Indoor Activities for Kids: Best Affordable Ideas

Published: 4 years ago, Last Updated: 4 months ago
Daniel Brown
Writer: Daniel Brown
Jackson Rhodes
Reviewer: Jackson Rhodes
Listen minutes

In this exciting and interactive guide, we will delve into a wide array of indoor activities for kids from toddlers to preschoolers. These are ideal activities that you can take part in with your family when the weather is uncooperative or when you need your children to remain indoors for some time.

From video games to crafts involving stickers, recipes for fun snacks involving rice, and even a dance party equipped with your kids’ favorite songs, you can transform a mundane indoor day into an adventure for your little ones.

While some family activities may involve sprawling outdoor spaces, there are just as many, if not more, indoor activities, everything from simple crafts for toddlers to science experiments for curious preschoolers. Children are often just as content to stay inside as long as they are positively engaged and have a plethora of enjoyable activities to keep them busy. Assembling simple materials such as water and cups can even result in exciting science experiments that introduce kids to basic concepts in physics or chemistry.

8 Indoor Activities for Kids

Indoor activities can be a barrel of laughs, stimulating, and instrumental in developing crucial social skills. These activities range from science experiments to learning new letters, coloring with a rainbow of colors, and even hosting an indoor dance party with balloons. The best part? These activities are not only educational and enjoyable but also budget-friendly.

Art can be an intensely magnetic activity for almost all children, and the cost involved in purchasing art equipment can be surprisingly low. In fact, sometimes, all you need is some paper, pencils, and maybe a set of colorful stickers – common items that may already be strewn around your home.

Check this list to find out what are some fun indoor activities for kids and explore a range of engaging activities that are sure to capture your kids’ interest and imagination.

1. Art and Crafts Activities

If your child hasn’t yet shown interest in being the next Picasso, that’s absolutely fine; art, with its many forms like crafts and stickers, can still be a constructive, fun, rainy-day activity. You can pique your children’s interest by playing inspiring songs or exposing them to the artwork on Instagram or YouTube, and if your toddler is infatuated with a sports team or characters from a movie, why not show them some artwork involving these characters and see if you can get them to try making their own.

Kid and her mum are painting together at their home

Children can also create comic strips with stickers, build 3-D objects out of paper, or draw self-portraits to be displayed in their homes. Plus, if your child shows promise in art and wants to take it a step further, there are free resources accessible for children and adults alike to learn how to draw, paint, and even create crafts using everyday materials. YouTube is packed with art tutorials.

2. Cooking and Baking Projects

Kids often find joy in being entrusted with responsibilities, especially in the bustling kitchen. Naturally, you will need to closely supervise your children if you plan to have them actively involved in the kitchen, possibly measuring cups of rice or water for recipes.

You can give kids simple tasks around the kitchen, such as stirring a bowl of salt or kneading dough. Cooking together can also be a delightful opportunity to familiarize children with the layout of the kitchen, the importance of meal preparation, and why they will need this vital skill in their lives.

Kid having fun learning how to cook

Cooking or baking activities teach kids valuable life skills while satisfying their taste buds.

If your child isn’t particularly thrilled about the pasta dish you are devising, you can plan some cooking or baking specially designed for them. You can make use of fun objects like character cutouts or even create your own shapes for cookies or other baked goods. And who knows? Maybe they’ll discover a love for preparing colorful cups of rice that they can proudly serve at dinner.

Inexpensive hobbies such as baking and cooking can be constructive and a fantastic way to feed the family too.

3. An Obstacle Course

Now, switching gears from the peacefulness of baking to the excitement of play, remember it helps if you have ample space for this one. Children will need a vigilant supervisor while engaging in vigorous indoor games, but if your kids need to expend some energy, there are countless ways in which they can get physical exercise and have fun inside.

Indoor activities for kids – backyard obstacle course

With pillows and soft cushions, you can create tasks to do around the house or, if your home is more spacious, an obstacle course made of different materials and props for kids to work their way through. It can be great fun – just ensure there is nothing breakable in the way. Consider an engaging game of throwing a softball or animating a puppet, sparking their imagination and playful spirit while keeping the floor free of any potential hazards.

There are endless ways to engage young minds without breaking the bank. Be it with a soft foam ball or a deck of cards, these simple tools can turn your living room floor into an arena of fun and creativity.

4. Reading and Writing

In the digital age, it may seem almost old-fashioned to suggest reading and writing, but kids can still derive immense value from it despite the fact that technology seems to have taken over. The art of storytelling, whether it’s through a book of fairy tales or a deck of cards used to create an imaginative treasure hunt, can be an enthralling escape.

Kid reading a book on a sofa

Reading books, be they science-themed or simple letters learning books, can be beneficial for a child’s development and keeps them learning even while they are outside a classroom. As far as cost-effective activities for kids are concerned, there are few that are more financially efficient than reading. Amazon constantly offers children’s books on sale through Kindle, and these can be accessed instantly, too. These books could be a chosen ingredient in your child’s imagination, the treasure within a story.

If you discover that your child is incredibly interested in reading, see if they will try their hand at writing stories. For instance, you can write a story together, one sentence at a time; one child (or adult) can write a sentence, and then it is passed on to the next person to keep the story moving forward. This could spark storytelling sessions with their favorite puppet as the leading character. Towards the end of this thrilling day, wind down with a calm dance party, perhaps with some soft music, balloons, and floor games to finish off a day full of adventures.

5. Computer Games

The digital world offers several avenues for young minds to expand their knowledge and skills. Even card games can take a digital form, enhancing your child’s strategizing abilities. Engaging in these mentally stimulating activities can be a real treasure in their development.

Children often learn a lot from games. For instance, a game like Minecraft serves as an interactive platform for children to create and understand more about how the world works. Or, they can even create a fairy-tale world for their beloved puppet character, who embarks on a treasure hunt across the living room floor!

6. Teach Kids to Code

Accessing the digital world with purpose, such as learning to code, is another excellent way to keep youth engaged indoors. Although it might seem ambitious for children to start coding, this type of activity, especially if they love gaming, can be very appealing to them.

The reward of being able to make games is enough to keep a lot of young people interested. Plus, as far as cheap hobbies with positive returns go, computer-based skills can be highly useful for children’s future careers. Let’s not forget about the joy of creating a tutorial for fellow gamers.

7. Board Games

The old classic, playing board games, has been a go-to, cheap activity for kids, proving its place in family fun for many decades. With everything from drawing-based games to music trivia contests, board games don’t have to be a thing of the past. They can be a fantastic building block for kids’ activities, regardless of whether it’s a rainy day or a celebratory birthday.

Kids having fun playing a board game with their parants

Board games and puzzles help develop critical thinking skills while providing fun for kids.

While games have been modernized, it is not uncommon to download board games to play on a phone or computer. There is nothing wrong with digging out the old classics as well. These games don’t typically cost a lot of money to buy, and some can even be bought secondhand. Just make sure all the pieces are still there.

Fun indoor games don’t always have to involve screen time; alternatives like board games or art experiments can be better for your kids’ eyesight and promote a break from electronics. A fun tutorial can be created to guide the kids in their activities if needed, especially during those unexpected rainy days.

8. Make a Movie

Although this seems like an activity that would require a high level of skill and equipment, you can start to make your own fun movies at home without having to purchase too much equipment at all.

If you have a smartphone, then you have everything you need to get started; the built-in camera can be used to record, and you can edit either using apps on the phone itself or by uploading footage onto a computer. Software like iMovie or Windows Movie Maker are completely free, so you can learn crucial editing skills and try your hand at filmmaking.

Kids will love the idea of having their own little movie to upload to YouTube or to show their friends.

Additional activities

Energy and creativity can also be released through physical activities like experiments and creating a homemade volcano or crystal garden. A make-believe treasure hunt can also serve as an exciting, imaginative exercise. And even if children are playing games you might think are silly, like tossing a ball around or having a puppet show, it’s also essential for them to unwind. Adults, too, love to engage in such playful activities to switch off.


Indoor activities for children depend primarily on their interests, your budget, and their skills. Some children love to be physically active, engaging in music and dancing, while others can sit and play computer games for hours. Either way, there’s an abundance of ways to keep your kids entertained and stimulated indoors. It could be a scavenger hunt, a fort-building exercise, or a tech-free day with classic board games.

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