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The Natives Are Getting Restless! {Keeping Kids Entertained Indoors}

My husband and I have a saying, “The natives are getting restless!” Basically, this is an S.O.S. call for help. It’s only used at the most dire of moments when our children are going crazy with cabin fever and we need a quick fix idea to entertain them. Our children LOVE being outdoors, and spend much of their time playing with friends outdoors, rollerblading, riding their bikes, jumping on the pogo-stick, and various other outdoor activities. So when the weather turns bad, it doesn’t take long for the ‘natives’ to get restless. If we have consecutive days of bad weather, then I really have to pull out the creative activities! :) Here’s a few of our tried and true activity ideas for keeping our ‘natives’ entertained indoors:

Indoor Snowball Fight: This is one of our kiddos’ favorite indoor activities. It’s super cheap and they will have an all-out snowball war that lasts for quite sometime. I always keep a package of white tissue paper readily available, the type you put in gift bags. I buy the kind from the dollar store. It’s inexpensive and it doesn’t matter if they use the entire package…. because they will! First, they have fun creating the snowballs by crumpling up individual sheets of tissue paper into balls. When they have a large enough pile, each child takes a few and starts throwing. It’s so funny to watch them diving behind furniture and teaming up against someone. They have a blast, and the tissue paper ‘snowballs’ are soft so they don’t hurt anyone or anything. Plus, it only takes a few minutes to pick up when the game is over!

Board Games: We have a large selection of board games at our house good for a variety of ages. These work great at entertaining the children for various amounts of time, depending on the game. Playing board games with your children is also a great way to spend quality one-on-one time with them. Utilize an educational board game like the ones at ThinkFun, and you’ve got bonding time and learning time all-in-one!

Craft Time: My girls are avid crafters, so I always have a variety of craft supplies on hand. Keeping stocked up on general crafting supplies (such as craft glue, markers, crayons, pom-pom balls, pipe cleaners, glitter, sequins, etc.) is a must when you have kids. Throwing together a quick craft is easy when you already have the supplies. You can find lots of great ideas for quick and easy crafts online at places like, or find free printable crafts at sites like My girls are big fans of the free printable paper dolls at They will spend hours creating their little characters!

Host a Movie Premiere: This is another one of our favorite activities that we save for special bad weather days. Pick out a movie from your family’s DVD collection that you haven’t watched in awhile. Pop popcorn, bring out the candy, and set up your own ‘concession stand’ complete with play money. Have the kids dress up in their best red carpet duds, and play the part of the paparazzi, snapping photos with your camera. Once everyone has had their turn on the red carpet and visited the concession stand, draw the curtains, turn down the lights, and enjoy the movie! Make it even more fun by using popcorn bags. You can find a free printable popcorn bag here from Mushy, or purchase individual plastic popcorn containers found at most dollar stores.

Get Out of the House: When all else fails, and the cabin fever has become too severe, go somewhere. We have a family membership to our local science museum, so that’s usually a place we head to when it gets yucky outside. Indoor inflatable playgrounds are also always a big hit with my kids. They can play to their hearts content, wearing themselves out in the process. This usually means that they are more open to a quiet calm activity once you return home, or an extra long naptime for toddlers. Money Saving Tip: Look for indoor play areas that offer loyalty cards. Many times you can get a free play session every so many visits!

These are just a few of our tried and true favorites. I would love to hear yours! How do you keep your children entertained indoors when bad weather strikes?

My name is Angie, and I'm a homeschooling mom of four who fills my days with ABC's and mounds of laundry. My husband of 13 years and I have been blessed with two girls (ages 11 and 9), and two boys (ages 7 and 3). I've become an expert at flying by the seat of my pants, and after a normal tiring day with the kiddos, I like to curl up on the couch and escape into a good book. I blog about my crazy family, homeschooling, and fun finds at
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  1. Pingback: Posts You Don't Want to Miss Over at #ChiquitaMoms

  2. Great ideas! Love the indoor “snowball” fight. Might be the only way my kids get to play with “snow!”

  3. Love the indoor snowball fight idea! Give Logan a cardboard box and he’s a happy camper for a good 30 minutes ;-)

  4. Avatar of donna

    donna says:
    February 28th at 4:24 pm

    The snowball fight reminds me of what my husband’s aunt does. She has a tub full of styrofoam balls, will dump it out, and yell “arizona snowball fight!” The kids and adults both love this at family reunions :)

  5. @Donna – That’s cute!
    @Vanessa – Isn’t it great when they’re that age when all they need is a cardboard box?! My kids still will play for hours with chairs and sheets making ‘tents’!