Indoor activities that will keep your kids busy when cooped up at home

Story by Stacie Gaetz


Photos by iStock

In light of the COVID-19 pandemic, families have been spending much more time at home.

It can be challenging to find indoor activities that will get your children’s bodies moving and keep their minds busy, so they aren’t constantly asking for screen time to entertain them.

Whether you are still trying to work from home, need to get some things done around the house or want to take part in some activities with your kiddos but are running out of ideas, here is our growing list of Boredom Busters that will keep your kids’ minds and bodies active.

We will add a new activity to the list every Monday at 10 am so keep checking in whenever you hear “Mom! I’m bored!”


  • Pillowcase Race – Nothing like a good old-fashioned sack race to get the blood flowing! Bump up the education factor by getting them to race to papers with number, letters or colours written on them.
  • Tape Track – In your largest tile or concrete floored room, put down some painters’ tape as a maze or racetrack. Get them to use their brains by making parking stalls or corners of the maze with letters, numbers or colours in them and telling them to find their way to the number 3 or park the blue car in stall A.
  • Scoop & Strut – Put a ball on spoon, measuring cup or cup and walk, skip, crawl to the other side of the room to place it in the correct colour-coded basket or bowl.
  • Tot Toss – Throw bean bags into bin with corresponding colours, numbers or letters. “Throw a pink bean bag into bin 2!”
  • Action Alphabet – Write letters (or numbers or colours) on some papers, place them around the room and the possibilities are endless! Dance to the letter A, hop to green, twirl to the number 4.
  • Erupt in Laughter – If you have a few pantry staples (baking soda, vinegar and food colouring), you can create an exciting erupting volcano that will have your kids asking you to do it again and again.
  • Hands On – Work together to trace the parts of your child’s body on separate pieces of paper and then put them together like a giant human puzzle.
  • Glitter Globe – Put water, food colouring and sparkles in a jar or resealable bag (tape or glue the lid/seal shut). Let your kid shake and twirl it for tons of fun! (You can also add small plastic toys that will peak out of the colour and sparkles).
  • Pillow Pile – Find every pillow and cushion in your house, line them up on the floor – that’s it! Kids love to make paths, forts, slides and pretty much anything else their imaginations can come up with out of pillows and blankets.
  • Pop Up – Bubbles don’t have to be used outdoors and if your kids aren’t used to blowing them inside, it’s even more fun! Have them catch bubbles in different sized, shaped and coloured containers for added education value.
  • Budget Bowling – If you have paper or plastic cups left over from your kid’s last birthday party, you have an instant and awesome game! Stack them on top of each other and knock them down with a ball for tons of fun.
  • String Fling – This one takes a bit more time for set up but can really pay off. Tape some string to the walls throughout your house in a zig zag pattern and have your kids follow it from room to room. For an added bonus, put toys (that they already have, no need to buy new) at the end of each coloured string for them to find.
  • Pasta Play – Using coloured pasta, invite your child to scoop and measure in order to strengthen hand eye coordination. For older children, supply a piece of yarn or string to create a necklace.
  • Balloon Keep Up – Challenge your child to keep a balloon from falling to the floor without catching or holding it! Add in some counting practice. How many times can they hit it up before it falls?
  • Provide your child – with a muffin tin, tongs and plastic coloured balls. Label the base of each muffin cup with corresponding colours so that, using tongs, your child can maneuver the balls to match the colours in the cups. Challenge: Hide the plastic balls throughout a space in your home, to make this a hide, seek and sort game.
  • Musical Fun – Musical chairs, freeze dance, or ‘silly’ dancing are all great ways to keep your child moving and active. Try different tempos of music for varying experiences.
  • Obstacle Course – Set up chairs, ottomans, baskets or benches to climb over and crawl under. Let your child time themselves to see how fast they can go through the maze.
  • Indoor Skating – Tape off an indoor rink and create ‘soft’ skates using dryer sheets, waxed paper or Kleenex boxes. Create decorated construction paper skates or place wool mittens on your child’s feet.
  • Silly Races – Have your child run and dress up in different clothes – hat, oven mitts, apron etc. and race back. Put a twist on puzzle making by putting the pieces in while in the wheel barrow position or crab walk.
  • Red Light, Green Light, Purple Light? Put a spin on a classic and add different colours to the game – Purple Light/spin, Blue Light/touch the sky, Green Light/jump like a frog, etc.
  • Sensory Painting – Pine boughs, twigs and leaves are terrific sensory tools for painting, especially now that fall is here. Provide your little one with various items, washable paint and easel paper for them to be able to explore using their senses to create a masterpiece.
  • Exploration Tray – Fill a tray with items gathered on a nature walk (leaves, rocks, pine cones, sticks). Encourage your child to describe each item with descriptive words – bumpy, rough, smooth etc. Play ‘What’s Missing?’ by taking an object away and encouraging your child to say which item you removed.
  • Ice Painting – Using Mega Blocks, freeze water and a few drops of food colouring on the bottom of the blocks. Provide your little one with paper and the cold coloured squares to paint with and explore as the ice melts onto their paper.
  • Rainy Day – Time for a science experiment! Sit a “cloud” of shaving cream on top of a jar of water, then add drops of blue water one-at-a-time, when the “cloud” becomes saturated, you get blue rain — and the water cycle in a jar.
  • Tinfoil Boats – Fold tinfoil into a boat and then float it anywhere there’s water. The tub, sink or a Rubbermaid container, any body of water can be your lake. Add items of different weights (such as coins, marbles, paper clips etc) to see how many it takes to sink. All hands on deck!
  • Sensory Sensations – Make a sensory bin with a Rubbermaid container, some small toys, measuring cups and spoons and some tweezers. Just fill the container with… well, almost anything with texture – sand, soap and water, shaving cream, rice, beans, noodles, salt – the possibilities are endless. Kids will love to bury the toys and dig them out and you will buy yourself to get something done around the house.
  • Get Your Groove On – Sometimes entertaining your kids is as easy as turning on some tunes. Play some music and get them to have a dance off, make up their own dances. Crank up the fun by adding rules like “must include two twirls and a bum wiggle” or by scoring the dances in a funny way: “I give that dance three unicorns!”
  • Child Charades – Animals, food, clothes, toys, emotions… if they can see it or use it – it’s fair game. Act out anything you can think of and get your family to guess. Make it interesting by adding treats as prizes for the winner(s).
  • Duelling Drawings – If you have more than one child, make colouring or drawing even more fun by having them work together. Give them each 3 to 5 seconds (can be longer for younger children) to draw something and then hand the paper to the other person. They can guess what was drawn right away or the second child can be given the same amount of time to add on to the drawing. Do this as many times as you/they would like and then it’s your turn to guess what it is and hang it prominently in the house!