25 Indoor Activities for Children

Is it too hot where you are to play outside?  My daughter loves to play outside, and with the weather as hot as it has been, it has been hard to keep her energy focused on positive outlets.

All kids are different, some of these activities might entertain your kid for hours and others only a few minutes.  Some of these activities require little or no adult guidance and others require a lot.  Hope these ideas help you get through this way too hot summer.

Here are 25 things you can do inside (without TV), and stay cool with your little ones and still have some fun!

1.  Stickers and More Stickers

I'm not sure what the fascination is with stickers, but my daughter will play with them for an hour.  She will peal them off, put them on the paper, take them off the paper and repeat.  It is too much fun to watch her and I often want to play along.


2.  Paint in the Bathtub

No mess, and lots of fun.  Get them in a diaper and give them lots of paint and paper.  When they are done, it's bath time! Really a low stress, low mess way of expressing their creativity.

3.  Build with Blocks

We have many block sets, and they are in various places around the house.  Stacking and building is creative play that can be empowering.  They can see their impact on their environment and make changes quickly.  This is a wonderful visual learning tool (we count and sort by colors).

4.  Play with Train set

There is just something about trains that kids like.  I set up the tracks and she gets busy pushing the trains around the tracks.  She even knew who Thomas was before we watched one episode.

5.  Read Books 

Books, books and more books.  Our home is covered in books, and we just can't get enough of them.  We go to the library once a week to get new ones to read through.  Several times a day we go through a stack of books.

6.  Picnic or Tea Party

Finger foods are fun to eat, and we will put down a blanket in the living room and have some fun.  Makes snack time special and makes clean up easy, just shake the blanket outside.

7.  Build a Fort 

This does not need to be anything fancy, quilt or sheet over table.  Last week I set up a card table with a freshly laundered sheet and she loved crawling under and round.  Lots of giggles, we will be doing this again very soon!

8.  Inside Water Table

This might be a big mess, and if it's too big you could move this to the sink or bath tub.  I set out various size plastic bowls, and fill them with some water.  Then I give my daughter some cups and let her play. 

9. Tickles

This is often over looked, but is such a great activity.  My daughter loves tickle games.  Her favorite right now is "creepy, creepy little mouse, looking for his little house, and his little house is......under you chin!"  This is always good for getting excess energy out!

10.  Dance Party

There isn't much I like better than putting on some tunes and dancing.  We laugh and have so much fun when we dance.  She has her own moves, and is ready to boggy anytime she hears music.

11. Crayons and Coloring books

We are just getting out of the 'I love to eat Crayons' phase, and she is starting to realize she can draw shapes; she makes a mean circle.  This is great for learning fine motor skills and they get to make their mark on the world (or at least on designated coloring paper).

12. Exercise

Put on some music and get your heart rate up with some step aerobics.  Or I will set up some mats, and we do some really simple stretches.  Right now she copies what I do, and will take a few deep breaths with me.  Seeing her do plank is just about the cutest thing I have ever seen.

13.  Investigate Something New

Usually the office is off limits, but every now and then I let her play in it.  She is happy to explore, and I can get some writing done.  In the kitchen I will open a new drawer and she will take everything out of it, and with my help she puts it all away.  Keeps things fresh to let them explore somewhere that is usually off limits.

l4.  Play date

Call up a friend and make a date.  Anything new if fun, so a new house or basement to explore is a great time.  When she was little play dates would last only about an hour, but now that she is two, they can last 2-3 hours.

15.  Pet the Pets

We have two cats.  Most of the time the cats keep to themselves, but every so often we will get them to come and and say hi.  Having pets is great for children, teaches them to love and care for animals and to not be afraid.

16.  Mommie's Helper

I am going to milk this for as long as I can, I know someday she won't want to help me.  Right now, however, she loves to help me put things in the trash, vacuum, and put dishes away.  I give her a rag and we will clean the kitchen or bathrooms together.  Such a wonderful helper.

17.  Bathroom Fun

As a teenager I used to spend hours prepping in the bathroom, and it was really fun.  So now I will let my toddler take extra long bath.  Then we will trim our nails and pretend we are at a spa.  We will even fix our hair in crazy ways.

18.  Rearrange the furniture

Moving chairs and other light furniture is fun.  Kids love to feel like they can make an impact on their world. Bonus, you can make your home look better!

19.  Gymnastics 

Get your Olympic spirit on and put on a floor show, somersaults, and balance beams are a big hit with my kiddo!

20.  Cooking

 Whenever I am in the kitchen my little one loves to help.  We pull up a chair for her to stand on, and let her 'help'.  Right now she likes to smell spices, moved the chopped veggies to another bowl, mix salt and other spices with her fingers (I put some in a small bowl for her), and of course taste everything.  When I am cooking something she can't help with, I have some small bowls and spoons she is allowed to use.

21.  Magazine Collage

Well, my daughter is only 2, so this is more like 'let's tear up some paper.'   We will look through old magazines and tear out pages that are pretty.  Maybe some day we will glue them onto a poster, but for now we just tear it up!

22. Dress Up

Pull out hats, gloves, scarves, shoes and belts, then get in front of a mirror.  My daughter loves to look at her outfits, and I always tell her to say "I look beautiful" when she looks in the mirror.

23.  Play-dough

Make some or buy some, and put them to work on the kitchen table.  Plastic cups and knives with cookie cutters are super fun (and I'm always seeing plastic play-dough stuff at garage sales).  

24.  Singing

My daughter loves to dance and sing.  She makes up songs about her world.  The last memorable one "This is a towel".  :)  We have a bunch of songs we sing often.  ABC, Tisty Bitsy Spider, Jesus Loves Me, and Arky Arky are her favorites right now. 

25.  Nothing

Yes that's right let them do nothing, give them time to explore and create on their own.  Stand back (or sit down!) and let them roam and do what they want to do.

Really hope this list helps and gives you some inspiration.  Is there something you do with your toddlers that isn't on this list?  I'd love for you to share in the comments!  Hope you are staying cool.

For more inspration here are some great blogs with even more ideas!
I Can Teach My Child
Teach Your Tot
No Time for Flash Cards

Linked with:

Loving Our Journey

Life In Bloom



  1. Great list! It's way too hot where I am and I find that my youngest (she's 3) tends to get stir-crazy if I don't have stuff ready for her to do... Thanks for the ideas!

    1. Stephanie my daughter goes stir-crazy too. She such an outside girl this 100 plus weather for days on end is really hard on us. So glad you liked the ideas.

  2. We don't have the blessing of little ones, but we work with lots of kids. This is a super helpful resource for moms. I will be pinning it for reference. Thanks!

    1. Diane so glad you will be pinning! I'm always looking through pinterest for ideas, with it being so hot this summer we are getting stir-crazy.

  3. Great ideas. I agree -- Stickers are so fascinating! We love puzzles too and baking is always a hit!

    Lindsey @ Growing Kids Ministry blog