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Now, we’re all faced with a dilemma quite unlike any other– entertaining and educating our kids indoors, 24/7 for the foreseeable future. Below, find a list of my favorite indoor activities that can keep your kiddos entertained (screen free!). Whether you’re looking for indoor toys kids can do solo while you’re working, activities to keep siblings entertained together, or games that the whole family can enjoy– I’ve got you covered.
Table of Contents
Indoor activities & toys kids can use independently
These books are bursting with activities. They have so many options for different interests– dinosaurs, ballet, and more. These sticker books can keep my son happily entertained on his own, even though he can’t read the instructions on each page. Sometimes, we go through the book together so I can show him the activities inside, but mostly, he loves moving the stickers around as he sees fit.
Magic Mom Hack
Peel off the back part of sticker pages to make it easier for little fingers to pull off stickers independently.
This activity is perfect for kids 5 and up who love getting in touch with their artistic side. They can follow pre-made patterns and watch their designs come to life before their very eyes. It’s also great for travel!
Indoor activities & toys that can be perfect for sibling teamwork
Legos are the perfect toy for hours and hours of fun. Toys like these are wonderful to teach kids practical skills about balancing structures, physics, and architecture.
- For sibling pairs 1.5-4 years old or so, a Duplo set could be their perfect match. They’re rated for children 1.5 and up. I tend to gravitate towards sets that are open-ended, so my son can create an infinite number of things (which, truth be told is often cars and trucks in various formats).
- For sibling pairs 4+ years old, this Classic LEGO set has smaller pieces that make it possible to make different structures with more details.
- For sibling pairs 6+ years old, there are also more intricate LEGO kits where kids (and adults!) can follow a design to make a more intricate design, such as the Frozen II Arendelle Castle or a Dragon’s Mountain.
Toys such as dramatic play clothes and play scarves can be perfect opportunities for siblings to pair up and conquer the world, together. They can pretend to be fairies, create forts, set up their very own play kitchen or doctor’s office.
For my comprehensive post on creative thinking toys, click here.
Play cooking scenarios are so powerful for children– they allow them to take an active role in something that they see us doing every day to take care of one another. Play doh has some really fun toys here to bring this to life– whether it’s a breakfast cafe, a play oven, a pizza parlor, or a BBQ set, these toys can be a great way for siblings to work together and “cook”! Plus, as explained by Michigan University, playing with play-doh also encourages creative thinking, fine motor development, and sensory exploration!
One note is that the kits come with great tools, but don’t come with a lot of actual play-doh. I like to grab some extra upfront.
These classic toys can be used by kids in so many different ways. While marketed to make cabins, my son always makes garages for his cars. I’ve found that at 2.5 years old, he needs a little help building. But one of these sets could be used independently by a child around 3.5 years old and up, or by a younger child who can play with an older sibling or parent. This is their largest set available right now– and for this, the more pieces you have, the more structures kids can build. But, they also have many smaller sets available if you’d like to try that out first before investing in more.
Indoor activities & toys that kids can enjoy with their parents/caregivers
Now, more than ever before, we have lots of opportunities to play games with our kids. These can be a great alternative to screen time. A lot of these are classics and well known to parents, but rarely played by this generation. What better time to pull these babies out and share them with the next generation. Kerplunk, Jenga, Life, or Monopoly are some of my favorites.
If you have younger kiddos, I recommend Monkey Around.
This is one of the only games I’ve found that my 2 year old can play and enjoy. It would be great for children 2-4 years old.
I love puzzles because they promote mathematical thinking skills such as spatial reasoning, fine motor skills, and problem solving skills. They are perfect opportunities to practice the Growth Mindset as well— if a piece doesn’t fit where you thought it would, try a different spot! This can help build resilience and flexible thinking– invaluable skills for the duration of their life.
Magic Mom Hack
When you’re doing a puzzle with your child, do it alongside them, but try not to do it for them. Let them see you try different ways to fit pieces together, and let them hear you think aloud. Soon, you may hear them saying things such as “I wonder if the brown spots here go with the brown spots on this piece?”
We’re all trying to find silver linings right now. I am yearning for a time when we can resume our outside play time. But, for me, introducing new activities that my son loves are a great way to make all this time at home a little sweeter.
There are only a few years where our kiddos will permit us to rope them into (adorable) family costumes, so we have to take advantage of that while we can. There are an infinite number of costumes on the market for kids, but many of them need to be hand washed.
Raise your hand if you’ve got time to hand wash costumes.
There are some wonderful doctor toys for kids on the market now that can help you bring a doctor’s office right into your home. These toys can help children gain some control by allowing them to take a step into the driver’s seat, so to speak. Plus, they can practice empathy and creativity as well.