Indoor Activities For Kids When Schools are Closed
March 26, 2020

With the announcement of school closures throughout the greater Sacramento area due to the imminent threat of COVID-19, parents should teach their kids that staying at home isn’t as bad as it seems. Indoor activities for kids when schools are closed will keep them busy and help ease the anxiety!

COVID-19 has led us to our homes and put us in a position of worry and uncertainty. We’ve been informed to stay home, self-quarantine, keep healthy, and practice social distancing. Being isolated in your home can take a heavy toll on anyone, and no one knows how long we can manage ourselves to stay indoors.

As for kids, we pretty much know how they are itching to go outside and play nonstop, especially when schools are closed. If we want to make it through this pandemic crisis, parents should act upon finding new structures of indoor activities for kids to keep them occupied, entertained, and worry-free.

“Children need to have physical activity and cognitively stimulating tasks every day.”

Now that schools are closed, kids can get quickly bored with the same activities at home every day. They are continually looking for new challenges. The situation can leave parents clueless on how to engage with meaningful indoor activities for kids.

It is essential to find a balance between learning something new and having fun. Even if your kids can’t go outside, you can still take in a lot of fantastic stuff that you can do together as a family from the safety of your own home. Promote the idea of doing things together rather than making it homework or schoolwork.

Once you’re stuck indoors, kids can get cabin fever quickly if you’re not prepared. That’s why we’ve rounded up creative ideas of indoor activities for kids as a starting point to get you through when you’re stuck at home. Go through the suggestions, get inspired, and gather all the necessary household materials to bring the situation to light.

These kids activities at home will not only fight boredom but will also challenge their minds and muscles – releasing all that suppressed energy, leaving you with healthy kids to keep that virus away.

indoor activities for kids

Easy Indoor Activities for Kids Using Simple Household Materials

Keeping kids active physically while they’re at home can be difficult, but it’s essential. Remember, kids need to have a minimum hour of physical activity daily. Indoor games are a fun and exciting way for kids to be active and release some energy. With the usage of items like tape, crepe paper, plastic cups, paper plates, or anything you probably have on hand, kids can play in the luxury of your own homes. 

Try these creative indoor play ideas and kids activities at home that are easy to set with few simple, inexpensive supplies.

Paper Cup Stacking

  • Recycled and reuse paper cups 
  • A table
  • A 1-minute timer or stopwatch

A simple game of stacking cups would be far too easy for a show like “Minute to Win It.” In Stack Attack, you’ll need to create a perfect tower and then restack your cups in a particular fashion to win. Don’t knock that tower over or oops … you’re done. Get the little ones to help bring and stack cups too! 

Tip: Make sure that your tower is lined up well and that it’s sturdy. Otherwise, as you begin to take it down, it will tip over, and you’ll be back at the beginning of the game. 

Walk the Lines of Colored Tape

  • Colored tape in different colors
  • Pom poms
  • Straws
  • Space to play

Create different lines on the floor and have kids follow the tracks for a fun gross motor game. Tape some fun lines on the floor in three different colors: a blue zig-zag line, a curvy red line, and one straight green line.

Just walk along the lines of tape. One foot in front of each other. Following one of the colored lines. You could pick for your child – like follow the leader or “Simon Says” – or let them go around as they please. The straight line is pretty straightforward. But the curved and zig-zag lines are harder. Kids will need to work on balance to stay on their color. Make it harder by doing it backward, or even sideways!

Tip: You could “challenge” toys to walk the lines of colored tape, too! LEGO, Duplos, trains, dinosaurs, drive trucks, or “walk” animal toys, Whatever your kid is into at the moment. 

Paper Plate Ring Toss Game

  • paper plates
  • paint
  • scissors
  • long cardboard tube (from cling wrap, paper towel, etc.)
  • sticky tape

This is one of the indoor activities that are easy and fun when schools are closed! To create the stand, take a long cardboard tube and just cut slits in the bottom of the cardboard tube and flattened the ends, then taped it to the reverse side of a plate so it would stand up. Then, cut out inner circles from various paper plate sizes to use as your rings. Do a paper plate toss.

Tip: Make it more challenging by scooting further back!

Hallway Laser Maze 

  • crepe paper
  • masking tape

This is one of the amazing kids activities at home that needs careful movement. You can build a laser maze around the child-proofed hallway. Take a roll of crepe paper and tape lines across a hallway wall. Zig the lines high and low. Encourage kids to walk through without touching the crepe paper. Kids get to pretend they are like the spies they see on movies, creeping through the lasers without touching any of them.

Kids can take turns working their way through the maze and could even time each other to see who gets through the fastest without touching any of the lines. Once they pass through the maze, kids can toss a ball back and forth through the maze, trying not to let the ball touch any of the lines. This game is a fun option for kids of various ages. 

Tip: Try to make the maze hard enough that kids can’t just crawl under the entire thing, but easy enough that your child won’t be frustrated and give up.

Sock Toss Basket Game

  • pairs of socks
  • laundry basket

Using some folded up socks and laundry baskets, you can enjoy a game of mini basketball right at your own home especially when schools are closed. Set up two laundry baskets 10 or 15 feet apart. Give each team the same number of socks. Maybe 5 – 10 socks (or two per player) for each group. When the game starts, players must stay behind the laundry basket at their end and aim to land their socks in the other basket.

Socks that land in the basket, remain in the basket to be scored. Socks that miss the basket are picked up by the opposing team and tossed at the other basket. The game continues until all the socks are in the baskets. The team with the most socks in the basket wins. 

Tip: It can be more challenging for older kids by using baskets with a narrower opening.

indoor activities for kids when schools are closed

Fun Indoor Activities for Kids and Games That Only Needs a Space in Your Home

Staying indoors to keep safe and healthy is imperative, but it doesn’t have to be boring. When schools are closed and kids are bored, games are their rescue which they look forward to eagerly. There’s nothing like excellent indoor activities to bring a family together.

Here is a list of indoor activities for kids that can suit you well when you wish to spend some family time when schools are closed and don’t allow kids activities outdoor. Break their boredom with these games.

Dance Freeze

Add some fun and movement to your kids activities at home with this game. This simple game can be an ideal family activity that both adults and kids will enjoy. All that is needed is some form of music player–radio, a music or video streaming website, stereo–and some willing bodies. Play the music and dance till the music stops and ask everyone to freeze in the position they were in.

Make it more fun: You can even ask the kids to pose in specific postures to make the game challenging.

Follow the Leader

This game can be played seated or standing and is suitable for bringing the energy down a little if things are getting rowdy. Start by designating one child as the guesser. Have him or her leave the room or face the wall for a minute while you choose another child as the leader (do it by pointing, so the guesser doesn’t overhear).

The leader starts by making a subtle motion, like touching her earlobe or shifting her weight to one foot. All the other players follow suit, and every few seconds, the leader switches to a new action. The guesser tries to figure out who the leader is.

Make it more fun: Set the game to music. Instead of awkward bodily movements, have the leader demonstrate any of some dance moves that the followers must imitate.

Hide-and-Seek

This classic kid’s game is played all over the world. With some space inside the house, you can play this for hours. One player closes his or her eyes for a brief period (often counting to 20) while the other players hide. The seeker then opens his eyes and tries to find the hiders.

The first one found is the next seeker, and the last is the winner of the round. It’s pretty basic, but different variations have also evolved throughout the years. Regardless of which version you choose, all you need are the whole family and some hiding and spying skills. 

Make it more fun: You can take the game up a notch by playing it in the dark. Ensure to child-proof the house before doing so.

Simon Says

This indoor game is one of the kids activities at home that helps in exercising listening skills. Designate one person as Simon and the others as players. Simon stands in front of the players and tells them what they must do. Listen carefully as “Simon” gives you directions. If “Simon” says to do something, you better act fast.

But, if “Simon” does not, and you do it anyway, you’re out! The last player standing wins and becomes the next Simon. If you’re Simon, the object is to try to dupe the players to follow your commands when they shouldn’t.

Make it more fun: Play in a large group to make it more challenging.

Treasure Hunt

Turn your home into a wilderness with hidden treasure and your kids as hunting pirates. This kind of kids activities at home will give them something fun to do, and treasure hunts are an excellent way for you to get more involved with your kids and learn about their interests. Treasure Hunt can be played as individuals or teams competing for time.

The goal of the game is to lead the seekers through a set of clues that takes them from place to place to find a treasure. The “seekers” need to read each clue they find and figure out the next location. Children get the starter clue. It tells them the site to hunt for the next clue on their way to the treasure. As many or as few clues can be prepared and hid. The final clue leads to the treasure.

Make it more fun: Keep the clues from your treasure hunt for next time. You can just mix up the order and hide the note in a new spot at each location.

kids activities at home when schools are closed

Go Old School and Break Out the Classic Board Games

Board games are great indoor activities for kids! It is an inexpensive way for families to spend quality time together, especially when schools are closed due to the COVID-19 outbreak. If you’ve got more than one kid, now is the time to get your children out from behind the screen and get them involved in some real face-to-face fun with the whole family.

These board games may be old school, but they’re still a super-fun way to teach kids about following rules, fairness, and more. Here are some of our favorite classic board games for all ages:

Clue Jr. 

Just like the original Clue board game, Clue Jr. lets players develop their detective skills while solving a fun mystery. Clue Junior doesn’t include any murders and is a super fun game for those aged five and up, making it a great family-friendly board game. The game can run for two to four players ages five and up. It takes anywhere from 30 minutes to an hour to play through. 

The object of the game is to figure out who broke the rules in some way. Or which child is in which room with which pet or even who took the last piece of cake. Like the adult version, Clue Jr. takes place in a mansion, but there is no murder.

Guess Who Classic Game

Guess Who is a fun two-player board game that is perfect for ages six (6) and up. This game is easy to learn and has fundamental rules. The game aims to guess your opponent’s mystery character before they guess yours. Each game only takes a few minutes to set up and about 5-10 minutes to play. To extend the fun, play multiple games and keep a tally of who wins each time. Have fun!

Monopoly

Schools are closed! It’s time to get back that classic Monopoly board game that is loved by people of all ages, but it can be pretty tough to learn to play! The rules are complicated, and many families have their variations that aren’t listed in the official rulebook. Learning how to set up the board, play by the official rules, and end the game at a reasonable time will help you learn to love Monopoly!

Snakes and Ladders

The game Snakes and Ladders has enthralled generations of children and gone through a few name changes along the way. Sometimes sold as Chutes and Ladders in the United States, and originally Snakes and Arrows in India, the game has barely changed in all this time.

Navigate your piece from start to finish, avoid the snakes, and take shortcuts going up the ladders. Take turns with your opponent to roll dice, the number that the dice lands on is the number of squares that you can move your counter. If you land on the head of a snake, then you will slide along it back to the tail! Have Fun!

Sorry

Sorry is a family-friendly game that can be played by 2-4 players age six and up. The object of the game is simple. Get all four of your pawns from start to home before your opponents do. But the game can get tricky because you can bump other players back to start and miss turns if you can’t make a move to a space that you do not occupy.

The object is to get all of your pawns across the board into the Home space, which is a safe zone. The first player to get all of their pawns Home wins.

Word Games

Mind-Boggling Word Games to Keep Your Kids Learning

Playing around with words can help your kids keep up those reading skills that tend to slide when schools are closed for weeks or months. The good thing about most of these games is that they develop your vocabulary, help you think more deeply about words, and improve your spelling.

They’re more about having fun than winning — and when there is competition, kids can sometimes beat the adults. There are also lots of tried-and-tested kids activities at home that you can play with pen and paper, or using cards and dice, and here’s our top list.

Apples to Apples

Apples To Apples is a card game that is appropriate for all ages and is a blast to play in groups. It’s as easy as comparing “apples to apples,” just open the box, deal the cards, and you’re ready to play!

Players have to match red object cards with green graphic cards, and whoever comes up with the strongest or most amusing pairing wins. You can learn the rules of Apples To Apples in no time at all. The object of the game is to become the first player to earn four green apple cards.

Boggle

Boggle is a Hasbro word-finding game for two or more players. Easy to learn but tough to master, it encourages players to make as many words as they can from a random assortment of letters in three minutes. To play Boggle, you shake a box full of dice with a letter on each side, and the dice land in the 4×4 grid at the bottom of the box.

You then make as many words as you can from the resulting face-up letters. Creativity and quick-thinking get a reward in this competitive game. So, if you’re ready to play now that schools are closed, learn the simple rules of Boggle right now and start racking up those points!

Hangman

Hangman is a quick and easy game for at least two people that requires nothing more than paper, a pencil, and the ability to spell. One player, the “host,” makes up a secret word, while the other player tries to guess the word by asking what letters it contains. However, every wrong guess brings them one step closer to losing. Hangman can also be customized to make the game easier, harder, or educational.

Hangman is an excellent game for developing spelling and vocabulary especially now that schools are closed due to COVID-19. If you’re playing it with small children, you can do it without the perhaps rather unpleasant “hangman” element, and just count how many guesses each player takes!

Pictionary

Pictionary is a family classic that only requires paper, writing instruments, and the game Pictionary, which should provide you with a gameboard, minute timer, cards (496 total if you wish to count with four category cards), and two dice. The goal of the game is to guess what the “picturist” is trying to communicate through the pictures that they draw. You advance on the gameboard by guessing correctly, and the first to get to the finish square wins.

Scrabble

A classic of word games, Scrabble is a game played with letter tiles on a board marked with different squares. (Some squares provide extra points.) Letters have different points values depending on how common they are. The result of scrabble looks like a crossword, several words overlapping with one another. The object of the game is to get the most points by playing words on a board that you connect to words created by your fellow players.

Make a List of Daily Household Chores

Household Chores

Getting children involved in chores is suitable for everyone especially when schools are closed. Kids need responsibility, and these age-appropriate household chores for kids are great for teaching responsibility and hard work. Household chores also teach kids cleanliness, discipline, cooperation, time management, and, most importantly, how to look after themselves and work as a team.

Taking the time to get children involved when they’re young–and eager to help is an integral part of giving them the skills they need as they get older. Make a to-do list of chores and how often it is required.

Children can help out around the house in many different ways when schools are closed. Here are some ideas of chore assignment for kids based on their age:

Toddlers (2-3 years)

  • Pick up toys and books.
  • Put clothes on clothes hooks.
  • Dust furniture

Preschoolers (4-5 years)

  • Make bed.
  • Set the table for meals.
  • Help put clean clothes into piles for each family member, ready to fold.
  • Hand you wet clothes to be hung out to dry.

School-age children (6-7 years)

  • Water the garden and indoor plants.
  • Feed pets.
  • Help hang out clothes and fold washing.
  • Help with meal preparation and serving, under supervision.

8-year-olds and older

  • Do laundry.
  • Help cook.
  • Take out the trash.
  • Clean the shower or tub.


Being a good parent is our top priority. Your kids deserve the attention they need. Now that schools are closed until further notice, take this as an opportunity to better your parenting skills. During this time, it is helpful for parents to consider your child’s needs for structure, education, exercise, appropriate leisure time, and calm, rational explanations about the situation. Indoor activities for kids will help build your relationship and distract yourselves from the outside world. 

There’s more to engaging children with kids activities at home than just getting rid of the boredom. These tips will be of good use in the future, too! Simple house materials are as better as any expensive toys sold online and locally. Plan out and visualize for your kid’s entertainment.

Go creative with your ideas and make something they will never forget. Take this epic list of active indoor activities for kids that will get them up and moving, even during these crazy times.

Sacramento offers a wide variety of opportunities for kids to enjoy and have fun all-year-round! Check out our list of resources for kids. Are you looking for more resources for kids around the greater Sacramento area? Browse through our places to go section. If you’re even more curious and seeking to learn more information about kids’ topics, tips, and guides, check out our things to do and indoor play blog posts.

Read Next

Things to do with Kids at Home During School Closures
Kids and COVID-19 | A Quick Guide for Parents
Recommended Measures to Prevent Transmission of Coronavirus


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An online family resource guide for kids within the Greater Sacramento area. It’s an easy to use directory listing where you can find an array of resources for your kids.

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