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10 Indoor Activities using Household Items

There are days when I hear a constant refrain of “What should I do now?  What should I do next?” from Adam, my 3 year old.  We are spending much of our time outside lately, but when we can’t get out to play, I’ve had to be creative.  
For your benefit and mine, here are 10 indoor activities for preschoolers and beyond using ordinary household items. 
10 Indoor Activities Using Household Items10 activities

1.  Make a masking tape road.  We also used the tape to mark a “long jump” out for him.
play with tape
2.  Measure things.  Actually reading the measurements is too advanced for Adam right now, but this gives us a great opportunity to talk about bigger, smaller, shorter and taller.  Older kids can measure to the foot or inch and chart the measurements.
measure things - rainy day activity
3.  Sort something.  Anything.  Dump out the junk drawer and let them go to work!  I had Adam sort his art supplies.
sorting with preschoolers
4.  Have a scavenger hunt or treasure hunt.  I wrote numbers 1-20 on sticky notes and hid them around the dining room for him.  When he found them, he put them in order and then hid them for me.
easy scavenger hunt
5.  Play with shaving cream.  The kids love it.  They can “draw” pictures and then wipe them away.   Kindergarten teachers are fond of this because the kids can practice writing or spelling, and then when they wipe up the shaving cream, the desks are clean and smell great!  Older kiddos can practice their spelling lists this way!

Rainy Day Activity - Write in Shaving Cream
6.  Create 3D paper art.  This is a bug playground.  Clearly.
3D paper art
7.  Take pictures.  Adam loves using his camera and mine!
Inside Activity - child photographerimg_5187-1(rev 0)
8.  Build something with ordinary household “garbage.”  This was a pirate ship.
Building with Recycled Junk
9.  Wrap something.  Have you ever thought about how many skills are used when wrapping a present?  Cutting and taping are great fine motor skills!  Estimating the amount of paper needed is good for developing visual/spatial skills as well.Wrapping a gift is great for fine motor skills
10.  Cook with your kiddos.  This is one of my favorite boredom busters.  It doesn’t have to be a complicated recipe or a dessert.  Adam loves helping with ANYTHING in the kitchen.
Cooking with Kids - Boredom Buster

If you liked this post, please share it via facebook or pinterest!
I’m working on a much longer list of TV free activities with my friend Rachel from Joyfully Weary.  Got any ideas you’d like to submit?  How do you keep your kids busy without the TV?

Shared at What are Boys Made Of?

Would you like to comment?

  1. These are awesome ideas! Even being a teacher and knowing lots of things to do, I find myself in a rut so much and the t.v. comes on. I can't wait to try out some of these ideas!

    I loved using the shaving cream in my classroom. It did make it smell much nicer. You can also use chocolate pudding on a big cookie sheet. They love to eat it when they are done! I have also used salt on a ridged plate.

    I love the scavenger hunt idea and will make Jemma write the numbers herself! So cool!

    Are those velcro rollers in the boat? Ha!

    Yes... that is clearly a bug playground!

  2. Love these ideas! I sadly don't always pull out my teacher skills and will give in to the lure of the of t.v. I can't wait to try out these ideas!

    I loved using the shaving cream in my classroom. It made it smell so good! I have also used chocolate pudding on a cookie sheet. It is a time that licking your fingers is totally o.k.! I have also put salt on a ridged plate.

    I buy the cheap canvases from Walmart or Michaels and let Jemma paint a canvas. She loves this and then we use the art to decorate her playroom!

    We have gone on a scavenger hunt outside and taken pictures of things that are square, round...whatever. This is always fun! She has the kid's camera that you can drop and it won't break! Now she could use her LeapPad and write about it!

    Such great ideas! Thank you for sharing!

  3. I will have to adapt some of these for holly. For the numbers, I think I would write the same number on all the papers for her to find. This way she can work on number recognition. Could do letters too! Great ideas! Thanks for sharing!

  4. Pinning it now! We are big on sorting, picture taking and measuring, the other 7 are new to me!


  5. Good list! We love measuring,I think we've worn out 3 measuring tapes ;)
    Another favorite indoor activity is playing in the bathtub and blowing bubbles...especially if we've had spaghetti for lunch.

  6. Awesome list! The boys love painting with shaving cream. I think the 3D paper art is my favorite.

  7. Love the list! Thank you so much for sharing your idea. We will definitely have to try the shaving cream and the 3D paper art. I have been trying to find ways for my son to work with scissors.

    We used to go on shape and letter walks... Go for a walk and find shapes in regular objects or identify letters on signs. We still look for letters in order when he's bored in the car. Today we did something we hadn't done before, very similar to your number hunt. His dinosaurs played hide and seek. My daughter was still finishing her lunch, so we couldn't get up and play hide and seek all around the house. We took turns hiding a dinosaur (in a drawer, on top of the fridge, in plain sight lol) and it was amazing to him every time he found it! We also do workbooks for 30-60 mins.

  8. Does anyone know how to pin using the new Internet Explorer??? I have NO toolbars at the top now... hmmm

  9. Good ideas. I am going to give the scavenger hunt a try.

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