Are you stuck inside with the kids?
We're here to help! Here are 14 ideas for indoor fun with your kids:
1. Hold a LEGO challenge
If you have tons of LEGOs (like us!), grab a few small buckets or food storage containers and scoop up a random assortment for each person. Set a timer and start building! What cool things do your kids come up with? You can give your kids a theme if they need help getting started. They can build a spaceship, a car, an animal, or a skyscraper, for instance.
2. Water play
Throw the kids into the bathtub with a few toys or things from around the house that they don't usually play with in the water. It will make the experience all new! My kids love kitchen items like plastic bowls, cups, and even utensils in the bathtub. Just be sure to avoid glass containers and sharp objects!
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3. Sensory bins
Sounds fancy, but what I do is so simple! I just throw some materials into an empty wash basin. Yep, that's it. Some of my go-to's are dry rice, dry beans, dry pasta of different shapes, play dough, acorns, sticks ... you get the idea!
My kids love to scoop the objects, sort them, count them, string them on laces or ribbon, and drop them into containers and shake them. Add measuring cups, cleaned out recyclables of different sizes, ice cube trays (good for counting and sorting!), egg cartons, whisks, wooden spoons, rubber spatulas, ladles, or anything else you have around the house. Keep it simple! One main ingredient and just a few add-ins are all you need to keep them entertained!
4. Have a movie day
You can go fancy and make little cars out of boxes and do a "drive-in" movie in your living room OR you could just pop some popcorn and sit on the couch.
5. Learn something new
Head to YouTube and look up a fun tutorial to do together! Kids love watching you learn something new right alongside them. I recommend finger knitting!
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6. Get in the kitchen!
Make hot cocoa ice cream, a batch of your favorite cookies, or something in the slow cooker. Kids love to spend time in the kitchen with you. Check out Macaroni Kid EATS for more family-friendly fun recipe ideas!
7. Feed the wildlife
Make a bird feeder and get to know your backyard birds! We're partial to the classic pinecone covered in peanut butter and rolled in seed feeder, but this one made from recycled materials is fun and easy to make too. Just remember to keep the feeder full all season long because the birds will come to depend on the food source.
8. Make easy pop-up puppets
I'm not super into crafty projects with my kids, but I think these pop-up puppets are super cute and worth tackling!
Sarah Hauge, publisher of Macaroni KID Englewood, Greenwood Village, Centennial, Colo.
9. Become scientists
STEM fun is the BEST fun! See these simple instructions for growing ice crystals in your kitchen or try these 10 paper engineering challenges.
10. Have an easy gingerbread house contest
Our store-bought gingerbread houses never stand a chance, so I love this alternative to a traditional gingerbread house that you can make all year long. I also love the idea of turning it into a contest so the kids are more invested in it (read: it buys you more time). Why wait until the holidays for a gingerbread house?
11. Decorate the house
Use scrap paper or cut up some brown paper bags and have the kids make their own seasonal festive decorations to hang on the fridge or try a bubble wrap art project.
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12. Do a toy turnover
I'm sure the kids have tons of older toys they're starting to get bored with. Go through the toys with them and select things in good condition to donate.
13. Make modeling dough
My kids love to make their own play dough and mix in different things – big sequins, wooden beads, pipe cleaners, googly eyes... the possibilities are endless! Try unsweetened drink mix powder for color and scent!
Go through your bookshelves, grab a stack of books, and settle down on the couch to read them all. Or download a library app and get the kids into some audiobooks! See my audiobook picks!