What are some good indoor activities for 5-10 year olds when they are stuck inside, you ask? Unlike toddlers and preschoolers, 5-10 year olds will be able to keep themselves busy with their own interests, but let's not pretend we don't hear the old, "I'm bored," excuse almost everyday.
Side-note: Incidentally, if you have kids ages 2-4, you will want to sneak a peek at this list of 10 no-prep ideas to keep preschoolers busy.
Let kids be bored, I say. And yet... it can be useful to have a go-to list of ideas that your 5-10 year old kids can choose from. Ideas that you, as the parent or caregiver, don't necessarily have to participate in? Am I right?
Take this list of indoor activity ideas for 5-10 year olds and show it to your kids. Let them pick something (or assign them something, whatever works for your family) and watch their creativity soar.
To make things easier, I have a printable list at the bottom of this post so you can print it out and have it handy at a moment's notice.
Note: this post contains affiliate links.
22 Indoor Activities for 5-10 Year Olds
Below you will find several categories of indoor activities for 5-10 year olds divided into two main sections: active and quiet time activities. Is it a snow day? This list of snow day activities will also come in handy.
Active ideas burn energy indoors! Prevent cabin fever with these exhilarating ideas.
Set up any number of "pins" using empty cardboard rolls or empty plastic bottles (mix and match, if necessary). Set up a "lane" in an area with a long, clear space and use balled up socks as the bowling "ball."
Cup and ball toss:
Make an old-fashioned cup and ball game! Securely tape a ping pong ball to one end of a 2 foot string. Poke a hole in the bottom of a paper cup. Thread the other end of the string through the hole in the cup and tie in a secure knot. You'll want the knot on the outside of the cup base, so that the string leading to the ball tracks through the inside of the cup.
Now, use those coordination skills to try and swing the ping pong ball into the cup!
Set up a series of paper or plastic cups (you can also use regular glasses or cups if you are not worried about them getting broken) in any arrangement you want, so long as they are relatively close to one another. Kids will toss a ping pong ball or balled up sock into the cups.
Your kids will naturally want to make up their own rules. How many points is each cup worth? How far back do they have to stand? You, the parent or caregiver, don't need to hover and bark out instructions! (Thank goodness!)
Gross Motor Ideas
Put on slippery socks and skate across wood floors.
Fashion paddles by taping a ruler to a paper plate. Blow up one or more balloons and see how long you can keep the balloon(s) in the air.
Using painter's tape (test on a section of your floor, if you are concerned) to create a hopscotch field. Use a rolled up sock to toss into the squares.
Build a Fort:
Using blankets, pillows, chairs, etc. kids will use their imaginations to build a cozy getaway.
Play "The Floor Is Lava":
How long can you keep moving and still avoid touching the floor?
Design and build an obstacle course, then go through it!
Working on paper airplanes is an excellent way to mix fine motor and gross motor skills. Kids love experimenting with paper airplanes. If you don't have a paper airplane book, I highly recommend this one, but YouTube can also come to the rescue if you don't mind your kids watching to learn.
To make the airplanes more fun, kids can set up various landing strips and experiment with distance, accuracy and speed.
Quiet Time Activities
Every parent needs lots of quiet time activity ideas for their children. While kids are great at coming up with their own rowdy, noisy games, they don't always excel at settling down into a quiet routine. The following solitaire games, art ideas and literacy activities will help!
Solitaire games, puzzles and brain busters are a godsend for harried parents and kids who are worn out from physical activities. If you have kids of different ages, these are make excellent ideas while younger siblings nap.
Traditional Card Solitaire:
Everyone loves this game. Find instructions here.
This is a fun card solitaire variation. Find out how to play clock solitaire here.
Print out our solitaire puzzle game boards, collect some tokens like coins, beans or buttons and try to solve the tricky puzzles. There are two versions; this video demonstrates on of them.
What better tools can kids use to keep busy than a piece of paper and a pack of crayons? These art ideas are not too complicated and won't make a mess to clean up later.
After your kids learn the relaxing art of zentangle they will never stop.
Design a hilarious mix and match drawing game based on the exquisite corpse game.
Become an origami master. Start with easy finger puppets and heart bookmarks. If you feel okay about your kids watching YouTube how-to videos and don't have an origami how-to book, let them watch and learn at the same time.
Draw a map of an imaginary land, either of their own invention or from a favorite story.
Some children in the 5-10 range might not have the necessary handwriting skills to physically write the following ideas down on paper. If they love the idea, though, they can compose them from memory. Or, if an adult is available to help, they can dictate their project.
Write a Limerick:
Limericks are an ultra kid-friendly form of poetry. Once kids get started, they can't stop! Learn how to compose limericks here.
Write a Letter:
Kids can compose letters to relatives, friends, even imaginary creatures! They can write a letter from themselves, or imagine a letter from somebody else. Perhaps they can even write a letter to themselves from their favorite character!
Design and write your own post cards:
As with the letters, the possibilities are endless.
Write the lyrics to a song:
Write lyrics to a new song, or re-write the lyrics to a favorite tune.
Write a future acceptance speech :
Would your child like to win the Nobel Peace Prize? A Pulitzer? Would they like win a presidential election? Your child can write an imaginary speech as if they have won! If they are motivated, ask them to perform it for you.