It’s not easy keeping kids busy and entertained when you’re all stuck at home. It’s tough. Believe me — I know. Which is why I’ve compiled a list of affordable and fun indoor activities for kids that are easy enough to keep your kids (and yourself) entertained.
1. Take advantage of free virtual museum tours.
Most cities are now offering virtual museum tours for everyone who can’t visit in-person. Check the city’s listings for options. Usually, Google does the trick. Visit Mcm.edu for listings all around the world.
2. Do some mind-blowing science experiments for kids at home.
Heck, what parent isn’t thrilled when their children take a shine to fun science experiments at home that keep them preoccupied for hours while learning the laws of nature? Form clouds in jars, create snowstorms, icicles, and more — all from inside your home.
These indoor science experiments are the reason my kids have been wishing for indoor days more often. When you try these out (please) send me an invite!
3. Order delivery or pickup from restaurants where kids eat free.
Sometimes staying inside is just too much. Eating out or ordering in can seem like a real treat, and if you eat at restaurants offering deals on kid eating for free you can make a fun meal a lot lighter on your wallet.
Kids eating for free deals are normally tied to days of the week, like Tuesday’s and Saturday’s. But not to worry, you can find these deals every day of the week if you know where to look.
Keep in mind that these deals are usually tied to BOGO promotions. Denny’s, for example, offers kids to eat for free with the purchase of an adult entree.
Luckily, there are a lot of free delivery deals floating around at the moment. If you don’t want to leave in the middle of a fun game, order delivery, and get some good deals on your kids’ meals.
Also, remember to check in with your local franchises to make sure these “kids eat free” offers are available in your area.
Related: Curbside Pickup Restaurants with Kids-Eat-Free Meals
4. Listen to NPR’s “Kids and Family” free educational podcasts at home.
NPR podcasts aren’t just for adults. In their Kids and Family podcast section, they’ve got fun options for children who have cabin fever. “Brains On,” for example, features science for kids and curious adults.
5. Get your kids the ABCmouse app and access award-winning educational programs for 50% off.
The ABCmouse app features over 8,000 educational programs and more than 850 lessons that teach reading, math, science, social studies, art, and music. Plus, you’ll also get online books, educational games, puzzles, art activities, and printables.
Right now you can get two months’ access to the ABCmouse app for just $5 (it’s regularly $9.95 a month) — almost a 50% savings! Outside of this promotion you can try the ABCmouse free trial for 30-days, and a 49% discount on their annual subscription (normally $59.95).
6. Get three Elmo games and Learning Kits for 91% off and practice preschool activities at home.
Right now, you can buy three Elmo Learning Kits for just $3.99 and get a free Elmo growth chart and stickers pack with free shipping ($44.75 value). That’s a 91% savings.
Each research-backed kit comes with a storybook, an activity book, and activity cards. They focus on school-readiness, help children gain life skills, and reinforce important learning themes. When we have these kits out, my children hardly notice the weather. They’re just totally enthralled and learning all at the same time.
7. Make these $5 DIY sponge blocks for kids and enjoy the quiet.
I had to fit this one in here because sometimes it’s not keeping kids busy indoors that’s the problem. Sometimes (let’s be honest), it’s noisy, and you’re craving some quiet time.
To make your sponge blocks all you need are colorful sponges ($1 for a pack of two) and a serrated knife. Then slice those sponges into three-fourths inch strips and they’re ready for endless playtime.
8. Get five Dr. Seuss books for $5.99 and enjoy an afternoon of reading.
Get your kiddies five Dr. Seuss and His Friends storybooks for just $5.99, and free shipping. You can also get two bonus books for an additional $5.99 — that’s a 50% savings.
Each month, after signing up, you’ll get three more Dr. Seuss and His Friends books sent to your home, but there’s no obligation to keep them. If you do choose to keep them, they’re yours for just $5.99 per book plus $3.99 shipping. Not bad for your little one who’s prone to being grinchy on rainy days.
TIP: Make some green eggs and ham for a Dr. Seuss themed afternoon!
9. Solve puzzles with a free Highlights Magazine subscription.
Challenge your four – seven-year-old to tackle mazes, word games, and activities with a free Highlights puzzle book and tote bag (just pay $1 for shipping). Try their Hidden Pictures digital daily puzzles 14-day free trial, and pay only $2/month with an annual subscription — a 50% off deal.
Highlights also offering up to 60% off their annual magazine subscriptions, along with a Hidden Pictures Fun book as a free gift. Each magazine has 32 pages of puzzles and experiments that will keep your kiddos occupied for hours.
Plus, when you shop their sales section you’ll save up to 70% on book collections, sticker sets, games, learning kits, puzzles, and an array of group packages.
TIP: Get an extra $5 off your first order of $20 or more. All you have to do is explore Highlights.com and the offer will pop up — just type in your email.
10. Get book bundles at World Book Kids for 50% off.
Help them learn about the world — especially when you’re stuck indoors. I love these curriculum-based books because they help broaden my children’s views, but they also make them want to read. That’s what I call a success.
The best part? You can snag their book bundles for more than 50% off. For only $29, you’ll get a bundle of three books and save $29.90 off their regular price ($49.95).
Plus, when you sign up for their updates you’ll receive 10% off your first purchase. If you don’t like to share your email, just peruse their website until a window pops up offering 10% off.
TIP: World Book offers free material and resources you can check out and share.
11. Watch Amazon Prime movies free for a month with the whole family at home.
From the Mighty Morphin Power Rangers to Silver Spoons and Mr. Rogers’ Neighborhood — the shows you thought you might not ever see again are free with Amazon Prime.
If you aren’t already a member, you can try Prime’s 30-day free trial. If you end up not liking it, just go to Account Settings and stop the automated payment before your trial is up.
12. Building newspaper forts is a fun indoor activity for kids.
Gather up all those extra newspapers and use them to build the indoor fort of your child’s dreams. Use old newspapers, masking tape, and a stapler to construct a frame that’s strong enough to cover with a light blanket or sheet.
A DIY newspaper fort is the perfect little tent for reading, tea parties, playing games… And whatever else your imagination can come up with.
13. Take advantage of the time at home and teach your own baby Einstein with free Baby Einstein bundles.
If you have a baby or toddler Einstein of your own, then they will love these books and cards.
If you join Baby Einstein Playful Discoveries, you’ll get a welcome package that includes three board books (Music on the Go, Baby Animals, Happy Families – Animals), one squishy plush book (Baby is So Big), and a set of discovery cards with a card ring and parents guide. Just pay $5.95 and you’ll get free shipping.
14. Make homemade slime for endless hours of indoor fun.
You only need three ingredients to keep your kids entertained on a day spent indoors. Make this DIY slime out of Borax, warm water, and colored glitter glue.
15. Use an easy Disney cookbook to make something sweet with your little ones.
Disney’s Cakes and Sweets is a magazine with free offerings full of easy-to-follow directions that children can understand.
The Disney cookbook/magazines come with Disney-themed bakeware. You can get the “Welcome Package” for free — just pay a dollar for your first order when you sign up for a subscription. It has everything you need for some indoor magic: a recipe book, a Winnie the Pooh cupcake stencil, and a Mickey Mouse cookie cutter.
Don’t Scroll Up! Here are all the fun activities I mentioned: