8 Fun Indoor Activities That Entertain Kids for Hours

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Winter is coming! And for me that means figuring out fun things for my 3 and 1 year old to do inside. Here’s 8 indoor activities my baby and toddler love that entertains them for hours on end!

Indoor games and activities for kids, babies and toddlers

We will soon be needing to tap into our winter activities list because of cold weather keeping us indoors. I dug up the list from notes I wrote in my phone a while back and realized that these activities are soooo shareable because they keep kids busy for wonderfully extended periods of time! Which means more peace and quiet for me!! And now you.

I can guarantee that the baby and toddler activities you’ll find here will keep your littles contentedly playing for a minimum of fifteen minutes and have actually entertained my kids for hours at times! I use that time to eat, clean, read, or just relax on the couch with my phone while tuning everything out. Everyone is happy. Everyone wins!

Disclaimer!! Of course, you’ll need to stay close by to supervise (we never leave our children unattended anyway, right? ?) but at least you can enjoy your own thoughts, browse social media, chat on the phone or do something YOU want! Also, I am not liable for any injuries or messes acquired as a result of following these ideas. Use your best parental judgment!

Ok, let’s jump in.

1. Make-shift tents and forts

Indoor tents for kids

Probably my number one go-to activity that entertains my kids the most. I remember having an absolute blast playing in tents with my brother and cousins when I was a kid! Do you remember how much fun sitting under a blanket held up by four chairs was? Well, it’s still just as great-for tots anyway.

How to make a blanket tent for kids: You just need “bearings” and a blanket or sheet or tarp. I have used chairs, stools and even a toddler trampoline. I literally tossed a blanket over the bar of my son’s trampoline and said, “Look, a tent!” He and his sister crawled in and out of it for a solid hour, giggling and playing peekaboo. I was incredibly pleased with myself and, *score* they had fun and their little brains probably learned some things too.

A tent can be pitched anywhere indoors and extra elements can be added to increase the fun and stimulate the imagination. For example, placing toys, books or serving snacks inside, adding tunnels with more chairs and blankets or putting a wall mirror at one end. My son also really loves using his flashlight in a really dark tent setup. Again, it’s so easy to do and cost you nothing!

2. Water in a Box

Seriously, what is it about kids and water?! Both of my kids LOVE playing in water. Like, so much so they’d probably play in it all day if I let them. I actually find this activity to be a good quiet time play believe it or not.

How to: Water in a Box: I have a large, clear storage bin (but a small Tupperware container like the one pictured below will work!) that I fill halfway with water, set on a towel and let them go for it. I set several toys, measuring cups, etc, on the floor around the box and let them use their imagination freely. It’s an activity that definitely gets messy so the towels are a must and be prepared to change their clothes afterward. Better yet, removing their clothes beforehand might be smart! ?

Indoor water activities for kids

3. Bath Tub Party

Okay, maybe you don’t have a box to use for the last activity or you just aren’t thrilled about your kitchen floor being flooded…understandably! So then fill up the tub, and let them splish and splash as long as they’d like!

How to: Tub Party: I know you don’t need a tutorial on a task you perform every day, but just fill up the bathtub and don’t worry about washing faces or hair. Just throw in things you don’t normally let your kids have in the tub. Water bottles, spoons, measuring cups and even fruit can be fun! Then you can sit back and watch or read a book or make a phone call. The idea is you aren’t needed!

4. Writing on a Mirror

I have a tall wall mirror I let my kids sit in front of in the living room and although it doesn’t entertain them for long periods, every once in a while I let them mark it up with paint, lipstick or dry erase markers. It’s not MY favorite activity, but they think it’s a treat!

How to: Mirror Art: If you have a mirror that you can easily remove from the wall, place it on the floor and lean it back so that it can’t fall forward. Give your littles some erasable markers or lipstick, demonstrate how to draw and erase and then let them explore their own artistic side! Both of my babies look at me like I’ve opened Pandora’s box when I start this activity, but they happily draw on it anyway. *Definitely supervise closely as walls tend to be confused with mirrors sometimes.

5. Washing Dishes

Along the same lines as playing in water, my son started doing dishes around one and a half years old. He wanted to help with household chores from the very start! And now my daughter is quickly approaching the age of helping with the dishes so I’ll soon have two chairs pushed up to the sink and two kiddos clinging and clanging dishes. Aww
There’s no need for a How To section here. You get it. Use your own judgement about glasses in the sink. I started my son out with plastic Tupperware and metal silverware. This activity will keep kids occupied for long periods of time, but does get messy and towels again are a must! An alternative is purchasing one of the adorable play kitchens with a real-life sink. They have several on Amazon, but they sell out so fast! Here’s one that you can usually get for a reasonable price! You’ve probably seen it all over Facebook too.

6. Play Cooking

I love how helpful children really are by nature. My kids love to imitate me when it comes to house chores. And cooking is another favorite of theirs that gives them such pleasure and I love how proud they are about helping to “cook”.

Toddler cooking 101: My son has his own apron and stirring utensils and I set him in his high chair usually (sometimes he stands in a chair at the counter) so he can cook. I give him an assortment of bowls filled with oats, coconut flour, raisins, nuts, honey, almond milk and anything else I don’t mind him eating. Along with ingredients, he gets measuring cups and spoons. I let him have all the time he wants with or without direction. He normally mixes it all together and eats it up! Lol But I think it could be fun to add a cupcake pan for him to transfer his “batter” just like Mommy does. And usually I use this time to clean up around the house, organize cabinets, etc.

7. Mystery Drawers

Are you seeing a correlation yet to things kids tend to find mischief with? By the time my kids really started moving around, they discovered-and rummaged through-my drawers and cabinets! So, as a fun activity to entertain them, I encourage their exploring nature by surprising them with a mystery cabinet or drawer.
How to make a mystery drawer: This is just what it sounds like-put things in a drawer or cabinet that are normally not found there and are safe for your baby or toddler to play with. Preferably use things new to them, stuff they’ve never seen! Or things they’ve seen from afar only. For example, your hair brush (maybe an old one?), large hair clips or empty travel containers. In the kitchen, Tupperware, napkins, empty jars (or jars of rice!). The more creative and new (for them) the items are, the longer they’ll be occupied!

8. Clothes in a Pile

The final activity for this list of things to entertain your kids indoors, is a simple pile of clothes free for the littles to sabotage. The reason we never get clothes folded is because of them anyway, so just surrender and relax. 😉
No How To needed here either! You just need a pile of laundry (clean) to let the kids tunnel and dig through. Hide some “treasure” and have them find all the hidden goodies. The more you hide the longer they’ll be occupied while you sip coffee(/wine)!

So there you have it. If you plan it out right, you could set it up so that your kids are occupied with these activities for an entire day! Just work your way down this list, switching up the activity when they are satisfied with the last. And while they’re playing happily, perfectly stimulated by your awesomeness, you can relax-give yourself a break, you deserve it!

If your kids love these activities let me know! Comment and share this post so more moms can have some down time. 🙂

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4 thoughts on “8 Fun Indoor Activities That Entertain Kids for Hours”

  1. Beautiful practical ideas to keep the kids engaged…will not just help kids pass time but also learn creativity , exercise the brain…
    Thank you

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