34 Educational Indoor Activities For Kids

As a parent, your kids are the light of your life. Some of that light, however, can quickly start dimming when you’re forced to keep them indoors for days on end. This may be due to illness, school closure, or anything else that might spring up unexpectedly, but no matter the cause, it’s important to know how to navigate this situation.

Even if you love them to bits and enjoy the time you spend together, instances that require you and the kids to remain indoors are more likely to leave you frazzled than calm, collected, and resourceful. For this reason, we’ve come up with a list of educational indoor activities for kids that’ll keep you sane, and your kids entertained during lockdown.

The following indoor activities were recommended by parents and childcare experts:

Teach your kids new life skills

School and extracurricular activity time aside, it can be difficult to find time to impart necessary life skills to your children. The best time for doing this is during the holiday season, or during unexpected breaks in their school schedule. Simple things like learning how to type, how to surf the internet safely, how to do simple cooking, doing basic cleaning around the house, or even using a knife safely when eating are important. You can also do fun things like playing the piano, hula hooping, or singing. Whatever the skill you think your kids need to know, take the time to introduce it to them in a fun way at home.

Reinforce and re-learn old skills

Bring back the good ol’ times with some nostalgic or traditional activities. This can range from relearning how to make a friendship bracelet to learning how to navigate a non-digital map. Even simple things like using sneakers with laces (as opposed to Velcro) sometimes need to be relearned. Go with your gut on what needs to be reinforced or re-learned and fit in some time for a refresher course.

Alphabet Matching for younger children

According to Carly from the Mommy On Purpose website, alphabet matching is a great learning activity for younger children. She details the process below:

“Teach them letters using a magnetic alphabet set and a cookie sheet. Write the alphabet on the cookie sheet using washable markers (or alphabet stickers) and have your kiddo match the magnetic letters to the letters on the sheet.”

Another option Carly recommends is writing the alphabet on the fridge.

“Just check an inconspicuous place first to make sure those “washable” markers do in fact wash off!” she warns.

For preschoolers: “Just let them go at it and match the alphabet in any order. Congratulate them for the effort… say something like, “Yay, you matched the letter “D”!

For older children: “Ask them to do it in order (A-B-C-D) and work on what sounds the letter makes while they match it. If your child has a great memory and this is “too easy”, ask them to match randomly by sound only, phonetically – (“Can you match the letter that makes the sound mmmmmm”?).”

Learn about a new country or culture

You don’t need to have traveled all over the world to be able to introduce your children to new countries or cultures. There are fun ways to let your kids experience different cultures without leaving your home, and this can include trying new cuisines, embracing the culture of new places through the reenactment of entertainment (singing and dancing), and learning the basics in terms of new languages. Play a game with your children by letting them blindly point out a place on a map, after which you all find a way to bring one aspect of that place into your home, if only for one day!

Teach them how to garden indoors

Gardening can help your children learn about where food comes from, and how things grow. If you and the kids must be indoors for a while and can’t go outside to enjoy nature, consider creating an indoor garden. If you’re not sure where to start, there are many YouTube channels that detail this process, even providing advice on the easiest things to grow. To start off with, try regrowing vegetable scraps including lettuce, avocados, green onions, carrot greens, green peppers, or celery.

Teach them how to cook and bake

The Savvy Couple recommends that parents take advantage of the educational opportunities that come with cooking together.

“You have math, health, independence, following directions, reading, and so many more aspects you can bring in. Have your child research what they want to make. Help them with a budget to shop for the ingredients or find what they need in the pantry/refrigerator. Read through the ingredients and instructions and discuss with them different aspects of the recipe. Get out the measuring tools and have them do all the measuring, pouring, and mixing. Cooking is a life skill they will also need for the rest of their life!”

Practice storytelling aloud and writing stories

There’s a difference between reading aloud and reading in your head, and this is likely to be something you can work with your child on improving. Let them build their confidence and make use of their vivid imagination as they story tell straight from their head. If this is a new activity, you can help them build the story until they’re more confident. Storytelling is a skill they can have fun with now and appreciate later. Get into the storytelling activity by asking questions when there’s room to do so. Afterward, try to help them get that story onto paper!

Teach them about uncommon spices for cooking

Go beyond just cooking with your children – introduce them to commonly used spices and the differences between each. This will involve a lot of taste testing, and a way to get them even more involved is allowing them to help select recipes to make together. Even the pickiest eater may be a little more willing to try new things, especially if they cooked it up themselves!

Create a family time capsule

Create something you can look back on in a year, or even as far off as ten years with your own family time capsule. You can include photos, letters, lists of best local spots, favorite foods, or even a magazine or two. The kids can also write and toss in the names of some of their best friends and most loved toys to look back on later. DIY capsules can be made by placing these items into a box, bottle, or a paper bag. Hide it away somewhere safe and set a date to open it up!

Read a new (or old) book together

Whether your little ones are strong readers or they’re just getting started, reading is a great way to bond and help them build their vocabulary. Reading with you may give them a different perspective on a story they’ve read before, and you’ll enjoy the snuggle time together!

Start a new craft project

Craft is always a good idea if you want to keep the kids busy while they’re at home. While this is a popular at-home activity for many parents, Maggy from Red Ted Art says “finding the right kind of activity” is key. This means that whatever you do should be age-appropriate. She also advises parents to “manage your expectations”.

“With younger kids, there are lots of Preschool Crafts you can try out,” she says. “Go for easy ideas that will really engage the children and help develop cognitive and fine motor skills – you can also introduce things such as color theory and shape activities.”

If your kids are under 5, Maggy advises parents to remember that the goal is to work together.

“Few under 5’s can truly work independently,” she says. “So you will have to set the time aside to work with them. It’s a good idea to pick out projects you can make together that they can then play with. Our toilet paper roll characters are great for this, or maybe something like a DIY Dolls house that you can add to over time.”

For kids 8 and over, Maggy says parents should look towards getting into projects that encourage “independent crafting”, while for those between the 5-8-year mark, parents should help as much as possible, while still taking cues to know when to let them work independently.

Tip: Stock up on all the necessary supplies before getting into a craft project. This will cut out the need for spontaneous trips to the craft store with the kids. Oh, and if you run out of ideas, Pinterest can help!

Teach them how to paint or draw

Creativity is something many children are born with, but this can also be encouraged through immersion. If you’ve tried quilling or making origami hearts for special occasion cards, the next step might be teaching the kids how to draw or paint. Feed their imagination by teaching them what a pencil and a paintbrush can do. Chances are, you’ll be surprised by how quickly they learn!

These are just a few of the educational indoor activities for kids that you can try at home. Not only will these activities keep your kids engaged and entertained, but they will also help them learn and develop new skills. Embrace the opportunity to spend quality time with your children, and make the most of this unique situation. Soon enough, everything will be back to normal, and you’ll be missing the extra time spent together.