Fun indoor activities for kids of all ages

As we all prepare to spend more time indoors together, we’ve got plenty of ideas for fun indoor activities for kids that the whole family can enjoy.

20/11/2020
15 minutes to read
Two girls reading together in an indoor tent

Long days spent indoors don’t have to be boring – there are books to read, games to play and crafts to make. Here, we’ve put together some ideas for indoor activities to stop the kids (and you!) from climbing the walls while we’re cooped up inside. Best of all, these indoor activity ideas for children are entirely screen-free.

Find even more inspiration with our fun activities for children YouTube playlist. For more indoor fun for kids, discover the best sticker and activity books  and the best picture books for children. 

Get active with Joe Wicks

While the schools are closed and both adults and children are finding it harder to stay active while staying at home, Joe Wicks is here to help. Each morning he'll be sharing a fun thirty-minute workout for all ages on his YouTube channel here. You can watch the first workout below, and subscribe to his YouTube channel here so you and the kids never miss a workout. 

P.E with Joe | Monday 23rd March 2020

Celebrate our key workers with these fun activity sheets

Have fun and keep little ones busy with our free activity sheets, inspired by brave key workers. Featuring wonderful illustrations from Louise Forshaw, Jo Byatt, Mel Matthews, Mélanie Combes and Angie Rozelaar. Children will love this fun indoor activity for kids. 

Get crafty 

Stuck for indoor activities to keep the kids occupied? These printable colouring sheets, puzzles and word games all feature characters from much-loved children’s books and will keep kids entertained for a few hours at least. 


Curious little minds will love these activity sheets based on Coming to England by Floella Benjamin

Spot the six differences in these pictures based on Coming to England

Coming to England spot the difference activity sheet
Activity sheet - Spot the difference - Coming to England - Floella Benjamin
Download the Coming to England spot the difference activity sheet

Draw the things you'd pack for a long journey in the suitcase

Coming to England packing list activity sheet
Activity Sheet - Packing list - Coming to England - Floella Benjamin
Download the Coming to England packing list activity sheet

Find all the words in the Coming to England wordsearch

Coming to England wordsearch activity sheet
Activity sheet - Wordsearch - Coming to England - Floella Benjamin
Download the Coming to England wordsearch activity sheet


Make your own whale from The Snail and the Whale Seaside Nature Trail

Activity sheet - Make a whale sheet  - The Snail and the Whale - Julia Donaldson - Axel Scheffler
Download the Make a Whale colouring sheet
Download the Make a Whale colouring sheet


Make your own paper dolls from Julia Donaldson's The Paper Dolls

the outline of three paper dolls holding hands, ready to be cut out and coloured in
Make your own paper dolls
Download and print


Colour in this dinosaur in this Dinosaur Roar! colouring sheet 


Colour in this woodland scene featuring characters from The Gruffalo

Activity sheet - Woodland scene colouring sheet - The Gruffalo - Julia Donaldson - Axel Scheffler
Download The Gruffalo woodland scene colouring sheet
Download The Gruffalo woodland scene colouring sheet

Get more downloadable activity sheets for kids here. 

 

Read together

There is no better indoor activity for kids to keep little ones occupied for hours, and a day inside is a perfect excuse to get reading. Choose your favourite books (parents too!), snuggle up on the sofa or, even better, build a reading fort out of blankets and cushions. If your little ones have excess energy, use your imaginations and reenact some of the scenes from your favourite stories together. 

Get more tips on how to get kids excited about reading here.

 

For babies and toddlers

Noisy Farm

Babies and toddlers will love lifting the flaps to find their favourite farm animals and their babies. With bright illustrations, simple but engaging text and a chunky board book format, this is the perfect book for the littlest readers.

Noisy Farm

by Rod Campbell

Book cover for Noisy Farm

Discover the book here.

Discover our edit of the best baby books. 

For children aged 3 - 5

Kiki and Jax

This charming picture book story from tidying expert Marie Kondo is about how tidying up can spark joy in our lives. Best friends Kiki and Jax are very different – Jax enjoys sorting and Kiki enjoys collecting. But soon Kiki's home has become an obstacle course of things, and it's hard for the friends to play together. But Jax has a plan – he teaches Kiki how to sort everything and to keep only those things that spark joy.

Kiki and Jax

by Marie Kondo

Book cover for Kiki and Jax

Discover the book here.

 For children aged 5 - 9

The 117-Storey Treehouse

Andy and Terry have added even more levels of crazy fun to their ever growing treehouse. There's a pyjama-party room, an Underpants Museum and even a tiny-horse level! But now they're on the run from the Story Police, and the only escape is through the Door of Doom!

The 117-Storey Treehouse

by Andy Griffiths

Book cover for The 117-Storey Treehouse

Discover the book here.

For children aged 9 - 12

The Skylarks' War

This beautiful story follows the loves and losses of the Skylarks, a family growing up during the years of World War One. Clarry and her brother Peter live for the summers they spend with their grandparents and cousin Rupert in Cornwall, but when Rupert goes off to fight at the front, nothing will be the same.

The Skylarks' War

by Hilary McKay

Book cover for The Skylarks' War

Discover the book here.

Tune in to an audiobook

Audiobooks aren’t just for car journeys and bedtime. With imaginative sound effects and immersive storytelling from creative narrators, an audiobook is a fantastic way to keep kids of all ages entertained indoors. 

Some of our favourite audiobooks are below. See more of the best audiobooks for kids here.

 

For children aged 3 - 5

The Snail and the Whale

Children will love the audiobook version of Julia Donaldson and Axel Scheffler's much-loved story. With music and sound effects, they'll want to listen to the tale of the tiny snail and enormous whale again and again.

Buy The Snail and the Whale

 

For children aged 5 - 9

Into the Jungle

Katherine Rundell creates charming origin stories for all of the best known characters from The Jungle Book, from Mowgli to Shere Khan. Children will love the audiobook version with a soundscape that really brings the stories to life. 

Buy Into the Jungle

 

For children aged 9 - 12

Kat Wolfe Investigates

Animal-loving kids will adore the first in Lauren St. John's Wolfe and Lamb series. Pet-sitter and animal enthusiast Kat Wolfe loves her new home in idyllic Bluebell Bay, but when one of her pet-sitting clients disappears, Kat and her new friend Harper Lamb must uncover the truth.

Buy Kate Wolfe Investigates


Stick it to boredom

Sticker and activity books are a surefire way to keep even the busiest of little hands occupied. Some of our favourites are below, discover more of our sticker and activity books here.

 

For children aged 3 - 5

The Detective Dog Sticker Book

Who's been stealing all the books? Children can help to solve the mystery as they join in with colouring pencils and stickers. Full of games, activities and over 400 stickers, this book will keep young children entertained on the rainiest of days.

The Detective Dog Sticker Book

by Julia Donaldson

Book cover for The Detective Dog Sticker Book

Discover the book here.

For children aged 5 - 9 

 The Treehouse Fun Book 3

Come on up to the Treehouse for a fun activity adventure full of stuff to write, pictures to draw and puzzles to solve! Jump into Andy, Terry and Jill’s wacky world as they combine animals, solve crosswords and create magic kingdoms.

The Treehouse Fun Book 3

by Andy Griffiths

Book cover for The Treehouse Fun Book 3

Discover the book here.

 

For children aged 9 - 12

The Pocket Moomin Colouring Book

This perfectly pocket-sized colouring book features original artwork from the archive of Tove Jansson, creator of the Moomins. Perfect for colouring at home or on the go, the book is full of striking patterns, your favourite Moomin characters and memorable quotes.

The Pocket Moomin Colouring Book

by Tove Jansson

Book cover for The Pocket Moomin Colouring Book

Discover the book here.

 

Capture memories in a scrapbook

Bring blue skies and the summer holiday feeling back with a  craft project for kids. Print photos from a family trip or a day out to make a holiday scrapbook. Younger children will have fun cutting and sticking photos, tickets and other souvenirs and decorating the pages with drawings, while older kids can annotate the pictures and write their memories on the blank pages. This indoor activity for kids and grown ups will provide hours of fun. 

 

Turn trash into treasure

Make something out of nothing by getting crafty with your recycling pile. A shoebox can be turned into a house for a favourite toy, a kitchen roll tube and some rice become a rainmaker, and with a few adornments, a pair of old socks transforms into hand puppets and endless indoor fun for kids.

 

Cook up a storm

Cooking together is the perfect indoor activity for kids. Get everyone involved in the kitchen with this recipe for Gruffalo Crumble. Inspired by Julia Donaldson and Axel Scheffler’s best-loved story, Gruffalo Crumble and Other Recipes is full of recipes that children can help make. Not only will this activity keep the kids occupied for an hour or two, but you can then feast on the results as a family.

Make your own Gruffalo Crumble.

Gruffalo Crumble and Other Recipes

by Julia Donaldson

Book cover for Gruffalo Crumble and Other Recipes

Discover the book here.

 

Challenge the kids (and yourself!) 

Board games and jigsaw puzzles are perfect rainy day indoor activities. Set up a games station in your living room for a screen-free afternoon that will provide entertainment for everyone.

 

For even more ideas for indoor fun, don't miss Family Lockdown Tips and Ideas

Family Lockdown Tips & Ideas

by

jacket not available

Stuck for things to do? Look no further, these ideas will keep kids entertained.

Twenty of the best tips and ideas from the million-follower Facebook group helping keep families occupied during lockdown.

From crafts, to challenges and ideas for indoor sports, games and more, Family Lockdown Tips & Ideas takes inspiration from the most-shared and liked posts to bring you a curated list of easy, fuss-free and fun things to do. Ideas are set around a theme and include suggestions so they can easily be adapted for children of any age, specific interest or ability.

All publisher proceeds from the sale of this book will be donated by Pan Macmillan to Barnardo’s (Registered Charity Nos 216250 and SC037605). This is estimated to be at least £1 per copy sold. The author has agreed to forego any proceeds from the sale of the book to facilitate this donation.
Pan Macmillan is a division of Macmillan Publishers International Limited.