At Home Winter Indoor Activities

It’s snowing, the roads are a mess, and someone’s sick—you’re stuck at home. Much as we’d love you to come visit the Library or attend one of our storytimes, opens a new window, we know there are days when it isn’t possible. So, we’ve got your back with this list of ideas to entertain little ones at home!

  • Give them a recycled box and see what the box becomes in their imagination.
  • Make a list of ten items in your house and have a scavenger hunt: who can find all ten first?
  • Cook or bake together. Invent a new recipe by adding a new ingredient to an old favorite.
  • Melt old broken crayons into rainbow crayons, opens a new window using a muffin tin.
  • Video chat with a far-away family member.
  • Paint with random objects like cotton balls and kitchen utensils.
  • Have a puppet show using missing sock pairs from the wash.
  • Build a block tower and count how many blocks you use before it falls. Try breaking your home record next tower.
  • Add washable markers to bath time. (Test on tub/tile before showing the kids!)
  • Ask your child for help with chores; they can help hold the dustpan while you sweep, or unload the dryer.
  • Look at family pictures. Bonus points if you can connect your phone to your TV and do it as a slide show.
  • Make a blanket fort and read inside of it.
  • Give/assign each child a color and challenge them to find 15 items in your home that match that color.
  • Pretend to be an animal—move and walk like the animal does—and have your child guess which animal.
  • Have an indoor picnic or tea party.

And a few bonus ideas for the days where you, the grown-up, are just flat-out exhausted:

  • Play “Art Studio”: set your child up with crayons and paper. You pose as their subject, and they must draw you. Naturally, you need to choose a very comfortable position and must not move while being drawn.
  • Play “Freeze Dance”: pull up a favorite album or playlist on your phone (using Hoopla from GPL), opens a new window. Sit down and let the music play. Every time you press pause, the kids freeze and become statues.
  • Play “Toy Rescue”: use painter’s tape and tape some of their beloved toys to the door or the wall. Your only task after set-up? Time them and see how long it takes them to complete their rescue.
  • Play “What’s on My Back?”: you lie down on your stomach (preferably on a cozy couch or bed) and the kids place an object on your back. It’s up to the kids to help you guess the object by describing it! For extra dramatic effect, I love wiggling the object around as I come up with absurd guesses like, “It’s a penguin tap dancing!”