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Indoor Activities

Keeping children, young people and the whole family entertained indoors might feel like a big job.

There are lots of ideas that will pass the time and give you a chance to have fun together whilst your children learn new skills with you.

Dive Deeper

Move More at Home 

You can find ways to get the family moving even on rainy days. Try tapping into older children and teenagers competitive streak. You could have competitions to see who carries out the most bursts of activity each week. It might help stop the moans of  ‘I’m bored’.

You could try;

  • Getting a couple of skipping ropes or a hula hoop.
  • Get an exercise DVD (charity shops / car boots often have them).
  • Find some exercises online you can do at home. NHS have a beginners aerobic workout which needs no special equipment.
  • Set up circuit training in the garden, or even in the house – star jumps in the hall or press-ups in front of the TV. Take it in turns to plan your exercise programme.
  • Family Danceathon. Turn on some favourite tunes and get breathless. Impress your children with your dancing (or not!!).

Activities for All Ages 

Get creative

  • Pick an artist and get your child to do pictures in their style. Have a look at the following artists for some ideas; Piet Mondrian, Vincent van Gogh, Andy Warhol, Georgia O'Keefe, Margaret Preston, Lee Krasner, Frida Kahlo or Pablo Picasso.
  • Make cards for friends and family. You could send thinking of you cards, birthday cards or Easter cards.
  • Make a video blog or newspaper article of something that interests you. Your child can make film trailers with App’s like iMovie.
  • Make a den – use a tent, a big box or a sheet over a table. Most things are fun in a den!

Family cooking

  • Bake together. Ask children to weigh the ingredients, stir and wash up after. You could try pizza, scones or flapjack. Visit the Family Cooking page for ideas.


  • Have a game of bingo - print a bingo cards/screenshot one onto a device, you could download a free bingo caller app.
  • Blow up a balloon and play tennis with it.
  • Play guess the object. Take it in turns - blindfold one person, put a household item in their hand and let them guess what it is.

Fun with books

  • Enjoy reading together.
  • Get your child to create a reading log of the books they read. What did they like about it and why? Even if they don't finish the book they can still write why they didn’t like it. 
  • Try out the free Audiobooks from Audible they are separated into age categories. 

Grow your own

  • Get some sunflower seeds and plant your own. If you haven't got any seeds, you could ask someone to post you some.
  • Grow your own salad leaves, start a tomato plant. You can buy the seeds or trying using ones from a fresh tomato.
  • If you haven't got any pots, use old yoghurt pots and poke/drill holes in the bottom.

Early Years 

There are lots of play ideas on our Talk and Play pages, here are a few to get you started:

  • Try kid’s yoga. This can help your child be active and learn to relax their body. You can find online videos for this.
  • Collect empty food and cereal boxes to make a play shop.
  • Make a necklace using hooped cereal or pasta. You could unthread some old trainers, wash the laces and use those as the string - the plastic ends will help your child to poke through.

Younger Children

Get creative

  • Make animal masks using paper plates or card from old boxes. *Click Here* for some templates and ideas to get you started. You could then find out some facts about your chosen animal.
  • Finger painting.
  • Collect leaves, twigs and other outdoors materials to make a picture or collage.
  • Make Puppets and a puppet show. You could use old odd socks and stick homemade eyes on.

Fun with food

  • Get your child to help you make sandwiches for lunch. It can take longer to start with but with practise they will get faster.
  • Get plain biscuits and let the children decorate them with a mix of icing sugar and water. They could add patterns with sprinkles and tweezers!
  • Find more on our family cooking pages.

School Age Children

Learn new skills  

  • Try origami, where you fold paper into different shapes. Find some ideas online or watch YouTube videos to learn how.
  • Learn card tricks and games 
  • Learn about basic first aid from St John’s Ambulance
  • Learn to ‘code’. Try it on this free website called Scratch.

Get creative

  • Draw a self portrait. BBC have some ideas to get you started.
  • If you have some shoe or delivery boxes, your child could make a ‘small world’. They can turn the inside of the box into a house, a theme park, a zoo. If you Google “shoebox diorama” you’ll see lots of ideas.

Fun games

  • Play 20 questions. One person thinks of an animal, person or object, then you ask 20 yes or no questions to try and find out what it is.
  • Throw a tennis ball to each other and as you do, go through the alphabet with a theme; try animals or names. Throw the tennis ball and say Alligator, Baboon, Cat etc. You could have a time limit for thinking of the words to make it more exciting.
  • Roll and Write. Get your child to roll a dice and based on the number rolled, this decides what happens next in their story. The Scouts have instructions on how to play

Older Children and Teens 

Here are some indoor activities that teach new skills your young person will need as they get older

  • Learn how to make their own website – look online at sites like Wix to try it for free.
  • Get them cooking 
  • Learn how to read a map
  • Learn about managing money – understanding budgeting, interest rates, credit scores and more from the Money Saving Expert
  • Learn how to change a tyre 

You don’t have to be an expert on any of these things - you can learn together!

Online Activities 

Although using a screen all day, every day, is not good for our health and wellbeing. It can sometimes help you get a few minutes to yourself. So don’t feel you have to avoid it all together.

You could use the screen time to do physical activity, get creative or find out something new! Below are a few ideas to get you started.

Norfolk Library Service - Online activities for children and families 

P.E with Joe (The Body Coach TV) 

Cosmic Kids Yoga

Draw with Rob

Who Can Help?

You can contact the Healthy Child Programme by calling Just One Number on 0300 300 0123 or texting Parentline on 07520 631590. Our opening hours are 8am-6pm Monday-Friday (excluding bank holidays) and 9am-1pm on Saturdays.

You can speak to other Norfolk parents and carers by clicking our online community forum below. 


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