With lockdown recently extended, now more than ever it’s helpful to have a plethora of indoor activities up your sleeve. Things to keep you and your little ones happy and engaged during these extended periods at home. These are strange times, but hopefully this list of 53 indoor activities for lockdown will keep you and your little ones going, whilst we wait for normality to return.
LOCKDOWN: When Staying In becomes the new Going Out
Put your hand up if you’ve been enjoying some amazing walks and exercise since lockdown started? And if these mini adventures have become a complete sanity saver for the whole family?
That’s my hand raised super high over here!!
I don’t know if you’ve looked at any weather apps recently, but we’ve just been forecast a whole load of rainy days. Starting tomorrow. And whilst this is great news for my dying garden, it’s not so great for those of you who, like me, have been relying on these daily excursions.
Maybe you’re a die-hard explorer and the rain is no deterrent to you getting out and about. I mean, that’s what wellies are designed for, right? Just think of all those muddy puddles your little explorers can jump in…
Or maybe not.
I have a four year old and an (almost) two year old, and the thought of going for long walks in the rain and mud and cold, has definitely put a dampener on my plans for exploration and adventure.
But when staying home becomes the new going out, how do you stay sane confined in a house with two little ones 24/7? Wouldn’t it be super helpful if someone could put together a list of say, 53 indoor activities for lockdown?
Keep reading, friend. Help is on it’s way.
If you’ve been having these, or similar thoughts, you’ve come to the right place. I know exactly how you feel and I’ve been asking the same questions as you. So I’ve come up with a plan to help us all maintain some level of sanity during lockdown, when going out stops being a viable option. And here it is, 53 indoor activities for lockdown.
You don’t need to have a garden or outdoor space for these activities to work. They are all things that can be done from the confines of your locked down home. You’re welcome!!
Here are 4 friendly pieces of advice before you start:
1. Don’t take too long to set up activities you think your child will love.
They may love it, in which case your efforts will be rewarded by their joy. Or you may spend 20 minutes creating the perfect den, including fairy lights, cushions and even a little welcome sign, only for them to decide they’d rather play doctors and nurses after 2 minutes in the den.
2. Try to minimise the mess (and thereby reducing clear-up time later)
Is there a way you can minimise the amount of mess they make? I’m thinking aprons, newspaper, kitchen towel and wet wipes to hand.
3. Think about the age of your little ones when planning activities
I have two girls, aged 4 and [nearly] 2 and these activities work really well with them. If your children are different ages to mine, you may want to adapt some of the activities to make them more enjoyable, or last longer.
4. Tidy up as you go along
Nobody wants to tidy up a whole day’s worth of playing, on their own, after finally winning the battle of the bedtime routine. Nobody. So do it as you go along, and get your little ones to help. Or better still, encourage them to tidy up, whilst you support from the sidelines.
See Related Post: 16 Ways to Encourage Your Toddler To Tidy Up
I’m no super mum
As you look down this list of 53 indoor activities for lockdown, you will notice very quickly that I’m not a super mum. I’m not hugely creative. Or a teacher. Or a scout leader. I don’t know how to make a tardis out of cardboard boxes, or Elmer the Elephant out of empty milk bottles. (See here if you’re interested in that last one!) If you’re looking for lots of craft inspired ideas for lockdown, I salute you, but you won’t find a lot of inspiration here.
I recommend Pinterest as a great place to start looking for these kind of activities.
If you’re not a super mum either, you might find my suggestions of
53 indoor activities for lockdown helpful. I hope you do. Leave a comment below to let me know which one your little ones enjoyed the most.
This post contains affiliate links. This simply means that at no cost to you I get paid some commission if you make a purchase through one of my links. You should know I ONLY recommend products that I have personally USED and LOVE, and that I think you’ll love too! My disclosure policy is a bit boring, but if you want to read it, you can find it here.
1. Read a book together
Simple and sweet. Don’t know what to read? Check out my list of 29 Fantastic Books for Babies and Toddlers.
I also just want to add this one book to the list:
I’m not exaggerating when I say that Zoe reads this book EVERY. SINGLE. DAY. And the nature of the book means that no two days are the same.
Honestly, mum-to-mum, is it getting a bit old? Yes. But does she still get immense pleasure from it? Absolutely. She wins.
2. Build a den
Just some simple sheets, blankets or throws will do. You might be surprised to find you love it as much as they do. Or more.
3. Have a video call
Whether you choose Zoom, FaceTime, Houseparty, WhatsApp or another medium for video chat, stay connected. Little ones love to see the faces of their friends and family. We’re big fans of Zoom, and have even hosted a children’s party on Zoom.
Watch this space for an upcoming post about things you can do on Zoom. Or better still, subscribe to my blog and be notified when this is published.
4. Make a card
Who doesn’t love to receive something nice in the post? Make a card and then post it next time you’re out. What a great thing to make (and receive) when stuck indoors for an extended period of time.
See Related Post: 11 Ways to improve your daily exercise during COVID-19
5. Get the Play-Doh out.
My four year old likes to be creative with the Play-Doh and actually make things. My two year old just liked to stack up the pots and build a tower. Both children are equally entertained = happy mummy.
6. Have a tea party
This is a great indoor activity for lockdown. I’m thinking dolls, tea sets, picnic blankets, and of course, cake.
7. Build an obstacle course
You can use whatever you want to create this. Pillows to jump over, chairs to crawl under, soft balls to kick, objects to collect along the way. Be as inventive as you like, just keep it fun.
8. Play dress up
If you don’t have any fancy dress clothes at home, that’s okay. My girls love trying on my clothes and shoes and ‘walking the catwalk’. Or even just wearing silly hats and scarves. Don’t forget to take lots of photos.
9. Build Something
Such a simple idea for an indoor activity during lockdown. If you don’t have any cups or boxes, how about stacking up pillows or Lego or books or bananas.
How high can you go? Share a picture in the comments below.
10. Tent playtime
We bought one of these amazing tents when Zoe was a baby:
Now she’s 4 and counting and it has come in handy on rainy days when we want to have some tent play indoors. It seems that just the novelty of it being a tent, is enough to keep this interesting and entertaining. Who knew?
11. Play hide and seek
The hardest aspect of playing hide and seek is pretending not to immediately find your little one as soon as the game starts. Usually the giggling is a bit of a give away.
Or you could play a popular (in our house) variant of this game: “hide the object”, also known as the hot/cold game.
12. Play a game
We just used the number cards to make it easier for a four year old. She beat me both games!
13. Do a puzzle
Nothing says stuck indoors in the rain quite like a jigsaw.
Or if you’re feeling super creative and fancy a challenge, or your little ones are a little older than mine, you could make a puzzle. Ooooh! If you make a puzzle, I definitely want to see picture evidence in the comments below.
14. Pamper Time
Whether it’s painting your little ones finger nails, having a facial, getting the foot spa out or whatever you choose, this is great fun! Who needs to go to a spa?
I even saw a picture where someone had drawn round lots of pairs of hands on a huge piece of cardboard, and turned these fingers into a nail salon. The children were then painting these nails. Genius. We will be trying this one soon.
15. Watch a movie
Who said being stuck indoors had to be dull? Watching movies whilst snuggling under a blanket is a great indoor activity for lockdown, or anytime if you ask me!
Maybe throw in some popcorn and pizza and make a date day out of it.
16. Have a dance party
Turn that music up and mooove.
17. Do some colouring
Or even better, get the colouring out for them, and sit down with a cuppa whilst they create some masterpieces.
You heard it here first.
18. Bake a cake
And the best thing about baking with your little ones is? That’s right, you get to eat cake later on! Everyone’s a winner!
19. Sort through toys
When your little ones are home 24/7, it quickly becomes apparent that some toys are NOT being played with. Like, at all. Why not make the most of this time to have a clear out? Better still, get your children to help you decide which things to re-home. Another great indoor activity for lockdown life.
20. Sing, sing, sing
Whether it’s YouTube worship or old school nursery rhymes, little ones love a sing-song. And why not throw in some instruments (or saucepans and spoons) to really make a joyful noise.
21. Get out the mega blocks
If you need some inspiration for what you could build, see what my eldest daughter built with her Daddy recently. I’m not sure who did most of the building. Or who enjoyed it the most.
22. Musical Statues
Number 22 on my list of indoor activities for lockdown is musical statues. You know how it goes. When the music stops, freeze. Simples.
23. Build a train
You can use chairs, cushions, pillows or a combination of these and other things. You could make a bus or a school or anything really just by re-arranging the furniture a little. This actually takes very little input from me. My eldest naturally likes to rearrange the chairs into a line to make a bus. Tickets please!
24. Role play
Doctors and nurses, shop keepers, train drivers (see above). Little ones have great imagination for this sort of play, and it takes very little set up and ‘stuff’.
25. What’s the time Mr Wolf?
If you’re not sure how this game works, you can read the rules here. I used to play this when I was Zoe’s age. Now I feel old.
26. Horsey rides round the house
This isn’t my favourite activity by a mile. But I’ve discovered it’s a great diffuser when offered to a tantruming little human, which is why I’ve included it on my list of 53 indoor activities for lockdown. I play this card when I need a quick distraction in an escalating situation, and it works every time.
I like to mix things up by pretending I don’t know where my child has gone (the one on my back) and going looking for them.
So many giggles.
27. Water play
My little ones love water. Even just washing their hands turns into a playful activity. Just see earlier comments about minimising the mess.
28. Flower press
Zoe got a flower press for her birthday last year. The picture on the left is a yellow rose from my Mother’s Day bouquet that we pressed 3 weeks ago. The pictures on the right are some new flowers (or weeds) we picked from the garden and put in the press. You can easily make your own press by using cardboard and heavy books, or you can buy something similar here.
Now I just need to decide what to do with all these pressed flowers. Maybe make a card, as per number 4 above?
29. Sticker books
Standard, uncomplicated and mess-free. Sticker books are always a hit in our house.
30. Target practice
Otherwise known as throwing an object into the basket.
When I was at school, we threw bean bags into a basket. In that absence of these props from my childhood, a soft ball and box will do.
The question is, how competitive are you?
Q. Is there anything more delightful than bubbles?
32. Make paper boats
Here’s how to do it. It’s so easy that even a non-crafty mum like me can manage it. These can then be floated in the bath, or taken out with you on a walk if you pass a stream.
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33. Have a gratitude jar
A great way to stop boredom is to pause and remember to be thankful. We created this jar as a way of being intentional about our gratitude, and remembering to thank God for all the blessings in our lives.
34. Make paper snowflakes
Also works with butterflies, or anything else symmetrical that you can cut out of folder paper. This is a quick and easy activity on my list of indoor activities for lockdown. When you’ve finished creating, get colouring, or painting, or whatever.
35. Get little ones involved in jobs
I don’t know if it’s just my girls, but they simply love to do whatever I’m doing. So I involve them in putting clothes in the washing machine, unloaded the dishwasher, setting the table and carrying dirty plates into the kitchen.
I’m thinking about teaching them how to use the hoover next…
36. Indoor long jump
Just make sure you create a soft and safe landing space first.
37. Walkie talkie fun
All you need it 2 empty yoghurt pots (preferably clean) and a long piece of string. My eldest daughter is constantly talking to friends on her [toy] phone, so this is just an extension of this. The fun is in the making and the playing.
38. Make the most of online resources
When lockdown began, I quickly discovered Twinkl, a free online resource centre for parents or teachers. It has daily activities, and lots of worksheets and other educational things to download and print. It’s a great resource for parents who have suddenly found themselves having to home school.
Although neither of my girls are school age yet, I’ve still found lots of things on here for them to do.
39. Teach your pet a new trick
We don’t actually have a pet* but I saw a friend post something on FaceBook about a new trick she had taught her dog, and I thought this was a great lockdown activity for those with animals.
*I’m sure it’s only a matter of time until we become pet owners, as my 2 year old is crazy about animals.
40. Build a robot
Calm down, I didn’t suddenly introduce a serious craft making activity into the mix. I’m just referring to sticking some empty toilet rolls, and cereal boxes together, adding some paint and seeing what happens.
Go wild or go home. Oh wait, you’re already at home. My bad!
41. Invite some animals into your home
This is great! All you need is a phone and google for this activity.
- Type in the name of an animal into google on your phone, e.g. Penguin.
- Then scroll down to the find the “Meet a life-sized penguin up close” option (still in google).
- Select View in 3D.
- Follow the instructions until a life sized (or bigger) animal is super imposed into your house.
- Then take a picture.
No animals, or children, were hurt in the process of creating these pictures.
42. Balloon games
We don’t like ball games in the house unless it’s rolling on the floor. Balloon football, or balloon volleyball etc are a great, and much safer, alternative to traditional ball games. Sometimes, thinking about the box is a great asset when it comes to little ones.
43. Paint eggs
All this activity requires is eggs, food colouring, vinegar and water. Well, I say ‘all’, but has anyone else been finding it REALLY hard to get hold of eggs during lockdown? My sister-in-law said eggs are now a behind the counter product in her local Co-op.
Next stop: Black market.
44. Be kind
Lockdown life ain’t normal. Be kind to yourself when you have a less than perfect day with the kids. And be kind to your little ones. They’re hard work, but they’re having a hard time adjusting too.
I’m trying, and mostly failing if I’m honest, but trying nonetheless to live by this:
Finally, brothers and sisters, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable—if anything is excellent or praiseworthy—think about such things.Philippians 4:8
I’m applying it to my thoughts, about myself and my family, and also in relation to the words I use when speaking to them.
45. Make frozen yoghurt lollies
We mix some Greek yoghurt, our fruit of choice and a drizzle of honey (optional). Put it all in the hand blender and then pour into these fab ice lolly molds. I usually make too much mixture so end up having to freeze a separate batch for myself to enjoy later. Oops.
See related post: How To Survive a Heatwave With a Baby
46. Have a treasure hunt
This one requires a little bit more forward planning. Or not. You could go all out and hide some ‘treasure’ and then leave clues your little ones have to solve in order to find the treasure. Or you could draw a map of your house and put an X where the treasure is hidden. Or you could just hide the treasure and play the hot/cold game.
So many choices. Take your pick, or do it differently.
47. Connect with a Facebook group
There are loads to choose from, depending what your little ones like. Our church has it’s own children’s page: Children of Hope. Some of the things that are posted each day include:
- A thought for the day
- A Bible story from The Jesus Storybook Bible – LOVE LOVE LOVE this Bible!!
- A daily fun challenge
- A science experiment carried out by “Dr Brains” – I love this a little bit too much! Hilarious!!
- Lots of interaction, pictures, videos etc posted by the other children (Or parents of) from the group.
I recommend finding a Facebook or other online community you can join with your little ones.
48. Record a video message and sent it to someone
The grandparents love number 48 of 53 indoor activities for lockdown.
Brighten up someone’s day by getting your little ones to record a short message and sending it to someone you know. Trust me, these little videos are like gold dust to isolating friends and family members. Or even to grandparents who are missing these little cherubs.
They’re fun to make as well.
49. Stop and be thankful
Counting my blessings is a choice. I can grumble about the lack of eggs in the shops, or I can choose to say “Thank You” for all the other things I do have. And when I stop and take a moment to be thankful, it’s actually quite overwhelming how blessed I remember I am.
See Related Post: Winging it through motherhood
50. Go to church
We really are missing our church family! But we’re connecting in lots of new and interesting ways instead. Online church services, Zoom prayer meetings, Community WhatsApp groups, the list goes on. Get involved. There’s never been a better time to check out church life, and Jesus!
Here are a few other resources you might find useful during lockdown:
Maybe PE with Joe wasn’t as successful in your home as it seems to be around the world.
That’s OK. Find something else that you all enjoy and do that instead.
52. Do something fun
Enjoy your little ones. Before we know it, normality, or some form of it, will return. We’ll probably be back to rushing around on the school run, trying to get to baby group on time and having play dates with friends. Find things that you can all enjoy doing together NOW, and do these things.
… But I [Jesus] have come to give you everything in abundance, more than you expect—life in its fullness until you overflow!John 10:10
Laugh together, cuddle more,and be silly. But most of all, have some fun.
See Related Post: 4 Things “mum-of-two” me wishes she could say to “mum-of-one” me
53. Take lots of photos
Last, but by no means least, number 53 of my list of indoor activities for lockdown is simple. Whilst you’re busy making memories with your little ones, remember to take lots of pictures. Capture the smiles and remember that this precious time is exactly that, precious.
So there you have it: 53 Indoor activities for lockdown. Did anything in particular stand out to you? Let me know how you get on and what yours and your little ones favourite activities are.
Feel free to share this post if you found it useful, or know someone else who might.
Lots of love and virtual hugs,