When families are unable to go outside, it may seem like the children have the hardest time adjusting. Because children love to play and be active, these feelings are understandable. However, there are several ways you can help to support your child and help them to have fun indoors.
Here are some fun indoor activities for children.
Indoor scavenger hunt
No matter your child’s age, there are many possibilities for fun and interesting indoor scavenger hunts. For younger children who can’t yet read, you can create a visual checklist of clues, drawing what they’d have to look for.
Some ideas for indoor scavenger hunts include:
- Finding a certain number of items of the same color
- Hiding stuffed animals around the house and pretending they’ve escaped the zoo
- Numbers-related scavenger hunt – either find as many instances of one number, or search from a list of numbers
- Older children can take photos of items on their list instead of using a checklist
- Using riddles as clues. Here are some household item riddles for kids.
Movie night (or afternoon)
A day indoors is an ideal opportunity for your child to indulge in one of their favorite movies, or several movies with a similar theme. You can make it into a special occasion by piling pillows and blankets on the couch, and having some of their favorite snacks and drinks within reach. If you’re working from home, you may need to be nearby to supervise and ensure everyone is safe and happy.
At-home science project
Preschool or daycare is a great place for your child to learn the fundamentals of science, but you can create fun experiments for your child at home too.
For example, you can help your child learn about buoyancy, volume, and mass with household objects. Fill a large bowl with a bit of water, and mark the water level on the container. Then, get several small objects such as coins and toy cars. Help your child place the objects into the bowl. As the water level rises, make observations with your child. Are the coins heavier than the toy cars? How many of each object does it take to make the water overflow? Does the size of the item make the water level rise faster?
Being stuck indoors doesn’t mean your child can’t enjoy some physical activity. Here are some ways your child can stay active indoors and get their energy out:
- Dance, or “freeze dance” – freezing in place when the music is stopped by you
- Play volleyball with a balloon in a reasonably open area
- Set up an indoor obstacle course or maze with chairs, pillows, and cardboard boxes, and help your child to go through it with support if needed
- In a hallway or other open area, have your child practice throwing a beanbag or rolled-up socks as far as they can into a basket. Move the basket farther away after each successful throw
- In the same area, mark out “nets” with masking tape and play soccer with a large rubber ball
- Play pretend as animals and race – hop like a bunny or walk like a crab
- Hula hoop or jump rope, including music for added interest
- Have a pillow fight
When playing games like these indoors, ensure your child is supervised, and clear away any hazardous obstacles such as end tables or valuables that could get knocked over.
These are just a few of the ways your family can have fun together indoors, whether it’s relaxing in front of Netflix or enjoying an afternoon of exciting games. If your child is feeling anxious or frustrated about staying indoors, take this time to sit down with them and have a conversation about their feelings. Listen to what they say, and reassure them that you understand and you support them. Then, try to think of a fun activity you can do together.