Need Clever Indoor Activities for Kids that will not blow your budget? You have come to the right place. Check out these 32 ways to keep the kiddos entertained and your budget in the green.
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Fun, Fun, And More Fun
Set bird seed out on the porch or in the yard and let the kids enjoy seeing the variety of birds that come to feed. It make take a few days of putting out seed before the birds discover the food source. Once they do, the news will start to spread quickly
Would you like for the birds to linger longer? Get the kids involved in building a home for their new feathered friends. Convenient kits are available at reasonable prices.
If there ever was a classic indoor activity, it is playing board games. Here are some great ones grouped by age to explore.
Ages 4 and Up
Hungry Hungry Hippos, Yeti in My Spaghetti, and Hot Potato Musical Passing Game.
Age 6 and Up
Jenga, Connect 4, and Guess Who? Board Game.
Age 7 and Up
HedBanz Game, Sequence, and Rubik’s Race.
Age 8 and Up
Watch Ya’ Mouth Family Edition -Hilarious, Mouthguard Party Card Game, Yahtzee Game, and Payday.
Age 10 and Up
5 Second Rule, Dead Ringer – Play! Match! Ring!, and Forbidden Island.
Bubble Bath Bonanza
A good old fashion bubble bath, with careful adult supervision, is lots of fun for the kiddos.
Bubble Wrap Madness
If the noise will drive you crazy, skip on over this one. Otherwise, there are so many great ways for the kids to have fun with leftover bubble wrap. Combine it with washable paint to make patterns on a piece of paper. Bubble wrap can be rolled into shapes to make animals, beehives, etc.. and is perfect for stomping on.
Cardboard Box Creation
It is truly amazing all the things that can be created from cardboard boxes. They can be turned into airplanes, boats, cars, castles, drums, mailboxes, play kitchens, race tracks, robots, rocket ships, and so much more. Let the kids’ imaginations and crayons run wild.
And speaking of colors, from youngest to oldest family members, there are now coloring books to keep them entertained.
Hop in the kitchen with your crew and whip up some simple sugar cookie or chocolate chip cookie dough. Things really get fun when cookie cutters, sprinkles, and frosting get whipped out.
Diorama In A Shoebox
This one may take you back to your own school days. How about letting the kids turn the inside of a shoebox into a 3-D scene? Maybe they would like create an oceanscape, a mini town, a forest, or a solar system. Encourage their creative side.
Crank up the Kids Friendly Hits and let them move off their pent up energy. See who can last the longest before succumbing to nap mode. One of those wonderfully exhausting indoor activities for kids.
Grab a bunch of dominoes on the cheap at a dollar store. Show the kids how to line them up and then topple them. Let the fun begin!
Don’t Touch The Lava Game
This game was always one of my brother and I’s childhood favorites. If you don’t mind, you can let the kids use the furniture as safe ground and the floor as the lava. Let them jump from piece to piece of furniture to avoid the lava (My mom may or may not have approved of us doing this. Just saying!) If you don’t want your furniture to get an impromptu workout, use pieces of fabric, construction paper, etc… on the floor for the kids to hop around on.
A challenging book filled with dot to dot puzzles is not only a great way to keep the kiddos entertained, but also an easy way to get them to practice their numbers. Sometimes you have to do what you’ve gotta do!
Let little peanut turn pent up art fever free with a big piece of paper and WASHABLE finger-paints. His or her masterpiece is sure to end up on a relative’s refrigerator.
Now this is an activity that is truly great for the imagination and developing engineering skills. Forts can be built with everything from a few bed sheets and folding chairs to PVC pipe and fabric. Really, the whole point is to use imagination and ingenuity to put together a hide away from the world. Now what can I use to make my own adult version?
Glitter Jar Greatness
The kids will enjoy both helping you put these jars together and playing with them again and again afterwards. All the supplies that are needed to make one are an empty plastic water bottle, glitter, glitter glue, food coloring, and water. Children can experiment with differing amounts of ingredients to see the results that they get.
Hide And Seek
How can you beat this time honored game? If you have a gaggle of kids in the house, encourage them to play a version where when they find the person in hiding, they join them. The game goes on until the last person finds the whole group. That person hides first the next time.
Empty 2 liter bottles, Solo Cups, or toilet paper rolls will work nicely for the pins. For the bowling ball, use rolled up socks or a wiffle ball. Add in some light sticks from a dollar store to the pins and/or ball and turn the lights off for an exciting twist.
A kid-created fort can be a great place for them to spend the night indoor camping. Or if you have an easy pop up tent, set that baby up in the living room or playroom and let the kiddos pile in with their sleeping bags and flashlights.
Beth over at The First Year offers an easy, clever recipe for S’mores Bites that you can whip up in just minutes in the oven. And for the night sky, a Star Projector with 360 Degree Rotation is perfect and mesmerizing.
Indoor Ice Skating
Yep! You will definitely want to carefully supervise this activity so it doesn’t turn into a ice hockey match or slip and fall fest. Good suggestions for indoor ice skates include plastic zip lock bags and paper plates. My favorite, from my own pretend figure skating days, is hard cover Little Golden Books. They glide like butter.
What is it about seeing the world through a lens of multi-color that is so fascinating and mood lifting? Your children can put their own decorative touch on their portable viewer.
This handicraft is experiencing a real boom in popularity. Work alongside your kiddo to teach them/or learn the art of knitting. Imagination Soup and Happy Homeschool Nest offer excellent tutorials to get started.
And The Indoor Entertainment Keeps Going
This craft is much like the glitter bottles mentioned previously. In addition to food coloring and water, though, you are going to need some baby or vegetable oil and Alka Seltzer tablets for lava action.
LEGO® Building Challenge
Give the kids a person, place, thing, etc.. as the topic and see what they create using just LEGO® blocks and accessories. I am sure that you will amazed at what their wonderful young minds and agile hands can come up with.
From long tubes made of upcycled toilet paper or paper towel tubes to more intricate tracks made of paper plates or cardboard, the array of mazes that can be created for marbles to navigate through is only limited by the imagination.
Mini Golf Fun
Bring the putt putt indoors my setting up an indoor course using household items such as cardboard boxes, shoe boxes, stools, tin cans, and wood blocks.
Minute To Win It Madness
Keep the younger crowd busy with challenges that test them both physical and mentally as they race the clock. To get started, check out these 12 Minute to Win It style games found at Teach Mama.
Nerf Gun Gallery
How about setting up “knock the target over” challenges for indoor nerf gun fun? For example, set plastic cups on top of a cardboard box and see who can knock all the cups off most quickly.
Have them weaving in and out, going high and low, fast and slow with an indoor obstacle course. From shimmying under broom sticks across a chair to hopping between paper lily pads, the possibilities are many.
Paper Airplane Pandemonium
Mix STEM education with fun. Have your kids make a variety of paper airplanes to see which are more aerodynamic. Use hula hoops as throw through targets.
Paper Plate Creations
It is truly amazing all the things that can be made with paper plates. For kid appealing inspiration, check out these 99 Paper Plate Craft Projects.
Pot And Pan Band
Who needs expensive instruments when you have buckets, pans, plastic tubs, pots, spoons, strainers,and tin cans.
Let your young un’s spend their time indoors decorating rocks that they can “hide” for others to find and enjoy in good weather. The origins of this rock sharing grew out of The Kindness Rocks Project(sm).
Say It With A Skit
No home theater needed here! The kiddos can create their own stage worthy production with some imagination and hand-crafted props. One of the more creative indoor activities for kids.
Pick random objects or things grouped around a theme for a scavenger hunt list. Rinse and repeat.
A light colored wall, a flashlight, and dim surroundings are all that is needed.
Slime And/Or Playdough Creation
Homemade recipes abound. Just pay careful attention to the ingredients as some can be irritating to sensitive hands. Check out these 14 Frugal Borax Free Slime Recipes.
Soft Snowball Fight
All the fun of a real snowball fight without the cold and the sting. Homemade snow balls can be made with some white pantyhose and poly fill stuffing or you can opt for the ready made snowballs.
Spin a yarn or two or settle in to read a good book with your children. Sweet family time!
This simple craft can be made with some contact paper, tissue paper, and scissors. Just use a tool such as a hole punch to make a spot for a string or fishing line to be attached for hanging up.
The perfect frugal way to let your children experiment with a variety of colors while creating memorable keepsakes.
With so many frugal indoor activities for kids to choose from, hearing “I’m Bored” on a regular basis will become a thing of the past. Don’t forget to grab your free printable list of all these great activities along with 12 bonus ones below. Click on the image below.