The Ultimate List of Indoor Activities to Keep Little Kids Entertained For Hours

POPSUGAR Photography | Lauren Turner
POPSUGAR Photography | Lauren Turner

Whether it's a downpour or an unexpected snowfall, the weather forecast can quickly leave kids feeling restless while stuck indoors. When it's too snowy, wet, hot, or cold to go outside, you'll be hearing echoes of "I'm bored!" before you know it. If you're looking for rainy-day activities after a few days cooped up inside, you've come to the right place.

We've come up with 55 boredom-busting ways to stay entertained indoors. Challenge your little ones to do something different this afternoon by making a craft or an easy recipe or playing a game that wouldn't have otherwise interested them. Prove to your kids that being stuck inside isn't necessarily a bad thing — it can be an opportunity to learn something new!

— Additional reporting by Melanie Whyte

Play Hide and Seek
Getty | Klaus Vedfelt

Play Hide and Seek

There's nothing more classic than a game of hide and seek, but playing in the great indoors is much less stressful on Mom and Dad (fewer places to hide!). It also helps young tots learn the concept of object permanence. We recommend getting in on the action and hiding yourself. You'll love seeing the smile on your kids' faces when they find you!


Dig Up Some Old Socks

A clean pair of socks has endless potential. Create sock puppets, fill them with sand, or decorate them into door stoppers.

Make Your Own Ice Cream
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Make Your Own Ice Cream

The kids will all be screaming for ice cream with this easy recipe of homemade single-serving ice cream. But don't worry, no ice cream machine is required, just a few active hands and a ziplock bag!

Tear Up Some Paper, Then Do Something With It
Getty | Zolotaosen

Tear Up Some Paper, Then Do Something With It

If you need rainy-day activities for toddlers, let them tear into some colorful paper and come up with a collage craft that will have their fingers excited about creating.

Put On a Puppet Show
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Put On a Puppet Show

Remember those sock puppets from earlier? Well, now you can put them to work. Whether you're using finger puppets, stuffed animals, or old-school puppets (hey, painted hands work, too), a puppet show is fun for the whole family!


Make Edible Flower Lollipops

You don't need a candy thermometer to make these floral treats. You'll be surprised that they turn out just as delicious as they are pretty!

Rearrange the Kids' Rooms

Rearrange the Kids' Rooms

Channel your inner interior designer and get the whole family involved in "Project Room Makeover." Tackle a DIY design project, spruce things up with new bedding or some fun new accent pieces, or reconfigure the room's layout for an updated look. This satisfying endeavor will continue to give you a sense of accomplishment all year long, and getting your little one's opinion on the new look will make them feel like a valued member of the family.

Create an Indoor Sandbox
Getty | Mila Naumova

Create an Indoor Sandbox

When you can't go to the beach, bring the beach to you! Create an indoor sandbox by sprinkling some sand on a table. Throw in some toy cars, figurines, cookie cutters, and measuring cups for at least an hour of uninterrupted fun!


Have a Rock-Painting Party

If you have some paint and brushes on hand (and you can brave the rain for a few minutes to gather some rocks), then you have everything you need for a rock-painting party. Let your kids get creative by mixing colors, and give toddlers smaller brushes to work on fine motor skills.


Make a Button Bouquet

Break out your button stash, and create a bouquet that blooms all year long!

Go Camping . . . Without Leaving the House
Getty | Images By Tang Ming Tung

Go Camping . . . Without Leaving the House

Pitch a tent or two in the middle of the house, and re-create an authentic camping experience — minus the uncontrollable element of weather. Add in some s'mores, and you have a campout!


Create Rock Crayons

Rock crayons are the gift that keeps on giving, because once your child has enjoyed the fun of making these rainbow creations, they can enjoy coloring with them during future projects. But they will need help getting the rocks out of the oven.


Make a Fingerprint Family Tree

Use an ink pad and kiddie thumbs to create a fingerprint family tree. It's a great way to teach your little ones about their family history.

Host a Tea Party
Getty | Jose Luis Pelaez Inc

Host a Tea Party

Everyone loves a tea party! So gather up the stuffed-animal guests, and start brewing. The addition of cakes, tea sandwiches, and British accents is optional — but recommended.


Practice Pretend Gardening

There's not a lot of gardening to be done on a rainy day, but start laying the groundwork by helping your tot make an indoor version. Make two-ingredient edible dirt, and create an "indoor sandbox" of sorts for your kiddo to play with.


Freeze Toys

You'll keep tots busy for hours by freezing some of their smaller toys in a block of ice. Just place the block in the bathtub, and let them start excavating!

Have a Classic Board-Game Marathon
Getty | Laura Olivas

Have a Classic Board-Game Marathon

Put away the video-game controllers, and go old school with classic family games like Candy Land, Twister, Chutes and Ladders, and Operation. They might not be as high tech as the Xbox or Wii, but there's a reason companies have been making them for decades.


Create Kid-Friendly Pizza Bagels

Grab a couple bagels, slice them up, and let your kids add their own toppings. If you want to get really creative, then make these adorable pepper, tomato, olive, and pepperoni critters from Betty Crocker! Who knew eating pizza could be even more fun?


Make No-Bake Cookies

"Baking" doesn't get easier or faster than no-bake cookies! Take a peek at these easy-to-make recipes your kids will love.

Make Some Goop
Getty | Pilea House

Make Some Goop

No, we're not talking about Gwyneth Paltrow's company, but some slimy, silly concoction that requires only three ingredients: food coloring, cornstarch, and water.


Have an Indoor Picnic

Take all the elements of an old-fashioned picnic and bring them indoors for a memorable meal. Lay out a blanket on the living room floor to make it extra cozy!


Blast Off!

Let your little one's inner moon man come out by building a DIY rocket-fueled jet pack from cardboard, two-liter bottles, felt, and straps! Practice for takeoff with some indoor flying until sunny skies return.


Mini Painted Clay Pots

Bring the outdoors inside by creating new homes for some special plants or herbs with some creativity and paint.

Finger Paint
finger painting by aaron gilson. CC BY 2.0

Finger Paint

Get messy with colorful finger paint — no explanation required!

Tie-Dye T-Shirts

Tie-Dye T-Shirts

Tie-dye is a foolproof at-home activity, so long as you keep the action reserved to the bathroom and don't spill the dye. A Tulip One-Step Tie-Dye Kit ($30) should do the trick!

Pull Out the Puzzles
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Pull Out the Puzzles

Puzzles are great for brain development, but be sure to pick one that's age appropriate. Check out this list of jigsaws meant just for kids!


Make Your Own Play-Doh

Making homemade Play-Doh requires only some common household ingredients and a few minutes of your time for hours of fun! If you're feeling fancy, add a couple drops of essential oils alongside the food coloring to tap into an additional sense.

Write Letters to Relatives
Bulletin Board of Kid Art by woodleywonderworks CC BY 2.0.

Write Letters to Relatives

Whether they're states away or right down the block, what relative doesn't appreciate a letter from their favorite little one? Set them up to practice the lost art of letter writing with stationery or construction paper and crayons.

Create an Art Gallery
Marko Geber | Getty

Create an Art Gallery

Put the kids' original artwork on display! If you have an excessive amount of old paintings and drawings, then use this as an opportunity to have them sort through and organize the keepers vs. those that they (and you!) can do without.

Make Cake Pops
Getty | Westend61

Make Cake Pops

Cake pops can seem intimidating, but they're actually quite easy — and delicious. Have the kids top them with their favorite sprinkles.


Build Your Own Terrarium

A glass vessel, a little sand, some dirt, and a few plants make a fun rainy-day project that will last long after the sun comes out.


Make Paper Rosettes

Make paper rosettes out of tissue paper, book pages, or coffee filters for easy and cute decor.

Create a Cool Piece of Crayon Art

Create a Cool Piece of Crayon Art

This artwork might look complicated, but it really just involves a canvas, some hot-glue crayons, and a hair dryer. Get the full how-to instructions here, but trust us, it's easy and a fun way to play with color.


Make a Button Monogram

A framed button monogram makes for fun, personalized home decor that gives any room a jolt of whimsy. Each child can make one of their own initials.

Put On a Fashion Show
Getty | Cavan Images

Put On a Fashion Show

Let your little ones strut their stuff. Make a runway out of craft paper or a rug runner, and get the music pumping. Give points for the best runway walks and the most creative outfits!


Make Your Own Chalkboard Paint — and Use It

Make your own homemade chalkboard paint to set the stage for many future indoor days to come! It's the craft that keeps on giving.


Whip Out the Swiffer

Sometimes all it takes is Swiffer. Let them take turns pushing it around, then compare how much dirt they've collected along the way. After a long day, there's no harm in having them help with the dusting — especially if they're having fun with it!

Make a Baking Soda and Vinegar Volcano
Magma mons pre-eruption by Elaine Ashton. CC BY 2.0

Make a Baking Soda and Vinegar Volcano

Make a baking soda and vinegar volcano in the kitchen! Feel free to check out these additional easy science experiments, too.


Play Library

Check out your favorite books from your own collection. Organize your library by book color, author, size, or subject, or just find a cozy corner and curl up to read.


Make Paper-Bag Puppets

These can be as complicated or as simple as you want them to be, and the beauty of paper-bag puppets is that you really don't need any fancy supplies other than staples.

Make Noodle Necklaces
Pasta rainbow by Selena N. B. H. CC BY 2.0

Make Noodle Necklaces

Create a dye solution with food coloring (and optional rubbing alcohol to help the color dry faster) and then transform ordinary pasta into a rainbow of shades. String the noodles on a piece of yarn or ribbon to create a one-of-a-kind necklace or bracelet.

Sort Through Old Toys, and Plan a Garage Sale
SolStock | Getty

Sort Through Old Toys, and Plan a Garage Sale

Use the promise of an upcoming garage sale as motivation to get the kids to sort through their old toys. Have them propose prices for each of the items they're giving up, and discuss what you'll do with the (eventual) profits. You may want to consider making a donation to a charity of the kids' choice to make the project especially meaningful.


Have Fun With a Cardboard Box

They say tots love the box a toy comes in more than the toy itself, so don't throw them away! Save them for a rainy day and transform them into something unique that simultaneously lets a child's imagination come alive. With a few snips, they can be converted into lemonade stands, puppet theaters, or any number of creative discoveries.

DIY Some Edible Slime
Making Slime by Josh Hallett CC BY 2.0.

DIY Some Edible Slime

If your child already loves playing with slime, why not take the fun up a notch by making a batch of edible slime? These edible-slime recipes include flavors inspired by popular treats like Kool-Aid and Peeps, as well as colorful varieties like unicorn butter.

Create a Race-Car Track
Getty | kupicoo

Create a Race-Car Track

Using masking tape, create a "race track" for kiddie cars to zoom throughout the house. Be imaginative with walls, rugs, and obstacles — just be careful around delicate wallpaper and painted walls.

Make No-Bake Granola Bars
Hillary Kladke | Getty

Make No-Bake Granola Bars

Kids can help stir, measure, mix, and press these no-bake granola bars into shape. Just pop the yummy, chewy bars — full of healthy ingredients — into the fridge for a bit to let them set, and you'll be snacking healthfully in no time.


Have Fun With Pancakes

We're big fans of getting creative with pancakes, so whip up some batter, grab some food coloring, and let your kids go crazy (with some adult oven supervision, of course).

Enjoy an At-Home Spa Day
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Enjoy an At-Home Spa Day

Break out the nail polish for at-home mani-pedis. To create an extra-authentic spa environment, have everyone wear bathrobes, cut up some cucumbers to soothe weary eyes, and turn on some soothing tunes.


Build a Fort

For some good, old-fashioned fun, hit the linen closet and construct a fort or tent with sheets and pillows. The process of creating the hideaway is only the beginning; once they're done with the hard work, playtime can begin!

Turn On the Flashlight
Getty | Peter Dazeley

Turn On the Flashlight

Adult-size flashlights are not only search lights for little ones looking for lost toys under their beds, but they're also spotlights for an afternoon puppet show, pointers for kids playing "school," and torches for those hunting down monsters in the land of make-believe.


Create Milk Art

Milk has fat in it, and the food coloring floats on top of the fat. Hence: milk art. Not only will your kiddos love every second of this unique project, but you'll also be thrilled with the frameable result.

Make Fruit Art
Getty | Roberto Moiola

Make Fruit Art

Fresh fruit doesn't have to be just for eating. Gather the kids, along with their favorite fruits, and enjoy an easy afternoon art activity.

Have a Classic Disney Movie Marathon
The Everett Collection

Have a Classic Disney Movie Marathon

So maybe you shouldn't watch all of the best Disney movies in one sitting, but a couple in a row on a rainy day can't hurt, right? From "Under the Sea" to flying elephants, Disney never disappoints. A side of popcorn and M&M's would only makes things better.

Croon to Karaoke
JGI/Jamie Grill | Getty

Croon to Karaoke

If you have a karaoke machine or your cable provider offers a karaoke channel (it sounds silly, but many of them do — pay your on-demand section a visit and check), then unleash your inner rock stars and start singing!