50 Indoor Things for Kids to do Instead of Screen Time

50 Indoor Things for Kids to do Instead of Screen Time

things to do with kids in Cleveland, Ohio

Across the U.S. and Northeast Ohio, it’s likely that crops of couch potatoes sprout up every winter. They are fueled by the colder days and early sunset. If you can’t get out of the house this winter — and those days will happen — look for alternatives to entertain your little ones and leave the electronics in the chargers.

Here are 50 suggestions to help combat cabin fever and get your kids through until the spring thaw.

Use your imagination:

  • Make paper airplanes out of colored paper
  • Cut out paper dolls and accessories from newspapers
  • Create doll houses and furniture out of felt pieces
  • Build skyscrapers out of Legos or Tinker Toys
  • Use large cardboard boxes to create kid-sized houses that they can decorate
  • Use tape and cups to create an indoor bowling alley
  • Help them play a “stuffed animal” game of soccer or baseball
  • Have a weekly tea or brunch date with your kids
  • Set up a grocery store and let them “shop” or be the managers

Make a game of it:

  • Teach them how to play card games
  • Bring out the classic board games
  • Create a game like Battleship out of two pizza boxes
  • Tape a tic tac toe board on the floor and use colored bean bags for the X and O
  • Have an indoor scavenger hunt or get creative with hide and seek
  • Set up an indoor bowling alley with plastic cups and a lightweight ball

Expand your mind:

  • Help them complete a word search or printable activity sheets
  • Create a library at home where kids can check out books
  • Work on a puzzle
  • Set up a home laboratory and create some science experiments

Play road trip games without leaving the house:

  • Name that Tune – Turn on the radio and see how quickly you can identify the songs
  • I Spy – Describe something in the house so the other players can guess what it is
  • Alphabet Game – Name animals, foods or athletes starting with the letter A, then B, and so on
  • Write a short story with the kids
  • Have them fill in the blanks of a Mad Libs story or make up your own
  • Bingo – Find free printable bingo sheets online

Spend time with family:

  • Look through photo albums or school memorabilia
  • Use your talents to create a family variety show
  • Cook dinner together or bake cookies
  • Create an art gallery, where the kids can hang their work for the family to view
  • Sing karaoke or have a dance party
  • Listen to a book on CD together every night
  • Create an indoor obstacle course for your kids

Get crafty:

  • Make homemade playdough from Kool-Aid
  • Build structures with marshmallows and toothpicks
  • Create pasta people with glue and a variety of pasta shapes
  • Use duct tape and cardboard to make swords and shields
  • Design popsicle stick snowflakes, paint white and hang in the windows
  • Create an indoor, small “sand box” where they can play with their toys, draw letters and use their imagination.
  • Make your own snow globes

Do something for the animals:

  • Teach your dog a new trick
  • String popcorn on a string  or make homemade suet for  the birds
  • Collect towels and blankets or create no-sew blankets for the animal shelter
  • Create a maze for your hamster
  • Make a no-sew pet bed for your cat or dog

Think spring:

  • Plant seedlings to start your garden early
  • Have an indoor picnic
  • Use watercolors to paint a summer sky
  • Make a kite out of sticks and a kitchen garbage bag
  • Order a caterpillar to butterfly kit and watch them grow
  • Create an indoor flower  garden with paper flowers  and grass

Pam Molnar is a freelance writer and mother of three.

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