Screen-Free Indoor Activities for Kids

By Ashley Ess in Healthy Feeling

When the weather takes a turn for the worse, do you suddenly dread having your kids stuck in the house with nothing to do? Instead of lazing on the couch and soaking up the television rays, steal away from screens and electronics and immerse yourselves in some good old-fashioned creative play. Exploring ideas for fun indoor activities for kids is a wonderful way to go screen-free, learn new skills, and bond with the family. Blast away boredom with these fun things to do at home!

craft supplies chaos

Get Crafty

On a gloomy day spent indoors, even the least artistic members of the family can discover their inner Picasso or Martha Stewart. Setting the kids up with creative projects can turn an otherwise dreary day bright and cheery.

  • Plan ahead for inclement weather by starting a rainy day creativity box. Add craft kits and supplies, paints, canvases, buttons, pipe cleaners, and more. The sky's (or maybe the ceiling's) the limit when it comes to all the unique items that can make a craft box the rainy day go-to. You can even hide things in it when the kids aren't looking and hint that there might be surprises.
  • Create vision boards as a family by cutting out inspirational pictures and words and pasting them onto poster board. (Here's an example from The Artful Parent.) This is a fun way to be creative while unleashing the power of personal potential. Vision boards serve as an empowering daily reminder of dreams, ambitions, and positive affirmations.
  • Learn to knit, crochet, needlepoint, or sew. These activities have numerous benefits beyond being simply useful and relaxing. Even young children can be involved! Handiwork promotes learning, common sense, and fine motor coordination, as well.

No matter what art activity you pick, remind your little ones, grumpy tweens, and yourself that all skill levels are welcome! It might not go in a gallery, but it can definitely go on the fridge.

Design, Create, Build

Not feeling up to painting a masterpiece? No problem. There are plenty of other hands-on, creative activities that don't have an artsy bent.

  • Develop an indoor treasure hunt (like the one on My Kids' Adventures), replete with silly riddles or rhymes that lead kids to some surprising treats. You can even include a history lesson or some classic literature.
  • Create your own campsite under the glow-in-the-dark ceiling stars! Darken the windows and break out your tent and sleeping bags, or simply go homemade fort-style with sheets and blankets. Sing camp songs by the fireplace or a lantern, make microwave s'mores, and cozy up together to tell stories.
  • For science lovers, building a Rube Goldberg machine will not only nip boredom in the bud but will also stretch their thinking skills to dizzying new heights. Creating a complex contraption to complete the simplest of tasks is a fun challenge the whole family can enjoy.
  • Have the kids produce their own play to perform for the family. Single-child families can team up to create a play together, or your only child might want to try out performing a stand-up routine or some new magic tricks.
  • Bake a cake, or pie, or cookies, or brownies, or anything, really. Cooking and baking are great ways to spend a day indoors. Teach your children new kitchen skills or even create your own recipe together from scratch!

the fort in the living room

Get Moving

On gloomy days it's easy to surrender to the comfortable couch and watch a good movie. Lure your child away from the couch and screen with these fun physical activities instead.

  • Design your own obstacle course. (Here are some ideas from FamilyEducation.) Pillows can be used for the younger ones, and for the older ones, items like chairs, hula hoops and jump ropes will work. Let the kiddos do handstands, bean bag tosses, and somersaults along the way.
  • Charades can be silly fun and can get quite active. Have each team or player make a list of active clues for each other to act out.
  • There's nothing like freeze dancing to get your blood pumping and the kids laughing. Create a danceable playlist of songs and come up with a list of animals. Whoever is still moving when the song stops has to dance the next round like a chosen animal would.

Where can you find more ideas? Your kids, of course! At the end of a satisfyingly busy rainy day, make a list of favorites to remember for next time, and include some ideas you didn't have time for. When you step away from their usual toys and screens, you'll be surprised by how fast your kids' creative juices start flowing.

What are some of your favorite screen-free indoor activities for kids? Tell us on Twitter!

Image sources: Pixabay| Pixabay | Flickr


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Why It’s Good

With so many fun things to do indoors, inclement weather doesn't have to put a damper on your family's day. Going screen-free and getting creative for a day spent inside keeps the kids physically active and challenges their thinking skills.