Fun indoor activities when it’s too bleak to go outside
What do you do when it’s too cold, rainy or polluted to go outside but the kids are ready to burn some of their bottomless energy reserve? When there ‘ain’t no sunshine’ and the good old board games just won’t do anymore, you need some foolproof entertainment in a hurry! We’ve come up with some easy peasy ideas for you and your brood to entertain the whole family (including you!). These simple activities require zero screen time hours and loads of family bonding sure to see you through those ‘stay indoor’ kind of days.
Get everyone involved and whip up some yummy bites in the comforts of your own kitchen. A simple “recipe” search in Sassy Mama will give you a lot of ideas! You can then extend the entertainment time by adding a tea party or an indoor picnic.
If it’s time for dinner, there’s nothing like a home-cooked meal (hello, pizza!) prepared as a team after a long day of indoor activities. Make some chef hats and put them on when doing this!
Can’t be bothered to bake? Try Sassy Mama’s Family Recipes: 3 Quick & Easy No-Bake Bites to Make with Kids or Healthy and Easy Snack Recipes with Only Three Ingredients
But if the last thing you want is your little ones near the stove, let the latest slime craze be your guide. Get those senses working with safe, fun and homemade recipes available everywhere online. Let them identify different states of matter during the process, something the little chemists will definitely enjoy.
Sassy Mama Tip: Search for recipes for “fluffy slime” – they’re not as messy as the others – and check out Glitter + Slimes for inspo.
Story time doesn’t only have to be before bed. We all know the great benefits of raising a reader. So cuddle up with a pile of books and spend quality time developing vocabularies and get creative- act out parts of the stories and play with costumes and props!
Sassy Mama tip: Need some inspo? Read more: Books for the Whole Family: Top 6 Bookstores in Hong Kong, Our Favourite Hong Kong Children’s Authors and Books, Children’s Books: Best Modern Fairytales to Empower Sassy Girls
Burn some energy (and calories) by making up your very own fitness boot camp at home. Get the family moving with jump ropes, yoga, and jumping jacks. You can even create your own obstacle course with props available to you at home. Add excitement and competition by using a timer or stopwatch and setting time limits for each physical activity.
If no one feels like jumping around (or they are already ready for the next activity – will the day ever end?!), make an indoor bowling set using recycled bottles of plastic as pins (fill with water) and knock them down with a ball. Get even more realistic by writing down scores. Ten is the traditional number of rounds. Each pin knocked down is worth one point. Customise the rules based on the children’s age (rules on strikes and spares can be applied to older kids). Highest score wins!
You’ve seen those elaborate puzzle box sets of famous cityscapes in the shops and never dared touch them, now it’s time to engage and challenge yourselves as a family in an ambitious jigsaw puzzle! Personalise it by choosing a puzzle of your hometown or even your own family portraits (available here). Frame and hang them on your wall after completion.
Look for the next “idol”. Host, judge and set up your own home talent show. Kids can work together or separately, just tell them to let their imaginations – and performances – run wild. Have the kiddos put on a show and be quirky with the execution. A closet raid (keep your best frocks out of this!) is a great way to put on fun costumes for their “moment” in the spotlight.
Finally, that 1,000+ piece Lego set that was given as a birthday or Christmas present will be put to good use! Create a mini city. Have fun with the details: add hospitals, banks, schools, parks and trees. If you don’t have Legos (really?), make models out of paper, toys and any other items your kids have lying around.
Your child is more of a crafty kid? Have fun with bubble wrap you recycled from packages you’ve received. Bubble wrap can be used to make arts and crafts such as painting with watercolour, writing cards for friends and relatives, collage making and more! (See more ideas here.) You can even use it to make necklaces, getting as funky as you want. If the kids want something more active, then try bubble wrap hopscotch.
Another fun thing to do is let the kids go to town with tie-dye, that is, after you lay a plastic tablecloth on the floor or kitchen counter! All you will need is some dye, rubber bands, and old white T-shirts. Tie-dye projects do not end at T-shirts; you can use socks, towels, dresses, tote bags, hats, bandanas, and even shoes! Have fun creating your unique designs – maybe even come up with a family style!
If your children are old enough to recognise numbers then you are in luck! An easy way to entertain the youngsters indoors is by playing card games. Nothing beats the classics (Go Fish, Memory, Snap, Rummy, etc). Aside from the fun of it, playing cards is also a good way to practice math, logic, and following rules and structure. For something truly Hong Kong-related, try learning some traditional Chinese card games such as the Chinese Ten.
When you’ve kicked some butt at cards (some of us here are a little competitive!), make puppets and hold your own puppet show. Pirates, policemen, and all kinds of animals, paper bag puppets are an enjoyable way to get crafty! Follow with an artistic puppet show! (Click here for some easy tips to making your own at home.)
If your kids are way more into cars and active toys, grab some masking tape and create a racetrack in your living room! ‘Build’ roads and speedways with the tape and use ordinary objects and toys to set up gas stations, diners, and cinemas. Your child’s imagination knows no limits, and this this track may even extend to other parts of the apartment.
All days – even indoor ones – need downtime. But don’t make it the usual, one – build a fort instead! We haven’t met a child yet who doesn’t love building a fun place to hang out. If you want to take it to the next level, try picking a room or corner in the house that you don’t mind being messy for a few hours. Use blankets, pillows and pegs to secure them. This can potentially provide hours of entertainment if you let them decorate, bring in toys and books, and maybe even a picnic inside the fort!