Keeping the kids entertained at home can be a huge challenge. Whether you’re trying to avoid rainy weather, staying home with sick kids or simply planning a day at home, you might looking for some fun ideas of things you can do with the kids that don’t involve screens! We’ve got lots of ideas for home-based activities with kids – from craft & games, to exercise, cleaning, home organisation and photography.
Keeping kids entertained is challenging at the best of times, but even more so when the weather is bad outside, or you’re having to stay at home when sick! This list will help break up the screen-time and keep the kids active and engaged. It’s full of plenty of kids’ activity ideas.
Fun activities to do at home with kids
Looking for things to do at home with the kids? We have sorted the kids’ activities into different categories to make it even easier for you to browse!
- Art & Craft Activities
- Indoor play activities
- Outdoor play activities
- Home organisation
- Fun education
Art & Craft Activities
It’s time to pull out the arts and crafts and get messy! These kids creative activities at home will keep them nice and busy.
- Tint shaving cream with food colouring, paint the windows or glass doors (or the inside of the shower glass) then rinse it off
- Using butchers paper, trace a partner’s whole body. Now try to include as many body parts and organs as you can
- Graffiti the garden fence with chalk
- Paint the garden fence with water (can do this after the chalk and count it as cleaning!)
- Make a small bowl, plate, egg cup or statue from air dry clay
- Make Origami animals or paper ninja stars
- Make a mud kitchen in the garden, make different coloured rock paint
- Practice hammering nails into a plank of wood
- Create a “God’s eye” weaving using sticks and wool
- Try shadow drawing, leaf rubbings, painting bark or stones
- Thread pasta into jewellery
- With some old clothes, cut and create clothes for your toys
- Make 3D paper rainbows
- Make your own bubble blower
- Try leaf threading and make a nature chandelier
- Use a mirror to draw a self-portrait
- Create an Alfoil river in the garden and float things down it
- Make a paper chain to hang up in the dining room
- Fold paper and cut out paper snowflakes
- Make pom poms out of wool
- Play drawing games like Simon Says drawing
- Put on a puppet show using toys behind the couch
- Make DIY rain clouds in a jar
- Do the magic milk experiment
- Create a sensory shaker bottle using an old bottle, glitter and water (and whatever else you’d like to put in there!)
- Make greeting cards for the stationery cupboard to be used for birthdays and other occasions
- Paint a family portrait to be framed and hung
- Create a paper crown for a member of your family and decorate it
- Try Michelangelo drawing under the table
- Make a pretty lantern using an old jar, tissue paper and glue
- Make an infinite paper flipper!
- Make frozen dinosaur eggs (or you could use fairies, or Ooshies, etc)
- Make a paper cut out family
- Make a paper plate whale
- Try dying some old plain fabric using natural dyes
- Do a chalk photoshoot
- Make a bottle rocket
- Make rainbow paper
- Make a stained glass window using clear contact & cellophane
- Make a marble run
- Paint a stick gnome
- Make a rainbow stick
- Choose an inspirational quote and create a poster for your room
- Make sidewalk paint
- Make a magic potion using aromatherapy oils, glitter, water, petals
- Try sharpie tie dye using a sharpie and rubbing alcohol
- Take some artistic photos in black and white. Play around with filters and see what you can create. You could use a phone or learn how to use the proper camera (if you have one)
- Take some garden clippings and see which ones you can get to grow roots for replanting
- Make a popsicle stick catapult
- Can you draw or paint with your feet?
- Press flowers within a few heavy books
- Learn to finger knit, French knit or braid wool into friendship bracelets
Indoor play activities
Looking for fun things to do at home when the weather isn’t playing nice? Here’s some fun kids’ activities that the whole family can have fun with.
- Treasure hunt (with clues, hide a favourite toy somewhere in the house)
- Play dress ups in mum and dad’s clothes – do a photoshoot
- Have a mum and daughter pamper date
- Give someone a back, foot or head massage – a favourite indoor kids activity for the parents!
- Have a Living Room disco – play freeze, musical chairs, have a dance off
- Build a fort using the couch and every cushion/pillow you can find
- Organise your Lego and then have a building challenge. Who can build the best house, hotel or shop?
- Build a teepee fairy house
- Do a marshmallow toothpick engineering challenge
- Using Lego characters or other small toys, make a stop motion movie (download the app Stop Motion to your phone or Ipad)
- Go through your board/card games and challenge yourself to play them all. Design your own game
- Build a bug hotel
- Fold paper planes and see how far they will fly
- Build the highest block tower you can
- Learn to braid hair
- Keep a balloon in the air as long as possible
- Make a Lego zip line
- Build a house with a deck of cards
- String up the Christmas lights in your living room
- Play cinema – make tickets, popcorn, give your guests a rug and watch a movie together
- Play hotels using your bedrooms as ‘hotel rooms’ or restaurants by setting up the dining room like a restaurant with menus (or hospitals, vets, banks, etc)
- Play the gummy bear game (using dice and 5 gummies each. Roll a 1 you eat one in your pile, a 2 you pass one bear to your left, a 3 you pass to your right, a 4 you keep it, a 5 you eat it, a 6 you keep it – keep playing till the gummies are gone!)
- Use masking tape to make a race track. Race matchbox cars. Or use the inside of your bathtub as a ramp for racing
- Make a time capsule to be opened in 10 years
- Change the bedsheets and build a sheet city in your bedroom before they get washed!
Pop on the apron and get baking! It’s one of the best home activities for kids.
- Make a batch of play doh
- Go through recipe books together and have a bake-off challenge
- Learn how to bake bread
Outdoor play activities
When the weather’s nice, there’s nothing better than getting the kids outside to expel some energy. Here are some fun activities to do with kids in the great outdoors.
- Do a backyard scavenger hunt
- String up a sheet tent in the backyard
- Create an obstacle course: this is one of the best things to do with kids at home
- Write notes of love, compliments or doodles and hide them around the house for family to find
- Put goggles and swimmers on and swim in the bath
- Have a handball tournament
- Find 10 different shaped leaves in the garden
- Outdoor games like egg and spoon race, tag team races, three legged races, or play stuck in the mud
- Get swimmers on and wash the car or your bike!
- Set up camp in the garden and play inside the tent
- Water play – buckets, scoopers, whisk, pouring jugs, straws, bubbles!
- Have a picnic lunch outside. Take books and toys with you.
- Jump rope – can you get to 100 without stopping?
- Lie on a picnic blanket in the garden and spot cloud shapes. Make up a story about what you see.
Since you’re home, why not take advantage and get ahead with a little organising. It’s fun for the kids, and nice and practical for you as well.
- Go through clothing from previous seasons, try on and cull things that are too small
- Go through old photos and videos, and old craft and paintings
- Gardening – pull weeds, trim bushes, collect flowers for a vase
- Organise the books on your shelf into a rainbow of colours
- Find three toys to give to charity
- Fill a small spray bottle with water and aromatherapy oil and then spray and wipe the house
- Take everyone’s height measurement on a door frame
- Sort through all your crafts and art supplies. You can even set up a kids art spot. See if something inspires you. Organise and sharpen all your pencils and test all your markers
Learning can be fun! If you’re after activities to do at home with kids, then here’s all the inspiration you need to get their brains fired up.
- Research your family tree – see how far back you can go
- Interview the members of your family on video, or write their answers down
- Write a short story or poem that includes a dog, an umbrella and some sushi
- Try the travelling water experiment
- Take apart an old appliance. Can you put it back together?
- Hop online and try some educational games. Discover amazing online education websites
- Go on a virtual tour of places around the world
- Write a letter to a friend, relative or teacher to mail, or start a journal
- Work together to a family emblem, motto or song. Include elements that are important to you and your family
Screens are your best friend when you’re stuck at home. Here’s some creative ways to use them to keep the kids busy.
- Host a kids’ virtual challenge party
- Make screen time educational! Watch some educational TV shows. Best Educational YouTube Channels for kids
- Choose a picture book each and read aloud to each other in the biggest bed in your house
- Listen to a kid’s podcast or audio book. Podcast suggestions:
- Brains On
- Wow In The World
- Circle Round
- Little Green Pod
- Good Night Stories for Rebel Girls
- Fierce Girls
- Story Pirates
- But Why?
If you need ways to expel some energy indoors, here are a few options to get everyone moving.
- Make up a workout and do it together (eg: 25 star jumps, 20 squats, 15 crunches, hop like a bunny around the lounge room, frog leap your partner) – this is a great kids activity for the whole family.
- Do an exercise class together on YouTube. Best Free Exercise Workouts for kids on YouTube
Shopping list for craft activities
- Cream of tartar
- Table salt
- All purpose flour
- Food colourings
- Vegetable oil
General craft supplies
- Shaving cream
- Food colouring
- Paper – coloured and white
- Air-dry clay
- Mini marshmallows
- Acrylic paints
- Watercolour paints
- Shaving cream
- Rubbing alcohol
- Butchers paper or a large paper table cloth
- Baking soda
- Duct tape or Masking tape
- An empty plastic bottle
- Black paper
- Clear nail polish
- Tissue paper
- PVA glue
- An old jar
- Sticky tape
- Popsicle sticks