We understand that kids with a lot of energy and free time in the house can cause chaos and inevitable disaster regardless of where they live. This is why we've compiled a massive list of our favorite indoor activities for elementary-aged kids that will keep them occupied, allow them to play with friends (or siblings) without much equipment, or allow you to spend quality time with your children!
Please sit back, take a deep breath, and unwind as we provide you with simple activities and fun crafts to help turn a gloomy day into a pleasant one.
*Take a look at our explore page at the end of the article to find some indoor activities near you!
Indoor Games for Kids
Indoor games or activities are a type of structured game or competitive physical exercise that is done primarily at home. They are typically helpful when it is raining or snowing, or when there is a vacation or after school hours when there is more time to kill at home. Moments like these can be used to spend meaningful time with your children by playing some indoor games.
The following are some of the best indoor activities for elementary-aged kids to keep them active and stretching their muscles and brain.
- Indoor Literacy Activities
Literacy learning is one of the best activities you can do with your elementary-aged children. If they can read, you can let them read you interesting, picture-filled books, or you can simply read to them in a fun way. Indoor literacy activities could include:
- Alphabet tracers – These are printables or learning worksheets that help children learn alphabets by tracing the dots shown in the images.
- Hanging the alphabet – You use flashcards in a box here, and your children hang words with each letter on the flashboards.
- Spelling games – are simple reading games that use letter sounds or phonetics. Line up words and have your children pronounce the letter sounds first, then the entire word.
Other indoor literacy activities include phonics puzzles, poetry, form letters with craft sticks, and phonics teaching ideas.
- Tape and Maze Games
Tape games are far more versatile indoor games than most people realize. You can start the game by using painter's tape. Tape a line of any length, design, or angle to the floor and challenge your child to follow it to the end. The various tape game variations could be;
- Angle Balance beam – Tape down lines in different angles; spiral and zig-zags, and ask your kid to follow the line to the end
- Tape maze – You will need enough floor space to create a maze for this type of maze game. Create a maze for children, add dead ends, and instruct them to take the correct path.
- Number maze – This game is useful for teaching children number recognition and counting skills. Simply mark numbers along the route, and the child will follow the correct order out.
Driving course, backward balance beam, and heel-to-toe are other variations of the tape and maze games.
- Fun Sock Games
This is one of favorite varieties of indoor activities for elementary-aged kids. They are for you if you have extra socks or old socks lying around the house. You can keep your kids engaged and entertained during a holiday break, weekends, or summer vacation by playing various sock games. Here are some enjoyable sock games:
- Sock puppets – Slip the sock over your hands to make sock puppets. Using these socks, you and your children can dress up as various characters such as animals, humans, aliens, and computers.
- Sock snowmen – You can make your kids rice-filled snowmen out of socks, with cute buttons and a winter hat to play with.
- Sock ball (soccer) – Prepare your play area, create a sock ball, and play football. This is also applicable for other sports such as sock basketball, bowling, throw and catch, dodgeball, baseball batting, hockey, and ski-ball.
- Sock Board Game – This is a ready-made board game you can buy at a game store.
Sock bean bags, sock graphs, and sock memory games are some other enjoyable sock games.
- Indoor Water Activities
Water activity benefits sensory and motor skills, making it an excellent indoor activity for children. Also, kids love to play with water. All you need are some household items such as bowls and, most importantly, a towel to get started. Here are some indoor water activities for kids:
- Car Wash – This is one of the simplest indoor water activities to entertain your children. Fill a pan or tray halfway with warm soapy water and add cars. You're good to go.
- Float and sink experiment – You can conduct your own "science experiment" with a bowl of water and a variety of objects, in which your child tests the floating ability of each object.
- Bubbles – Bubble games are endlessly entertaining for children. The game requires only soapy water, spoons, and cups.
Water-drop races, funnel and hose, playing with thin ice, and container bubbles in the bath are some other simple indoor water activities.
- Balloon Games
Balloons are great for creating inexpensive and fun games that can be used to entertain children. As a parent, you can either supervise or participate in the fun. Here are some balloon game suggestions:
- Keep the balloon up – This is most likely the simplest indoor kid activity. Simply blow up some balloons and tell your kids to keep the balloons from touching the ground.
- Balloon tennis or volleyball – Set up a divider as a net, and your kids can volley the ball back and forth without touching the floor.
Surprise pop, protect your balloon, pass the balloon, and balloon painting are some other balloon games. Some games may require using tools such as fly swatters, wooden spoons, or plastic spatulas.
- Motor Skills Activities
Using indoor activities for elementary-aged kids as a tool for development is fantastic! Children develop motor skills at different rates, but some indoor games can help them improve. Motor skill games benefit children who struggle with simple tasks such as grasping pencils, moving objects, and using tools such as scissors. If your child has difficulties, you should try the fun motor skills activities listed below.
- Play dough and putty – These games are frequently used to help children improve their motor skills. Get a box of play clay and let your child stretch, squeeze, and pinch the clay to form various objects.
- Painting – Painting allows you to demonstrate your child's hand-eye coordination, manual dexterity and, most importantly, keep them busy.
- Gardening and planting – Digging, gardening, and planting improve motor skills. You can do this indoors for small plants!
Ball in a box, filling a jar, sorting activities, and pounding practice are other motor skills that can keep your kids busy and improve their fine motor skills.
A Quick Recap
As you can see, indoor activities do not have to be limited to board or card games. They also don't have to be dull, tedious, or expensive! Our favorite indoor activities for elementary-aged kids allow free play and provide ample time and skill development to explore their world on their own terms.
You can also modify some of these games to suit the equipment you have on hand, as well as if you have more than one child or children of different ages. Take a look at these other articles for more incredible activities!