Fun Indoor Games & Activities: Help for the Housebound Parent in Winter

Copyright Jennifer Hull. Used with permission from All rights reserved.

p6_2.jpgSo, the storm has hit and you’re stuck indoors with small children. They’re bouncing off the walls. You’re going bananas. You’d play Candyland but the pieces are missing. Anyway, the kids say they’d rather paint the mirror with your new lipstick.What to do? Here are some indoor kids games and activities to keep children entertained without plugging them into the TV.

1) Build a fort.

Face four chairs back to back forming a large, open square. Drape a sheet over them. Put toys and kitchenware for the kids to play with underneath. They can make a walkway to the structure with blocks.

2) Box them up.

Children love cartons. Add a rope to the box so they can pull each other around. Encourage the kids to decorate their “boat” with markers. Beats having them scribble on the walls every time.

3) Throw a party.

Announce it’s bear’s birthday and invite his stuffed friends. The kids can create invitations and decorate white paper plates by coloring them. Make slice and bake cookies or popcorn. Stretch out the preparation. The party will only last 10 minutes

4) Turn the bathroom into a science lab.

Fill plastic bottles with whatever is on the shelf to make potions. Toothpaste, ketchup, food coloring – the yuckier the better. Add baking soda and vinegar and watch your concoction fizz.

5) Make collages.

Keep everyone busy and clean out the magazine rack by having your children clip pictures and paste them on paper. Suggest a theme, such as animals. Toss any magazine older than your toddler.

6) Work them out.

The problem with bad weather is that children don’t get enough exercise. Play “freeze dance,” stopping in position when the music goes off. Pile up pillows and encourage the kids to gallop over them on hobbyhorses. Get out the tutus and do a dance show. Anything to tire them out!

7) Use a timer.

Finish each activity with a cleanup game, setting the timer and seeing how much everybody can pick up before it rings!

ABOUT THE AUTHOR:  Jennifer Bingham Hull’s award-winning book, Beyond One: Growing a Family and Getting a Life, looks at life after the second child. Visit her online at where you can contact Jennifer to receive her “Life Beyond One” column regularly and sign up for her free newsletter.

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