Totally Free Indoor Activities for Kids That Are Easy To Prepare

You know those days when it doesn’t stop raining or it’s just too cold to get out? Or when kids are a little sick and have to stay at home, but you have to keep them occupied somehow so they don’t get bored? You don’t have to worry anymore! There are a lot of indoor activities for kids that are totally free and don’t need a lot of preparation. The best part is that, apart from being really enjoyable for them, they are also a great way to help them develop some of their skills.

Indoor activities for kids to sharpen their senses!

Smell, taste, touch!

This is an activity that kids love because it’s super fun and parents enjoy because it’s easy to prepare and watching kids’ reactions is really funny! Go around your kitchen, gather things that have a special smell (e.g. pepper, curry, spearmint, etc) and put them in separate bowls. Close your kids’ eyes with a scarf and ask them to try to name the product in each bowl just by smelling it. Have another round, this time asking them to taste the product. For this round you can use products that have a special taste (such as lemon, strawberry, etc). For the third round, kids have to discover the product by touching it. At this round you can use, whatever you want! In fact, the weirder the product, the funnier the game! Depending on your kids’ age you can make the game more difficult by choosing trickier products. Of course, you don’t need to play all rounds in one day. If you have a lot of products to use for each round, you can play a round a day. You can also make it more fun if more members in the family choose to close their eyes and participate!

Go on a different treasure hunt!

This activity helps your kids become more observant and can also save you some time in case you need to keep them engaged while you do other things. Ask your kids to gather as many objects with a specific characteristic (color, material, shape, pattern, etc) as they can. For example, they can look for red things, things that have a square shape etc. You can ask them to look for them in a specific room or generally in the house. The wider the range, the more time they will spend looking for such things, but also the more time you’ll have to spend putting things back to their place once the activity is over. To make it more fun, ask them to find as many objects as they can in 5 minutes. For older kids, you can make it trickier by asking them to find objects that have more than one characteristic (e.g. something yellow and velvet).

If you’re happy and you know it…

indoor activities for kids
Photo by Anna Shvets

… take a photo! This is one of those indoor activities for kids that are easy, funny and beneficial for kids of all ages! The aim is to boost their empathy and teach them how to recognize other people’s feelings. Cut little pieces of paper and write an emotion on each one of them. Put them in a jar and ask kids to pick one and try to show the respective emotion through their facial expression and body language without telling you what the emotion is. Take a photo of every imitation they make and when the jar is empty, look at the photos and guess what the emotion was. Ask them why they chose to make these specific facial expressions, talk about each emotion and ask them whether they would do change anything after your discussion. If your kids are preschoolers, you’d better choose more apparent emotions, such as happiness, sadness etc, whereas for older kids you can use more complex emotions, such as jealousy or pleasure.

Bring the family together!

There are some indoor activities for kids that are fun and beneficial for the whole family. You’ll be surprised by how many things you can find out about your family by doing these activities!

To know us better

This is a nice game to play when all members of the family are home. Write down several sentences about things you would like to know about each other. Read each sentence aloud and ask all members to continue the sentence with what applies to them. Here are some sentences you could use:

  • My favorite food is ………………..
  • I really like it when mum/dad/brother/sister ……………………
  • The happiest moment in my life was when ……………………….
  • I hate it when ………………………
  • My favorite film/song/color is ………………………
  • I was very sad when ……………………………
  • I feel very proud of myself because ……………………….
  • One thing I would like to change in our family is that ………………………
  • One thing I love about our family is ………………………………
  • My favorite moment in the day is when ……………………

Of course, this is just an example. You can make your own list based on your kids’ age and personality. If your kids are very young, you can ask them to draw their answer instead of writing it. This activity will give you an insight on how your kids may experience things that happen daily and it can be a great opportunity to discuss with them, answer their questions and get to know them better!

A glimpse into parents life

Kids love everything about stories! Creating them, narrating them, listening to them… So, let’s give them the chance to do all these and know their parents even better. Grab your photo album and show them photos from your life before you had them. It can be photos of you as a child or a teenager or photos of your adult life. Ask them what they think the story behind the photo is. They can guess the place, the people that were with you, what you were doing there, who took the photo, how you felt, etc. Then move on to tell them the real story. This is one those indoor activities for kids that they are going to recall for a long time.

When you can’t spend quality time with them…

… let them spend time with themselves! Let’s be realistic! As much as you’d like to, it is not always easy to fully dedicate your time to your kids. If you work from home or need to do some housework, you can let them spend some time doing things they like, such as drawing, coloring or reading a book. You can even let them have some screen time watching an educational show or engaging with an educational mobile app. Just make sure that this is just a small part of their day.

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