20 Indoor Activities To Keep The Kids Busy

It’s winter, and playing in the backyard is akin to running around in a massive freezer. Here’s how to bring the fun indoors where it’s toasty warm and dry.

1. Make paper snowflakes

Create a winter wonderland inside, with these decorative snowflakes. Who knew a plain piece of white paper could turn into something so beautiful? Time to get cutting.

See here for the paper snowflakes activity.

2. Craft a cute sock monkey

Making a sock monkey is a fun craft project and will get them started on the basics of how to sew. Grab a colourful sock and get started.

See here for the cute sock monkey activity.

3. Play indoor basketball

Yes, it’s wet and nasty outside but that doesn’t mean you can’t be active. Use newspapers and a bucket to turn a boring afternoon into a competitive shoot-out.

See here for the indoor basketball game.

4. Make your own maracas

Move to the beat of your own music. Make these homemade maracas and get the kids grooving around the sofa.

See here for the maracas activity.

5. Make a cardboard cubby house

Take a cardboard box (or two!) and create your very own fortress. Keep it simple or go palatial – it’s up to you.

See here for the cardboard cubby activity.

6. Create an indoor picnic

Your kids will love preparing their own indoor picnic – choosing the perfect spot as well as all their favourite yummy foods!

See here for the indoor picnic activity.

7. Do a winter dot-to-dot

Grab your pencil and start counting. These printable dot-to-dot pages will ensure little brains get a good workout.

See here for the dot-to-dot printable activity sheets.

8. Decorate and post a letter

How long has it been since your kids last used the post? Have them decorate a letter and post it off to a loved one. Or post it into a homemade ice-cream container mailbox.

See here for the ice-cream container mailbox activity.

9. Make a French knitting machine

Did you have a Knitting Nancy when you were a kid? Now you can make your own loom and show your kids how to weave with wool.

See here for the French knitting machine activity.

10. Design an indoor obstacle course

Turn the living room into a challenging obstacle course – can your little one make it across the pillow bridge without being eaten by crocs?! Eeek!

See here for the indoor obstacle course activity.

11. Create a toilet paper trail

A roll of loo paper is all that stands between you and a game of adventure for the kids. Wind the toilet paper up, over and through – from one room to another – and at the end of the trail a surprise awaits!

See here for the toilet paper trail activity.

12. Marshmallow construction

This activity for kids is super fun and relises on the child’s imagination alone. So grab some marshmallows and some toothpicks and get constructing.

See here for the marshmallow construction activity.

13. Make a woolly polar bear

Rummage around in the craft box and construct this adorable little creature out of simple materials. Welcome to winter kiddies!

See here for the woolly polar bear activity.

14. Make a snowman collage

If you aren’t near the snow in the winter, here’s a way to make a snowman collage. Super cute to hang on the fridge. Brrr!!

See here for the torn paper collage snowman activity.

15. Build an indoor teepee

Nothing says ‘let’s get cosy on a cold winter’s day’ like making your own teepee out of blankets and pillows. Grab a cup of hot chocolate and snuggle in for the day.

See here for the indoor teepee activity.

16. Bake some butter biscuits

Whip up a batch of simple chocolate chip cookies and let the kids loose! Give them a rolling pin and a set of cookie cutters and that’s an afternoon activity right there!

See here for a chocolate chip cookies recipe.

17. Let’s go bowling!

Design some kooky character skittles then try and knock them down, in your very own game of hallway bowling. Fun as!

See here for the bowling pins activity.

18. Learn how to make shadow puppets

Use your hands to create a shadow puppet show. This is a great activity to stimulate cold little brains.

See here for the shadow puppet theatre activity.

19. Enjoy a treasure hunt

Hide lollies or other little surprises in places they’d never expect. The game ends when the last treasure is discovered.

See here for the treasure hunt activity.

20. Put together a rainy day activity box

Never be stuck for ideas again! Keep a nifty box like this at the ready and the kids will never be bored on a gloomy winter’s day again!

See here for the rainy day activity box instructions.

This article was written by Jo Harris for Kidpsot.com.au and has been adapted for Kidspot.co.nz

How do you keep the kids busy during those wet, winter days?

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  1. dawnblyth 03/07/2019 at 10:43 pm

    One of our local malls often has holiday activities in their mall that are free. Things like treasure hunts, word finds etc that you can do with your children walking around the mall and then they can get a little prize at the end. Other things we like to do is go visiting friends, watching movies and just chilling out. Life can get so busy that sometimes its nice to sit and do nothing. Oh, thanks for the link to the french knitting machine instructions!! I was just thinking I’d like to make one up.

  2. MuddledUpMolly 01/07/2019 at 9:10 pm

    Brilliant timing this time of year with the cold weather upon us and the school holidays approaching. I would be keen to try almost all of these ideas apart from the toilet paper trail 😛

  3. Jen_Wiig 01/07/2019 at 2:08 pm

    We’ve recently discovered how awesome tenpin bowling is when Autism NZ sent my middle boy some tickets for a bowling party… This is absolutely one winter activity we will be do more oftwn was so much fun.
    We also do alot of baking on wet indoor days and hate to asmit it but watch quite abit of family movies together… I want to try and get more into story reading with them but need to try find a few books that would suit both my younger boy and older 2 which abit diffucult… But love the idea of readibg an adventure type story and reading just a couple of chapters at time but sonething exciting to look forward to and enjoy together

  4. kymmage 30/06/2019 at 11:34 am

    So many good ideas here. Most of the time when it’s a wintery day, getting my kids off Minecraft and youtube is quite difficult. But we do like to bake, and those chocolate chip cookies look like an amazing idea. And my kids do like to make a cubby house in the lounge with chairs and blankets.

  5. Alezandra 29/06/2019 at 11:36 pm

    Great ideas! Need to bookmark this. Lol on the toilet paper activity…my 4 year old is into toilet humour lately and I think this might be definitely something he will find interesting. The only problem is that once we do this activity…he’d probably grab the toilet paper and do it every time and we will run out of toilet paper in our house. 😛

  6. Micht 25/06/2019 at 1:21 pm

    What great ideas, my daughter is already planning for her school holidays and wants to get into mums crafting box already, love these ideas too which i know she hasnt thought of at all…this will be an exciting one cos im definitely stealing most of these… im usually a boring mum… i think…

  7. SarahBlair 21/06/2019 at 5:15 pm

    There are some fantastic ideas here!! I will be trying out a lot of them during the upcoming holidays, they should really keep the kids happy they sound like a lot of fun! We also like to bake, watch movies and play board games on wet, cold days!

  8. Bevik1971 21/06/2019 at 11:26 am

    Awesome ideas for winter especially with the school holidays looming! I work full time and my partner looks after our daughter, they usually find plenty to do as we live in the middle of town. We live in a small apartment so some of the things to do above we couldn’t do, but walking distance to lots of exciting things we can do like the Art Gallery, Chinese Gardens, library etc etc. Although when the weather is really yuck they will be staying indoors and doing some crafty things, she is really into drawing at the moment and spends a lot of time in her room just doing pictures etc 🙂

  9. Mands1980 18/06/2019 at 9:17 am

    Wow I love these ideas we always need more inspiration and will definately be reading them all up and trying some out. In winter wet days we do baking, colouring in, make slime even though it sometimes works and other times it doesn’t. Make play dough kids love it as they can make there own wee areas up and use rollers, cutters etc. lately I have been purchasing movies of our tv through movies iTunes as we live rural it’s not as easy to pop to the movie store and get some out.

  10. Shorrty4life1 12/06/2019 at 8:42 pm

    Love the ideas especially the paper towels snowflakes. That would be fun and simple for the kids to do. And we always have paper towels so that’s a bonus. We normally have movie days on cold winter days because it’s not worth going out into the cold and getting unwell. Sometimes if it’s in the school holidays as a treat we will go to chipmunks and spend the afternoon there which the kids love but that’s a school holidays treat only as it’s too expensive to go every cold wet day that exists lol.

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