Are you on the hunt for boredom busters? Indoor projects for kids don’t have to equal a one-and-done approach. Extend the activities, invite imagination and keep the creativity flowing with extended project awesomeness! If you’re not sure where to start, check out these easy indoor games for kids, artsy how-to’s, super-science explorations and other pint-sized projects.

photo: Allison Sutcliffe

Grow Stalactites

It takes a few days to complete this grow-at-home science experiment. With a few simple household materials, your budding scientists can track the growth of their own stalactites when you set up this easy project. Check back often to see how things are growing. 

Hold an Art Exhibit

Make art a daily part of your creative kid’s playtime routine. Challenge them to draw, paint or collage a new project each day based on different themes or a favorite artist’s style. When the collection is ready, hang it gallery style on the walls, and invite the rest of the family to tour the artsy exhibit.

Start a Story Time

Set a weekly theme, and choose one book per day. Hold a daily story-time for the kiddos, reading the playful picks interactively. After each day’s book session, ask your child questions about the story, draw pics of the characters or turn the narratives into pretend plays.

Have a Boardgame Play-Off

Indoor games for kids takes on a whole new meaning when you set up brackets, create teams and hold an all-out gaming tournament. Choose a few of your fam’s favorite games and get playing! Hold the tournament over a few days, crowning a winner at the end of the week.

Journal the Days with Photos

Snap a pic each day to document everything your family does. Your budding photographer can take pics of their art activities, indoor game play and everything else the family does. Print the pictures, paste them onto card stock paper and bind the book with colorful yarn or ribbons.

Craft Your Own Paper—and Use It

Bring your summer camp days home when you make paper by hand. Rachelle at Tinkerlab walks you through the process of this two-day long project. It definitely takes planning (and a couple of special supplies), but the finished product is perfect for writing very special letters or drawing an extra special picture for mom or dad. 

DIY a Boardgame

Forget about a ready-made game. Your child’s creativity will kick into high gear when they make their own board game. Amy at Mama Scouts has the scoop on how you can encourage this multi-day activity for big kids. Play on!

Write a Family Newsletter

Extra, extra! A lot of crazy things happen to your family each week: from funny things the kids say to good grades and weekend outings. During the week, have your kid take pictures, record events, and land big interviews so she can publish your family’s breaking news stories at the end of the week.

photo: Allison Sutcliffe

Artsy Rock Fun

If you haven’t caught on to rock painting yet, this is a perfect time. Kids start by painting colorful rocks of their own design. Then you hide them for others to find (after sealing properly). Then, set out on a hunt to find painted rocks others have left behind. Get the full scoop here.

Code Away

Promote a little active screen time with your future programmers and ask them to complete an hour of code for 20 minutes each day. Everything you need to know is mapped out online! The best part? A sweet certificate your tiny techie can earn when she’s learned it all. Gold stars all around!

Build a Village

Don’t stop at just one LEGO creation. Go big with a village your child can build over two, three or more days. Start with a theme, like a mountain ski park or downtown waterfront high rises, and encourage your master builder to expand from there. Start construction any day of the week and keep it going until the last brick is laid.

Plan a Play

Whether they’re leaning toward a classic like The Day the Crayons Quit, or want to go with a meatier choice, like something from the Captain Underpants oeuvre or a Judy Moody selection, challenge your kids to turn their best story ever into a play. Write out dialogue, plan simple scenes, put together set pieces and choose costumes that make the story come to life. Set a practice schedule for a daily review and choose a debut date. When the play is ready for an audience, gather your child’s favorite stuffed animal friends for a day of drama.

Have a Three-Day Bake-Off

Turns out the trick to kid-friendly cookies is to spread the project out over three days: Spend the first day making the dough. Roll, cut and bake your silly shapes on day two. Then, pop the cookies into an airtight container (add a piece of bread to keep them soft) so they’re ready to ice and decorate on day three.

Create with Cardboard

Score a mountain of materials from the recycle pile! Gather all the cardboard you can and help your crafty kids to build skyscrapers, campers and rocket ships to take them to the moon. Use these ideas to inspire your little builders.

Grow Your Own Crystals

With Borax, salt and a half-dozen eggs, your curious kids can grow their own crystals over the course of a few days (Five works best.). Rachelle at Tinkerlab has all you need to know to set up this experiment.

Make a Mural

Murals aren’t exclusive to the outdoor setting. Get creative and craft one on a piece of butcher paper or a plain sheet of gift wrap. Choose a theme, pick materials and experiment with different processes such as collage, drawing or painting. Hang it on the playroom wall, and add to it daily!

Run an Indoor 5K

Whether the kiddos run up and down the stairs, around the living room or just jog in place, they can get in plenty of indoor exercises. Encourage the kids to “race” for 5-10 minutes each day until they've knocked out 3.1 miles. Follow their progress on your fitness tracker, make a run-time graph and compare how many minutes/miles they run by the day, week or month. On your mark, get set, go!

Pull Out a Puzzle

Somewhere, a little out of the way, set up a puzzle table for your kids. Then break out that 500-piecer you’ve been saving for a rainy day. Working on a giant jigsaw puzzle is a simple way to engage kids for the long haul because they’re in charge of just how much time they give to it each day.

Hint: Set out simpler puzzles at your table for tots and preschoolers. That way, they can work their way through this fun activity alongside everyone else.

photo: Mini Monets and Mommies

Fun with Felt

We love this make-and-play project.  All it takes is felt, scissors and creative design ideas to make the felt pieces your kids can use on a giant blank board. Get great ideas and the know-how-details at Fun at Home with Kids.

—Allison Sutcliffe and Erica Loop

 

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Featured image: Victoria Borodinova via Pixabay