21 Enjoyable Indoor Games For Kids

21 Enjoyable Indoor Games For Kids

Image: Shutterstock

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“Rain rain go away, little johnny wants to play…”

So goes the nursery rhyme. A rainy or snowy day means no school. It also means more time to kill at home. While some parents dread such days when they don’t know what to do, some see it as an opportunity to spend quality time with their kids. If you think so too, MomJunction has just what you need – a list of fun indoor games for kids, with a few parent-child bonding activities on the side.

So, take a deep breath, relax, and get ready to transform a bad-weather day into a good one!

Indoor Games For Kids

Indoor games need not just be board games or card games. Neither do they have to be dull and boring! Here, we have listed out 21 indoor games and activities that are fun and engaging for children of all ages.

1. Balance beam:

Balancing beam is easier to set up than you think. All you need is some colored sticky tape, and you’re good to play for hours.

Balance beam

Image: iStock

You will need:

  • Colored mask tape (multiple colors for more fun)
  • Space to play

How to:

  1. Clear some space in a room and clean the floor.
  2. Stick the length of the tape to create straight or curved lines to walk on.
  3. You can use multiple colors and have unique rules for how the child can walk on them. For example, if the tape is blue, the kid has to walk with one hand on his head, or if it is green, he has to limp the stretch.
  4. The child has to follow the rules and walk only on the tape and not on open land! If he does, he’s out.
  5. The child who walks the length of the tape without stepping on the bare floor wins.

[ Read: Best Board Games For Kids ]

Quick tip:

You can make different variations of this game by using multiple colored masking tapes and creating different patterns. You can also make it more interesting by making the child walk backward.

2. Listening game

This game is both educational and fun for younger kids. The game exercises the child’s listening abilities by compelling them to concentrate.

Listening game

Image: Shutterstock

You will need:

  • A lot of miscellaneous items that have a distinct sound

How to:

  1. Collect items such as combs, vessels, remote, books, pens, bottles, toys, clocks, etc., which have unique sounds.
  2. Place the items on the table and ask the child to make a mental note of them.
  3. Take the items away and ask the kid to turn the other side or close his eyes.
  4. Pick an item and make a sound with it. If the child guesses it correctly, he scores a point.

Quick tip:

You could use a blindfold to make sure the kid is not peeking!

3. Ball and cup game

Teach your child to make a cup-and-ball game toy with everyday things at home. Read to know more.

Ball and cup game

Image: Shutterstock

You will need:

  • A plastic water bottle
  • Ping pong ball
  • String or yarn
  • Screw eye hook
  • Knife

How to:

  1. Pick a bottle, such as the one that has a wide bottom and a narrow opening.
  2. Keep the narrow opening closed with a lid, and cut the bottom to create a wide opening.
  3. Poke a small opening in the ping pong ball to insert the screw eye hook.
  4. Tie one end of the yarn to the hook and the other end to the bottle. You can take the cap off the bottle, put the yarn in, and put the lid back to tie the yarn to the bottle.
  5. Your DIY cup-and-ball toy is ready to play.

Make this toy once, and your child can play it indoors, anytime he wants. He can play it alone or take turns to play with friends.

Quick tip:

You can even use non-toxic spray paints to color the bottle any way you want.

[ Read: Cartoon Games For Kids ]

4. Pitching pennies

Pitching pennies is a cool game to develop the child’s hand-eye coordination. Similar to beer pong, the game is for the entire family.

Pitching pennies

Image: iStock

You will need:

  • Pennies or other small currency coins
  • Plastic or paper drinking cups (large size)

How to:

  1. Each child gets five coins. A cup is placed on a table or a chair in front of them.
  2. Ask the child to take ‘x’ steps away from the cup, where ‘x’ is his or her age. Adults can move five steps farther than the children to throw the pennies.
  3. The child has to toss the coins, one at a time, into the cup.
  4. The child who puts in most coins in five chances wins.

Quick tip:

You can replace coins with marbles or even ping pong balls.

5. Indoor bowling

Bad weather ruining your bowling plans? Create your own bowling alley in your hallway. Here is how?

Indoor bowling

Image: iStock

You will need:

  • Ten empty water bottles or soda cans
  • Tennis ball or a plastic bowling ball
  • Space to play
  • Marker
  • Masking tape
  • Black or white non-toxic, spray paint

How to:

  1. Use the masking tape to create a bowling lane. Keep in mind the age and the physical abilities of the child to determine how long the lane needs to be.
  2. Peel the wrappers off the bottles or soda cans and paint them. Let them dry.
  3. Arrange the bottles in order at the end of the lane.
  4. Let the child use a tennis ball or plastic ball (slightly bigger than the tennis ball) to strike all the bottles or pins.

Quick tip:

You can also use a bowling game toy set if you have one. You can also tweak the rules to make the activity more exciting for the child.

[ Read: Family Games For Kids ]

6. In and out hangman

An excellent variation of the classic game, in and out can be used to revise lessons with kids. All you need is a white board and a marker.

In and out hangman

Image: iStock

You will need:

  • White or black board
  • Marker or chalk
  • Set of questions and answers

How to:

  1. Ask the child a question and draw as many tiny blanks as there are letters in the answers. Use proper spacing to separate words and make it easier for the child to guess the answer.
  2. In the classic version, you guess the letters that are in the phrase or word. In this version, you alternate between letters that are in the words and letters that are not in it.
  3. So if the child guesses a letter that is ‘in’ the word or phrase in the first chance, then in the second chance, he should guess a letter that is ‘not in’ (or ‘out’) of the word or phrase.
  4. Every player is allowed seven wrong guesses or as many steps as it takes to draw the stick hangman figure.

Quick tip:

Make the game fun by having quizzes about your child’s favorite movie, TV show, or singer.

7. Pen and pencil games

There are a few pen and pencil games that you can play at home, on the plane, or in the car.

Pen and pencil games

Image: iStock

You will need:

  • Plain sheet of paper
  • Pencil
  • Eraser

Games you can play:

  1. Join the dots: Make a 6×6 square of dots on a page. Take turns to join dots with a line. You can join only two dots at a time. If your line completes a box, you put your initial inside it. The person with the highest number of boxes wins. Once the child gets the hang of the game, move to a bigger square.
  2. Tic Tac Toe is another game you can play using a pencil and paper. The game is played on a 3×3 grid square. The first person puts an ‘X’ in one of the grids and the second player puts an ‘O’. The first player to successfully get three Xs or Os in a line (vertical, horizontal, or diagonal) wins. You can also play this using a whiteboard and marker.
  3. Pictionary is similar to charades. However, the person who has to express word or phrase needs to draw instead of acting it out.
  4. Name, place, animal, thing: Divide the page into four parts: Name, Place, Animal, Thing. Set a timer for a few seconds and let the child recite the alphabet silently. When the timer stops, the child says what letter he stopped at, and the players have to write down the names of a person, animal, thing, and place starting with that letter.

8. Sock toss

This is like basketball inside the house, except you use socks instead of a ball and clothes hamper instead of the basket.

Sock toss

Image: Shutterstock

You will need:

  • A bunch of colorful socks
  • A bucket or clothes hamper
  • Space to play

How to:

  1. Roll up the socks into tiny balls and tie them up.
  2. Place the clothes basket a few feet away from where you are standing.
  3. Take turns to throw the socks into the basket.
  4. Move one step back each time you get the sock into the basket.

[ Read: Water Games For Kids ]

Quick tip:

You could make this a little difficult for older kids by choosing a basket or bin with a smaller opening.

9. Big bubble

Soap bubbles inside the house can be a pain, given that they can damage the carpeting, the furniture, and the electronic appliances. So instead of making bubbles, we focus on making just one bubble in a safe place inside the house.

Big bubble

Image: iStock

You will need:

  • Dishwash soap
  • Water
  • Drinking straws

How to:

  1. Take a drop or two of dish washing soap on a plate.
  2. Add a little water and mix it slowly until small bubbles or suds start to form.
  3. Ask the kids to dip the straw into the suds and blow gently and slowly.
  4. Just watch as a big bubble starts to form on the plate.

Quick tip:

The fun game can also become a competition of who makes the biggest or the longest-lasting bubble. They could also use their hands instead of straws.

10. Indoor obstacle course

Indoor obstacle courses need space. If you have a big house with enough space and the house has child-proofed areas, you must try this on a snowy or rainy day.

Indoor obstacle course

Image: Shutterstock

You will need:

  • Hula hoops
  • Chairs
  • Blankets
  • Exercise ball
  • You can add anything else that might be useful.

How to:

  1. Create an obstacle course with specific rules on what to do or how to maneuver around each obstacle.
  2. For example, if there is a chair or a table, tell the kids that they have to crawl under it. If there is a hula hoop, they have to use the hoop twice or thrice before moving on to the next obstacle and so on.
  3. The child gets a score only if he or she has passed all the obstacles as they should have.

Quick tip:

Child-proof the room or area that you are using before setting up the obstacles to prevent injuries.

[ Read: Communication Games For Kids ]

11. Follow the leader

Getting your kids to do what you want them to is easier when you make it a game, such as this one!

Follow the leader

Image: Shutterstock

You will need:

  • Space to play and a list of activities to do

How to:

  1. Pick a theme for the game – physical activity, expressions, or gestures.
  2. Designate yourself as the leader or take turns with the kids, so that everyone gets to be the leader at least once.
  3. Every player has to do what the leader does – jumping, stomping, clapping, make faces, and so on.
  4. Try this one, and we guarantee that you’ll have a roomful of laughing kids.

Quick tip:

This is an excellent game to get the kids to workout on an otherwise dull day.

12. Slow-motion tag

‘Tag’ is an outdoor game. But when you are slow, and we mean really slow, you could play it indoors too.

Slow-motion tag

Image: Shutterstock

You will need:

  • Space to play

How to:

  1. Start by explaining what slow motion is to the child.
  2. Set up a few rules such as restricted areas and how slowly they have to move to prevent injuries.
  3. Play and have fun.

Quick tip:

Child-proofing the place can be a good idea to prevent injuries.

13. Puzzles

When you cannot step out, pick up a few puzzles that you can work on all day.

Puzzles

Image: iStock

You will need:

  • A lot of puzzles games, books, and ideas

Types of puzzles:

  1. Picture puzzles, but these won’t keep you busy for long unless there are more than 25 pieces in it.
  2. A picture puzzle book can be a great idea, given that you can work on one puzzle after another to keep the child engaged.
  3. Word puzzles are a great option if you want to improve your child’s vocabulary.
  4. 3D puzzles toys are good for younger children.

Quick tip:

Stock up a few puzzle books or games in the house, without your child’s knowledge, to save yourself on a rainy day.

14. Card games

Kids can play card games too. Pick simple games that can help improve the child’s logical reasoning, number identification, and arrangement and color segregation abilities.

Card games

Image: iStock

You will need:

  • A deck or two of cards

Card games you can play:

Popular kids’ card games you can play include:

  • Spoons, which is good for three players or more
  • Garbage or trash, which is for two players
  • Card memory game is similar to Mahjong. You will need two sets of a suit from two decks of cards.
  • Go Fish, which is great for preschoolers and younger kids
  • Crazy Eights, where the objective is to get rid of all cards
  • Pounce, a fast-paced card game for two people

Quick tip:

If you do not want to use playing cards, try other card games such as Uno, Blink, and Old Maid.

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[ Read: Dance Party Games For Kids ]

Fun Indoor Activities For Kids

You don’t always have to play a game to have fun at home. You can ‘do’ things too and have fun with the kids. Here are a few such activities for a rainy or snowy day.

15. Build a fort

You won’t need any boulders or cement to build a fort indoors. Gather a few things from around the house, and you are all set.

Build a fort

Image: Shutterstock

You will need:

  • What you need depends on the type of fort you want to build: Pillows, blankets, sticks, cardboard boxes, and furniture such as chairs or tables.

Types of forts:

  1. Cardboard forts are perhaps the easiest to build if you have boxes of the right size. Gather a few large boxes and join them using tape. Build it any way you want, but in such a way that your kid can sit or sleep comfortably in it.
  2. Pillow forts are perhaps the most popular among children, for they are soft and fun to make. You will, however, need a lot of different types of pillows for this. You can also use stacks of blankets and towels and some sturdy furniture to hold the fort.
  3. Teepee tents are the simplest DIY indoor conical tents that can be made with a sheet of cloth and a few sticks.
  4. Blanket and furniture fort is what you can create in a short time. Just empty a table and cover it completely with a large blanket or bed sheet. Fold the blanket up in the front to indicate the opening or entrance to the fort.

Quick tip:

You could also make a combination fort with pillows, blankets, and cardboard boxes.

16. Dominoes

Stacking up the dominoes and then watching them fall one by one is just something! And that is exactly what you should do when you have all day to yourself.

Dominoes

Image: iStock

You will need:

  • Dominoes game set

How to:

  1. Stack up the dominoes in any pattern you like. Get your child to help you with the design and arrangement. This may take you a couple of hours or so, depending on the number of dominoes in the set.
  2. Once it is ready, you can ask your child to flip the first domino to set it off while you can record on video!

Quick tip:

Come up with different patterns and time them to see which takes the longest to fall.

17. Marshmallow tinker toys

Marshmallows are not just for eating. They can also be used, with pretzels, to make tinker toys.

Marshmallow tinker toys

Image: Shutterstock

You will need:

  • A bag of marshmallows
  • A bag or two of pretzels

How to:

  1. Break the pretzels into sticks that can be used to join two marshmallows.
  2. Join the marshmallows to create a house, car, soldier, snowman, or anything else.

Quick tip:

Let the child create anything he or she wants to with the marshmallows. Let the child’s imagination soar with this activity.

18. Make your own story

Another way to boost your child’s creative abilities is to make them tell you a story.

Make your own story

Image: iStock

You will need:

A few ideas for storytelling

How to:

  1. If you have older kids, pick a theme and ask them to tell you a story.
  2. With younger kids, start a story and ask them to continue it midway. That will give them some footing and also ideas for a plot.

Quick tip:

Your kid’s stories may not always make sense. But don’t stop them or correct them. Let them weave the story as they want. After all, it is fiction and need not be true.

Sometimes, children’s stories could be things that have actually happened to them. Read between the lines and talk to them if necessary, to figure out if it is just their imagination or reality.

[ Read: Classroom Games For Kids ]

19. DIY catapult

This is a fun activity but needs time and patience. The thrill is in making your own catapult and then using it to toss marshmallows.

DIY catapult

Image: Shutterstock

You will need:

  • Popsicle sticks
  • Elastic rubber bands
  • A plastic spoon

How to:

  1. Stack up five popsicle sticks and bind them on both ends using a rubber band. Make four more Popsicle sticks with four sticks each.
  2. Place one stack horizontally and three perpendicularly, and bind them to the horizontal one using more rubber bands.
  3. Tie the plastic spoon to the other popsicle stack, place it vertically on the other side of the larger stack (horizontal stack), and secure it using bands.

The catapult is now ready for play. Place a marshmallow in the spoon and try to toss it into another person’s mouth or a cup.

Quick tip:

You can also use sticks to make the catapult. Remember that the idea is not just to play the game, but also teach kids to make cool stuff using recyclable materials.

20. Ice tower excavation

Ice tower excavation is a cool game that your children will enjoy during summers when it is too hot to go outside.

Ice tower excavation

Image: Shutterstock

You will need:

  • A long/tall container
  • Colorful trinkets like beads, shapes, marbles, etc.

How to:

  1. Fill the container with clear water and drop the toys in it.
  2. Put the bottle in the freezer, until the water turns into a block of ice.
  3. Ease the ice tower out of the bottle and give the child squeeze bottles, salt, and eye droppers as tools to melt the ice and rescue the trinkets.

Quick tip:

Pick a container which is uniform, throughout, in width. That way, getting the ice tower out of the container becomes easier.

21. Read books

Nothing beats the joy and pleasure of staying under the warmth of the sheets and reading a good book on a rainy or snowy day. If you are familiar with the feeling, why not let the child experience it too?

Read books

Image: Shutterstock

You will need:

  • A book or two

How to:

  1. You can pick a book each and have designated time to read during the day. You can read your book, and the child reads his or her book in silence.
  2. When you are on a break, encourage the kids to talk about the book or the story and how it makes them feel.
  3. If your kids are too young to read on their own, you could narrate or read their favorite stories from a book.

Quick tip:

It helps to have a few books that your kid has never read before. That way, you will have the child’s attention a lot longer.

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[ Read: Group Games For Kids ]

If your child is into arts and crafts, you could line up a few crafts to make at home. Or, just grab a couple of your favorite movies to watch with the kids. Baking is another thing you can try with the kids on days they cannot go outdoors. If you have a bunch of kids, you could play charades or a board game such as monopoly. The choices are aplenty. Just ensure that you pick one that the children enjoy.

What’s your kid’s favorite indoor game or activity? Share your experiences and suggestions with us in the comments section.

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