Stuck Inside? Check Out These 30 Fun Indoor Activities

rain
Image via Pixabay

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All parents know to be true that kids are happiest playing outdoors. Unfortunately for them, and us, there are many days every year the weather just doesn't cooperate. Even though it's nearly summer, the rain and the heat can conspire against us to keep kids indoors. You may be up for splashing in the puddles or bringing out a sprinkler, but for the days you would rather stay dry check out these ideas from Lorena Canals Washable Rugs to help you and your kids have fun indoors with things you probably already have lying around.

indoor camping
Image via Pixabay
Indoor Camping
 
Schedule an indoor “camp out” with sleeping bags, a tent, board games, and s'mores. Camping inside is a fun and simple way to unplug, reconnect with your family, and have a great time. Plus, you'll have indoor plumbing!
yoga, stretching
Image via Pixabay
Yoga for Kids
 
Help your kids get a good stretch by striking some yoga poses. It promotes body awareness, balance, posture, and concentration. Yoga is a great rainy day activity because you don't need anything other than a bit of space. Check out these yoga poses for kids.
little girl tea party
Image via iStock
Tea Parties
 
Get all dressed up and host your own fancy tea party (be sure to invite the dolls and stuffed animals).

{ MORE: Toys That Support the Development of Kids with Autism }

messy-play-shaving-cream
Image via Flickr/ suzettesuzette
Shaving Cream Sculptures
 
Squirt some shaving cream in the sink and just let kids have fun. Add food coloring if you like. You might want to put them in an old shirt since this activity will get messy!
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Image via Pixabay
Bubble Wrap Fun
 
Kids, and most adults, love anything that involves bubble wrap! Roll out the bubble wrap carpet and let your kids walk the “runway.” Make a hopscotch grid with squares of bubble wrap or tape bubble wrap to the floor in a line and let kids use toy cars down their new road. Stash away any bubble wrap you get in packages and bring it out on a day you are stuck inside.
balloon
Image via iStock
Balloon Tennis
 
All you need is a balloon, two paper plates, and two craft sticks. The match can now begin! No craft sticks? Simply keep the balloon in the air as long as you can with a paper plate or even your hands.
toddler costume
Image via iStock
Photo Booth Fun
 
Tap into your kids' dress up trunk or bring out their old Halloween costumes for some photo fun. Have your kids strike a pose during your own custom photo shoot. Want to be in the photos? Use a book or bag of rice to prop up your phone or turn the tables and have the kids take pictures of you.

{ MORE: The Gift of Boredom }

jenga
Image via Flickr/ Jose Hernandez
Jenga!
 
Play Jenga, or use whatever you have to try a Jenga-type game. For example, you can build a fun Jenga-style tower with sponge pieces.
toddler-must-do-dance
Image via Nicole Hempeck
Freeze Dance
 
All you need is music, and the only guideline is to freeze when the music is paused. Encourage kids to “freeze” in fun poses or with funny faces. Use a variety of musical styles and tempos.
baby boy playing
Image via iStock
Make an Indoor Sandbox
 
Get a large container and fill it with shaped pasta, dried beans, or uncooked rice. Spread a washable rug underneath to catch any mess.
solidaria-gris-grey
Image via Lorena Canals
Messy Activities
 
Regardless of the activity, kids playing inside can lead to a bit of a mess from arts and crafts or spilled snacks and drinks. I love doing these activities risk-free on our washable Lorena Canals rugs that are cute and durable. Let the kids have fun and throw the rug in the washer when playtime is over.

{ MORE: Your Kids Will Never Be Bored Again With These Indoor Play Ideas }

giddy-buggy-tent-target
Image via Amazon

More Indoor Camping

Just because the weather outside isn't very nice doesn't mean it's not the perfect time for a camping expedition. Keep a cute tent like the Melissa & Doug Giddy Buggy tent with an outdoor feel on-hand so you can experience the magic of the “outdoors” in your own living room. For some added fun, bring in some pillows, a sleeping bag, some books, a flashlight, or even a mess-free art activity like a Press-and-Peel Stained Glass activity set or an Adventure Design Activity Set that allows kids to mix-and-match plates to create endless characters. Stay in your tent for a nap or even spend the night.

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zainys-horse
Image via The Manhattan Toy Company

Puppets

When you are at a loss for things to do when stuck inside a puppet show is always a safe bet. In my house, we keep a few puppets around that can be used to act out any story at all, like these Zainys puppets from Manhattan Toy Company that can be animals, construction workers, or royalty. We also love the cute, furry animal puppets that can take on any role or story time finger puppets.

create-and-play-blocks
Image via Amazon

Blocks

Building with blocks is always a great indoor activity. Go beyond the basics with this fun create-and-play set from Manhattan Toy Company that includes not just unusual shapes but fun patterns as well to allow kids (and parents) to stretch their creativity.

lemondade-stand
Image via Amazon

Imaginative Play

Did someone say imaginative play? My kids stay busy for hours using their Melissa & Doug Deluxe Grocery Store/Lemonade Stand. This stand has a small footprint but packs a lot of fun. The nine storage bins can be filled with play food or real treats and the counter is great for selling or serving anything your child's heart desires. We even use a pretend coffee set to turn it into a cafe. One of the best things about this stand is that once the sun starts shining you can take it outside and have the poshest lemonade stand in town.

{ MORE: Got a Tot Who Loves to Run? Try These Classic Games to Channel Their Energy }

groovy-boys-doll
Image via Amazon

Dolls

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When the weather keeps you inside grab your favorite doll and go anywhere you like! My daughter loves taking her Groovy Girls on adventures in their groovy car or to big-kid school with a groovy locker. I love that these dolls don't just come in fun themes like ladybug and lollypop but that they also have a variety of skin tones and hair colors and that there's even a boy doll.

carpet, rug
Image via Pixabay

Magic Carpet

Grab your carpet and go on a magic carpet ride! You are only limited by your imagination. As a bonus, take along a Jasmine doll for someone with experience. You just may find yourself landing in a magical land and if you are lucky you will even find a genie willing to grant your wishes.

flying-fish-craft-michaels
Image via Michaels

Arts and Crafts

Try your hand at some simple crafts! Michael's catchphrase is “where creativity happens” and they have some great ideas for crafting at home with little kids on rainy days. This flying fish is easy to make and you will have a nice decoration to hang up when you are done. See the full instructions here.

 

 

aliens
Image via Michaels

Travel to Another Planet!

Michael's Craft Supply has a great Life on Pluto: Cardboard Aliens craft idea that is simple for even young kids to follow. I love art projects like this one that have no one right way to do it and allow kids complete creative freedom. Choose one eye or twelve, green aliens or pink. Anything goes and you have fun creatures to play with at the end. See the full instructions here.

{ MORE: The Genius of Play Kicks Off Play All May }

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twister
Image via Neil Dorgan

Games

Games are always a fun way to pass the time indoors. My kids love Twister because it always ends in giggles. I love they get some exercise and that even toddlers can play along (with some allowances for mixing up their lefts and rights). Other great options that you will remember from your childhood are Jr. versions of games like Monopoly and Life.

playful-dino-manhattan-toy
Image via Amazon

Multiple Activity Toys

Even babies get bored when stuck inside for too long. Try a small toy packed with multiple activities like this Playful Dino from Manhattan Toy that has beads, gears, eyes that flip from open to closed, letters, and more. My son can explore this toy for a very long time without getting bored.

rey-speeder-hasbro
Image via Hasbro

Favorite Figures

Days spent indoors are the perfect time to bring out your child's favorite figures. Whether your child loves My Little Pony or Star Wars bring out your favorites and act out the stories you already know and love or imagine new scenarios for Pinkie Pie and Kylo Ren. I like to keep a little figure or two on-hand to add to my kids' collection when boredom strikes and we are stuck indoors.

board game
Image via Flickr/ John Morgan

Board Games

Board games are always a fun option for two or more. Even the littlest kids can play cooperative games like HABA's Flower Fairy where kids (and grown-ups) work together to make sure flowers grow. Cooperative games like these can be played from about age two and up and can be played in a variety of ways (because we all know that toddlers need flexibility).

bubbleblowingwithhands
Image via Flickr/ misfitfroth

Science

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If you kids are more tactile, they may be more interested in a science-art fusion kit where kids learn scientific concepts (whether they realize it or not) while making art projects. No kid can resist making bubbles indoors! Bring the outside in with bubble paint, bubble slime, bubble foam, bubble sculptures, and more bubble-friendly experiments.

fur-real-friend
Image via Amazon

Pretend Pets

Even if you have a strict no-pet policy at home that doesn't mean you can't spend a rainy or unbearably hot afternoon playing with a dog. My daughter loves her FurReal Friend pup that responds to touch and can even eat. Some FurReal friends can walk, take bottles, and do tricks. Playing with one is a great way for kids to use their imaginations and pass a couple of hours indoors.

darth vader
Image via iStock

Lightsaber Duels

A favorite rainy day activity in my house is lightsaber duels. Even my one-year-old likes to get in on the action while my older kids love to experiment with different types of Bladebuilders that allow them to change their lightsabers' configuration so that their lightsaber battles never get old. Kids not quite old enough to handle their own lightsaber can still undergo Jedi training with something soft, like a pool noodle.

dancer detail 800
Image via Jamie Davis Smith

Dance Party

A great way for your kids to get their wiggles out when it rains is to have a dance party. Try variations, such as the Hokey Pokey or musical chairs, to keep things interesting.

{ MORE: Curious About Growth Mindset for Your Kids? Try This. }

two yellow ducks
Image via iStock

Bathtub “Pool Time”

When the weather isn't nice outside my kids like to take a dip in our indoor pool – also known as the tub. No hair washing is allowed but bathing suits are allowed (and encouraged). Add some toys and relax the no-splashing policy. Keep kids busy for longer by adding some toys like this Ball Track Bathing Bliss set from HABA that brings a toddler-friendly marble run to the tub.

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Image via HABA

Exotic Land Game

When you are stuck inside because of rain or hot weather what better game to play than one that involves the dry season in the Savannah? My kids love that Tambuzi involves a race to hit the buzzer, animals, and a trip to an exotic land.

Teenage_Mutant_Ninja_Turtles_Out_of_the_Shadows_poster
Image via Wikipedia

Turtle Power

If you are stuck indoors head underground. My sons love heading down into the sewers with the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles as their guide. With a new movie, Out of the Shadows, released last June, your kids will think you are coolest.

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Stuck Inside? Check Out These 30 Fun Indoor Activities

Jamie is a Beltway Insider who loves channeling her pre-motherhood love of traveling into spending time exploring all D.C. has to offer with her brood of two girls and two boys ages 9, 7,5, and a baby. She is a reformed lawyer turned full-time kid wrangler who enjoys photographing her everyday chaos and anything salted caramel. Since life is never dull, she loves writing about the issues and events going on in her life at any given time, including caring for a daughter with special needs and th ... More

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