10 Fun Things To Do With Kids at Home

We all need things to do with kids at home that won’t break the bank! Here are ten fun things to do with your kids at home. 

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, and 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-sized measuring spoons, and have them play around). This is a super fun sensory activity for children.

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

Fun Things to do with kids at home
Some of the pistachio shells we painted

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.

Some ideas:

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, nonfiction, or 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! 

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Hi! I am a millennial mom with a passion for personal finance. I have always been “into” personal finance but got inspired to start my blog after a period of extended unemployment. That experience really changed the way I viewed my relationship with money and the importance of accessible personal finance education.

9 thoughts on “10 Fun Things To Do With Kids at Home”

  1. Lots of great suggestions to keep kids busy and active at home. It’s important to have lots of activity ideas on hand to help kids keep entertained. I used to love making homemade playdoh when I was younger, but oddly enough my son never got interested in it, so it’s not something we ever made.

    • It depends on the child- my sons will sit and do playdough for hours- especially if they get to make it. Its more fun if you are part of the process. I have crafts and activities that I do with my kids but this extended “vacation” has challenged me!

    • That’s a good idea! We haven’t done anything with the pistachios yet. They are just sitting there. My kids love to collect things 😉
      Maybe that’s a good project for next week.

  2. These are brilliant ideas! I love the indoor water fight, although that would not end well in my house! My step daughters love to make a mess, more than any other child I know so I would be mopping up for hours!

    We do love a scavenger hunt though, we always do these at Easter.

    Thanks for sharing, we all need all the help we can get at the moment x

  3. As much as I hate play-dough (not really even sure why) it really is a good way to keep the kids occupied! I usually put craft paper down, give them some cookie cutters, and let them go to town at the dining table while I get stuff done in the kitchen.

  4. Well I managed to take Invisible Water Fight to the next level with empty water guns and making blowing sounds with our mouths. It still makes me lough when I think about it honestly. Loved the ideas!


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