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101 Fun Things To Do at Home with Kids (that don't involve a screen)

If you're like many parents the quest to help your kids learn, stay engaged, and burn energy every day (Yes, every. Single. Day.) most often feels like an unattainable goal. And in an age when screens have taken over, it's easy to give in to the ultimate digital babysitter more often than you had hoped to. After all, you DO need two minutes to make a bathroom trip. While we can all agree there's a time and a place for screen time we also know that all good things must come to an end (ha-ha). Not to fear — we've compiled a list of 101 fun activities that will have your kids begging for "just five more minutes?!" You're welcome. 😉

activities for kids at home

While most of these ideas can be easily modified for any age, kids between 3–12 are likely to engage the best. And, if further direction is needed for any of these fun ideas, a quick online search will give you lots of instruction! 👍

  1. Make a fort with blankets, pillows and furniture
  2. Create an indoor scavenger hunt
  3. Bake some cookies
  4. Play hide and seek
  5. Have a puzzle race (see who can build their puzzle the fastest)
  6. Make fun jewelry
  7. Paint with watercolors
  8. Cut an old magazine into pieces and then use glue to make a collage
  9. Make Play-Doh, Moon Sand or slime
  10. Do manicures and pedicures with fun paint colors
  11. Construct paper airplanes and then have a contest to see which ones can fly the farthest
  12. Break out pipe cleaners and see what creations can be made
  13. Learn sign language
  14. Take turns telling stories
  15. Play "I spy with my little eye"
  16. Learn dance moves to a favorite song
ideas for playing with kids at home
  1. Use painters tape to make a design on a window then go crazy with paint — remove the tape once complete for an awesome stained glass design
  2. Hide an object and play the "hot or cold" game
  3. Learn hand clap games
  4. Make homemade popsicles
  5. Create an indoor obstacle course
  6. Write a note to a family member or friend (hand-drawn pictures highly encouraged!)
  7. Sing karaoke
  8. Learn yo-yo tricks
  9. Play a card game
  10. Tie-dye some clothing
  11. Use old buttons and glue them to a canvas for a unique piece of art
  12. Take an extreme bubble bath
  13. Have a bubble gum blowing contest
  14. Do an age-appropriate science experiment
  15. Mold clay and then bake it
  16. Do face painting (with the help of a parent, of course!)
ideas for playing with kids at home
  1. Dress up in fun clothes and then have a photoshoot
  2. Make up a story and write a book together (let the kids illustrate!)
  3. Play an old school board game
  4. Build a playhouse or spaceship out of a large box
  5. Use string running from wall to wall (hallways work best) to make a "laser maze" and then play 007 as you work your way through doing your best to not touch the string
  6. Make "ice cream in a bag"
  7. Come up with an at-home "escape room" and then race the clock to see who wins
  8. Put on a puppet show (make sock puppets if needed)
  9. Complete a toy animal tape rescue (after taping toy animals to a surface like a cookie sheet)
  10. Make an edible necklace using cereal, pretzels, candy, etc.
  11. Draw a line or swirl on a large piece of paper (or cardboard) and then use stickers to completely cover it for a neat sticker design
  12. Make color-themed sensory bins
  13. Boil a ton of spaghetti noodles and once cooled use kid-safe scissor to cut them up
  14. Make a homemade kaleidoscope out of a paper towel tube and beads
  15. Use colored construction paper and wet cotton balls to do a water painting
  16. Have a taste contest to see who can identify the most foods correctly while blindfolded
  17. Learn some fun kids yoga poses
  18. Have a good old fashion pillow fight
  19. Make coffee can stilts
  20. Play with chalk — hopscotch, trace shadow people, write positive messages or draw fun pictures for neighbors
  21. Blow bubbles
ideas for playing with kids at home
  1. Plan a nature color search scavenger hunt
  2. Go on an adventure walk
  3. Identify leaves and trees
  4. Explore a creek
  5. Dig for worms
  6. Birdwatch and then look them up to identify the type of bird
  7. Throw a Frisbee
  8. Learn to hula hoop
  9. Play jump rope games
  10. Ride a bike
  11. Roller skate
  12. Build a stick fort
  13. Have a picnic
  14. Plant some flowers, herbs, veggies or fruits
  15. Make a simple birdhouse and hang it
  16. Make bird feeders out of toilet paper rolls
  17. Create a fairy garden (think outdoor dollhouse) and get creative using things like buttons, marbles, rocks, small plants or flowers, moss, dollhouse furniture, miniature animals, etc.
creative ideas for things to do with children at home
  1. Put on rain boots and jump in mud puddles
  2. Hang a rope swing
  3. Make an outdoor kitchen space using old mixing bowls, pots and utensils then get creative with outside ingredients
  4. Blow-up water balloons and have a non-conventional baseball game
  5. Make an obstacle course using outdoor objects (hula hoops, tree branches, jump rope)
  6. Have an outdoor tea party
  7. Lay on a blanket and cloud gaze (the first one to identify five clouds that look like an animal wins!)
  8. Trace the shadow of a favorite toy onto a piece of paper
  9. Make a huge maze using sticks
  10. Set up a tent for playing, or if you're brave, an overnight camp out
  11. Build a fire and make dinner (may we suggest hot dogs, followed by s'mores?)
  12. Catch fireflies
  13. Make mud pies (an old cake pan works great!)
  14. Play flashlight tag
  15. Lay on a blanket and search for constellations
  16. Make a flower chain necklace
  17. Build and plant a bean plant fort
  18. Have a potato sack race
  19. Collect items a bird would use to make a nest (sticks, moss, string, feathers, etc.) and try to build one using these items
  20. Have a water gun war
  21. Play red light, green light
  22. Make a slip and slide (if you're brave, add a little dish soap)
  23. Do an Easter egg hunt just of the fun of it
  24. Have the most fun car wash ever
creative ideas for keeping children busy at home
  1. Find some rocks, paint them and then hide them for others to find
  2. Freeze small toys in a large container and then remove ice block outdoors and go ice excavating
  3. Collect nature items (flowers, sticks, acorns, pine cones, etc.) and use them to spell out your name
  4. Make water balloon pinatas
  5. Put tons of pillows and blankets inside a blow-up pool and lounge at night with a mug of cocoa and a good story
  6. Do a seed investigation — draw a picture of the fruit/veggie then identify and draw the seed
  7. Play a game of Simon Says

We hope this list of awesome, no screen actives will help you and your kids get some creative juices flowing while realizing there are SO many adventures to be had out from behind a screen. Well, what are you waiting for?! Let the fun begin!

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