Honestly, winter is not my favorite time of the year. Having 10 kids indoors for days on end makes for a long season. Over the years, I have come up with some easy indoor activities to do at home that keep the kids both busy and happy and help me keep my sanity. In this post, I share 10 inside activities that consistently keep kids occupied on long winter days.
1. Build an Obstacle Course
I saw this idea on Pinterest a long time ago, and it has become one of my go-to inside activities. We use Painter’s Tape, sports equipment, and the kids’ imagination. Painter’s Tape can be used on carpet, hardwood floors and walls, and it does not damage anything. First, tape down direction markers and shapes on the floor. Then, add in obstacles. For example, we like to incorporate soccer balls, pop-up tunnels, and sports cones. My kids love to plan the obstacle course and do all the taping themselves!
2. Make Paper Bag Puppets
We always have brown paper bags on hand for school snacks, but we also use them to make great puppets! You can use any craft supplies to make your puppets. When the kids are finished creating their puppets, put on a show.
3. Paper Plate Craft Ideas
Inexpensive white paper plates make a great base for lots of different crafts. For example, you can make masks easily by using paint, markers, crayons, and stickers to decorate. Then, poke a hole on each side of the plate and attach string to tie around your child’s head. Another idea is to make animals out of the plates by making a few cuts and decorating with paint and other crafting supplies. Use the kind without the shiny coating, as craft supplies will stick better.
4. Fix a Fast Racetrack
Another favorite inside activity of ours is creating a racetrack with Painter’s Tape. Find a long, flat surface in your house, and then design the track using the tape. You can make as many lanes as you need!
5. Instant Dance Party
When everyone is melting down, a dance party always helps change the mood. Here are a few of our favorite dance songs:
6. Build Towers With Gumdrops and Toothpicks
This is an easy STEM activity that requires only toothpicks and gumdrops or marshmallows. I put out old baking trays and have the kids build their structures on those for easy cleanup. This inside activity can be used for a wide range of ages. For instance, my little kids make shapes with the toothpicks and gumdrops while my older kids build more complex structures. The kids love that they can eat some of the candy when they are done!
7. A Roll of Craft Paper Equals Endless Possibilities
I love the long rolls of paper that you can tape to a table or put on the floor. Have your kids come up with cooperative themes. For example, everyone can work together to draw a town or another scene. My kids also like me to trace their outlines on the paper so that they can then color lifesize versions of themselves.
8. Create Contact Paper Scenes
I remember making contact paper projects as a kid. For this project, you will need clear contact paper, tissue paper and/or construction paper. First, cut the contact paper to the desired size and tape it to the window or glass door with the sticky side facing out. Then, make a scene using torn up pieces of tissue paper or construction paper. My kids’ favorites are to make rainbows, snow or beach-themed scenes.
9. Bring Out a Bag of Balloons
A big bag of balloons is always a fun activity on an indoor day. There are so many games that can be played with balloons. For example, my kids will play volleyball, keep-it-off-the-ground, or a modified game of soccer. Another idea is to make it a science lesson by talking about static electricity when it gets rubbed on a kid’s head to make their hair stand on end.
10. Get Creative With Cardboard Boxes
If you have the space to store them, hold onto some of those large boxes from holiday gifts. I often joke that my kids love the boxes the toys come in more than the toys. There are so many creative and imaginative things my kids create with boxes: spaceships, cars, sleighs, time machines, the list goes on.
I am always looking for new inside activities for kids, so it would be wonderful to hear some ideas from you! What are some of your family’s favorites?