When the weather outside is frightful and the kids are restless and bored, spending some quality time playing games with them is a wonderful alternative to watching TV and playing video games.
Having some fun indoor games for kids on hand to play on those cold or rainy days will not only entertain your child, it will also distract them from the fact that they’re stuck inside. But even more than that, it will create amazing memories that you and your kids will cherish forever.
Here are some fun games for kids of all ages to play indoors that are sure to make those gray days seem more bright and fun:
- The Color Game
- I Spy
- Simon Says
- Hot Potato
- Missing Object
- What’s In The Bag?
- I Packed My Grandmother’s Trunk
- Pom Pom Straw Race
- Who Am I?
- Indoor Scavenger Hunt
- Cup Pong
- Sock Wars
- Dance Party
- Clothes Pin Drop
- Other Types Of Fun Indoor Games For Kids
- Other Fun Indoor Activities
The Color Game
The color game is perfect for playing with toddlers who are just learning their colors. This is an extremely simple game that can be played by one player (and a parent) or several children together.
As the parent or leader, you simply ask your child to “Find me something red (or green yellow, pink, blue, etc.)” and allow your toddler to search around the house looking for something red to bring back to you.
Your toddler will enjoy running around the house looking for colorful objects, and you’ll have fun watching them and cheering them on.
This is a simple indoor game (or outside for that matter) has been around for generations! I played this game as a child and loved it.
I spy can be played with two or more people. One person looks around the room until they spot something of a certain color, size or shape, and then they say “I spy with my little eye something _____”, giving a one word vague description of the object.
The other person then tries to guess what you spied. If one child is playing, they can guess until they get it right. If more than one child is playing each child take turns guessing and the child with the winning guess is the next one to spy something.
This is another fun indoor game I played as a child and then played with my own children. It’s a simple game that younger kids tend to love and it’s easy to learn. Simon says requires children to listen attentively and follow directions.
The caller begins by saying “Simon Says____” and then names an action such as “…touch your nose, stand on one foot, jump up and down, clap your hands, etc.”.
Kids continue doing the action until a new command is given, beginning with “Simon Says….”. Every so often, the caller gives a command without saying Simon Says. The idea is for the kids to ignore any command given without Simon giving the command.
If a child does the new action without Simon saying, then they are out of the game and the rest of the children continue until there is only one child left. The commands can be given at varying speeds to make the game more interesting and fun!
All you need for this game is a ‘potato’ and a timer of some kind. My kids actually played this game with a real potato but you can use a small stuffed animal, a rolled up sock or any other small object. We used a timer that was about a minute long but music works as well.
The children form a circle and when you start the music or the timer, they pass the potato from one to the next as fast as possible. The child stuck with the ‘potato’ when the music stops is out and this continues until there’s only one child left.
Kids really love this game and will often break out into fits of laughter as they quickly try to pass the potato before the time is up or the music stops!
This game is best played with a single child. Collect a small number of toys or objects (smaller toys work best such as a LEGO block, a crayon, a small figure, etc).
Line them up and have your child study them for a few moments. Then have your child turn their back while you remove one of the objects and mix the others up.
Ask your child to turn around and name the missing object. Allow your child to have a turn at removing a object as well for more added fun!
What’s In The Bag?
This is a fun indoor game that can be played with any age child from toddler to teenager. I’ve even played this game with a friend who had to spend time in the hospital.
Just take a pillow case, place a few select items inside such as small stuffed animals, spoons, cards, etc. Then have the guesser close their eyes ( or blindfold them) and have them reach into the bag, feel around for an object. Once they pick one, they try to guess what the object is by touch alone.
If they get it right then they’ve won and they get to hold the bag while the next person takes a turn.
I Packed My Grandmother’s Trunk
This is an alphabet memory game that can played in the house, in a car or when stuck in a tent during those rainy days when camping.
The game starts with one person saying “I packed my Grandmother’s trunk and in it I put (then name any object that starts with the letter A)”. The next person repeats the phrase including the A object, and then adds an object that starts with the letter B.
So for example, a child might start and say “I packed my Grandmother’s trunk and in it I put an apple”, and the next child might say “I packed my Grandmother’s trunk and in it I put an apple and a ball” and so on.
The game keeps going with a new object being added with each letter of the alphabet while repeating all the previous objects packed.
There are many versions of this game where you can begin and name anything in alphabetical order from States to first names to famous people to song titles or anything else you can think of.
Pom Pom Straw Race
This is a fun rainy day activity that can be played by younger children on the floor or older kids at a table.
All the kids get a pom pom and a regular drinking straw. You can use a belt or an old piece of string to make a finish line. Each child places their pom pom at the starting line and when someone says go, they blow like crazy into the straw and try and move the pom pom forward across the finish line.
This is a great game to play at you child’s birthday party!
Who Am I?
This is a fun guessing game that any number of people can play. One person thinks of a famous person (cartoon characters can be used also to make it more fun for younger kids) and gives the initials. The other players take turns asking questions and trying to guess who the person is.
The person who gives the initials can only answer yes or no to the questions. Questions should be geared towards narrowing down who the person could be such as: “Is this person real?”, “Are they living now?”, “Are they an actor, politician, singer?” and so on.
You can only guess who you think the person is after getting a yes answer to your question. If you get a yes answer to your question but can’t guess who the person is, then you get to ask another question until you get a no answer.
The person who correctly guesses who the famous person or cartoon character is wins the game and they get to come up with the famous person or cartoon character for the next round.
Indoor Scavenger Hunt
This is a great game for kids of all ages and can provide lots of family fun for you and your kids.
To play indoor scavenger hunt, simply make up a list of items scattered throughout the house that your children need to search for and then see how many of those items they can find in a set amount of time.
The game is more fun if you select items from all over the house, including bedrooms, the kitchen, the living room and even the bathroom.
Depending on the ages of the kids playing, you may want to include easy to find objects as well as some that are a little more difficult to find.
Okay, I admit it. I stole this game from the classic game of beer pong but it can be modified into a great game for kids!
I’ve played this game with my children and grandchildren and we all had a great time and lots of fun! To play, all you need is 5 or 6 of those plastic cups you use at picnics and parties and a small ball that bounces well, such as a ping pong ball.
Once you’ve lined the cups up at one end of the table, the kids stand at the opposite end of the table and take turns trying to bounce the ball off the table and into one of the cups.
When I play with my grandchiildren I put little treats into the cups so that when one of them manages to bounce the ball into a cup, there’s a little surprise waiting for them.
Small boxes of raisins, miniature candy bars, and other little treats all work well for this game. It also makes a great party game for kids and you can put prizes from the dollar store into the cups.
Like all parents, my kids seemed able to always lose one sock out of a pair until I had a collection of unmatched socks that would fill a laundry basket!
One day when the kids were forced to stay inside and were extremely bored and picking on each other, I decided what they needed was an invigorating ‘snowball’ fight.
Unfortunately it was a rainy fall day with no snow in sight, so I balled up all of those odd socks and divided the kids into two teams. I moved the dining room table against the wall and lined up the chairs in the middle of the room with one team on either side of the chairs.
Then I divided the balled up socks and let them go at it. Within minutes, the kids were pelting one another as they laughed and had a great time. Gone was the boredom and there was no more squabbling for the rest of the day!
When my kids were growing up, I made a rule that once a week we’d turn off the television and shut off the video games. It soon became apparent that with a houseful of restless kids, something needed to be done.
So I’d put on all my oldies and the kids and I would have a dance party. At the time, my kids ranged in age from 3 to 16 and everyone would join in the fun, dancing the night away.
We slow danced, fast danced and even tried a few line dances! It was great fun and everyone always ended the night in a good mood. A dance party makes for wonderful family bonding time!
Clothes Pin Drop
Another simple game to play with your kids is to give them an empty coffee can or plastic bottle with a wide lid and four or five clothes pins.
Have your child place the jar between their feet at the toe level, then try to stand up straight and drop the clothes pins into the jar. It can be great fun and they can become quite competitive trying to see who can get more pins into the jar!
Other Types Of Fun Indoor Games For Kids
Many families today take time out to have a games night and play all kinds of games, including board games and card games. If you want to have have a family games night, it’s a good idea to have a variety of games to choose from. Allowing your kids to pick the game they want to play will make them more excited and the entire family will have more fun.
There are many board games for kids of all ages. Games such as Monopoly, Operation and Trouble are classic board games that span the ages and they’re great fun to play with your kids.
Card games are a great way to pass the time and can be passed down from generation to generation. My family played all kinds of card games and I’m now passing those games down to my kids and they love them!
Here are some of my favorite card games:
Cards are divided between the players and then everyone turns their cards over quickly into a center pile. If a Jack comes up, the first person to Slap the Jack gets the entire pile in the middle added to their cards. The person who ends up with all the cards wins.
Again, this is played with a regular deck of cards that’s divided between all players. Each person turns over a card at the same time and the person with the highest card collects all the cards from the round.
If two cards that are turned over are the same, the two players go to war by turning one card upside down and the next card up. The highest card wins all the cards, including the ones that were turned down. The game ends when one person has all the cards and that person is, of course, the winner.
You can buy special decks of Go Fish cards for you to play with younger children. This game will help kids learn to match cards and it’s great fun for younger children to play.
Each player gets 5 cards and the remainder of the deck is placed in the middle. The first player turns to an opponent and asks them to give them a specific card they need to match with ones they have in their hand. If the opponent does not have the card, then they tell the person to ‘Go Fish’.
What this means is that they must take a card from the deck in the middle. If a player that ‘goes fishing’ matches cards, then they place the pair down in front of them. Once the deck is gone, the game ends and the person with the most pairs wins.
You can buy a special deck of cards just for this game as well. All the cards are dealt out evenly to all the players.
To start, each player removes any pairs from their hand. Everyone then holds their cards facing towards them and each player takes turns picking a card from the opponent’s hand in the hopes of matching the card they pick with one in their hand. The object is to avoid picking the Old Maid!
Each time someone successfully matches a pair, they place the pair on the table. The object of the game is to get rid of all your cards and not be left with the Old Maid card.
If you’re playing this game with a regular deck of cards, simply remove one of the queens so that you’re playing with only 51 cards in total. The player left with the odd queen at the end of the game is the Old Maid.
No child wants to get stuck with the Old Maid at the end of the game and so they’ll have lots of fun trying to get rid of it!
I’ve been playing crib since I was knee-high to a grasshopper. It was one of my grandpa’s favorite games and he loved teaching all his grandchildren how to play. He taught us early and we played often.
All you need is a regular deck of cards and a crib board. Crib can be played with 2 or 4 players and the object of the game is to be the first to get your peg to the finish, which is the last hole on the board.
In addition to being fun, crib is also a great way for younger kids to learn basic math. There are all kinds of travel crib boards available today so it’s a great game to take with you when you’re on the go.
Those are my favorite card games but other card games include solitaire, hearts, spades, gin rummy, poker and many more.
If you teach your children the card games you know and love when they’re young, chances are those games will be passed down to your grandchildren and great grandchildren. What a wonderful legacy!
Games Played With Paper And Pencil
There are also a number of different games that can be played using paper and pencil which are great for keeping kids occupied and entertained indoors on a rainy day.
Tic Tac Toe
A simple childhood game that you can play with your child or that siblings can play with each other. To play, all you have to do is make a grid of 9 sections on a piece of paper. Each player takes a turn, one placing X’s and the other placing O’s onto the grid. The object of the game is to get three X’s or O’s in a row (up and down, side to side or diagonally).
This is another simple childhood game that’s played on paper by two or more people. In this game, the starting player draws a hangman’s noose. They then think of a word and draw blank lines below the hangman for each letter in the word.
All the other players then take turns guessing letters they think are in the word. Each time someone guesses a correct letter, it’s placed in the appropriate blank. Each time a letter is guessed that’s not in the word, the player who knows the word draws one part of a hanging stick figure.
The idea is to fill in all the letters of the word before the complete stick figure is drawn. When we play, our stick figure includes a head, 2 arms, 2 hands, a body, 2 legs, 2 feet, 2 eyes, a nose and a mouth. to make it real interesting!
Find The Word
This is a great game to play with slightly older children who are reading and writing reasonably well.
Think of a name, word or phrase (we always used the names of Presidents) and write that at the top of a piece of paper. Then try and make as many words as possible using the only the letters in the name, word or phrase.
If a letter appears only once in the the name, word or phrase you’ve chosen, then it can only be used once in any word that you make. Multiple letters can be used as many times as they appear in the name, word or phrase.
Other Fun Indoor Activities
There’s no shortage of children’s indoor games and activities that are tons of fun to do when you’re forced to spend time inside. Here are some other activities everyone can enjoy:
- Make a batch of cookies together
- Have an indoor picnic
- Get out a building set and build something fun
- Make paper airplanes and have races
- Doing an arts and craft project
- Have a sing-along
- Tell or read a story together
- Build a fort out of pillow, blankets and furniture
- Do a family puzzle
With a little imagination, it’s easy to find fun games and activities to do with your kids inside on those days when you can’t go outside.
As long as you remain open to new possibilities, you and your kids can have a great time bonding, laughing and most importantly, creating those wonderful precious memories.