Indoor fun for kids

When temperatures are too cold to go outside, try these fun indoor ideas to do with kids.

Put on some music and dance together.
Put on some music and dance together.

When winter temperatures make it hard to go outside, try these fun, easy and inexpensive activities to keep the kids amused!

  • Hopscotch: Use masking tape to mark out a hopscotch board and play as a family.
  • Tower building: Use small marshmallows and spaghetti noodles and see how tall of a tower can be built.
  • Tic-tac-toe: Use masking tape to mark out the tic-tac-toe board on the floor. You can use any items like stuffed animals, balls or shoes for the X’s and O’s. Hold a tic-tac-toe tournament and have everyone play.
  • Fort building: Build a fort out of blankets and cushions. Use the fort as a quiet place to read a book together.
  • Bowling: Use plastic bottles to set up bowling pins at the end of a hallway. Use a small ball and have an indoor bowling tournament.
  • Shape construction: Use Popsicle sticks to build different shapes such as houses, stars, rectangles, squares and others. You could also create structures with marshmallows and toothpicks and then taste your creations!
  • Foam dough: Use equal parts shaving cream and cornstarch and mix together to create a light, silky foam dough. You can add food coloring to make different colors. Use the foam dough to make different creations! Note: Do not allow children to eat dough.
  • Simon says or Mirror: Play a game of Simon says and have children mimic your movements. Use ideas like “Simon says stand on one foot” or “Simon says hop up and down.” For younger children that might not yet be able to follow directions, just have them mimic your movements. Then mimic their movements.
  • Silly dance party: Put some music on and dance together. Do silly movements, spin around and jump up and down.
  • Indoor ice skating: Grab two small sheets of wax paper for each skater. Place them on the ground and skate away indoors. Turn on some tunes and show off your best routine.
  • Penny tap dancing: Tape some pennies or other coins to the bottom of your children’s shoes then watch them tap the day away on hardwood or linoleum floors.
  • Snow ice cream: Make ice cream from snow with the following ingredients and instructions:
    • 1 gallon snow
    • 1 cup white sugar
    • 1 tbsp vanilla extract
    • 2 cups milk
    • Use a large, clean bowl to collect 1 gallon of clean snow. Stir in the sugar and vanilla to taste, then stir in just enough milk for the desired consistency. Serve at once.
    • Read a book together: Use the Michigan State University Extension Family Book Sheets and choose a book about winter to read together. Then do the activities listed on the sheet together as a family. “The Mitten” and “The Snowy Day” both have winter themes.

It can be hard for children to be stuck inside during cold weather, but finding ways to get their energy out and keeping them occupied can be easy and inexpensive. For more ideas about activities and articles on child development, academic success, parenting and life skill development, please visit the Michigan State University Extension website.

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