Indoor Activities For Kids

Here is a select, yet giant list of indoor activities for kids and projects that I have posted. (I will be adding to this list as I write new posts.) Although I have sorted them by category, categories are not mutually exclusive. An Artsy activity can easily filed under Motor Skills, or a Geometry activity under Science.

Giant list of indoor activities for kids

Nearly all are free or super-cheap, can be easily set-up (a few are more complicated) and many, depending on the age of your child, do not necessarily require intense parental involvement (Hurrah!). Of course, engaging in the activity with your child is never discouraged.

Subscribe to What Do We Do All Day

Have fun and to let me know which ones are your favorites!

List of indoor art activities for kids

Arts and Crafts Activities

I’ve separated these indoor art activities by general age range, but there is a lot of cross-over, of course! Start out by exploring our Art Supply List.

Best for toddlers:

Toddler Dot to Dot
Sticky Paper Collage
Drawing on Big Paper
Toddler Collage
Decorate Your Own Stickers
Cellophane Stained Glass (using page protector)
Free Play Art
Color Mixing in a Bag
Homemade Colored Glasses

Best for preschoolers:

Make a giant hug
Hand tracing
Tape art journal page
Window Painting
Homemade Button Stampers
Cellophane Faux Stained Glass Window (direct technique)
Salt, Watercolors and Sticky Paper Art
Giant Dot to Dot
DIY shapes book
Plant markers for an indoor garden
Mondrian “Stained Glass” Window Art
Collage Books
Monthly Moons
Homemade Apple Blossom Stampers
Autumn Wreath
Homemade Pumpkin Stampers
Leaf Art
Start a Pre-Schooler’s Journal
Glitter Glue Snowflakes
Snowflake Wreath
Sticker Resistance Painting
Salad Spinner Art
Painting with Marbles
Container Painting
String Art
Heart stamp index card valentines
Snowflake “stained glass” window

Ages 5 and up:

Zentangles with a 5 year old
Transforming origami ninja star
Thaumatrope, an old fashioned science and art toy
Melting crayon project (also good for older preschoolers)
Clone Trooper paper dolls
Cityscape Sponge Art
Handmade Journals from Recycled Art
Mermaid Paper Dolls
Postage Stamp Bookmark
Make a Rainbow Prism
Mini Beaded Bookmarks
Single color art exploration
Shaving Cream Marbled Paper
Painting with Magnets
Drawing Seashells
Homemade Bookmarks
Homemade Wrapping Paper
Shrink Plastic Shell Garland 
Hobby Book
Homemade Puppet Theater
Handmade Bookmarks Kids Won’t Lose
Amate Art Project (guest post from Artchoo!)
Fabric Pen Tee-shirts
Family harmony and kindness tokens

List of indoor science activities for kids

Science Activities

Most of these ideas are easily adapted for preschool aged children on up, and a few are even suitable for toddlers. Older children can extend scientific exploration by recording and comparing observed results. Younger children’s natural curiousity will benefit from simple free play.

Balloon Rocket Races
Simple Preschool Science Lab
Easy circuit experiment to learn about electricity
Superhero science activities – test your powers
Zoom ball to learn about inertia and reaction
Explore engineering by fashioning a paper boomerang
Simple Machine Play with a Pulley
STEM playdate
Ice cube on a string; or how failure teaches kids to think like scientists
Homemade compass
Solar oven
Seashell Exploration Ideas
Homemade Bottle Thermometer (guest post)
Homemade Rubber Ball (guest post)
Baking Soda and Vinegar
Homemade Catapult
Salt Volcano
Grow Crystals on a Pipe Cleaner
Acid/Base Science Experiment
Magnets
Blowing up Balloons with Soda and Vinegar
Magic Jumping Coin
Magnet Container Play
Moon Phase Viewer
Homemade Moon Phase Puzzle
Tracking the Moon Phases
Apple Taste Test
Fog in a Bottle
Making Moon Craters
Pear Ripening Experiment
Tracking the Weather 
Magnetic Building Blocks 

Indoor Gardening

Teach science through gardening! Yes, you can garden indoors.

Beansprouts
Paperwhites and Book
Planting Paperwhites (full tutorial)
Indoor Root Vegetable Garden
Plant Misting
Regrowing vegetable scraps
Indoor plant race with pantry items

Literacy activities for kids to prepare them for reading

Literacy Play

The best activity you can do to encourage literacy learning is to read aloud to your kids. You’ll find more than 100 themed book lists in our book lists index – books for every interest! Use these simple literacy play ideas to have fun learning with your kids.

Easy Phonics Teaching Ideas
“Sift-N-Spell”
Spine Poetry
Superhero secret code scavenger hunt (also incorporates math!)
I Spy Spelling Game
Teaching Phonics with a Puzzle
Simple Rhyming Games
Alphabet tracers
Little Blue and Little Yellow Book Activity
Learning How to Form Letters with craft sticks
Hanging the Alphabet
Frozen Letter Scramble
Preschool Journal with a variety of materials

List of prompts for indoor pretend play and game ideas.

Free play is so important! Allow plenty of time everyday for kids to explore their world on their own terms. These simple pretend play, games and free play ideas act as prompts to get kids busy playing — the real “work” of childhood.

Pretend Play

Homemade Stove
Homemade Road for toy cars
Another Homemade Road
Homemade Car Ramp
Bean Tray for Construction Toys
Ribbon Wand
Shaving Cream Car Wash
Play Wallet 
Homemade Car Garage (or whatever else you want it to be)

Games and Free Play

DIY string and bead problem-solving puzzle
Tchuka Ruma, a solitary Mancala-type game
Land, Sea and Air (indoor active game)
Three in a Row Game: Tapatan
Five Thinking Games
Balloon YoYos
Indoor/Outdoor Homemade Boomerang
Superb Toddler Puzzle
Homemade Catapult Game
Quiet Time Jar
Whirligig
Bottle Cap Tiddlywinks
Indoor Frisbee
Indoor Ball Play
Word Find
Put a Tape Shape on the Floor
Blocks in a Box
Homemade Carnival Game
Pompoms, Paper Rolls and Egg Cartons Free Play
Games to Take on the Airplane
Balloon and Paddle Play
Re-purposing Games for Toddlers
Masking Tape Maze 
Easy Indoor Ball Game 
Obstacle Course for Toy Cars
Color Photographic Scavenger Hunt

List of indoor motor and sensory activities for kids.

Motor Skills and Sensory Activities

Exploding Toy Car Wash
34 Add-ins for Play Dough to work fine motor skills beyond sculpting and smooshing.
Superhero Slime Rescue
Snow Traffic Jam
Fine Motor Activities with Acorns
Mini Sensory Bin
Indoor Snow Play
Wiki Stix on the Window
Sensory Paper for Toddlers
Homemade Toddler Lacing Activity
Threading Pipe Cleaners
Homemade Lacing Circle and Chopsticks Sorting
Using Scissors
Bottle and Lid Match-Up
Muffin Tin Sorting
Homemade Pomanders
Popsicle Sticks Free Play
Toddler Popsicle Stick Sorting
Putting Popsicle Sticks in a Container 
Filling a Jar
Ball in a Box
Stacking with Cookie Molds
Pounding Practice
Pounding Spices
Working with Pizza Dough
Putting Caps and Pompoms in a Container
Ten Ways to Help in the Kitchen
Restaurant Games for Toddlers
Toothpicks and Colander
Easy Color Sorting

Water Play

Kids LOVE to play with water! It’s also a great sensory activity. Don’t be afraid to play with water indoors. Grab a few towels and you’re all set.

Homemade “Sailboats”
Dropper Water Transfer Activity
Rainy Day Painting
Water Drop Races
Float and Sink Experiment
Water on a Chalkboard
Ocean in a Bottle
Ice Wreath
Container Bubbles in the Bath
Funnel and Hose
Car Wash
Playing with Thin Ice

List of math activities for kids

Number and Math Activities

My kids LOVE math! Never say “I’m not good at math to your kids!” Instead, instill an early love of mathematics with these ideas.

Best for toddlers and preschoolers:

Bean Counting
Counting in Egg Cartons
Montessori Bean Counting
Quantities Game
Handmade (Giant) Connect the Dots
Sorting Coins
Number (and Letter) Pretzels
Sorting Cards
Noodle Shapes
Skip Counting with Pennies
Pattern Practice with Felt
Handmade Building Circles
Map Your Living Room
3-D Shape Sorting
Making Hexagons
Fraction Cookies
Homemade Montessori Triangles

Best for ages 5 and up:

Pi city skyline
Parking Lot Addition with Toy Cars
Möbius strip
Fraction Card Game
Kindergarten Number Matching Game
Counting to 100 by tens activity
Parabolic Curves designs (math art)
Fibonacci art (math art)
Tens Go Fish 
Fives and Tens Card Game 
Dots and Boxes
Tessellations (Math Art)
DIY shapes book

Need more ideas?

Super easy ideas for toddler indoor activities. Indoor ball games to play with kids when they are stuck inside Fun indoor activities for tweens when they are stuck inside.