Fun Indoor Activities for Kids

Ideas for ways to keep cabin fever at bay when the weather outside is frightful

Happy father with children breaking eggs together in kitchen
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As every parent knows, keeping kids entertained with fun indoor activities can be quite challenging when it's raining, too cold, or even too hot to play outside. Fear not! Here are some great ideas for how to prevent cabin fever and keep kids occupied when the weather outside is frightful. With these fun ideas, you can spark learning and creativity, and even get kids moving, too!

  1. Get out the crafts box.
    One of the best ways to get kids to exercise their imagination when they're stuck indoors is to break out the crafts materials and work on making something fun. Whether you're working on a seasonal craft like spring crafts or winter crafts, or making something special for a holiday like Valentine's Day, Christmas, or Easter, you can inspire kids to make some great kids' crafts to display around the house and share with friends and family.
  1. Cook or bake something yummy.
    There's nothing like baking some delicious cookies, brownies, or other treats when it's rainy or snowing outside. Or you can whip up some healthy smoothies or other healthy treats. No matter what you decide to make, cooking together is a wonderful way to spend some family time with kids. You can even play some fun kitchen math games while you measure out ingredients. And the best part: You get to eat those yummy treats when you're done!
  2. Play board games.
    Getting the kids together to play a fun board game is a great way to pass the time and have some indoor fun. When it comes to fun family board games, there are lots of great options to choose from today. Many great games for older kids, like Khet and Apples to Apples, encourage kids to use their brainpower. Other educational games, like Sequence for Kids, Rush Hour Jr., and Pentago, can be played by younger kids, and games like Boggle and Rush Hour can be played with older kids. And of course there are the classics like Monopoly, Scrabble, and chess or checkers. No matter which game you choose for your indoor game, make some snacks and settle down for some fun!
  1. Read a good book.
    When the weather outside calls for staying indoors, a good book can let kids travel to far-away places or lands and have an adventure, all while staying cozy, warm, and dry indoors. Even if your school-age child is a skilled independent reader, you can take turns reading from an exciting mystery or adventure (or whatever else strikes your moods). Or if you prefer, you can put on an audio book and snuggle on the sofa as you listen to a book together.
  1. Do something creative.
    Write a story (and have kids do a reading or have a publishing party of their work), make up songs, or put up a play with finger puppets. Kids can use their imaginations to come up with stories and then perform their works to showcase what they made. Not only is this a great way to encourage kids to get creative, it helps them learn how to present their work, too. They'll never know they're developing important skills because they're having so much fun!
  2. Make your own "What in the World" photo game.
    National Geographic Kids magazine regularly features a fun puzzle game using closeup photos of things in the world that has readers guessing what they are looking at by trying to decipher the photo and the scrambled-letter caption underneath. You can make your own by printing out photos or using a photo-slide presentation tool like Keynote or PowerPoint (or just cutting out parts of a photo from a magazine). Let younger kids help you, or if your child is old enough, let him create the project on his own.
  1. Have a Lego building contest.
    Do you have some old Lego sets around the house? Get some bins and start building! You can have a contest to see who comes up with the craziest, or most colorful, or most creative creature, structure, or whatever you can think of. You can even make a "movie" set and characters and use your smartphone to videotape short movies of your Lego characters' adventures.
  2. Make Rainbow Loom bracelets or other friendship bracelets.
    If you have a Rainbow Loom or a similar rubber band bracelet-making kit, a rainy or cold day is the perfect time to learn a new pattern or make some bracelets to wear or share with friends. You can read my easy step-by-step guidelines for how to make a simple single-pattern Rainbow Loom bracelet, fishtail bracelet, three-pin fishtail bracelet, diamond-pattern bracelet, or even a more complicated double braid rubber band bracelet. Don't have rubber bands? You can make an easy friendship bracelet with embroidery floss or a rattail cord bracelet.
  3. Play a freeze dance game.
    Turn up the music, clear some floor space, and get dancing! Designate someone to control the music and stop it to see who can freeze the fastest (and who is last). Players who are the last to freeze are out. At the end, everyone can be rewarded with treats!
  4. Turn outdoor games into indoor games.
    Here's a great idea for how to get kids active when they're stuck indoors: Bring outdoor games inside! About's Family Fitness Expert Catherine Holecko suggests getting some indoor versions of outdoor toys (Nerf balls, balloons, beach balls, etc.) and tailoring outdoor activities like golf, soccer, and volleyball to play safely inside. And get yourself some great indoor toys to help inspire some more fun.

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