20 Ways to Keep Kids Busy While Inside

Out of ideas to keep the kids entertained while stuck indoors? We've got you covered with these 20 ways to keep kids busy while inside.

Man holding a baby

With school in home-mode because of coronavirus, the kids are restless. The words “I’m bored” have come out of their mouths more times than you can count. You knew it was coming. Now what? Here are some at-home activities to help cure their boredom. 

1. Let out your inner mad scientist

Science experiments are so much fun! Try out these nine cool science experiments. You may even have most of the ingredients lying around the house. Who doesn’t love slime? Follow this recipe to make your own with Elmer’s glue, Borax and water.  

2. Read a new book

Library for the win! You can still check out books electronically. Check out our list of books by southeast Michigan parents, our roundup of banned books all kids should read and our post on classic children’s books for some inspiration.

3. Use your village

If kids can learn online, the whole family can connect online. “Play” board games via Skype or FaceTime, set up your book club to “meet” in a chatroom, have a virtual playdate or have dinner on a call with relatives across the country. 

4. Play board games

Teach your kids the classic games you loved when you were kids. Is your 5-year-old ready to learn Cat’s Cradle, yet? Pull out Candy Land and let older kids change the rules to make it harder. 

5. Cook it up

So many recipes, so little time. Now would be a great time to try something new. Can’t decide? Check out this Pinterest board of kid-friendly recipes, then take a vote.

6. Bring the outdoors, indoors

For littles, don’t hesitate to bring some of the outdoor toys inside, either. Set up a the kiddie slide in your living room (into a pile of pillows, whee!) or ride the big wheels in the basement, if you can.

7. Sweat it out

Get off the couch and just move with these free online family fitness workouts. Turn on your favorite jam and have a dance party. Get your blood pumping by exercising. Do push-ups, jumping jacks or crunches. Yoga, anyone? Make a game out of it.

8. Speed clean

Eck. I know, I know. It may not be the first thing on the kids’ mind, but try to make it fun. Set the timer and see what you can do for 15 minutes. You’ll be surprised at what you can accomplish, and it may even be fun. Who knew?

9. Wake up your senses

Sensory boxes can be so easy to make, plus most of the items you may already have. You’ll be amazed at how long it can keep kids preoccupied. 

10. Get artsy

Bust out those arts and crafts supplies. Paint your heart out. Check out MetroParent.com for more fun craft ideas, too.

11. Build something

Do you still have cardboard boxes lying around from the holidays? Make vehicles or houses out of them. Touch up on your fort-building skills and try to make the biggest fort ever with pillows and sheets. Need some inspiration? Check out our tips on how to build a fort indoors.

12. Learn online

There are plenty of digital learning resources available to keep your kids engaged. They won’t even realize that they’re learning while having fun! Browse through podcastsYouTube channels and more. 

13. Visit Chicago without leaving the house

See how small businesses, museums and other family-friendly places are trying their best to help keep local families entertained at home.

14. Attend a virtual storytime

Let someone else read to the kids with these virtual story times available for readers of all ages.  

15. Stream a new show or movie

Looking for something new to watch? Check out the latest family movies and shows to hit streaming services.

16. Download a free coloring book

Looking to add a bit of brightness and fun to a dull day? We know a crew of friendly monsters who are happy to help. Download your free Monster Coloring Book here.

17. Watch this, do that

Our Watch This, Do That series features family activities to try after watching your favorite movies. Check out FrozenHarry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone and more. 

18. Help others with our Kind Kid Challenge

Give back as a family during the COVID-19 pandemic with our “B-KIND” #KindKidChallenge bingo game. Kindness acts include quarantine rainbowshugs for health care heroes, a DIY backyard bird feeder and more.

19. Build a vegetable garden

Take advantage of spring by building some veggies and other plants in your garden. It’s an activity you can do indoors, too!

20. Go on a virtual vacation

You can travel the world without packing your bags. From riding our favorite attractions at Disney parks to seeing animal live cams at San Diego Zoo, you’ll love these virtual vacations

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