Stuck up inside due to heavy downpours, snowfall, wind, heat waves or being sick? No matter where we live, or what the weather is like outside our window, often there are times when we’ll have to snug up indoors with our little ones. Well, if that’s the case, are you wondering as to how you can have quality time with your loved ones and keep boredom at bay? Here are some super fun, simple and easy ideas that will keep you and your children happy and excited.
1. Indoor treasure hunt
Setting up a treasure hunt adventure right at home is a fantastic way to pass a few hours with great joy, fun and interaction. All we need to do is to set up a series of clues that will guide your players from one spot to the next until they get to the final destination, where they could find their treasure (which could be a favourite toy/treat or any box filled with inexpensive goodies that would just mimic a treasure chest).
You can tailor your clues according to the ages and abilities of your treasure hunters. In fact, for non-readers picture clues could work well. It’s a good idea to make the clues, in such a way that it is difficult enough to be exciting and challenging but at the same time, it should not be so hard that the kids get frustrated. It would be great if you set some basic rules like no running or pushing each other while hunting for the treasure, especially if more children are playing. The second rule could be, to take turns when reading the clues.
Treasure hunts prove to be ultimate expeditions to keep your little munchkins on the move, having lots of fun and excitement – they’re not only a workout for their body but also their brain, as the clues require some thinking and sequencing (following steps in order).
2. Enjoy a board game/play cards
Bringing out a board game when you are stuck up inside is sure to bring great benefits to your children. Besides making them understand specific skills like teamwork, patience, taking turns and how to win and lose gracefully, board games also enhance their brain and language development. We are lucky enough to have a great deal of board games out there, that suits children of different ages and abilities.
Playing cards also turns out to be a great pastime. Remember those fulfilled days, when you used to play cards with your friends and/or family as a child? Why not introduce your child/children to those set of incredible card games, that brings with it, its own benefits, in addition to being an evergreen time pass!
3. Sock chase
This will certainly amuse the kids, especially if there are many of them to join the game. Set up the game by hiding single socks all-around your house. Then give each child a sock and put on the timer, such that it rings every 3 or 4 minutes. They must return to you with the pair of sock that matches the one you gave each of them, before the timer rings.
4. Write letters/Make greeting cards
Let children go pull out a piece of paper, pick up a pen and jot down their thoughts, feelings and emotions that need to be conveyed to their loved ones. This lovely letter of theirs will bring a burst of excitement and joy to the recipient and it would reflect their love and care. It’s extremely joyful to receive a handwritten letter from a loved one, especially in today’s ever-growing digital world. So let them sit back, put their pen on paper and convert their thoughts into words; this is truly marvellous!
You can also encourage kids to make cute little cards for your loved ones-it would be a special treat for your near ones. Get creative, experiment with doodles or stickers, use glitters, paints, stamps, scented pens and what not! Inspire them to immerse themselves in creativity and imagination. In addition to bringing joy at both ends, this activity will also boost their mind and skills.
5. Hold a tidy up race
It’s not unusual for kids to make wild messes, after all the fun and play. However, it is absolutely necessary to encourage them to always clean up and put away things, back to proper places. This would teach them good life skills like sorting and organising, and would also inculcate in them values of responsibility, respect for environment and materials and consistency.
It would be a great idea to split the members of the family into 2 groups (or more according to the number of people) and hold a tidy up race. Fix a particular space for each group to clean up and start cleaning up – the team that clears up first would be the winner of the race. This seems to be a fun way of tidying up. If your kids’ room is overwhelmed with toys or small clothes – clearing the clutter, with the involvement of your kids also tend to be a boredom buster. Besides clearing up and making more space, this activity would also entertain them.
Let the kids pull out all their colouring pens, pencils, crayons, paints, drawing pads or papers and set up a fabulous colouring station at your dining table or any other convenient place at home. Let them awaken their imagination and create their very own masterpieces with all the paint and art sets they possess. Then set up an Art gallery at home with all the colourful creations and imaginative arts, so that it could be enjoyed and appreciated by all your guests from time to time. I’m sure most children love drawing and painting and parents can encourage, appreciate and nurture their interests.
7. Have a lovely story time
Pick up some picture books or your kids’ favourite storybooks and get on to read with your little readers in a quiet and peaceful place. It’s good to fill your story times with a variety of books. It’s great to take turns while reading so that everyone will get actively involved. Asking questions, predicting what might happen in the story and making inferences would make the activity even more exciting and joyous. This great activity is not just a boredom buster but carries endless benefits with it, that would make your little ones succeed in life.
8. Enjoy an indoor picnic/go camping indoors
Spread out the picnic mat right at your sweet home and set up all those little plates, cups and napkins-fill it up with your favourite snacks and drinks and have fun! Make sure to give the kids a hand in all that you do – from preparing the snacks (if it’s home-made) to getting the picnic all set. It would be more jolly if you can manage to get some of your kids’ friends join too. Believe me! This is equally fun, as it is, with the outdoor ones.
Furthermore, children can bring the pleasure of camping at the indoors. Let them grab some blankets, quilts, bedspreads, pillows, furniture/cardboard boxes and build their own forts, castles or tents and go camping at the great indoors!
9. Lighten up your creativity and get crafty
Encourage your little ones to bring creativity to home, using all their arts and craft supplies. There are tons of creative crafts that can be done using common household supplies/everyday items. Let them gather all the bits and bobs at home and then you can support them turn these into an adorable piece of art/craft.
10. Sort out puzzles
Joining your kids to put puzzles together would be really fun and is indeed a great workout for the brain. Most children love puzzles and it would be great if they have the opportunity to solve various puzzles that are both engaging and educational.
There are different kinds of puzzles that suit children of different ages. Choosing a puzzle that everyone in the family could work together seems to be a brilliant choice. You can also set each member of the family up with puzzles, that would suit each of their skill levels, and they could work independently – of course you can help each other if somebody is in trouble. Another idea is to create teams to finish large and challenging puzzles – each team working from different sides to complete the whole puzzle.
It’s an excellent idea to keep some spare puzzles handy at home, so that it could be given to your kids when you can’t go out and they’re really bored – a fresh and new piece will indulge them more. Additionally, you can even turn your favourite family photo or any other favourite picture of your little one into jigsaws and that would be unique!
11. Make your own playdoh
Ever thought about making playdoh in no time using everyday ingredients at home? Kids are sure to enjoy this money-saving kitchen activity. It’s super easy, the results are quick and the little hands can play with it straight away, which is even more fun!
How to make playdoh?
- Plain flour
- Table salt
- Warm Water
- Food Colouring / Homemade colouring
- Vegetable Oil
- Mix the flour and salt together in a large bowl
- Mix water oil and colour
- Pour the liquid mixture little by little into the dry ingredients. Allow your child to stir and mix it together
- Add more water that is required and knead it until it forms a soft and smooth dough. Remember to include your child to squish and roll it.
- You can add extra food colouring if you want a darker shade.
That’s it, it’s done! Give some to your kids right away and let them get creating their own playdoh models. Then transfer the rest into a zip lock cover and store it in the fridge to keep it fresh.
- If you find your playdoh drying out, take the required amount of playdoh you need at the moment, add required amount of water and knead it again to make it soft.
- You can blend and knead together two different coloured dohs to make it into a new coloured doh (Keep squishing and folding until it blends perfectly well)
12. Pretend Play
Why not try some pretend plays, which not only let time swift by, but will also promote your kids’ thinking, language, social and emotional skills. It’s absolutely adorable to watch their creativity reach greater heights by putting up a pretend play/role play. Perhaps we’ll notice that they’re incredibly imaginative!
There are lots of imaginative play ideas that you can adapt, depending upon your child’s age and interests. You can try some common pretend play ideas like pretending to be a doctor, a shop keeper, a baker, a teacher, or setting up your own post office, putting up a tea party and much more. And, if you are tired of the same old pretend plays, it would be interesting to experiment with some new fun ideas like setting up an animal hospital, a coffee shop, a toy store or pretend play camping, airports, and what not- the list seems to be endless.
13. Get to explore science
There are lots of cool, kid-friendly and simple science experiments that could be done at home using household items. By engaging in these experiments, kids are sure to have fun. Moreover, they will also get to know the scientific facts associated with each experiment.
14. Look out for old photos/albums
Kids (Grown ups too) love to look at those old photos and hear the stories that each snapshot has to share. So pull out your old albums, share some of your childhood adventures with them and recollect all those cherished moments and memories once again. It’s sure to make you truly delighted.
15. Musical statues/freeze dance
Gather everyone in your family for musical statues and rejoice! All you have to do is to play your favourite songs and dance around until the music stops, and when it does, all the dancers will have to stand still (pretend statues) in whatever position they happen to be in, at the moment the music is paused. Certainly, many of you will be in absolutely funny postures which in turn will raise a huge laughter at home. This is a great fun-filled activity that would turn out to be an excellent fat burner too!
16. Put up a quiz competition
Organize a quiz competition at home that covers a range of age-appropriate questions. Plan a set of awesome questions that would suit your family (according to your ages, interests and levels of knowledge). It would be good to play in teams if there are more members. You can plan a format that sets a particular number of rounds (4, 5 or as you wish) for the competition and a tie-breaker question (in case if there is a tie). Each round could have questions from a specific area of your choice. Ensure that all your answers are accurate and don’t forget to distribute small presents to the winners as a token of appreciation.
17. Get Baking
Have a good time baking some delicious cookies, cakes or biscuits. Remember to let children do their part while stirring, mixing and decorating. Kids can also help to make a homemade pizza and put their own toppings on. They would surely devour their favourite treats and would be even proud if pictures of their hard work are shared to friends and relatives.
18. Put on a play / Fashion show
This seems to work better with older children. Toddlers can be little helpers. Let them search their wardrobes, pull out all they need to get dressed up and put on a fashion show or a play (Could be one that they learned at school or any other). Well, they can even make paper bag puppets/sock puppets and put on a puppet show. Yep! these would raise a huge applaud!
19. Give each other a makeover
Choose your partners and offer each other a signature makeup look. Take out all your cosmetics (make sure to use kid-friendly ones for kids and remember to wash as soon as possible) and get set. Children will be so excited to create a brand new look for their moms and dads. You can give your little ones a makeover too – bring in the fun through different looks – chic, cute or funny. Remember to do catwalks when done!
20. Play together
Playing is not just fun, but is a stress buster too! There are tons of family-friendly indoor game ideas, from the ones that keep you moving to those classic pen and paper games. Just listing out a few cheery games that are perfect for the indoor days.
- Simon says
- hot potato
- Fortunately unfortunately
- Name place animal thing
- Indoor hopscotch
- Tic tac toe
- Dot and boxes
- I spy
- Touch and feel boxes
- Keep the balloons up
- Sock basketball
- Indoor bowling
- Indoor obstacle course
- Rock paper scissors
Well! The list goes on and on…
You can even try making up your own games and don’t forget to share it!
Hope some of these ideas might suit you to keep your little ones busy. Try some of them, if not yet, and don’t let your kids say “I’m bored!” ever again. Please let me know in the comment box if you have more to add to the list that would help beat the boredom blues.