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Top 40 Best Indoor Games for Kids

Playing is such a childhood staple that its importance is often overlooked.

Beyond entertaining, there are numerous benefits kids get from playing. Games are great stress-reducers. They can help children learn, aid their social and physical development, and improve cognitive skills.

Unfortunately, with how COVID-19 tore through the world, playing doesn’t always look the same. We all can’t go outside or visit relatives and friends. So, our best resort is some fun indoor games.

Concerned about how you can keep the fun going without resorting to electronics during this pandemic? Not to worry. We got you covered.

40 Best Children’s Indoor Play Ideas

A kid in a card box in home.

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We’re all feeling cooped up these days, especially during the summer months when it can be too hot to head outdoors.

There are plenty of games to keep kids active or push their thinking skills. All the while, these games will have them laughing and bonding with the whole family without a video game or tablet in sight.

Physical Activity Games

Two kids p[laying beside glass windows.

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If you’re struggling with how to play with kids inside and maintain their physical activity, there are several unique ways you can approach that.

1. Indoor Bowling

Bowling is a fun and classic way to entertain children in a healthy competitive way. This is also an easy solution for multiple ages.

There are larger bowling sets geared toward toddlers, and some smaller sets that older children will enjoy. Also, you can create bowling sets out of household items too.

Top Bowling Balls for Kids

– RELATED RESOURCE BY INDOOR CHAMP

What You Will Need:

  • Bowling Set (optional)
  • Empty soda cans or water bottles
  • Small ball (tennis ball, baseball, etc.)

2. Hide and Seek

Three kids playing hide and seek.

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Another time-honored children’s game is hide and seek. No matter the size of your home, there is always a spot kids will love hiding in.

Of course, this is a game that requires multiple people. But a small group can have just as much fun as a larger one, so feel free to play with at least 2-3 people.

What You Will Need:

  • Places to hide (and creativity)

3. Freeze

Freeze is an interesting and giggle-inducing way to keep kids moving … or frozen.

You can play freeze tag if you have the running space.

Another twist on this game is dance freeze. Turn on some music, and when it stops, everyone freezes in their current dance move or they’re out.

If you’re looking for more creative games for kids, consider Grandma’s Footsteps.

One person plays grandma while everyone else is behind them. Players must sneak up on grandma to touch the wall next to her to win.

The catch: grandma can turn around at any time. When grandma turns around, everyone must freeze. Anyone not frozen is out.

What You Will Need:

  • People to play
  • Space to move
  • Music (optional)

4. Musical Chairs

Put the “fun” in sitting down with a lively game of musical chairs.

It’s among the easiest games for kids age 6 and older to participate in. So, set up the chairs and crank up the music. Make it more exciting by telling everyone they need to do a silly dance as they move around too.

What You Will Need:

  • Movable chairs
  • Music

5. Balancing Beam

A simple and effective way to entertain children and improve their motor and balance skills is with a balancing beam game. All it takes is some tape, colored or otherwise, and space around the floor to play.

You can lay the tape out at different lengths and even direct kids to walk across the various “beams” in a different way.

For instance, they can walk backwards or forwards. They can hop on one leg on other strips of tape. Whoever makes it across without falling off wins.

What You Will Need:

  • Colored tape (masking tape)

6. Balloon Keepy Uppy

A small child is playing with a balloon.

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Kids seem to create any game while playing with balloons, and one game you can help them with is keepy uppy.

It may be silly sounding, but it’s an excellent way to burn off some of that pent-up energy kids are otherwise feeling while stuck in the house.

The goal is simple: everyone gets a balloon, and they must keep it from touching the floor. However, they must keep the balloon in motion.

So, no one can just hold it in their hands. They must keep hitting it no matter where it floats off to.

What You Will Need:

  • Balloons … several balloons

7. The Floor is Lava

This is another popular game for those young and old. There are several variations, but you can easily get it set up in your home and it never seems to get boring.

Let your imagination run wild here and use whatever is suitable for children to walk on. Throw out some pillows, couch cushions, and set up chairs (safely, of course).

You can even create safe places to step on with paper cutouts.

Use whatever you can to create an elaborate journey for your children, making sure they can successfully get across the “lava” while still giving them a challenge. It doesn’t just encourage imaginative play, but also some problem-solving skills.

What You Will Need:

  • Cushions (optional)
  • Pillows (optional)
  • Chairs (optional)
  • Paper (optional)
  • Scissors (optional)

8. Indoor Treasure Hunt

Finding hidden treasure isn’t limited to hunting around outdoors. You can create a unique treasure hunt throughout your home.

Gather up some items and stash them around in places that allow kids to think, but won’t be impossible for them. You can get more secretive the older the children are.

While you’re at it, cook up a cool treasure map to go along with it. Kids can even pretend-play as pirates.

What You Will Need:

  • Items to hide (e.g. toys, coins)
  • Places to hide
  • Paper and colored pencils (treasure map)

9. Obstacle Course

In a child-proof area, you can build a personalized obstacle course tailored to suit your child’s age.

It’s a fun source of entertainment and exercise. The rules depend on your specific set up. Have kids crawl, jump, run, leap, and perform various feats to reach the end and win a prize of your choosing.

What You Will Need:

10. Fort Building

A kid is painting a home made out of card box.

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  • Chairs
  • Marks on the ground (e.g. tape)
  • Balls for throwing (optional)
  • Blankets
  • Hula hoops (optional)

Encourage your child’s creativity and pretend-play by building a fort. Depending on where you build them, you can leave them up for kids to enjoy time and time again.

With a fort, they can play numerous imaginative games. Make an army base, a spaceship, a castle, and more.

It can also be used for fun indoor camp games if you use an indoor tent as a fort.

What You Will Need:

  • Chairs
  • Blankets
  • Pillows
  • Tent (optional)
  • Cardboard (optional)
  • Coloring supplies (optional)

11. Indoor Baseball

Who says baseball can only be played outside? If you have room in your garage or basement, then you can set up a pitching net and get kids swinging.

It’s one of the many house games for kids that will delight them and maybe help them forget (at least for a little while) that we’re stuck in this pandemic.

Also, it’s ideal for practice before baseball season. To practice batting, consider using batting teas.

RELATED RESOURCE: 9 BEST BATTING TEAS (FOR BATTING PRACTICE)

What You Will Need:

  • Baseball bat (size depending on your child’s age)
  • Baseball ball (preferably soft)
  • Pitching net (we have a few top-rated ones over at Indoor Champ)

12. Simon Says

Another traditional game that can be enjoyed by the whole family, Simon Says tests a child’s listening skills.

Whoever is Simon, remember to start every command with, “Simon says …” Anything said without that phrase, they aren’t supposed to do that command. Anyone who does is out.

What You Will Need:

  • Room to play

13. Hot Potato

For endless laughter, try out a game of hot potato with the kids. This is best suited for children old enough to understand the concept of passing the item rather than holding onto it.

Have everyone sit in a circle and pass the item around while music plays. Once it stops, whoever has the “hot potato” is out.

What You Will Need:

  • Ball or potato
  • Music

14. Tape Shape Game

A great game for younger children is the tape shape game.

Use tape on the ground to create different shapes, and you can have kids go to the shapes in different ways. For example, crab walk to the circle or frog hop to the square.

What You Will Need:

  • Colored tape (masking tape)

15. Tape Race Car Track

Tape can come in handy for several games, including creating an intricate race track around the house.

Excite your car-loving kids by making unique designs that can go across the floor, over the table, and perhaps even up the walls.

What You Will Need:

  • Plenty of tape
  • Toy race cars

16. Sleeping Lions

Get the whole family involved in this cool game. Choose one person to be the designated jokester, so to speak, and everyone else will be lions sleeping on the ground.

That one person will go around and try to “wake” the sleeping lions by making funny faces at them or cracking jokes.

If the lion moves, that lion is out of the game.

What You Will Need:

  • Players
  • Room to “sleep”

17. Boxing

Two kids are practicing boxing.

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Work out some energy, and perhaps some built-up frustration, in your children with a small boxing set up inside the house.

Make it a game by seeing how many punches a child can do in a set amount of time.

Just make sure there’s room as safety is key here.

What You Will Need:

  • Child-sized toy boxing bag
  • Kid boxing gloves (optional)

18. ABC Hunt

A perfect supplement for educational fun for younger kids, with ABC hunt, you’ll tell kids to go around the house and find the item that starts with each letter of the alphabet.

Create a checklist too so that they know where they’re at, and even set up a timer to keep them on their toes.

What You Will Need:

  • A bucket or basket for items
  • Paper and pencil
  • Timer

19. Murder in the Dark

When it comes to party games for older children, this one can keep the excitement going for hours. It won’t even matter how bright the sun is shining outside once kids are faced with a mystery to solve.

The game is straightforward. Pick someone to be a detective and make them leave the room. Sit everyone else down in a circle with their eyes closed and have an adult tap someone on the shoulder to be the murderer.

Once that’s done, the players get up and move around in the darkened room. The murderer will tap someone and that player “dies”, preferably dramatically for more fun.

Count to ten, turn on the lights, and bring the detective back to investigate the crime. Only the murderer is allowed to lie in this game.

What You Will Need:

  • A dark room
  • Blindfolds (optional)

20. Kids Yoga

A kid is playing with a blue exercise ball.

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Help children find peace in this ever-changing world by introducing them to yoga. It’s also a great way to keep them active and work up a sweat when running around outside is impossible.

Make it a family activity too by joining in with them.

What You Will Need:

  • Room to stretch out
  • Mats (optional)
  • Kid yoga instruction video

Sit Down Games

A kid is collecting raw elbow macaroni with a metal soon.

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Kids don’t always have to run around to have fun. Or maybe you’re unable to do all the physical activities but still want to find some way to entertain them.

Well, there are just as many indoor games where kids can stay seated and have fun just like they would jumping or running around.

1. Dominoes

A classic gem of a game, dominoes is a fun way for kids to set up some pretty cool arrangements and watch them all fall down.

You can help kids start off small and work their way up to more incredible designs to see just how fast the dominoes can knock each other down.

What You Will Need:

  • Game of dominoes

2. Chess

Little girl is playing chess.

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Want to encourage some logic and critical thinking skills in your child? Consider placing a chess board in front of them.

It’s the perfect way to get kids to slow down a little and focus. This is also a wonderful way to bond when your little ones, especially if chess is a favorite hobby of yours.

What You Will Need:

  • Chess set (check out some top-rated sets at Indoor Champ)
  • Book of rules (optional)

3. Card Games

Card games are another go-to sit down game that can be played with by the whole family.

There are several games you can play depending on the type of cards you have.

Start up some typical children’s games like Go Fish or try out some solitaire for the older children. Whip out the Uno cards too for some more group fun.

There are even some educational card games to help younger children like memory games, counting cards, and shape cards.

What You Will Need:

  • Deck of cards

4. Telephone

Telephone is among the more ideal games for 9 and up since children around that age may better grasp the concept.

It’s a good group game, so try to play it with as many people as you can. One person starts it off and whispers something to someone.

In turn, that person will whisper the same thing to the next player. And so on and so on.

When it reaches the last person, they will say the statement out loud. See if it’s the original statement or something completely different.

Keep trying until the message goes through the “telephones” successfully.

What You Will Need:

  • Players

5. Guess That Person

Try a spin on guess who with this game designed to push a child’s creativity and see how fast they can think on their feet.

You can write down names of various people (family members, friends, celebrities), and have someone pick a name. They can either act out or simply make statements about this person for others to guess.

Pair off in teams to make it more competitive and see who can make the most correct guesses in the shortest amount of time.

What You Will Need:

  • Players
  • Paper and pencil

6. What Am I Eating?

Are there some food items you know your kids just hate? Or perhaps something they refuse to try?

Well, you can awaken their taste buds with a game of “what am I eating?” You can grab a host of items from the kitchen for this from refrigerated foods to sauces and dips.

Blindfold each player and put the item in their mouth, having them take a chance at guessing the item.

What You Will Need:

  • Blindfolds (optional)
  • Edible items

7. Ice Tower Toy Excavation

This game can be quite the undertaking, but it will challenge children in unexpected ways.

Spark their imagination by having them rescue some of their favorite small toys. Simply gather up what you can and fit them in a container filled with water that can go into your freezer.

It’s a good game to start overnight to ensure that everything is frozen.


From there, take the block of ice out and set it on the table, equipping kids with various tools to excavate their toys and save them from a cold demise.

What You Will Need:

  • Freezer-safe container and lid
  • Water
  • Small toys
  • Excavation tools (small hammer, salt to dissolve ice, etc.)

8. Bubble Foam

Kids as young as toddlers will enjoy this brightly colored activity. Bubble foam can be a hit as there are several ways kids can play with the soft foam.

They can mix and match different colored foam or dunk their toys in it.

What You Will Need:

  • Food coloring
  • Dishwashing soap
  • Tear-free bubble bath soap (optional)

*How to make bubble foam*

  • Mix 1 part soap with 2 parts water and drops of food coloring
  • Use hand mixer on medium-high speed for about a minute
  • Use a large bowl as this may create several batches

9. Puzzles

Puzzles are yet another time-honored way to curb boredom, and in this time in our lives, kids need that more than ever.

Stimulate their minds at the same time by introducing various puzzles into their daily routine.

This is an effortless way to also entertain little ones since there are great puzzles designed for babies and toddlers too.

For older kids, you can make it a family event by bringing out the puzzles with more than 100 pieces.

Want to make it more interesting? Consider having a competition on who can complete the smaller puzzles the fastest.

What You Will Need:

  • Age-appropriate puzzles

10. Playdough

A kid is making figures out of play dough.

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This is such a common way to entertain children that you probably already have some in your house.

Thankfully, there are also numerous toys that come along with playdough these days that kids can spend hours at a table engrossed in it.

Things can get messy, so be sure to prepare accordingly.

What You Will Need:

  • Playdough
  • Stencils
  • Flat surface

11. Touch and Feel Box

Many good game places for kids is right in front of them if you create a touch and feel box.

This box is perfect for kids younger and older at exploring new textures. If you don’t have an activity table designed for this type of thing, you can simply make homemade areas for everything.

Consider having children close their eyes and guess at what they’re touching to see how well they can figure things out through one sense.

What You Will Need:

  • Activity table or containers
  • Various textured items (e.g. sand, beads)

12. Tic-Tac-Toe

This is a game that children may quickly recognize as it’s been played with at schools and even on the playground for years.

Have players go a few rounds, tallying up the amount of wins before choosing the ultimate winner. For example, it could be the best two out of three.

What You Will Need:

  • Paper and pencil

13. Sorting Colors

A simple way to aid a child’s development is with a sorting color game.

You can use various items around the house or toys, and from there, have children separate these items into matching color piles.

For a dose of competitiveness, you can add a time a limit to it.

What You Will Need:

  • Multiple colored items (e.g. LEGO bricks, toy cars)

14. Pictionary

As far as funny kids’ games go, Pictionary is a perfect choice.

Whether you buy a kit or make it up yourself, you can get the whole family laughing as you race to draw out scenarios for your team.

This is more effective in a group setting since teams are needed. Depending on how many players there are, you can separate in teams as small as two.

One person will draw while the other will try to guess. You can write down scenarios to draw and pull them from a bowl. Set up a timer too and remember to keep score.

What You Will Need:

  • Paper or whiteboard and drawing tools (pencils, erasable markers)
  • Bowl or jar for the slips of written paper
  • Timer

15. Tower Building Contest

A kid is playing with jenga tiles.

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Gather up some stackable items and start your races. All the players can gather around the table for this one and see who can build their tower the fastest.

You can set up the rules however you’d like. Eliminate players if their tower falls, or allow people to simply keep going and see if they can catch up in time to win.

What You Will Need:

  • Building items (e.g. Jenga tiles, building blocks)
  • Timer

16. Board Games

Despite the fact that children may be itching to race outside, you can keep them indoors with little effort once you whip out the favorite board games.

There are plenty of games to choose from depending on a child’s age. Try out the classic Monopoly games as they make various editions such as Junior Monopoly for younger players.

With dozens at your disposal to order online if you don’t have them, you can keep the kids distracted for hours with the right game.

What You Will Need:

  • Board game
  • Flat surface with room to set up the game

17. Family Photo Game

If you’re looking for a different way to test your child’s memory and bond with them, consider the Family Photo Game.

Arrange different photographs in front the players and call out the name of a family member to see if the players can point to the correct picture.

Switch things up by also giving out locations to see if they can choose the correct picture then too.

What You Will Need:

  • Family photos (at least 10)

18. Two Truths and a Lie

Some good kids actin games to test out those skills is with a classic round of two truths and a lie.

Intended for older children, this game is a fun way to see who can come up with the most outrageous stories. It’s also a wonderful way to get to know each other better for great family bonding time.

What You Will Need:

  • Players and some good lies

19. Name That Tune

This is an easy game that can be played anywhere in the home at any time. Bring it up while lounging on the couch or do it at night for bedtime fun.

Consider using age-appropriate music and either play the music, hum the melody, or sing out some lyrics that don’t include the title of the song.

For older children, you can have them guess the artist and the song title as well.

What You Will Need:

  • Songs

20. The Listening Game

An interesting way to test children is with the listening game. Players will close their eyes and you’ll make various sounds and see if they can guess what it is.

For instance, you can shake a bottle of juice, rattle some dry beans, or even play around with a bag of chips.

What You Will Need:

  • Various noise-making items
  • Blindfold (optional)

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