Are you stuck inside and don’t know what to do with your little kids? Here are some easy, fun indoor activities for little kids to help them burn energy and keep busy!
(Note: Be sure to carefully supervise your little one if he or she still puts items in the mouth – some of the activities might not be good for some little kids.)
When you are stuck indoors with little kids and can’t get out it’s easy to feel antsy and stir-crazy, believe me, I know.
I work from home and have 2 little girls and some days are crazy! But even on days when we’re stuck at home, I have lots of fun, easy activities that keep them busy. Most of them require little-to-no prep (because this mama doesn’t have time for that!)
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Related: Tips for How to Work at Home with Little Kids
Indoor Activities for Little Kids that Help Burn Energy
- Obstacle course
Use items that you have already – pillows, blankets, cushions, chairs – and set up an easy course (or have your kids do this). When my girls were 2 and 4 they did this all the time (without my help).
- Follow the leader
The sillier the better – jump like a frog, crawl like a mouse, slither like a snake, tiptoe, skip, etc.
- Dance party
My favorite songs are the action songs with lyrics that include directions to follow like these (make a playlist and set it to repeat):
- Simon Says
- Indoor Olympics
Make your own events like:
- jumping jacks
- long jump
- ball toss
- Build a fort
Use anything – tables, sheets, pillows, cushions, etc.
- Cardboard boxes
Kids love playing with large cardboard boxes. They can make houses, forts, boats…
Blow up a bunch of balloons and play catch, keep away, volleyball…
- Bowling with cups
Use plastic cups and a small ball and bowl down the hallway.
- Indoor Campout
Make a tent (out of blankets or sheets or use a real tent), set up a pretend campfire, get some snacks and sing some songs!
- Blowing bubbles
- Scavenger hunt
You don’t have to write it down – just grab ideas out of your head “Find me something with wheels”, “Find me something that is red”. This also works great outside too – have your kids look for flowers, bugs, leaves rocks.
- Play with water
My girls love taking their Barbies swimming in large bowls filled with water (on the kitchen floor). They also love “helping” me wash the dishes in the sink (with lots of soap).
- Bathtub play
Another super fun activity in our house. I sometimes add bubbles, toys, or kitchen supplies (measuring cups, funnels, spoons, etc.).
Indoor hopscotch – use painter’s tape on the ground to create indoor hopscotch. Painter’s tape can also be used to make roads for cars.
- Feet painting
This is fun but messy! Get large sheets of butcher paper and have your kids paint with their feet. We have Crayola Washable Kids Paint which is easy to clean up.
You can use a bed sheet to play parachute.
- Hide and seek
- Hopper Ball
My kids have this hopper ball and they love it!
Other Indoor Activities:
- Facetime family members
Grandparents, Aunts, Uncles, etc. As an added bonus get them to read a book to your kids while on Facetime.
- Learn sign language or another language
- Board games
Pull out all of your board games and play a few (let everyone pick one).
- Write letters
Write to family and friends that are far away. Little kids can draw pictures to put inside. It’s fun if you ask them to tell you about their picture and write their description as a caption.
- Play with baking soda, vinegar and food coloring
This is super fun and easy (but messy)! My girls love this activity!
I put a bunch of baking soda in a big bowl or tray and let the girls drip food coloring on it. Then, I give them a cup full of vinegar and let them pour it on and have fun.
- Make your own book
This could be a family activity – one person is the artist, another the writer, another the publisher, etc. Staple it together and voila!
- Start an indoor garden
We have long, rectangular containers like these that I use to start seedlings indoors in the early spring (when it can still frost here). The girls love watching the seeds sprout.
- Bake together
These no-bake cookies are my favorite, but you can choose anything. Try a new recipe together!
- Put on a play or puppet show
My kids love dressing up and having a performance.
- Indoor tea party
We often have indoor tea parties (using real tea in a plastic tea set like this).
- Spa day
Have a spa day and paint do each other’s hair, makeup, nails, etc.
- Listen to a podcast for kids
Here are some fun ones:
- Classics for Kids
- Brains On!
- But Why?
- Trace your bodies on a big sheet of butcher paper and color yourselves in
- Have an actual campout or sleepover in the living room
Set up sleeping bags and snacks in the living room and have a campout (this is our new Christmas eve tradition!).
Go through a room, area of the house, clothes, toys, etc. and get rid of items you don’t use or need.
- Rearrange furniture
My little kids get a kick out of this!
- Wash and clean out the car together.
- Listen to audiobooks
We usually get ours for free from the library, but Audible is another great source for audiobooks.
- Movie and popcorn
A family favorite! The girls like to close the curtains and turn the lights out so it’s like we’re at the theater.
We have several sets of blocks (unpainted wooden blocks, painted wooden blocks). These are great for all kinds of open, imaginative play. I usually keep one set out and the others away (unless my girls ask) so I don’t have piles of blocks everywhere.
My kids particularly love the large, floor puzzles like this Minnie Mouse one.
Duplos are a great introduction to the smaller Legos that older kids have.
- Paper and safety scissors
When my oldest was just over 2 years old she LOVED cutting paper into little bits. I’d give her scrap pieces of paper and tell her to stand in one area of the dining room (we have wood floors so it’s easy-ish to sweep up) and there would be bits of teeny paper everywhere! She wanted to do this daily!
This party bag pack of Play-Doh is great because each container has a small amount – just enough for a toddler or preschooler.
- Pots and pans
The universal toy that keeps all kids happy! Let them play with some pots and pans from your kitchen – they can make some noise, pretend to cook or sit in them as my youngest liked to do. Ha!
Final Thoughts on Easy Indoor Activities for Little Kids
Little kids are usually very easily entertained! You don’t need fancy activities or expensive toys. Since I’m a busy mom, I like simple, indoor activities for little kids that are easy to implement without a lot of preparation. Then, I know my girls will be busy and I won’t have to spend a lot of time getting ready to start the activity. Have you tried any of these? What are your kids’ favorite indoor activities? I’d love to hear them.