This list is a TERRIFIC resource for kid activity ideas!
Whether you’re facing inclement weather, boredom or kids not feeling their best, this compilation of games, activities and projects is worth keeping.
Window painting, Nerf targets, indoor snow, a cave of stars, contact paper stickers, bathtub fishing, card games, cars and numbers, and sensory bins are just a portion of the great ideas for kidlet fun.
Explore these creative suggestions so you’re ready with new playtime inspiration when you need it.
- Create this Marble Race Track kids will love for hours of indoor fun.
- Kids will love to help create and play with this DIY Memory Game.
- Keep little hands and imaginations busy with 80 of the BEST Activities for 2 Year Olds.
- There’s even more inspiration in this post with 12 Awesome Indoor Activities for Kids.
- We’ve gathered up some of the best indoor and outdoor play tent ideas that your kids will love.
1. How to Make Insta-Snow
From The Artful Parent
Snow is a magical way to turn the world into a sparkling white, fluffy wonderland and kids just love it. Bring all of the snowy fun inside with these instructions for making insta-snow.
The snow is easy to make and lasts for a long time so it can be played with again and again.
Make a big batch and shovel it into a big plastic container or play table for snow-filled fun.
2. Window Painting
Kids love getting creative, and love when you pull out the paint on a rainy day.
Try something a little more unique next time and let your kiddos paint right on the windows.
Mixing a small amount of dishwasher liquid into regular tempera paint makes the perfect, washable medium and painting on glass gives the coolest effect.
Create some frames with painter’s tape, or use it to make fun designs.
3. Sticky Spider Web
From Hands On As We Grow
This sticky spider web activity is perfect for indoor play and can be created in any doorway, hallway, or other narrow place available in your home.
Use painter’s tape to make a spider web that spans the width of the doorway, then let your kids make newspaper balls to throw at it.
See if your painter’s tape web will catch the newspaper balls just like a real spider’s web would catch a fly.
4. Zoo Train
From Busy Bee Studios
This fun and interactive app is award winning, kid tested, and parent approved. It is a great way for younger children to practice things like the alphabet, making words, patterns and shapes, hand-eye coordination, and so much more.
The games are fun to play and kids collect stickers for rewards along the way.
It’s a great boredom buster for quiet days around the house, waiting for appointments, or on car rides.
5. Swinging Nerf Targets
From Frugal Fun 4 Boys
Who knew? Plastic cups make awesome Nerf targets, and when the cups are swinging they are even more fun! Keep your Nerf-loving kids busy for hours with this awesome winging Nerf target DIY project.
String up some plastic cups with scores on them to an easy-to-make PVC pipe frame.
Then take turns shooting at the targets and racking up points. Let the fun begin!
6. Fishing for Letters
From Pigtails and Tutus
Go fishing for letters right in your bathtub.
Help your little ones practice their alphabet with some magnetic ABC letters and a magnetic fishing pole. Fill the bathtub with water and add a few drops of food coloring to make the water turn blue, then throw in the magnetic letters and some water-themed toys to create your own alphabet ocean.
Your kids will have so much fun fishing for letters.
7. Round-up of 39 Ways to Play with Playdough
From The Artful Parent
Looking for new and exciting playdough ideas for your kids? Look no further. There is so much potential for classic playdough fun, whether you buy it or make your own.
This list of ideas for kids includes ways to create, build, play and learn with playdough.
Make a crazy playdough maze, use googly eyes and feathers to build a playdough monster, open up a playdough bakery, and so much more.
8. Shaving Cream Art Project
Here is a fun sensory art project for kids that has been super popular on the web.
Making marbled paper with shaving cream and food coloring or watercolor paints.
Kids can make a mess and stir things up with this project, and the result is always a beautiful, imperfect, and satisfying piece of art. It’s a really fun way to break up a rainy day or take art outside in the summertime.
9. Just Add Masking Tape
From What to Expect
These masking-tape inspired game ideas are pure genius.
With just a roll or two of plain masking tape from the dollar store, you can create hours of fun for the whole family right in your living room.
A few favorite indoor activities are bulls-eye bowling, life sized tic tac toe, balance beam, and guard the eggs.
You will have an absolute blast with these indoor family activities and games. Plus when you are done, just peel up the masking tape and your room is clean.
10. Nerf Shooting Range
From Frugal Fun 4 Boys
Use file folders and some painter’s tape to make this amazingly fun Nerf shooting range.
The file folders make great targets because they flop down when hit, but then pop right back up for the next person. They are easy to set up on any flat surface and to reuse again and again.
This game is also excellent for practicing adding numbers. Make it a competition and add up your points along the way.
11. Elephant Toothpaste Science Experiment
This exciting experiment works great for science discussions about reactions or just for the pure fun of it.
Ask your child what might happen if you change the amounts or left out an ingredient.
Let them direct the experiment! The result is a crazy expanding foam that is safe to touch and explore.
12. Kitchen Highway
Transform your kitchen, basement, or playroom floor into homemade highway for your kids. Let them bring their ride on cars to the track!
Use easy to peel off painter’s tape to create a winding maze of roads complete with parking spots for each vehicle.
Straight-aways are also perfect for racing toy cars. Your kids are sure to love this.
13. Bring in the Snow
From Mama Smiles
Do you have kids who love to play in the snow?
When they are feeling under the weather or you just can’t keep dressing them up to go outside, try bringing the snow inside to play.
It’s winter sensory brilliance.
Read a snow-themed picture book then bring some snow inside on baking sheets or in plastic containers, then let them play, build, and watch the snow melt.
14. LEGO Racetrack and Hot Wheels
From Frugal Fun 4 Boys
If your kids are anything like ours, every day they are designing some new ramp or track for racing their cars.
Challenge them to design and build race lanes out of Legos, and to find a cool way to release all the cars at once so the race is fair.
Lift up the white bar, and the cars go racing down the track in an exciting and nail-biting race for the finish line.
Your kids are guaranteed to love this fun indoor activity.
15. Cave of Stars
From Play at Home Mom
There are so many things to do with an empty box, the options are almost endless.
With some paint, a knife, and a strand of Christmas lights you can turn an empty box into cave of stars for your kids to explore.
Gaze up at the stars together, talking about their colors and about real stars. You could even arrange the lights in constellations and search for them together.
What a wonderful adventure!
16. Contact Paper Stickers
From The Artful Parent
Try your hand at making your own stickers with contact paper. This fun activity is sure to capture the hearts of kids of any age, and make great gifts for family members too.
Use permanent markers to create unique sticker designs, then cut carefully around the edges for custom stickers.
This is definitely a project worth trying out.
17. Painting With Snow
After an afternoon of playing in the snow kids aren’t always ready to stop. So, gather up a few handfuls of snow, bring it inside, and add some paint to extend your snowy afternoon by painting with snow.
Painting with snow creates little crystals of snow and offers a new sensory way for kids to paint.
The novelty of playing with snow inside is just so much fun!
18. Magnet Play Busy Jar
This simple activity is easy to put together for your kids and provides tons of entertainment.
This magnet busy jar adds a nice touch of science learning to the day and lets kids explore the magic of magnets.
Fill a clear container with paper clips, metal washers, and some lentils or rice. Move a strong magnet over the outside of the container to magically life the metal pieces and make chains!
19. Indoor Camping
From How Stuff Works
If the rain is keeping you from heading outdoors, bring the fun indoors.
With a little creativity, you can bring the camp inside and save your family from the perils of cabin fever.
These fun, easy-to-do activities and recipes will make your camp-in a huge hit.
Set up your campsite with lanterns and tents, participate in an exciting scavenger hunt, whip up some classic campfire snacks, and spend some quality time together.
20. 40 Card Games for Kids
From Delia Creates
Prepare yourself for the next rainy day, long car ride, or wait at the doctor’s office with a simple deck of cards and this list of 40 awesome card games for kids.
There are games for kids of all ages, and a deck of cards is the easiest thing to throw in your bag.
The round up list includes fun games like Salute the King or Spoons, as well as educational games like Toss Up and I’m the Greatest.
21. Minute to Win It
Minute to Win It games and activities are the perfect way to bring some friendly competition to your next family night.
This printable party pack has everything you need to host your own party!
Our personal favorites are Face the Cookie, Junk in the Trunk, and Penny Hose. Minute to Win It parties are great for contestants of all ages, and are sure to give your families a good laugh.
22. 100+ Sensory Bin Ideas
From Play Create Explore
Sensory bins are awesome hands-on tools for children to learn about their world and their senses.
Whether they are calming or engaging, sensory bins can help your kids develop important play and language skills. This list of 100+ sensory bin ideas is the perfect resource for parents and teachers.
These amazing ideas range from construction site set-ups to winter wonderlands, and everything in between.
23. Cars and Numbers Game
This cars and numbers parking lot game is such an easy activity to set up and will help your child practice their numbers in a fun and hands-on way.
Make your own cardboard parking lot for matchbox cars using a shallow box and a permanent marker.
Let your kids match up the numbers on the cars to the numbers on the parking spaces.
24. Styrofoam and Bamboo Sculptures
From The Artful Parent
No matter how big or amazing the toy, the packaging it comes in always seems to be a bigger hit.
Recycle packaging like Styrofoam and cardboard by making these creative abstract sculptures with your kids.
All you need to do is pile up the excess Styrofoam chunks and use skewers to create and build. It is amazing to see what your kids can design.
Check out these great games your whole family will love to play:
(Amazon Affiliate Links)
- Connect 4 Game
- HedBanz Game
- Trouble Game
- Chutes and Ladders Board Game
- Don’t Let the Pigeon Drive the Bus Game!
- Monopoly Junior Board Game
- Frozen Olaf’s in Trouble Game
- Chutes and Ladders Super Hero Squad
- Hi Ho Cherry-O
- Beat The Parents Board Game
- Qwirkle Board Game
- Operation Game
- Peaceable Kingdom Board Game
- World of Disney Eye Found It Board Game