20 fun things to do with kids at home
Keeping children active and entertained while they’re stuck indoors can seem like a mammoth task for parents and carers, especially if you’re working from home yourself. But from learning to cook to exercise for kids, there are so many ways to keep children busy. All you need is a list of activity ideas and resources to create a jam-packed and balanced schedule full of educational, physical and fun activities.
We’d suggest creating a timetable either on Sunday evening or at the start of the week to not only help organise their time but so they can see what’s on the agenda, too. You could split days into four parts with one physical and one activity-based session in the morning and the same after lunch.
We’ve rounded up 10 physical and 10 indoor activities for kids at home to help.
Physical activities for kids
Depending on their age, kids can have an everlasting supply of energy, so when compulsory PE lessons aren’t happening, some other form of daily physical activity for children is needed.
The World Health Organisation recommends that children aged 5-17 get at least 60 minutes of physical activity a day. Children can accumulate these minutes throughout the day, such as two 30-minute sessions. Light exercise for children has also been linked to better mental health.
Here are our recommendations. Each one can be done indoors or outdoors, depending on your space and the weather.
At home workout for kids
From yoga and stretching for kids to something more upbeat, there are loads of kids’ workout videos available online for them to follow along with. You can find some virtual fitness classes for kids on the Better UK app.
By swapping balls for balloons, children can have a go at keeping the balloon in the air for as long as possible. While safer for indoor play than a ball, we’d suggest securing your lamps and breakables just in case!
Use cushions, tables, chairs, children can turn the living room or bedroom into an obstacle course. Movements like jumping, climbing, somersaulting and crawling can be made from one obstacle to the next and they can set challenges such as star jumps, a balancing act or throwing a soft object like a toy into a laundry basket at each obstacle.
Small or large, a trampoline provides bouncy exercise for children. They’re great for aerobics or games when a ball is added.
From ballet to hip hop, there are so many different types of dances that children can try at home. Either put on a playlist and let the rhythm move them or follow something structured such as an online dance-along video.
Children can take it in turns to pick an animal and do an impression of its movements and sounds. Or a different animal can be assigned to each child to interact together or race each other. Why not make some animal face masks, too?
A game of tag is a simple yet exciting way to get children running around.
Skipping with rope is ideal for extended periods of jumping and can be made even more fun with games and learning tricks.
The Lawn Tennis Association (LTA) has created a home activities hub full of at-home tennis videos and activity cards for all ages.
The unpredictability and skill required to keep a frisbee in the air will keep kids on their toes!
Indoor activities for kids
Certain activities for children at home are a chance to learn a new skill, making their time indoors productive and something to be proud of. We hope this list helps.
Cooking and baking
Buy a couple of child-friendly cookery and baking books or find some recipes online and follow along together.
Children can either pick up an instrument and start practising or get creative and see what sounds can be found around the house, perhaps recreating their favourite songs using them.
Learning keeps little minds active and ready for when school starts again. Interactive games are available online to help children stay brushed up on their history, maths and literacy, for example.
Podcasts and audiobooks
Listening to an audiobook or podcast on its own can make some children fidgety, so keep it engaging by asking them to draw what’s going on in the story or reading along with the physical book. Better has a wide range of e-books and audiobooks for children that are available to everyone.
Make a secret den
Children love to create spaces that they can call their own. Making tents out of sheets, blankets and pillows passes some time and gives them a little nook to read or play games in – it can even be decorated with teddies and bunting!
Setting children to work on a puzzle challenges their mind and keeps them occupied for hours.
Board and card games are a staple favourite for whole-family fun and a little bit of competition.
Hide some treats in every room around the house, giving clues, brain teasers and tasks to unlock the treasure.
Arts and crafts
From sewing and knitting to painting and collage, there are so many art and craft kits and online tutorials that are catered to kids. Colouring books are also incredibly relaxing for children, no matter what age they are.
Children can let their imaginations run wild by creating a story of their own. Using one of their favourite books for inspiration or starting from scratch, children can write characters, different worlds and plots of their own. Once finished, the stories can be read aloud, making it into a game by giving prizes for listeners who can guess the plot correctly. They could even make their own bookmarks.