBeebies Christmas Panto like Thumbelina.
  7. The CBeebies special features are brilliant, from ballet with Mr Bloom through to Shakespeare’s The Tempest, even for older kids  Find them on iPlayer.
  8. Blue Peter is definitely a lot cooler than it used to be. You can watch it here and also apply for a Blue Peter badge here – we just did this and it took about three months to arrive, but fulfilled all my childhood dreams.
  9. Numberblocks is also TV, but educational!
  10. As is Horrible Histories.
  11. And the Who Was Show if you have Netflix.
  12. If you have very little children, watch CBeebies The Baby Club (and marvel at everything it doesn’t include).
  13. Watch programmes from your childhood – they might be lurking on a TV channel somewhere, or else YouTube. Try cartoons like Mysterious Cities of Gold or Care Bears and we’ve also watched Gladiators, old Supermarket Sweep and loads of other random things.
  14. Spotify is your friend and you can listen to practically all music there.
  15. Listen to the Spotify Throwback Thursday playlist to introduce your kids to the musical classics.
  16. Listen to Shake it Off by Taylor Swift, which can’t fail to make you feel happy.
  17. We also listen to a lot of movie soundtracks (guilt free screen time, right?) Our favourites are Descendants 1,2 and 3, Zombies 1 & 2, Frozen, Mary Poppins Returns, Horrible Histories and Moana.
  18. You can also listen to soothing ambient sounds like rain or city noises on Amazon Alexa, if you have one.
  19. There are lots of games and interactive activities on Alexa, from animal quizzes to bedtime stories, read this list to find out more.
  20. You can also ask Alexa to do this.
  21. Audiobooks are also great, you can have a free month’s trial of Audible and also find lots to listen to on YouTube.
  22. Molly Oldfield’s podcast Everything Under The Sun aims to answer all children’s questions about, well, everything. You can even submit your own question if there’s something you’re dying to know.
  23. CBeebies Radio has lots of listening activities for younger kids.
  24. And here are 16 more podcasts for kids.
  25. And then CBeebies Bedtime Stories (which has brilliant guests booked with the mums in mind, I imagine, from Tom Hardy to Chris Evans).
  26. In terms of reading, a great thing to read is any book, together.
  27. Make a cosy snug area for your children to read in by themselves.
  28. Most local libraries have online access and you can download a whole host of brilliant stuff, from audiobooks to book books.
  29. If you have Amazon Prime and an Amazon Fire tablet, you can also access Prime Reading which has free magazines for kids and adults as well as free books.
  30. Here are 300 creative writing prompts for kids.
  31. The awesome Oliver Jeffers will be reading one of his books a day online and talking about the background to them.
IKEA hack bookshelves and IKEA children's bed

Art and craft ideas for when you’re at home with your children – things to make, bake and do

  1. COLOURING SHEETS – all in capitals as my two are prolific colourer-inners and we do these a lot. Just Google almost any subject you like + colouring sheet (or coloring pages – which is the more American version) and there will almost certainly be themed colouring sheets for you to print off.
  2. There are zillions of craft ideas out there but look for craft ideas on Pinterest (you can also follow me here).
  3. Baker Ross is also great for reasonably priced art and craft sets, and also Amazon.
  4. Learn to draw like Horrible Histories.
  5. Children’s author Rob Biddulph will be posting some draw along videos for children to watch and learn from, and you can join in on the hashtag #DrawWithRob.
  6. Depending on how much you love your floor, make a tape track on it
  7. You could also chalk a hopscotch on it…you’d need floorboards though
  8. Just get all the Lego out. Try not to step on it.
  9. Encourage children to build something out of Lego and share it on the Lego Ideas website.
  10. Make a portable Lego table from a box or stool and take it around the house
  11. Make slime. Try not to get it on the carpet.
  12. Make play dough with what you have in your cupboards. Regret it shortly after.
  13. Bake (if you can bear it!) (and you have more patience than me!)
  14. Or just watch Junior Bake-Off instead.
  15. Let them pick lunch / breakfast and help them make that.
  16. (If they’re old enough) teach them to make you a cup of tea.
  17. Make crayons – tutorial to come soon but if you look on my Instagram Story highlights under ‘ideas’ you can see how we did it.
  18. Follow these ideas to learn how to draw animals.
  19. You can also make some washi tape wall stickers to decorate their furniture or walls.
  20. Make something from a cardboard box – everyone has loads of Amazon boxes around the house, right?! Here are some ideas to make something brilliant.
  21. Do something fun in their room with washi tape (see my washi tape rainbow cloud shelves).
Cloud shelves- how to make DIY washi tape rain cloud shelves - easy kid's room DIY

Sanity saving ideas for parents when you’re at home with the children

  1. I’m finding exercise is really helping with my anxiety right now, but I’m avoiding the gym so for home exercise Pop Sugar Fitness has a huge range of online fitness classes of varying types and lengths, from Zumba to Body Combat. I love the sheer infectious enthusiasm, too.
  2. Lots of people I know also recommend Yoga with Adrienne.
  3. Katie from Come Down to the Woods has set up Time for a Chat on Instagram and using the hashtag #TimeForAChat which will features tutorials from other Instagrammers on Instagram, social media, interiors and business, and is also a way of connecting people at what’s going to be an isolating time.
  4. Drink a hot cup of tea. Drink a glass of water.
  5. And chatting to people online is going to be so important when we’re all isolated. I always want to say hi so drop me a message if you want to talk about anything.
  6. Alison has a list of fluffy escapism TV.
  7. Watch Next In Fashion on Netflix.
  8. Don’t forget to breathe. Use this gif if you need a prompt!
  9. I’m also a big fan of hiding in the kitchen eating the good biscuits and getting two minutes peace and breathing space.
  10. See also – having a nice glass of wine at the end of the day.

Finally… And finally, in my list of 101 kids indoor activity ideas for when you’re at home with your children…make a ‘bored’ jar – write down all of these ideas on a piece of paper and put them in a jar. Every time they’re bored, make them fish one out and see what they can do. It might work, right?

101 ideas for the best kids indoor activities

A big THANK YOU to Tori for helping me compile this list of kids indoor activity ideas! And you can also follow me on Instagram at Gill_Crawshaw for more ideas.

3 Comments

  • Sarah Rooftops

    March 17, 2020 at 10:53 pm

    Fab list – thanks!

  • Georgia

    March 19, 2020 at 10:02 pm

    Love this!
    So detailed and so many ideas 🙂

    Would love it if you could check out my new blog! I’ve done a similar post but just a shortened version ☺️💛
    Thank you!

  • Becky Freeman

    May 31, 2020 at 5:39 pm

    Love this post Gill- thanks! Rapidly running out of ideas! x

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