It’s raining, it’s pouring, and your kids are bored out of their minds. What can you do? Check out “The Ultimate List of 20 Indoor Activities for Families” to keep your family entertained for hours on end. From build-a-fort to making homemade pizzas, there’s something for everyone on this list. So go ahead, take a break from the Great Indoors and have some fun!
Create your own film festival
I’m so excited to share this fun new idea with you. Creating your own film festival is the perfect way to entertain your family – especially during these winter months when the outdoors may not be available for activities. With creating your own film festival, you can sit together in the comfort of your own home to watch a list of movies you pick yourself – from comedy flicks to award-winning dramas and everything in between. What’s more, is that you can also turn it into a contest amongst family members where everyone picks their favorite movie and votes thereafter on who has the best choice of picture! Have some popcorn ready, cozy blankets nearby, and be sure to create an unforgettable virtual film experience you’ll want to relive again and again.
Consider these ideas:
- IMDB has a list of 100 Movies Bucket List, starting with The Shawshank Redemption and The Godfather.
- The Hollywood Reporter surveyed people in the movie industry and came up with a list of Hollywood’s 100 Favorite Films.
- Rotten Tomatoes has a list of the Top 100 Documentaries as reviewed by critics.
- Rotten Tomatoes also has a list of the Top 100 Comedy Movies as reviewed by critics.
Take an online class
An online class can be the ultimate indoor activity for families. With virtual lessons and at-home instruction, online classes have provided a great way to interact with others from all around the world. This gives you so many possibilities on what to learn and new skills to practice. Whether it’s an online baking class or a language course – there are so many incredible offerings available now that you can take advantage of in your own home. It will be an exciting journey into discovering something new!
- edX has thousands of courses from top institutions like Harvard and MIT if your kids are older.
- The Great Courses has courses on everything from photography to secret societies to algebra.
- Masterclass offers courses taught by experts in their field (James Patterson, Steve Martin, Gordan Ramsay, and many more).
- Udemy has classes in learning new instruments all the way to arts and crafts and everywhere in between.
Plan a trip
If you want to plan the ultimate family activity, plan a trip together! Vacations are not only fun and make lasting memories, but they also give us a chance to reconnect with each other. With some well-thought-out planning, creating the perfect itinerary will be easy. Start by deciding on the destination – think about places that have activities and attractions that appeal to everyone in your family. Once you’ve picked an ideal location, plan transportation and accommodations that best fit your budget and needs. And don’t forget to plan your activities so the whole group can enjoy them. When everything is scheduled, it’s time for everyone to pack their bags and head out on vacation!
- There are some great tools that can help you plan your trip. The “My Maps” section of Google Maps allows you to place pins on specific locations that you’ll be visiting. Then you can pull those locations into the Google Maps smartphone app to get directions from place to place.
- The Google Trips app scans your inbox for things like hotel reservations, car rentals, and itineraries. It then pulls all that information into a central location and creates an itinerary.
- Though the Lonely Planet app is no longer supported or updated as of February 2022, it still has guides to thousands of cities providing tips and advice from experts. These guides are incredibly useful when exploring cities around the world.
Take a virtual field trip
It may be raining outside your window, but your family can take a virtual field trip to sunny places all around the world! Picture your family laying on the beach in the Caribbean while watching the waves roll in or exploring the stunningly beautiful sights of Spain. With a virtually limitless list of places to explore, your family can choose where they’ll go next and journey around the globe with just a few clicks. Take this opportunity to explore new destinations and show your kids that they don’t need to wait for perfect weather to take an amazing trip!
- If you want to explore the world digitally, it’s hard to beat Google Earth. Using incredibly detailed satellite imagery, you can get a detailed look at millions of locations around the world, including places like the Taj Mahal, the Eiffel Tower, and Rome.
- If you love animals, check out the Panda Cam at Zoo Atlanta.
- With the Georgia Aquarium Ocean Voyager live cam, you can observe thousands of fish, including sharks!
- Star Atlas allows you to explore the constellations that dot the night sky.
- Yellowstone National Park has a number of interactive maps and a live stream of the Old Faithful geyser.
- If you’re a history buff, don’t miss the virtual tours offered by the Smithsonian Museum of Natural History.
- With Google Arts & Culture, you can virtually peruse more than 1,200 museums and galleries, including the Metropolitan Museum of Art.
- Colonial Williamsburg has a number of webcams which give you a sense of what it was like living in America 200 years ago.
- Great Wall of China virtual tour allows you to explore one of the seven wonders of the world
Connect with family and friends while cold winds blow
Hey there cold weather fans, here’s a great suggestion for staying connected with family and friends during this chilly season. While the winds outside keep temperatures low, you can keep spirits up and keep your relationships growing by using technology to keep in touch! Phone calls or Zoom audio/video chats are great ways to keep those meaningful conversations flowing. You can now do a virtual happy hour with all your close ones or even play games online. With the long winters and everyone inside why not keep family and friends close by phone or Zoom?
- Zoom is primarily designed for business use, but also works really well for video chat with a group of people.
- Marco Polo enables you to send video messages to friends and family which they can view at any time.
- WhatsApp is a group chat app that makes it simple to have text conversations with multiple people at one time.
- Netflix Teleparty allows you to watch movies along with friends and family. You can chat in real time and everything is kept in sync for all parties.
Another idea is to gather the family together with stationary or cards so everyone can keep in touch long distance. It might seem a bit old-school, but there’s no better way to share your thoughts than with a handwritten letter for grandma and grandpa. Receiving it would make their day!
Many of us have found ourselves turning to healthy lifestyle habits such as exercising, healthy eating, and mindfulness. But if you’re looking for an activity that can be practiced indoors, meditation is a great option. It not only allows us to take care of our mental health through relaxation and stillness but it also offers other benefits such as reducing stress levels, improving sleep and focus as well as creating a sense of connection with yourself. There are plenty of different methods out there so don’t hesitate to explore online or contact experts in the field. Meditation can bring balance into your life and is a great indoor activity for the entire family!
- Headspace has a huge number of guided meditations, sleep sounds, mini-meditations, and more.
- Hallow is a Catholic meditation app to help you find peace and grow in your spiritual journey.
- Calm offers numerous meditations of varying lengths, breathing exercises, nature sounds, sleep stories, and much more.
- Aura offers personalized meditations, music, stories, and coaching based on your mood.
- Glo combines yoga and meditation, allowing you to strengthen body and mind simultaneously.
Go on a Treasure Hunt
When the kids are stuck at home and can’t think of anything to do, it’s important to come up with creative ways to help them combat boredom. One solution is an indoor treasure hunt! Going on a treasure hunt can be so much fun for the whole family – from finding fun hideaways and surprise rewards to asking tricky brainteasers or competing in silly challenges, indoor treasure hunts will provide hours of indoor entertainment that is perfect for families. With a little bit of creativity, everyone can join in and make new memories while stuck indoors.
Choose a “treasure” that your kids will love, like their favorite candy. Hide the treasure out of sight. Ensure that it can’t be easily found. Then, create a series of clues that will eventually lead to the treasure. Clue one leads to clue two, which leads to clue three, with the final clue leading to the treasure.
Depending on the age of your children, you can either use written clues or pictures. For example, if you hide a clue in the refrigerator, you could write, “It keeps our food cold.” Or you could draw a picture of your refrigerator.
Start a gratitude journal
Believe it or not, keeping a gratitude journal has lots of the same benefits as keeping up a regular meditation practice. Not only does it promote mindfulness and help curb anxious thoughts and feelings, but by keeping track of everyday things that make us appreciative of what we have can jump-start positive emotions in us–while still keeping track of our struggles. Keeping a gratitude journal is a must for the ultimate list of 20 indoor activities for families. So go ahead and start keeping track of all those things that make you smile each day!
You don’t need to spend a long time on your journal. Just come up with a few things every day for which you’re thankful. This can include even the smallest things, like a cup of coffee, a movie you enjoyed, your health, or a conversation with a friend.
Watch a TED talk
There are some really great TED talks geared toward families. Whether you’re looking for something fun and lighthearted to do on a rainy day or seeking out thought-provoking content, there’s plenty of amazing topics to explore. Take advantage of them! Don’t let bad weather keep you stuck inside. TED has something for everybody, no matter their age or interests. Try out this list from Ted, but do your own exploring, by turning on your favorite TED talk and see what discoveries await!
Some talks that might interest you:
- Brene Brown on the power of vulnerability
- Simon Sinek on great leadership
- Dan Pink on the puzzle of motivation
- Elizabeth Gruebel on the power of family stories
- Dan Gilbert on the science of happiness
- Elizabeth Gilbert the author of “Eat, Pray, Love” on creative genius
Declutter your closets
As the clutter in your closets starts to get overwhelming, make it an exciting adventure with your kids! Have them make piles of items they want to keep, sell, throw away, and donate. Not only will this make clean-up easier for you, but who knows what memories might come flooding back once the kids sort through some of their older stuff? Chances are they’ll make a few interesting discoveries. Even better is that decluttering could be an opportunity for them to practice generosity by donating unused items – it might make them feel proud to feel how much joy their contribution could bring to others.
Here are a few simple rules to help you easily declutter your closets:
- Do you have two of the same thing? Get rid of one.
- Have you used something in the last year? If not, get rid of it.
- Are you holding onto things out of guilt (like gifts)? Don’t.
- Would you buy the same thing today? If not, you probably don’t need it.
Learn to play an instrument
There are thousands of online courses that can teach you how to play an instrument, no matter whether it’s guitar, violin, or saxophone. Who knows, this ultimate indoor activity might be the springboard for your kids to open up a whole new world! There’s nothing like understanding how chords come together and creating something beautiful from them. There is a sense of accomplishment and pride it brings when you master the music and let it take over your body as if you’ve been playing for years. So why don’t you join in on the fun and learn to play an instrument with your children? It’ll bring the entire family closer together and add value to life in more ways than one.
- Yousician offers online lessons for a variety of instruments.
- Guitar Tricks will help you get up and running quickly on the guitar.
- Live Music Tutor connects you with musicians who will personally teach you to play your instrument.
- The offerings from Udemy are almost endless.
- YouTube has thousands of free tutorial videos on dozens of instruments.
Take up a new hobby
If you can brave the weather, there are plenty of activities to indulge in outdoors. If that’s not your cup of tea, there are many options for finding a new hobby indoors too. Your family might try bowling, or an indoor archery range – both of which can be great fun and help build skills. If aiming isn’t your thing, why not try your hand at an indoor putting range? Putting is a great way to practice a steady hand and get a bit of competition going between friends and family. Whatever you choose, trying something new can be incredibly rewarding!
Try these ideas:
- Are you a foodie? Start baking.
- Enjoy doing crafts? Begin learning woodcarving.
- Beer or wine connoisseur? Learn to make your own.
- A fan of art? Practice painting or drawing.
- Like telling stories? Write a novel.
Find something that makes you happy and start doing it!
Play a game together as a family.
You may have some great board games, card games or video games around the house, but don’t forget to mix things up and plan ahead for those “indoor” days. You and your family can get creative and play a game together that everyone will enjoy. Check out this list of the most family-friendly choices from Amazon — you may just find something fitting everyone’s interests! Whether it’s a good old-fashioned board game or a high-tech video game, sometimes just taking the time to unplug from our devices and bond over some friendly competition is the best way for families to come together for some laughter and fun.
Obviously, you can play classic games like:
- Connect Four
If you want to do something different, do a quick Google search on “family games”. You’ll find hundreds, if not thousands, of fun games.
Build a fort
Building a fort is one of my favorite family activities! It’s something people across the country have been doing for years, whether you purchase a pre-made kit or make it from scratch out of sheets and boxes. Kids absolutely love it – they can build whatever their imaginations come up with, and then spend hours inside playing with mom and dad! Building a fort on a rainy day is the perfect way to keep the kiddos entertained – trust me, it never fails to be loads of fun for everyone involved. So don’t wait around for things to dry up outside – grab some supplies and get to constructing that fort!
If you want to spark things up, you can have a battle using Nerf guns or balled up socks. Everyone will be laughing when it’s over!
Learn how to code
For those techies in the bunch, learning how to code has never been more fun or accessible! Udemy has tons of great coding courses available online, while YouTube also has some really great options for basic coding instruction. So why not get the whole family involved? After all, nothing brings people together quite like breaking out of your comfort zone and learning a new skill. You can try having the family learn BasicMarkup HTML language or brush up on their Python skills with real-world projects. For those feeling adventurous, there are many other platforms that offer excellent basic coding instructions so you can start making small website design changes – make sure to check them out!
Also, take a look at these sites:
Create a family website
What a great way to spend time together as an indoor activity for families – creating a family website! This is the perfect opportunity for family members of any age to be creative and collaborate on sharing their lives, photos, stories, and special moments. Whether your family lives near or far, a website is a great way to keep up with one another in this digital age. Setting one up doesn’t have to be complicated either; there are many tutorials available online that make the process very straightforward. What better way to “get the kids off screens” than by encouraging them to work together on something that you can all enjoy? Check out this informative website from Family Tree Magazine as a nice starting point. Giving children this type of responsibility shows them just how important they are in the life of a family.
To build your site, try one of these website builders:
Make a movie
Making a movie with family can be a rewarding experience filled with fun and laughter. Each family is unique in its own way, so creating a film allows you to capture these special moments that bring your family together. From rocking pajama parties to stargazing under the moonlight, let your family shine as you create memories that will last forever. When you’re done capturing all of those moments, upload the finished masterpiece onto your favorite platform. Not only will it bring joy to the entire family for years to come; but it will also be a reminder of that cold January day when you sat around the fireplace and roasted marshmallows with your loved ones. So what are you waiting for? Lights, camera…action!
Once you’re done filming, you can use one of these apps to edit it. Several of these mobile apps can be found in both Goog Play or the Apple app Store:
When you’re done, upload it to Google Drive, Dropbox, or YouTube and share it with family and friends.
Make a Sensory Table
Making a sensory table is a great indoor activity for the whole family. It’s an easy way to get your little ones excited and engaged in their indoor playtime. With just some simple materials like rice, rocks, or beans, they can explore different textures while developing their fine motor skills. Not only that, but you can also customize the sensory table with fun items like scoops and measuring cups – adding another layer of educational fun!
Did you ever put your hand into a bowl of “eyeballs” (peeled grapes) as a kid? Remember how weird it felt? You can give your kids a similar experience by creating a sensory table. It’s really easy. Fill individual containers with textured items, like cold cooked pasta, raisins, steel wool, cotton balls, and more.
After this, put a blindfold on your child and put their hand in each bowl. Have them describe what they feel and also try to guess what it is.
This great indoor activity will keep everyone entertained – and maybe you’ll even learn something new!
Put on A Puppet Show
Kids love to perform, be silly, and be the center of attention. A puppet show allows them to do all three. Plus, it engages their creativity and imagination.
There are loads of different ways to make puppets. Even something as simple as a sock or paper bag works great. Encourage your kids to give each puppet a unique personality, with different names, voices, jobs, and accents. You can even challenge them to create a small backstory for each puppet.
Once the puppets are created, give your kids simple scenes to act out, like going to the grocery store, eating in a restaurant, or walking a dog.
After everyone is comfortable with their puppets, start giving sillier, more ridiculous scenes, such as:
- A friendly alien encounter
- A circus act gone wrong
- Running from escaped animals at the zoo
Go on an Indoor Campout
Just because you’re stuck inside doesn’t mean you can’t still go camping. You just have to get a little creative. If you have a tent and enough space to set it up indoors, set it up. If you don’t have a tent, you can create a tent of sorts by placing blankets over chairs.
Have a special camping dinner to further the feeling of actually camping out. If you can, spread out a blanket and eat next to the tent. To top off the meal, make s’mores in your oven for dessert.
If you have a fireplace, light a fire and gather everyone around it. If you don’t have a fireplace, light a few candles instead. While you’re gathered around the “fire”, tell stories or sing songs.
As you prepare to sleep, play soothing nature sounds. There are dozens of apps with nature sounds that you can use. Try to choose a soothing sound that will help everyone relax.
Finish the campout the next morning with a hearty breakfast, like eggs or pancakes.
Get active and have fun with your family indoors when the weather isn’t cooperating. “The Ultimate List of 20 Indoor Activities for Families” provides great ideas to keep everyone entertained during a rainstorm, power outage, or blizzard. Keep this list accessible on your phone or computer so you’re prepared for anything Mother Nature throws your way. And don’t forget, indoor activities are also perfect for those hot summer days when you want to stay cool without being outside. From movie marathons to baking cookies to starting a Nerf gun war, there’s no reason not to have fun just because you’re stuck inside. So what does your family do to keep everyone smiling when you’re stuck indoors?