We all need things to do with kids at home that don’t break the bank (or our spirits!) Here are 10 fun things to with kids at home.
We’ve all been stuck at home recently and needing fun things to do with kids at home! I live in an apartment building, and I don’t have a porch, so I am constantly researching and looking for fun things to do with kids in my apartment that don’t need an outdoor area. Especially when there was no day camp, I constantly need to find fun things with my kids.
I need to think of fun activities for kids that don’t involve climbing walls! Going outside is not so easy for me, as it means schlepping kids and stuff out and means I can’t get anything done while they are playing or busy. So, I needed to think of fun things to do with kids at home. Indoors. And cheap. It’s a tall order.
I am constantly thinking of fun things to do with kids at home that don’t require a yard or expensive supplies, and that will actually keep them occupied and not have them climbing the walls after 2 seconds.
These are all pretty frugal activities as money is tight right now (me and the rest of the world!). It has been a challenge, to say the least. I have definitely had to be pretty creative and think out of the box. While I wanted to do fun things with my kids, I still needed to be mindful of how much it cost me.
All of these are kid’s activities that we have done and actually went pretty smoothly for a decent chunk of time (Meaning it didn’t take hours to set up and then take them 30 seconds before they were bored again). I did all these fun things with my kids, and they worked.
Here are a few of the fun activities we did in our home this summer to keep the kids entertained. All indoor family fun!
10 Fun Things to do With Kids at Home
Ice Block Fun
This one takes a bit of pre-planning (at least 2 days).
Take a clear container and find some small items around the house (something like a Lego, a magnet, a toy animal). Place it in the container, and cover the items with water, half-way up the container. Freeze. Once it is mostly frozen, do the same thing again- this time until the water reaches the top of the container. Freeze.
Once it’s frozen, it’s time for a treasure hunt. Set the kids up in an empty space and give them the ice block. Have them try to get the toys out using warm water and syringes. They fill the syringe with warm water and let it melt the ice around the toys.
Some ways to change it up: Put food coloring in the water so they can see the warm water travel through the ice, have them use salt also as a melting agent, have them use toy hammers and drills to chip away at the ice as it melts. We have done all of these variations. We constantly need things to do with kids at home all the time!
Indoor Scavenger Hunt
Make a list of categories of items in your house. Examples: Something you can make a fort with, something that starts with an A, something that your sister uses to sleep.
Have each kid find items that fit the description and bring them to a staging area inside the house (like the living room). After they are all done, all the items have to be put back where they go!
Get your Free Indoor Scavenger Hunt here!
We all love playdough but making homemade playdough is so much more fun than just playing with it! I like to make a huge batch of this recipe and make a few different colors. Since it is so cheap and easy, you don’t need to cringe as the kids mix the colors together.
Take out some cookie cutters or other random kitchen utensils (tuna strainer, knife, fork, different size measuring spoons and have them play around). This is a super fun sensory activity for children.
Looking for more sensory play ideas to do at home? Check out Sensory Play For Toddlers Using Regular Household Items.
Soap Play on a Table
This works best if you have a small kid’s table or plastic table to use. Take a bucket, big bowl, or pot and fill it with water and soap. Give kids sponges and have them make a soapy mess on the table. Pour some soap on their hands and have them create bubbles that way.
Warning: this will end up watery and messy, so make sure to clear an area before starting and put them in appropriate clothes. Bathing suits are fun for this. The good thing with this is that even if it spills on the floor, then you will have a clean floor!
Water Play Without a Table
If you don’t have a table, fill two buckets or pots or big bowls with soap and water and have them pour back and forth. If they have enough bubbles, they can move the bubbles back and forth with their hands. Again, this is pretty messy, so be prepared!
Take out some beach toys and let them pour into different containers. You can have them put on bathing suits for extra fun. This is really great summer fun as they can get cooled down on a hot summer day without having to go outdoors to a pool or sprinklers.
Paint Pistachio Shells
Or anything else. But we did pistachio shells. This was great because it was a snack and then an activity. After eating pistachios, we washed our shells with soap and water (another whole activity!) and then painted each one. My younger son just did his all one color, but my older one spent a lot of time painting each one a different color.
You can do this with any different object- painting doesn’t need to be with just paper. You can do this with corks, bottle caps, plastic cutlery- basically anything you can use paint to make colorful! As a plus, this is a great way for little kids to work on their fine-motor skills.
Tip: Have the kids do this on paper or paper plates to reduce the mess. You can use smocks or have them take off their shirts and dump them in the bath when done.
Object Hide and Seek
Take any toy or game (we have this bowling pin set that I used) and hide it around the house. Don’t forget to count how many you hid! Then have them go around the house trying to find the items. You can do easier or harder objects and easier or harder hiding places depending on the kids’ age.
Pro-tip: hide the items at night after the kids are asleep and let them know as soon as they wake up about the game. Hopefully, this will give you a chance to drink your coffee in peace while they run around the house. A great fun thing to do with kids that allows you to have just a bit of peace and quiet!
Invisible Water Fight
This one only works if you have the right set up so YMMV. We took chairs and stood by the window, and had the kids shoot water guns at the trees and bushes outside the house. This only worked for us because we have one window that is not street-facing and looks out to an area that rarely has people pass by.
They were under strict instructions to stop immediately if anyone walked by. Of course, they started aiming at neighbor’s windows at the end of the activity, but we have a decent 45 minutes of fun before we had to shut that down.
Make a Paint Texture Book
Painting is fun, but using paint in different ways is even more fun! Create different types of paintings to compile into a book.
Use Q-tips to do a pointillism painting.
Take toy cars and run them through paint and then on paper for fun lines.
Cut a sponge into different shapes and do sponge painting.
Take a strainer (a beach toy one is a good idea) and paint on top of it- when you lift the strainer or mesh, you have a cool pattern.
Take ribbons, wrap them around a piece of paper, taping them onto the back- paint on top of the ribbons, and then take them off.
You can also paint with a fork like this adorable fork-stamped dandelion craft.
Read a new book
Reading is fun! I probably spent too much money buying new books and a lot of time getting them for free! No matter what you read, fiction, non0fictions, excellent books for women (hint, hint), you will have a nice enjoyable day at home. You can get free books for kids just by signing up for these programs!
Of course, if you have any suggestions for fun things to do with kids at home, please let me know as soon as possible because we are running on fumes here! I love my kids, but these endless months of entertaining are certainly a challenge, to say the least! I always need more fun things to do with kids at home!
Related: 45 Cheap Indoor Activities for Kids