Mother and Baby

Best indoor activities for kids

With the country being in lockdown for at least the next few weeks, it’s no surprise that our little ones (and us) are going a little stir crazy indoors every day. It can be hard to think of endless entertaining activities, too.

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To relieve you from their boredom and give them something to do, we’ve put together some new and fun activities your kids can do indoors that should hopefully keep them entertained until they’re allowed to go back to school or at least see their friends.  

Physical activities 

 1) Dancing

There’s nothing like a good boogie to keep kids occupied and wear them out in time for bed. Lots of dance schools and professional dancers, like Strictly’s Oti Mabuse, are doing live Instagram classes for all ages during lockdown, too. 

2) Fitness class 

YouTube has plenty of play-along kid's fitness classes, all for free. You could also get your little ones involved in P.E with Joe Wickes every morning at 9am – grown-ups can join in too, if you like. 

3) Tent building 

You don’t even have to have a tent to do this one – why not task your little ones with creating a pillow fort using blankets or cardboard boxes? 

4) Gymnastics 

There are plenty of kids gymnastic tutorials online, perfect for keeping active kids busy for a while. You could even invest in a kids gymnastic set, including equipment you can hang from doorways or set up in a playroom. 

Entertainment  

5) Film and popcorn  

A super easy option for rainy days or exhausted kids (and mums). Plus, making your own popcorn is a fun activity in itself, if you have saucepan with a clear lid you can even watch the kernels explode into popcorn. 

6) Netflix 

Netflix has pretty much every film option you could possibly need – there's a special kids section too. So snuggle up under a blanket and dig into an episode (or five) of Peppa Pig, or enjoy a classic like Hook. 

7) Themed dinner and a film 

This would be a great replacement for a kids birthday party, too. Try a Disney themed dinner night with a soundtrack and fancy dress code fit for a Prince or Princess. Think Mickey Mouse shaped pizzas, Frozen-themed blue cupcakes and Snow White themed apple snacks. 

8) Electronic gaming on ipads, consoles 

Sometimes, only the Ipad will do. There are some great games out there that’ll keep kids occupied for a while, including Miximal, an app that lets your little one create cool monsters with mix and match body parts. 

9) Reading 

For budding bookworms, reading is the perfect way to keep kids occupied inside. If you haven’t had the chance to introduce your kids to classics you loved as a child, like The Hungry Caterpillar or Cat In The Hat, now is the time! 

10) New streaming channels 

You’ve probably heard a lot of fuss about Disney+ recently, but it truly is a great new streaming channel, especially for keeping kids entertained. Get your kids onto classics like The Little Mermaid, Hercules and Lilo and Stitch. 

11) Movie marathon 

If you’ve recently invested in Disney+, Netflix or you just have a big collection of DVDs, now is the time to have that movie marathon you’ve been talking about. Turn the lights down and create your very own cinema with popcorn and surround sound. 

Arts and crafts 

12) Colouring 

Colouring books are a great way to keep kids entertained for hours. You can even get colour-in table cloths for longer colouring sessions, just make sure to protect the table underneath with a tablecloth or extra piece of paper. 

13) Drawing 

Budding artists will love this activity. You could also try getting out into your garden or any green space to create drawings of nature, or rubbings of natural materials. 

14) Mixing colours  

There are lots of guides online for mixing colours for kids, and often all you need is a few different containers and some paints. This activity would also be perfect for an at-home art lesson for creative kids. 

15) Knitting 

You might think knitting isn’t for kids, but there are plenty of great sets out there. Hobbycraft offers some great sewing and knitting kits, allowing kids to knit their own cuddly toys. 

16) Clothes customisation 

If you’ve got a bag of clothes destined for the Charity shop, they could be used for indoor activities like clothes customisation instead. Teach older kids how to applique and sew on buttons, or use iron-on patches. 

17) Play-doh 

Play-doh is a classic. Why not task kids with creating playdough versions of their favourite Disney characters or even (if you’re brave) asking them to model you. 

18) Slime 

Slime creates endless fun for little ones, you could even get a slime kit and create the slime from scratch. Experiment with colours and textures with your kids for hours of slimey fun. 

19) Clay  

You can get some great at-home clay sets that allow kids to create their own bowls, mugs and other clay creations. Simply create then bake in the oven for home made clay ornaments, crockery or toys. 

Food 

20) Baking cakes 

Get your kids involved in the kitchen by making yummy cakes, we love the recipe for these Vanilla Swirl Cupcakes from Mary Berry. Butterfly cakes with hundreds and thousands are also a great option, or even just decorating some shop bought cupcakes is the perfect way to entertain kids in the kitchen. 

21) Biscuits 

There are plenty of biscuit recipes out there perfect for kids, if you don’t want to deal with the washing up of baking, you can simply decorate a plain rich tea biscuit with icing and sweets. 

22) Make believe café or restaurant 

You might not be able to get out to your favourite café or restaurant right now (or since before having kids, if we’re being honest) but you can recreate the magic at home with food and furniture you already have. A small set of drawers makes the perfect cash register in a pinch. 

23) Cooking dinner 

If you’re feeling brave, why not get the kids involved in making dinner? Jamie Oliver has some great kid-friendly tutorials on his Facebook page, including a scrummy scrambled egg recipe and even easy pizzas. 

24) Making faces 

If you were lucky enough to grab an online shopping slot, why not use everyday ingredients to create silly faces? Plus it might introduce your little ones to more unusual foods, and (just maybe) encourage fussy eaters to try new things. 

Games  

25) Classic board games 

There’s nothing like a classic board game to keep us occupied when cooped up inside. Scrabble, Monopoly and Catan are great family classics that’ll keep you entertained for at least an hour or two.  

26) Trivia games 

There are loads of trivia games out there – why not try and get a set with a specific theme you know your kids love? You can even find kids trivia questions online – some sites have up to 100 questions to choose from across all age ranges. 

27) Educational games 

The BBC has a great resource of free educational games for kids, perfect for home schooling or just keeping keen learners occupied during the school holidays. We also love education.com for a huge range of computer-based education games for fun that’s basically like school. 

28) Puzzle books 

There’s a wealth of puzzle books online for kids of all ages. We’d recommend some wash-out felt tip pens though, if the puzzles involve colouring. No-one wants a scribbled-on sofa during lockdown. 

29) Card games 

If you’ve got slightly older children, all you need for endless ideas of fun is a pack of cards. Go Fish is a great card game for beginners, and if all else fails, a game of snap is always a winner. 

Chores  

30) Clearing out wardrobes 

If you’re struggling to get chores done with the kids around, why not get them involved? Chuck on the Frozen soundtrack and make clearing out wardrobes into a race. 

31) Dusting 

Dish out the microfibre clothes and create a dusting race – who can get the surfaces squeaky clean the fastest? Rainbow feather dusters are also a great way to make dusting a little bit more exciting for kids. 

32) Hoovering 

If your kids are old enough, you could try tasking them with hoovering. Add it as an activity on older children’s reward charts and you’ll have dust-free carpets in no time. 

33) Cleaning shoes

If there was ever a time to get those odd jobs you’ve been wanting to do done, it’s now. Teaching older kids how to clean shoes will keep them occupied and they’ll have shiny clean shoes for going back to school. 

 

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  • Author: Louella Berryman Louella Berryman
  • Job Title: Audience Development Executive

After training as a journalist at Cardiff University and winning the BBC Best New Brand of the Year Award for her plastic-free magazine, Louella now works in Audience Development across Bauer’s lifestyle brands.
She has also written for The Sunday Times Travel, Grazia, heatworld, Closer Online and her food blog, Louella’s Kitchen. She's interested in writing about food, culture and women's health.

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