Keeping children entertained during a lockdown or on cold and rainy days can be challenging. That said, you may find that despite the weather or lockdown challenges, most yearn to be outside, which is natural. You should not deny them play because it is vital for their growth. So, what can you do? Most experts suggest playing a few indoor games to keep them busy and happy. Today we will analyze some of the best indoor activities for kids. Check and see.
The Best Indoor Activities For Kids
When it comes to children, play is never a question. It is vital for enhancing social development. Additionally, it is a natural and enjoyable way of developing their creativity, imagination, problem-solving skills, confidence, physical, cognitive, and emotional strength.
These fun activities can be divided into outdoor and indoor activities. As the name suggests, outdoor activities require kids to be outside. Some of the activities in this category include bike riding and skating.
Indoor activities, on the other hand, confine your children in the house. It could be because of bad weather, a lockdown, or when they are sick. So what are some rainy day kid activities that can keep them occupied yet entertained? Here’s our list:
Indoor Activities For Kids Aged 1 And 2
If your child is in this age group, here are some fun indoor activities to consider and keep them busy and entertained:
All you need for this activity is a carton of crayons and paper. The idea is to let them be and draw away. Avoid dictating or suggesting the things your kid can draw. Instead, let them develop their ideas on their own.
One of the best ways to unleash your child’s creativity is to give them time to enjoy independence (3). Then, when they are done, you can take them through the different colors they have used or things they have drawn.
As the title of this activity implies, you need a ball for this game. But, again, the idea is not to showcase your football skills but to let your child have fun kicking and passing the ball. With your toddler, roll the ball back and forth.
Besides having fun with their time, the game also builds your toddler’s confidence and teaches them to go for things they wish to pursue. Additionally, it teaches them that you will always respond to their actions. For extra fun with a bit of confusion, add an extra ball and watch to see which one they like.
Writing In Rice Or Sand
Now, this can be a fun but messy game. The messy part comes in when all your toddler wants to do is eat the sand or rice. In this case, we suggest using edible foods, such as food purees. Yes, it will be messier, but at least your toddler will be using edible products.
The idea of this activity is to let your toddler draw or write in the rice or sand. First, the different textures will be appealing to them and will keep your toddler occupied and curious. Second, letting your kids draw or write freely helps them get creative, making them explore, learn, and grow.
Playing With Dough Or Clay
Another exciting activity to keep your toddler busy indoors is playing with clay or homemade dough. The idea is to cut the dough or clay to make different shapes or numbers. For example, you can use cookie cutters or cups with large handles to make shapes such as stars and circles, respectively.
Painting is a good activity for children aged one and above. It helps children acquire essential skills, such as mobility skills. In addition, painting helps them improve their eye-hand coordination, creativity, attention span, and emotional expression (6).
So, nurture and take advantage of your child’s artistic talents by letting them paint. Finger painting is amusing for children aged one and two because there is little grabbing of brushes.
Peek A Boo
Peek-a-boo is one of the most intriguing activities to play with your toddler. It teaches them that you are still present and there for them even though they cannot see you.
It is essential to develop a baby’s gross motor skills and encourage their physical development. Similarly, it helps them learn visual tracking and tickles their sense of humor.
Fun Games For Kids Aged 3 To 4 Years
Your toddler has now developed more sensory skills and may want to explore more games. Unfortunately, at this age, Cocomelon will do little to entertain him. So, you need to be creative and look for more indoor fun games for your child. If you are lost for options, check these out:
Hide And Seek
Hide and seek is an advanced game of peek-a-boo. Most children thrive when playing this game because they have already sharpened their problem-solving and creativity skills from other games. Additionally, they learn important concepts like separation, enhancing their comprehension, motor, imitation, and listening skills (6).
This indoor home activity is designed to teach geometric shapes, such as circles, squares and triangles. It helps children aged 4 to 6 develop observation, perseverance, and focus skills (4).
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Name That Noise
By now, your child may be mimicking different noises he hears. So, making him guess different animal noises and have him guess can keep him occupied and entertained. But more fun, pretend to be the animal you are mimicking.
Do not pressure him to get every animal noise correct. Yes, he may forget some and may remember others. Again, encourage him to mimic different animals and take turns guessing the sounds. But do not be so quick to get it right. Let him have fun watching you guess as well.
Three is a good age to introduce your baby to board games, especially if they love colors and these kinds of games. They are critical in their play life because they teach essential life concepts like success, failure, disappointment, and ambition.
There are different board games, meaning you have to settle for what fascinates your child most. Most people have in the past associated children who play board games with better students. But this is not an indication or a recognized way of determining better students (3).
There is an assumption among some parents that dressing up is just about wearing make-up and cute dresses to entertain your baby girl. But that is not the case. You can also play dress-up with your boy by rocking different costumes and imitating different characters from your favorite cartoon or show.
But here is the trick. The fun is not in dressing up but in your tone and creativeness. So, if you pick a Johnny Depp costume, for example, try to embody his role for added fun. It also encourages your child to be creative and express themselves.
If your kid loves music, then this activity is perfect! It will have them shaking their little bodies for hours and forget about going outside to the playground (5). So, choose a fun playlist (with some of your kid’s favorite songs), blast the music, and let loose. Note that you do not have to be a pro to have fun. Let loose and move your body to the music without worrying about your dance moves.
Simple card games are also ideal indoor activities for kids in this age bracket. These games range from spoons card games, memory cards (needs two decks), trash, and crazy eights (where you need to get rid of all your cards).
Again, remember that you are not playing cards against your spouse or sibling but your child. So, minimize your competitive thrill and activate the fun meter. Allow your child to win once in a while as it boosts their confidence and makes them have fun playing to beat you.
This is an interactive game for children aged 4 to 6 that they can also play with their other siblings. It helps them develop endurance and learn to sort different things by color, shape, and size (4).
Fun Toddler Challenges
From time to time, it is essential to challenge your kids to enhance their creativity and problem-solving skills. Some of the exciting challenges for kids include:
The Other Hand Challenge
This challenge requires your kids to do everything with their non-dominant hand. (1). You can challenge them to write their names, draw, eat, or brush their teeth using this hand. Note that this challenge will never work with ambidextrous youngsters.
Building A House Of Cards
The challenge is easy from the outside looking in. After all, how hard can it be to build a structure, precisely a house and roof out of cards? Sorry to burst your bubble, but it is pretty challenging. It becomes tricky as you place each card on the structure.
When you start designing the roof, things are even more complex because it becomes wobbly. But the good thing is that this challenge is excellent for fine motor skill development (1). Additionally, it is a great way of keeping your children indoors, especially when they cannot go outside due to the weather.
In this game, you or your child have to imitate a specific person, and you have to guess who it is. This individual could be your favorite actor, teacher, character, celebrity, or friend. The catch is that you cannot say anything that will give away the person.
This means you cannot use their commonly used catchphrases or their appearance. Instead, you can only use gestures and their voice to try and portray them as best as you can.
No Thumbs Challenge
In this challenge, you tape the thumbs of your kids to the side of their hands and ask them to perform basic tasks such as opening a door, writing, or using a phone (1).
You may want to use something strong like duct tape so that it does not come off in the middle of the task. You will be surprised by how much we need our thumbs to perform different tasks. If they ace these tasks, challenge them to do something more challenging, such as tying shoelaces.
“I’m Going To Catch You!”
The game “I’m going to catch you!” is perfect if your child has a lot of energy. It will help you both let it all out as you chase each other around your living space. You may want to remove or move things that may risk falling or tripping, for example, a slippery carpet. By the end of the game, your kid will be exhausted and craving a nap. You might want to join your child for a nap as well due to exhaustion.
Enjoyable Indoor Activities For Kids Aged 5 To 8 Years
You will have to get creative at this age because children aged 5 to 8 have outgrown the activities for kids aged four years and below. Yes, they may be interested in a few, but that does not mean they will are dying to indulge in them. In this case, you can try out any of the following activities:
Bake And Decorate
Indoor fun games also mean getting creative in the kitchen. Whip up some cake or muffins for dessert and ask your child to help. Involve them in different steps, such as deciding the toppings to use, whipping the mixture, or deciding what to make for dessert. It can make some children discover their passion for baking and improve their skills with time.
Besides baking, you can ask your kid to help you prepare a snack for your family. You can also challenge them to develop new creative but healthy snack ideas (3).
If you choose a salad or smoothie, for example, take them through the entire process. Make it fun by asking them to take the measurements or plate in the way they like. It will probably make them proud of their lead role and creativeness in determining the design.
Jigsaw puzzles are great because you can leave them out and resume them after doing other activities or chores. Additionally, these puzzles are an incredible way of developing your child’s critical thinking, development, and cooperation skills (3).
There are different collections of kids’ jigsaw puzzles, depending on the age. Additionally, there are puzzles ranging from 50 to 300 pieces. That can present various options depending on your kid’s liking.
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What Can A 10-Year-Old Do When Bored Indoors?
Indoor activities for children aged ten and above can keep them preoccupied and entertained on those rainy, cold, and gloomy days. Some of them include:
In this game, children ages 8 to 10 are encouraged to use adjectives, nouns, verbs and numbers, further developing their language skills (4). It also strengthens their self-esteem thanks to the clarity they have developed in expressing their ideas using language skills. Other family members and siblings can also be included in the game.
Not all science experiments require dangerous chemicals or expensive laboratory equipment. Children can do other cool projects at home with regular household items.
However, the parents or guardians still need to be around the kids to supervise them during these experiments. Note that some experiments may get messy, leaving you with some cleaning to do.
We have rounded up some easy science experiments that kids can try at home. They are going to love them! They include:
- Racing a balloon-powered car.
- Repelling glitter with dish soap.
- Building a Ferris wheel from wood craft sticks.
- Building a solar oven.
- Using hot and cold water to discover density.
Chess is an excellent indoor activity for your ten-year-old, especially if they love board games. However, you do not necessarily have to introduce chess to your child at ten. Instead, you can consider introducing chess when your kid is 4 or 5 or when they show interest and can understand the rules.
The benefits of chess for kids are endless. For example, the game helps kids develop critical thinking, creativity, problem-solving, and reading skills. Additionally, it sharpens their memory, focus, and concentration.
Rules For Playing Indoors
As much as you want these toddler activities to put a smile on your baby’s face, you also want them to be safe. Unfortunately, believe it or not, severe accidents and injuries can also occur from simple indoor activities like those listed above. But to avoid them, you are urged to take heed of these safety tips (2):
- Wiping wet floors during activities like painting and baking to avoid slips and falls.
- Keeping sharp objects away, such as knives, when the kids are helping in the kitchen.
- Keeping closets, drawers, attics, and basements sealed off when playing hide and seek to prevent accidents.
- Teaching your children about dangerous areas and things, such as the kitchen and fire, respectively.
- Teaching older children the toys they have to keep away from their smaller siblings to prevent accidents such as choking.
- Teaching children how to play a particular activity safely.
- Creating a spacious and kid-friendly play zone that accommodates all their toys and allows for different activities.
- Let your child choose the activity they like instead of forcing one on them.
The Bottom Line
Your journey to the playground may be cut short on rainy days or by a lockdown. But this should never mark the end of play. Play is essential in a child’s growth and development due to the enhancement of different skills, such as creativity, fine motor, and problem-solving skills. There are different indoor activities for kids to try, depending on their age and preferences. Be sure to adhere to the safety rules for added benefits and fun!
This article is intended for general informational purposes only and does not address individual circumstances. It is not a substitute for professional advice or help and should not be relied on to make decisions of any kind. Any action you take upon the information presented in this article is strictly at your own risk and responsibility!
- 12 Interesting Challenges for Kids (2022, unicefkidpower.org)
- Baby safety (2021, webmd.com)
- Indoor play ideas to stimulate young children at home (2020, unicef.org)
- Play based learning activities for children aged 3 to 10 (2022, unicef.org)
- Slideshow: 14 Inside Rainy-Day Activities for Kids (2020, webmd.com)
- Types of Indoor Games That Are Good for Kids (2021, webmd.com)