Ever get half-way through November and think, “Ugh, it’s going to be a long winter!” only to realize it’s not even winter yet and we still have, like, 4 more months of this awful frozen hellscape? Or maybe you live in the south and experience that same overwhelming urge to lock yourself in the bathroom for half a year during the summer months.
Wherever you live, all it takes is one extra long bad weather weekend to realize just how hard it is to be at home with your kids 24/7. Of course we love our kids. But, when the cabin fever gets the best of them, it’s nearly impossible to keep them entertained which means it’s nearly impossible for you to be happy.
Thankfully, we got you covered with over 20 fun games kids can play indoors so you can catch a break.
“Do Something! Anything!”
If you’re really at your wits end and need some downtime, these quick suggestions require no effort on your part.
1. Be Nice To Your Sister/Brother For One Hour
Can they do it? You might need to promise a reward, but you know they’re capable of being sweet to each other sometimes.
2. Whomever Cleans Their Room First Wins
You’ve nagged about the state of their rooms for weeks now, right? “Winning” can be as simple as letting them pick what the rest of the family has for lunch or dinner or deciding what movie you’ll watch once it’s done.
3. You Be The Chefs
Speaking of lunch, how about letting your kids try to wow you with their culinary skills? Tell them points will not only be awarded for most edible but also cleanest workspace. (ie. they have to clean up after themselves.)
4. What Happened To That Game You Begged For Last Christmas?
Remember when Pie In The Face was a thing? Or HeadBanz? You probably have both stacked at the top of the coat closet. It requires absolutely no mental investment on your part to suggest or even play one of those games.
When They Need A Little More Direction
So, your attempts to get them to do chores didn’t cut it. It was worth a try, right?
5. Coloring Pages
The internet is filled to the brim with coloring pages. You can print them out or just let your kids work on them from their tablets or your desktop.
The same thing goes for mazes — No matter what skill set your children are at, there’s a website full of mazes for them to beat.
7. Bust Out The Wii
Feeling a little bit like your kids need to run through some of their energy? The joys of having a Wii or Kinnect is that even when they’re stuck inside, your kids have the chance to be active.
Do You See What I See?
Remember those optical illusion posters you used to get at the Scholastic Book fair? Do kids even know about those anymore?
At Optics4Kids, you children can not only learn the science and psychology behind optical illusions, they’ll be tested with some classic examples and even tasked with creating their own.
Daily Top 10 recently did a great video on optical illusions. Ch-ch-check it out.
10. Thanks, Michael Bach!
This optical illusion fan has collected more than 100 optical illusions that will keep your kids entertained for hours.
List25’s tag is, “Consistently Conciliating Curiosity” and, quite honestly, we’ve never seen anything truer.
12. PC Magazine’s Opposite Approach
While Michael Bach doesn’t think our brains suck, PC Mag does. They collected nearly two dozen optical illusions to prove their point, too.
13. Brain Den
Want the ultimate collection of optical illusions, all neatly sorted into categories? Brain Den will be perfect for finding that one super specific illusion you can’t get out of your head and need to show your kids.
14. “Make Your Own…” Book
Trying to avoid excessive screen time? This 2019 book, Make Your Own Optical Illusions, will walk your kids through all the basics and keep them away from their devices.
15. Magic Eye 25th Anniversary Book
The series that rose to fame and rebirthed optical illusions for ’90s kids recently celebrated a major milestone and dropped a new book to celebrate. Who says you need the internet to have fun?
After you’ve had a break and you’re ready to interact, again, there are plenty of fun things to do inside with your kids… even if it seems like you’ve explored all options already.
16. Painters’ Tape Fun
Still trying to wear ’em out? Use painter’s tape on your floors to mark a hopscotch game or even an advanced obstacle course across the living room.
17. The Floor Is Lava
When was the last time you tossed your pillows on the floor and tried to get around the room without touching the carpet or hardwood? Show those babes how it’s done, Mama.
18. Host A Minute To Win It Day
Remember when that “Minute To Win It” show was wildly popular? The show bit the dust, but the games live on.
19. Balloon Volleyball/Keep-it-up
Balloons are so versatile. You could use some painter’s tape stretched across the hallway and attempt to play volleyball (with or without hands). You could also just play the classic game where you see who can keep their balloon in the air the longest. Whether you play with hands or not will depend on how old your kids are.
20. Bust Out The Cards
How many card games do you remember from your childhood? Has you kid learned any on their own that they want to teach you?
21. Organize A Scavenger Hunt
Scavenger hunts can go in so many directions. Maybe while they’re occupied with another activity, you can hide something specific, or just sit down to create an “I Spy” type list of clues. It can also be as easy as asking them to find something from each color in the rainbow. However you play, they’ll have way more fun if you help them.
22. Hide and Seek
Nothing passes the time faster than a good game of cat and mouse and that, in essence, is what hide and seek is all about. Your little ones might not be great at hiding, but they’ll have fun trying and listening to you narrate your “struggle” to find them.
23. Follow The Leader
Remember any moves from the Ministry of Silly walks? Your kiddos might be too young for watching the Monty Python movies on a whole, but they’re never too young for learning silly walks from their parents.