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Indoor Activity Ideas for Children

Indoor Activity Ideas:

Great for Creative Development:

  • Create and design items for role play activities

This can enhance their interests in a role play activity as well as enhance the environment. They could create dressing up props, menu's for a cafe, posters for a concert, price lists for their shop, bake goods for their bakery etc.

  • Basic dough recipe - can be used for modelling 

You'll need 2 cups plain flour, 1 cup salt, 1 tbsp cooking oil. Add water gradually to dough consistency. This dough can also be used for modeling and then placed in a very low oven to dry for at least 12 hours. This dough is firm, pliable and smooth. May need a little flour to stop it sticking. 

  • Build a Den

There’s nothing more exciting than creating your own imaginative fort when the weather is bad outside. Mystery castle? Garden hideout? Go wherever the children’s imagination takes them. 

  • Melted crayons

You can melt wax crayons with a hairdryer to create beautiful marbled designs on paper. You could also melt old crayons into new shapes by putting them into muffin cases and bakingfor 10 minutes at 200c. 

  • Collage

Recycle your old magazines and exercise the imagination, all in one! Let children choose and cut their favorite pictures out of magazines (or help them). Then they glue them on paper, then draw and decorate all around it.

  •  Writing Tray

Fill a tray with sand/salt/sugar and use a paintbrush to 'write' in it. A great task for reluctant writers! Why not create drawings?

Great for Physical Development:

  • Freeze dance

All you need is music, and the only guideline is to freeze when the music is paused. Encourage kids to "freeze" in fun poses or with funny faces. Use a variety of musical styles and tempos. Tip: An older child can do the music while you dance with younger ones.

  • The sleeping song

Here are the short lyrics "Sleeping, sleeping, all the children are sleeping. And when they woke up, they were all ---." Fill in the blank with various animals, insects, or even inanimate objects and lets their imaginations run wild as they act each one out. 

  • Indoor obstacle course 

There are infinite possibilities for things to do here! Set out a laundry basket and use balled up socks to practice throwing and accuracy. Put some masking tape on the floor for a makeshift balance beam. Lay a blanket on the floor to roll on. Place two large toys, or cones if you have them, at each end of the room and do a 'bleep test'. They have a limited time to get from one end to the other, which gets quicker after each run. Put a towel across a doorway and get them to crawl underneath it. Lay a big cushion on the floor and encourage them to jump onto it. 

  • Newspaper Snowball Fight

Scrunch up newspaper into 'Snowballs' and aim at targets or if you have plenty of room, eachother! 

  • Get baking

Time for some baking fun! Let the children set up the perfect picnic spot inside for a yummy indoor picnic and then get your little cooks involved with the baking to enhance their fine motor skills and hand-eye coordination.

  • Scavenger hunt

Take any theme, such as patterns, letters or colors and hunt around the house. Make it official with a clipboard and check off items as you go. Crawl around, reach up high and get down low!

  • Build a Tower

Who can create the tallest tower? Block play is an essential part of a child’s formative and physical development and it keeps them entertained for hours! Encourage the children to have a tower building contest and test their engineering and problem solving skills. 

  • Tracing and Finding Shapes

Help your child learn their shapes by tracing common household items. Turn over a cup to make circles, and trace your cell phone for rectangles. Hunting is part of the fun. Kids may want to decorate their shapes, cut them out and glue them on to larger paper for fancy art projects.

  • Indoor Camping Trip

Helping to set up a tent is a great skill to learn and can be quite tricky! It's also a great roleplay activity.

  • Do the Limbo!

This will be easy at first but with each round the stick gets lower. Great for balance and flexibilty! 

  • LEGO

Building is a great way to improve fine motor skills.

  • Lazer Maze

Take some old string and tie it between chairs or similar. Can the kids navigate the area without touching it?

Great for Social and Emotional Development:

  • Self-portraits

Using a mirror, let the child draw themselves. Point out facial features like eyebrows and eyelashes. If they draw their whole body, add in some fashion design! Don’t be surprised if your child takes some liberties, i.e. “Yes, I do have rainbow hair!”

  • Doll Washing and Care 

Fill a sink or small bowl with water to give a baby doll a nice bath! This is a great role play activity for developing personal, social and emotional skills as well as being a fun water play activity. Make it sensory by using soaps and lotions. Why not brush the doll's teeth and talk about how important it is to keep them clean?

  • Masks

Children’s masks can be made out of different types of paper or fabrics, and either tied with elastic or glued on to a craft stick to hold up. The adult will probably need to measure where the eyes should be cut out of the paper or fabric, and how long the elastic should be to go around the child’s head.

  • Tea-party Roleplay

Have a simple tea party where the child is the host. 

  • Playing Dress-Up!

Use old clothes to create a dress up box! Let them become whoever they want to be- maybe they want to dress up like you or a grandparent? This is great imaginary play.

  • Sock Puppet Show

Another role-play activity that also encorporates fine motor skills in the creation of the puppet. 

  • Indoor Cinema

Get them to create tickets, choose a show to watch and re-create your own cinema at home. 

Great for Speech and Language Development:

  • Dance and Sing

There are a few favourites at the moment, including 'Baby Shark' and 'Let it Go' from Frozen. These activities are also good for social development.

  • Silly Soup Song

"I'm going to make a silly soup, I'm making soup that's silly, I'm going to cook it in the fridge to make it nice and chilly, In goes... (rhyming items e.g a box, padlocks, some socks, a red fox...) 

  • The Rain Game

This game is great for listening skills! Start by giving one quiet instruction such as rubbing your hands together, then after ten seconds start snapping your fingers. After that get the next person to clap softly etc. Keep going until you are making enough noise to mimmic a thunder storm, and then remove one sound at a time until its quiet again. 

Great for Understanding the World:

  • Egg Carton Colour Sort

Use an Egg carton to sort out small toys of a different colour. Use each section for each colour you can find. 

  • What is magnetic?

This is a great activity for the drawer of random things we all have at home! Empty everything into a box and use a magnet to test which things are magnetic and which are not. 

  • I Spy Jar 

Fill a clear tub or tray with different items and describe them to your child. Congratulate them when they identify the correct item. 

  • Float or Sink game

Fill a small bowl with water and let them test to see if their favourite toys sink! Ask them to think about how heavy the item is and how it feels, then make a guess. 

  • Memory Game

Collect random items from the home and ask your child to memorize them. Cover the items with a cloth, can they name everything that was underneath? 

Great for Literacy and Mathmatics:

  • Race to fill the cup!

This game teaches counting skills. Roll a dice and use small bricks/toys (LEGO is ideal, as are marbles) to fill a cup. Fill the cup with the number of toys indicated on the dice. Whoever is the first to fill their cup wins!

  • Read a Story

What better time to nestle down for story time than when the raindrops are pattering musically on the windows! Delve into some delightful traditional tales or make story time even more exciting with the use of puppets. This is great for their listening skills.

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