In this article
List of Indoor Games for KidsIndoor Games for ToddlersIndoor Games for PreschoolersIndoor Games for TweensIndoor Games for Teens
There can be various reasons for you to keep your child indoors– rains, snow, infection outbreaks, illness, pollution and many more. But keeping him busy indoors is easier said than done. Kids can have a very short attention span and you will find that one activity cannot keep them engaged for a long period of time.
If you find yourself in such a situation, then there is a need to acquaint yourself with a few creative & fun games for kids that can be played indoors.
List of Indoor Games for Kids
Indoor games can be further categorised as per your child’s age. Here we string together a list of indoor games for children specific to their ages for that perfect playtime at home.
Indoor Games for Toddlers
Throw into the Bin
This game is a sort of indoor basketball for toddlers and it is very easy to set up. All you have to do is get a bucket and roll up some old newspaper into balls. Ask your kid to throw the balls and get them into the bucket. This activity will also help in boosting hand and eye coordination of your toddler.
You can create an indoor bowling set up for your kid in no time. Get some empty bottles for the pins and grab one of your kiddo’s play balls to get started. Teach them how to aim and hit the pins. You can also ask your kid to set up the pins for the next game.
Nothing pleases kids more than the idea of doing something adventurous. Bring out the adventurer in your toddler by making him go on a treasure hunt. Hide his favourite toys and treats in different corners of the room and ask him to find them out. Tell him that he will get a surprise gift if he finds them all. You will see that he will get started on his treasure hunt with renewed spirits in no time. This is not only a hit with tots but also scores high among fun indoor games for kids of all ages.
Well, that means go camping indoors! Kids love to act and pretend. So, why not pretend that you are camping? If you have a simple table tent, spare bed linen or blankets, you can easily create a camping environment. Bring snacks to eat, books to read and sing your heart out around a make-believe camp fire.
Give your toddler play dough and they will settle down to create amazing things with it. You will be surprised how play dough brings out the creative genius in your kid. We feel that playing with clay dough is one of the best indoor games for kids, as it promotes cognitive skills in them.
Hide and Seek
This is one of those classic kids' games that will always be popular. Make sure that when you play this game with your toddler, you hide in places where he can easily find you. There is no greater happiness than seeing your kid enjoying their win!
This is another great indoor game which is a favourite with kids. Just give them a few bowls, plates, wooden spoons and saucepans and they will get started with their imaginary cooking. You can also place imaginary food orders to them and they will prepare your favorite dishes in no time.
Mini Car Wash
Turn your child’s bath tub into an inhouse toy garage. Collect all your child’s fleet of cars, trucks, trains and spaceships and give them a cleaning with plant sprayers, empty squeeze bottles and toy syringes. Kids love water and can continue doing this for hours.
Family Photo Game
This is a wonderful way to kill time as well as improve your tot’s memory skills. You can take 10 family photos of various members and locations and arrange them in rows. Hand over some playing cards to your child. When you call out Mommy or Grandpa or a beach your tot should cover the pic with his card.
Tots can pile or stack up blocks, pillows, cushions, etc. which will stand tall to build towers and forts! You can reward your little one for the tallest building he manages to erect.
Blow some bubbles with your tot! You can get the ones available in stores or make some at home with dish soap and water. Care must be taken to swipe the floor clean as the soapy water might be slippery.
Indoor Games for Preschoolers
Play Freeze Dance
This has been an indoor favourite across generations! This is a group games for kids.You can play an upbeat song and the children need to dance while the music is playing. When you pause or stop playing the song they have to freeze- whoever continues tapping his happy feet is out. The winner is the one who is the last one still dancing or freezing.
Indoor Obstacle Race
Rearrange some cheap furniture and other household items to create an obstacle track. Encourage your child to crawl under the chair, clamber down the cushion hill, jump over the mug, or wiggle through the bedsheet tunnel.You can join him too in his adventure.
Practise simple yoga postures when you're looking for active indoor games for pre-schoolers. You can make it more engaging by introducing animal poses along with sing along tunes. Flash cards with the names and pictures of poses can make it simpler for your child.
You and your child can play catch or hit to keep it in the air. You can use different coloured balloons to hold your child’s interest. Popping a few makes the end as interesting as the game itself.
Children are imaginative and you’ll be surprised how innovative they can get with some homemade musical instruments.You can use an empty storage container as a drum and fill in a plastic bottle with grains, dried beans or coins to be used as a shaker. Don't forget to sing along as your child creates some original music with these kitchen musical instruments.
A peppy number never fails to make your child shake a leg or two. You can create a sequence of steps or copy his favourite dance hero/heroine. Dance sessions generally end with funny flailing of arms and legs and comic steps.
Although not a game in the true sense, this is relevant for homes with indoor plants. Kids love to play with dirt and water. Allow them to help in you in planting and watering your greens. In the process, they learn about Mother Nature too!
This is perfect if you have two or more children or a supportive family. Your child and other participants lie on the floor and pretend to be lions sleeping. An adult hunter is then supposed to wake up the sleeping lions(read: make your child laugh/move) by telling funny jokes, making silly sounds and so forth. The last one lying motionless on the ground wins the game while anyone who moves will join the hunter.
This can be really hilarious with your child playing a funny monkey or showing his wilder side as a lion. It gets better with some props and a little makeup.
Perform some basic magic and see your darling’s jaw drop in awe! Simply place her favourite hair clip under a cup. Drop the clip by moving the cup to the edge of the table. Count till 5 and ask your tot to lift the cup. Watch her eyes light up in disbelief when she finds the clip gone.
Balancing on the Beam
Take a broad coloured sticky tape and stick it on the floor. Now ask your little one to walk in a straight line over the tape. You can make it more interesting by asking your child to move backwards or hop on 1foot along the straight line of the beam tape.
Indoor Games for Tweens
Dots and Boxes
A pen and paper game for 2 people, it starts with an empty grids of dots. Players take turns to draw horizontal or vertical lines between 2 adjacent unjoined dots to complete a box. Whoever makes the maximum number of boxes wins.
Tic Tac Toe
This is another interesting pen and paper game for your tween. Begin by drawing a grid of 2 horizontal dissecting 2 vertical lines. Players tae turns of choosing a box by writing the letter O or X. The aim is to fill 3 identical marks in a row, column or diagonal. Preventing the opponent from doing so adds some brainstorming to this otherwise simple game.
Your child can place his stack of dominoes one after the other in close range either in a straight line or in a maze. Striking one domino will make all topple in a wave. It’s fun to watch and very entertaining considering the various designs that can be formed before toppling.
Guess The Sound
This game will show how yow good your child is at identifying common sounds. You can make any kind of sound like a car starting, running water, dropping an object,or plugging the mixer. Alternatively, you can make animal sounds or play musical instruments and ask your child to identify the source.
There is a whole list of puzzles which your child and you can choose from, starting with crosswords, cryptograms, wordplay, quizzes, riddles, optical illusions, etc. Your child can pass hours indoors with a few carefully chosen puzzles.
You can pack some basic engineering materials like paper, water pipe cleaners, glue, marbles, paper clips,r ubber bands and paper drinking cups into a mystery bag and see what your little genius turns them into. A sling, pencil stand or maybe a catapult? Let him put on his thinking hat and get going!
Land, Sea and Air
Divide your living room into two areas-land and sea. A carpet can serve as land and the bare floor as sea.Whenever you say “sea” or “land”, your child is supposed to hop on the ground and back on to the carpet respectively. He needs to jump up as high as as he can when you say air. This is a particularly funny indoor game which is a good means of exercise as well.
This is a variation of the common hide and seek game. Here one player hides and the others go hunting for him in different directions. If the hunter finds him out he'll squeeze in the smae hiding spot. The game ends with all the players getting together in the same hiding spot like a school of sardines.
This is a multiplayer game and gets better with more participants. You need 1 less chair than the number of players. Everyone has to move around when the music plays and grab a seat once it stops. The one standing is out. Repeat by removing 1 chair each time 1 player is out. The last one sitting wins the game.
Here, your child impersonates someone - his parents, other family member, his teachers and so on. He’ll write the name of the person in a chit of paper and keep it in his pocket. You must rightly guess the person!
Select a theme and let everyone in the family put up their act accordingly. If it’s summer season theme then your child can play the sun and the rest of you a water body, trees, living beings, etc.Enact a short simple story on the theme. Your child will not only learn something new but also feel confident and responsible being a part in the play.
This is an all time favourite indoor group games for kids. One person whispers a message to another, which in turn is whispered across a circle of players. The last player announces the message to the entire group. The fun factor arises not only from the tickling sensation while being whispered to but also when the message gets hilariously distorted by the time it’s announced.
Indoor Games for Teens
This is one of the best indoor games for children. The rules differ across regions. But broadly, the players have to pocket the coins by aiming a striker. Different coloured coins have different values with the queen being valued the most.The aim is to pocket as many coins with each strike - especially the queen.
This is an engrossing indoor game for kids and elders alike.In this board game of ideally 2 players, the goal is to checkmate the other king with a 16 piece army of 1 king, 1 queen, 2 rooks, 2 bishops, 2 knights an 8 pawns for each player.
Choose a topic such as a list of items required for packing for picnic. You can start with -“In my picnic basket, I packed some cakes. ” Your child can will recite the same sentence and item and add an item of her own. The goal is to add on the items and narrate them correctly in sequence.
Hang as many balloons as you can in a row at different heights. Make your child wear a cap with a pin secured to it. The aim is to burst the balloons with the pins sticking out of the hat -no hands please! This can be lots of fun if you have more participants and make players compete against each other.
Pass the Peanut
This is again a multiplayer game where the whole family needs to participate actively for maximum fun. Each player holds a spoon in his mouth. A peanut is placed on the 1st player’s spoon. He has to pass it to the spoon of the adjacent player without dropping the peanut. The player who drops is out of the game and the last 2 are the winners.
You can select a theme such as movie names and try explaining them through facial expressions, gestures and other body language without speaking. Once your child guesses correctly, he would act out his chosen phrase or personality or movie and you’ve to guess correctly.
Snakes and Ladders
In this board game, each player puts their counter at the start point. Now each one gets a turn to roll the dice. If your counter moves to the head of a snake, you must slide down to the bottom of the snake. If your counter moves to the base of a ladder, you can climb up to the top of the ladder. The spaces a counter moves in each throw is guided by the number on the dice facing up.
Truth or Dare
Player 1 will start the game by asking the other to choose truth or dare. If player 2 chooses truth then player 1 will ask him a question- generally an embarassing one- which player 2 must answer truthfully. If player 2 chooses dare then he’d be asked to complete a task either difficult or funny. Repeat with all players.
Another funny indoor games for teenagers is footsy pop. You and your child tie a balloon to your foot. Both of you must now run around and try to pop each other’s balloon without bursting his own. This is sure to create loads of laughter.
Grab a Sticker
You have to place 10 stickers or labels on your child’s back. The same goes for you. Then, you both have to try to steal a sticker from each other's back without getting caught. The one who plucks out the maximum number of stickers is the winner. This is one of the best grab-and-run indoor games for teens.
Pass the bottle
Take a longish plastic bottle, place it in between your knees and then pass it on to your child. Your child must take it with his knees and pass it back exactly in the same way. This game requires a lot of concentration and balancing. Dropping the ball while trying to pass it kicks you out of the game.
Hold on to the edges of a small blanket with your teen and see how many times you can throw a ball in the air or catch it while it comes down. Continue to improve your throws and catches.
If you know an easy indoor game that really keeps your kid happy, then do share it with us. We’d love to hear from you!