If you have kids under the age of 10, then you know how busy they are. You also know how easily distracted they can be. As a work-from-home mom, finding activities that would keep my kids happily entertained long enough for me to get something accomplished was quite a challenge.
Do you relate?
If so, then I am thrilled to share 10 of my kids’ favorite indoor activities. Give them a try; I’m sure your kids will have a blast too—and maybe you will be able to work in peace for more than 15 minutes without interruption. It’s a win-win for everyone!
Activity #1: Create a Hallway Obstacle Course
Have you ever watched a scene in a movie where someone gracefully maneuvers through a web of laser light motion detectors, hoping to avoid triggering an alarm? That’s the inspiration here. Fun, right?
All you need is a roll of paper party streamer and scotch tape. Cut a piece of streamer so that it will reach both sides of the hallway. Secure with tape. Repeat while placing some pieces high, some low, and some diagonally until the entire hallway is secured by your pretend security system.
See how far your kids can get without touching a streamer; first to the end without detection wins!
Activity #2: Splash in a Toy Carwash
This is a lot of fun for my younger kids, but sometimes the older ones get into it also. We take a plastic bin and fill it with soapy water, find something to scrub with like an old toothbrush, and find an old cloth to use for drying.
Next, we gather all our toy cars (Matchbox, Hot Wheels, etc.) and line them up for the carwash. The kids love playing in the water, and they take pride in how clean and sparkly their cars are!
Activity #3: Pretend with a Plush Animal Clinic
If your kids have a doctor’s kit, put it to use with a pretend animal clinic. Think, Doc McStuffins! All you have to do is give your kid’s the idea and let their imaginations do the rest. If you want to add some inspiration, help them setup their clinic and provide any materials that might make the game more fun like strips of cloth for bandages or a box of band aids from the dollar store.
Activity #4: Make Homemade Slime and Playdough
Store bought slime playdough can be a lot of fun but making your own is even more fun—and it takes up more time! There are tons of recipes online for slime and playdough, so experiment to see what you like best.
Our favorite slime is super easy to make and easy to cleanup. Get a large plastic bowel and fill about a quarter of the way with water. Add cornstarch slowly until you get slime. Play around with the cornstarch-to-water ratio for different textures; add food coloring if you want!
Our favorite playdough is also easy to make and cleanup. Combine two cups of flour with a quarter cup of baby oil. It smells good, feels good, and can last for a few days without getting yucky.
Activity #5: Get Creative with Dried Goods
I don’t know what it is about macaroni noodles and lentils, but kids love to play with them. You probably did too! There are so many things you can do. Create necklaces, glue the dried goods to paper to create a picture, or sort a variety of noodles and lentils into categories (toddlers love to do the latter). These activities will probably appeal to younger kids, ages 3 to 6, but sometimes the older ones will have fun too.
Activity #6: Play Quietly at Table Stations
When you need quiet work time, this works wonders! Find four activities that you kids can do while sitting at the kitchen table. This can include things like puzzles, coloring books, Legos, bead necklaces—you get the idea.
Place the four activities on the table at four chairs to create “stations.” Set a timer for 15 minutes. Instruct your kid to play quietly at one station until the timer sounds, then go to a new station. Do this four times and you have a solid hour of peaceful work time, and it’s good for kids to sit and play quietly sometimes too.
Activity #7: Construct a Pillow and Blanket Fort
There are several ways you can help your kids make a pillow and blanket fort, or if they are old enough, you can set some basic boundaries and let them have it!
Drape blankets and sheets over a kitchen table or position the living room furniture in a fort-building-friendly manner. Do your kids have bunk beds? Even better! You already have an upper and lower floor, just cover the entire bunkbed with sheets or blankets and you’re good to go.
Activity #8: Build a Tiny City
Let your kids’ imagination do the work with this one. Encourage them to use building blocks, Legos, train sets, or whatever else they can think of to create a tiny city in their bedroom or playroom. If you have cardboard boxes you can contribute to their game, let them decorate the boxes as shops and other buildings.
Activity #9: Give Surprise Boxes
Creating busy boxes for your kids can be a lot of fun, and you don’t have to spend a fortune to do it. I go to the dollar store and find little things that I think they will enjoy like simple games or puzzles, craft projects, activity books, watercolors, and small toys.
I place these into a box and give it to them as a gift. Depending on what’s inside, my kids can stay busy for a while and it’s fun to surprise them!
Activity #10: Enjoy a Movie and Popcorn
A movie and popcorn is something you can always fall back on when all else fails or if you’re in need of some quiet time and relaxation. If your kids are old enough to sit through an entire movie, then go for it. If not, then maybe opt for a children’s TV show or two.
I hope your kids will enjoy these fun activities as much as mine have—and I hope you will meet that deadline a little easier too!