It doesn’t matter if you’re stuck inside on a rainy day or for the foreseeable future. Filling the day with fun, educational activities is an overwhelming task (and zero judgment if there’s been some extra screen time lately).
Good news: we’re here to help. Here’s the ultimate list of fun things to do with kids at home any time you need a dose of inspiration or just a moment to sip your coffee in peace.
Learn how to make Fluffy Pancakes from scratch. Let kids pick the toppings!
Go on a virtual museum tour.
Go on a nature scavenger hunt around the backyard.
Break out the biggest puzzle in the house.
Decorate mailboxes for each child’s bedroom and write notes to each other.
Learn about reptiles and make Guac Crocs with Veggies.
Turn the family room into a giant pillow and blanket fort.
Make DIY Play-Doh and become sculptors for the day.
Listen to a kids’ podcast together; try Highlights Hangout or NPR’s Wow in the World.
Follow along with a kids’ yoga video on YouTube (our editors’ kiddos love Cosmic Kids).
Paint with cold brew or iced coffee to create an old-fashioned treasure map.
Take in a virtual concert by your favorite musician.
Make a countdown paper chain and hang it around the house.
Make colorful pictures and hang them in the windows.
Have a beach day with swimsuits, water play and an indoor picnic.
Read The Very Hungry Caterpillar and make your own Hungry Fruit Caterpillar.
Tune into your local zoo’s live stream of the animals.
Learn a new card game and have the youngest child teach it to the group.
Plant an indoor herb garden and keep it in the kitchen window.
Video chat with grandparents and friends; ask them to read a book to younger kids.
Have a snack mix competition and judge each other’s yummy creations.
Break out your compass (or smartphone) and go geocaching in the backyard.
Make and decorate your own books and journals.
Build a house out of cards, Magna-Tiles or blocks.
Look at pictures and videos of the kids when they were babies.
Put together Apple and Peanut Butter Stackers for a tasty snack during craft time.
Set up a pretend store and take turns being the cashier.
Turn old toilet paper and paper towel tubes into telescopes.
Make up a story and take turns deciding what the characters do next.
Download books and audiobooks from your local library’s website.
Have a backward dinner and start with dessert. Let your kids choose the treat!
Take turns picking songs and have a kitchen dance party.
Organize a craft cabinet for kids to be able to help themselves.
String together beaded bracelets and send one to a friend.
Make homemade cards for a local nursing home.
Nibble on a Rainbow Snack Platter while playing a board game.
Draw a map of your home and add as many details as possible.
Fill a large bowl with water and try to predict which small toys will float.
Mix equal parts baking soda and hair conditioner for soft, fluffy snow.
Ask friends to be pen pals and write one letter per day.
Decorate Cheesecake Pops with sprinkles, mini chocolate chips and diced fruit.
Create a sensory bin with dry rice or beans and add measuring cups and spoons.
Make a homemade obstacle course with couch cushions.
Write sweet notes to neighbors in sidewalk chalk outside their homes.
Drop M&M’s into a glass of water to see how the colors dissolve and change.
Put together yummy Fruit and Cheese Kabobs.
Play balloon volleyball and be sure to have a few extras for the inevitable popping.
Make your own slime; add glitter to turn it into unicorn slime.
Create a tiny highway for matchbox cars with painter’s tape on the floor.
Make colorful, edible necklaces out of string and Froot Loops.
Have a Frozen II watch party and snack on snowflake cookies.
Make jellyfish out of paper plates and ribbon; hang them in kids’ rooms.
Turn reusable plastic containers into instruments and jam out.
Draw a family tree and talk about your heritage.
Place glitter and glow sticks in a clear mason jar for a DIY night light.
Make your own cashew butter for dipping pretzels or apple slices.
Dress up as your favorite book characters and read together.
String Cheerios on pipe cleaners to make your own bird feeders.
Use twigs and rocks to make fairy houses in the backyard.
Have a paper airplane contest. Use masking tape to mark your place.
Make rice crispy treats and turn them into Ice Cream Cone Treats with plenty of sprinkles.
Try your hand at origami and fold jumping frogs together.
Use mini marshmallows and toothpicks to construct elaborate towers.
Print off coloring pages and take an all-family coloring break.
Break out the flashlight and make shadow puppets.
Make magic wand pretzel rods and spend the afternoon casting spells.
Build a Lego tower and ask your kids to re-create it.
Print off pictures and paste together scrapbooks.
Plan your next vacation and ask the kids to write a list of activities.
Take in a virtual Broadway play or symphony.
Make a fruit salad and have the kids mix up Bee My Honey Fruit Dip.
Fill the sink with water and have a doll bath station.
Search for online drawing tutorials.
Have kids put together their own magazine with articles and photos.
Mix up PB&J ice cream from scratch. Top with chopped peanuts. If it’s snowing out, you can even make snow ice cream.
Hide small stuffed animals around the house for a treasure hunt.
Brighten up the kitchen with a big bowl of Kiddie Crunch Mix.
Have a homemade pizza night, and have kids arrange their own toppings.
Take turns placing small toys into a pillowcase and having others guess what they are.
Break out the magazines and make a collage to display in the house.
Use old cereal boxes to stack into towers.
Make Frozen Banana Cereal Pops with everyone’s favorite cereals.
Channel your inner artist and paint your kids’ faces.
Go camping indoors complete with sleeping bags and s’mores.
Go old school and make your own sock puppets. Ask kids to put on a show.
Practice careful measuring and mixing when making Cinnamon Roll Macarons.
Move the furniture out of the way and have a hula hoop competition.
Trace a life-size drawing of your child and ask them to decorate it.
Let the kids raid your closet for a fashion show.
Forgot to order Girl Scout cookies? Make your own Mint Sandwich Cookies.
Play an active game of Simon Says to fit in some exercise.
Set up old plastic bottles for a game of indoor bowling.
Dress up in your fanciest outfits and have a tea party.
Welcome springtime with Chocolate-Dipped Strawberry Meringue Roses.
Pull the mattresses onto the floor for a gymnastics show.
Gather rocks from the backyard and paint them.
Use painter’s tape to set up indoor hopscotch.
Get out for a walk and bring Peanut Butter Granola Mini Bars for a snack.
Gather all the stuffed animals in the house and make a zoo.
Dip Rainbow Strawberries in melted pastel candies and turn them into unicorns.
Next up: How to Cook, Clean and Make the Most of Your Time Indoors