I know a lot of us will be wanting ideas to entertain the kids while we are staying at home during lockdown. Admittedly it is so much easier when you can take them outdoors and let them run around, but when it’s indoors, you have to put your thinking cap on.
Being at home, having to homeschool and with some of us working from home also, it can be a stressful time. So don’t feel guilty if you are letting the kids have more screen time than usual. We have to do things for our own sanity!
Here are a few things that I do with the kids indoors if I can be bothered haha. Not including the obvious watching movies, colouring, reading, baking, decorating cookies etc – I’m sure we have all done them. I asked the lovely blogging community for their ideas, so you will find some great links within this blog post.
1) Make a Coffee Shop at Home
We love our Costa/Caffe Nero time in real life, so to bring it home, get the kids to make a menu on a blackboard or whiteboard, or a giant sheet of paper. Set up your table like a cafe, with colouring sheets and crayons. Put the radio on for background music. Make your latte and babycinos and set up a plate of treats. Coffee Shop at home – done!
2) Make a den and have an indoor festival
One for the weekend, we loved doing this in the first lockdown. Making a bed in the living room and sheets draped above and fairy lights. We had music on and partied, and slept overnight on this bed, it was like being in a tent.
3) Bedtime Disco
I know bedtime is when you are supposed to get the kids to wind down. But maybe my kids are a bit usual in that they love to have a dance to their favourite songs before they go to bed. It’s not every night, more like once a week. Switch the big light off and get your disco ball on. Light-up balloons are great too. You can play music for free through YouTube music, that way the kids can choose songs they like. And dance!
4) Free Online Dance/Yoga/Gym Lessons
These are brilliant for kids missing real life classes. On YouTube, these are three channels that I can totally recommend.
Yoga – Cosmic Kids Yoga
Gym – The Little Gym UK
Ballet – Stardust Dance Academy
The Yoga videos have story and film themes which is great if your kids have a favourite story. And the ballet videos are Disney themed!
5) Process Art Activities
If you’re thinking what’s “process’ art, well, let me tell you. It’s kind of when you do experiments to create art, bringing a bit of science to it. There is a great blog post from Me, Them and The Others with Process Art Activities for Children of Different Ages.
6) Rock Painting
Boo, Roo and Tigger Too has some rainy day activities, including rock painting and making your own crayons from old ones. Have a look at here Rainy Day Activities blog post.
7) Apple Arcade – ad free games
Maidenhead Mum has been experimenting with Apple Arcade which currently has a free 3 month subscription. “After that you can set up one family member and share the subscription- for £5 a month all 4 of us (me, husband and two kids) are all able to play. The games are all ad free and no annoying in-app purchases. I’m going to use it in the mix with home schooling to help pass the time and have some fun!”
8) Make Slime with stuff from around the home
It might be messy, but kids love it, and there’s a great post here on how you can make it with stuff around the home.
9) Make Shortbread with just 3 ingredients
When I bake with kids, I want it to be as easy as possible, otherwise I can’t be bothered. This great recipe from Family Budgeting needs only 3 ingredients, check it out – Easy Shortbread Recipe.
10) Sensory Play
In The Playroom has like a million sensory play idea to choose from. I was going to pick one for this this, but hey, you can decide! Have a look here: Our Sensory Play Ultimate Resource Page
11) Make a Skittles Rainbow
Have a look at this post from A Suffolk Mum on How to Make a Skittles Rainbow, it looks so mesmerising.
12) Make a Kitchen Lava Lamp
Okay, it’s not actually a lamp but you could put some fairy lights around it. The science experiment, also from A Suffolk Mum, used ingredients you’ll have in your kitchen. Kids will love this – Easy Lava Lamp Experiment
13) Toddler Play Ideas – Rainbow Colour Traffic Jams
Lots of ideas from Twins, Tantrums and Cold Coffee on ideas to make play interesting for toddlers with stuff around the home: How To Keep Toddlers Entertained At Home – there’s one idea on here that I absolutely forgot that my kids love. They still do it today and it keeps them quiet for at least an hour. It’s sorting out all of Tyler’s toy cars and putting them in colour groups. They make traffic jams in rainbow colour order!
14) Chickpea Sensory Foam
Did you know you can make sensory foam from the water in chickpea cans?? Then the kids can have loads of fun playing with it. Have a look here: How to Make Sensory Foam From Chickpea Water
15) Indoor Scavenger Hunt
We’ve done a few of these and it’s great fun. Make sure you have a box to collect the treasures in, so it’s easy to put everything back afterwards. Messy Little Monster has a cute Printable Indoor Scavenger Hunt sheet.
16) Make your own playdoh
It is very easy to make playdoh from stuff you have in your kitchen. It’s very cheap too! Have a look at this post from Your Best Friends Guide to Cash for How to Make Playdoh.
17) Lavender Playdoh
Following on from that, this is how you can make lavender playdoh which has a lovely, calming scent, lovely!
18) Tuff Tray Ideas
I’m sure you’ve heard of tuff trays. They are a fab way to keep messy play tidy! The Work Life Blend has 50 Tuff Tray Ideas to Keep the Kids Busy.
19) Paper Craft
If you feel like getting crafty with paper, but don’t know where to start, Red Ted Art has loads of Easy Paper Crafts for Kids and Adults.
20) STEM crafts – Jelly Bean Architecture
I love this idea and am totally going to try this – making a sculpture with jelly beans and toothpicks from Hodge Podge Days.
21) Bubble Wrap Chocolate
I would never have thought to do this, but it looks cool afterwards – have a look at how you can make bubble wrap chocolate.
22) Disney Printable Quizzes
For the Disney fans, there are lots of quizzes that you can print out and keep to play again and again here: Disney Quiz Printables
23) Loo Roll Craft
There are loads of things you can make from the cardboard inside your loo roll, here is just one idea but you can find even more on Pinterest. This is the Bumblebee Loo Roll Craft from Two Hearts One Roof
24) Setting up Shop
A lovely simple idea from Paternal Damnation – “When it comes to indoor activities, there’s a couple of classics that I always wheel out for the kids. Our favourite is setting up a shop with items from the kitchen and a few coins. Not only do the kids learn about money and different foods, but it’s also mega simple to set up.”
25) DIY Sewing Cards
This idea is lovely to get your kids interested in sewing and great for motor skills too. DIY Sewing Cards from A Rose Tinted World.
26) Alphabet Food Fun
A fab post from Tales from Mamaville called Alphabet Food Fun – how you can have lots of creative fun with food.. and then eat it. My fave is the Cheerios necklace.
Loads of ideas there, I hope this helps you to keep the kids occupied at home. Do let us know in the comments if you have any other indoor activities you can recommend.