• Karen Adams

42 Free Indoor Activities For Kids To Do In Lockdown

This might not be the family time we were all expecting, but that doesn't mean we can't make the most of it! If you're worried about how to keep the kids (and yourself) entertained during lockdown, we've got loads of inspiration for you that doesn't involve sticking them in front of a screen alone. From crafty activities and messy play, to STEM experiments and imagination games and everything in between, here are 42 of the best free indoor activities if you're stuck inside over the coming weeks.

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1. Create A Lockdown Bucket List You'll need: a large piece of card or paper and coloured pens Work together to draw up bucket list of things you all want to do during lockdown and display it on your card. You could add tick boxes or a spot to write the date when you complete each item. Maybe you could aim to learn a new word every day, try out a new baking recipe or read 10 books - it's completely up to you what goes on there! Don't forget to keep it in full view so that everyone can see.

2. Escape Crepe Paper Lasers You'll need: crepe paper and tape Tape lines of crepe paper across a hallway from one wall to another, zigzagging them over each other from high to low. Pretend you're a secret agent and try to get from one end of the hallway to the other without touching or breaking any of the paper.

3. Make A Den You'll need: cushions, blankets and chairs What's an indoor activity list without a den or a fort? Drape blankets or sheets across the furniture in the living room and grab sofa cushions and pillows from your bedroom to make a cosy den to chill out in.

4. Play Mini Ice Hockey You'll need: a baking tray, water, post-it notes, spoons and a button or bottle lid Freeze a layer of water in a baking tray to create your ice rink and stick a post-it note at either end of the tray to mark the goals. Use spoons as your hockey sticks and try to hit your button/lid puck against the post-it note on the other side of the tray.

5. Play Shops You'll need: plastic bags, old receipts and anything you can find from the food cupboards Collect some things to 'sell' in your at-home supermarket and set up tins and packets in your shop. Let your family wander around and pick up the things they need and pack their items away for them into a plastic bag. Don't forget to give them a receipt!

6. Paper Plate Ring Toss You'll need: kitchen roll tube, tape or Blu Tac, paper plates and scissors Cut paper plates into rings of different sizes and then stick your kitchen roll tube to the floor. Throw your paper rings onto the tube like you're at the funfair! Make it a challenge by moving further back or racing to see how many you can get in 30 seconds.

7. Have A Picnic With Your Toys You'll need: your favourite toys, a blanket or towel and some snacks Invite your favourite teddies and dolls to join your family on an indoor picnic, where you'll set up a blanket or towel for everyone to sit on and enjoy some snacks together.

8. Decorate The Garden With Painted Rocks You'll need: brightly coloured acrylic paint, plate, paintbrushes and rocks Collect rocks from the garden (we recommend smooth ones that aren't too pale or dark as these will show the paint best). If you have time, clear the dirt, rinse them in water and let them completely air dry. They're fine to use as is but it works best when they're super clean. Select your paint colours, pour a little onto a plate and start painting! Use smaller brushes for details. When they're dry (this might be the next day) you can set them up all around your garden as decorations.

9. Draw On The Floor You'll need: chalk and a clear surface to draw on Before you start, check that chalk will come off your hard floor. If it's easily removed, let the kids draw all over it - encourage them to draw a hopscotch design or a track for their cars and trains! Give them an old sock or cloth to rub it out when they're done. If your floor isn't chalk-proof, bring the activity outside to the patio or paving stones and let the kids run wild with their drawing.

10. Play Ping Pong Indoors You'll need: paper plates, cardboard tubes, tape, a table, divider and ping pong balls Tape a paper plate to a handle-sized section of cardboard tube to make a ping pong paddle. Separate your dining table into 2 sections with either a wrapping paper tube or some other kind of divider and you're ready to go. Game, set, match!


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