18 Budget-Friendly Indoor Activities for Kids (+ Free Printables)

18 Budget-Friendly Indoor Activities for Kids (+ Free Printables)

Are you stuck at home with your kids and not sure what to do? Don’t worry, many parents feel the same way too! Bad weather or someone being sick may sometimes keep us indoors, and we need to find fun things to do that don’t involve screens.

Reading books and playing board games are great options, but there’s so much more to explore! With some creativity, you can find at-home activities for kids that everyone in the family will enjoy.

Here are some fun screen-free ideas to try out:

1. Make a Science Project

purple ladybug lip balm

You can find easy science experiments using everyday items you find at home, so you don’t need to spend a lot. Your kids can explore mixing watercolors to create beautiful art, make homemade lava lamps using vegetable oil and food coloring, and create a vinegar and baking soda volcano.

Your kids can also make their own lip balms with Purple Ladybug’s Craft Your Own Lip Balm! They’ll love making these yummy-scented lip balms while learning about natural ingredients and how it works. Each craft kit has everything you need, so you don’t have to stress about materials.

These activities can be a fun way to spend quality time with the little ones and nurture their curiosity about the world around them.

2. Play Freeze Dance

kids playing freeze dance

Playing Freeze Dance is an excellent indoor activity for kids that promises a ton of fun and laughter. All you need is some good music and space to dance.

The game is simple: when the music plays, your kids will dance their hearts out, showing off their best moves. But when the music stops, it’s time to freeze! They need to freeze in whatever hilarious pose they strike.

This game lets your kids burn off some energy and encourage creativity as they come up with wacky freeze positions. It’s a great way to keep them entertained and engaged, and you can even join in on the fun!

3. Build a Blanket Fort

kids building a blanket fort

Building a blanket fort transports your kids to cozy adventures and imaginative play. You’ll need a few blankets, pillows, and furniture rearrangements to create their cozy hideaway.

Your kids develop problem-solving and teamwork skills as they work together to construct their fort. Once they’re done, it becomes their secret kingdom where they can let their imaginations run wild. They can read books, play games, or simply relax with their favorite stuffed animals.

Building a blanket fort encourages independent play and fosters a sense of adventure. They can also escape the outside world and enjoy a safe space of their own.

4. Work on Activity Books (Free Printables!)

free printables

Activity books filled with puzzles, mazes, riddles, coloring pages, and exciting games keep young minds entertained and engaged for hours. This helps improve their problem-solving skills, critical thinking abilities, and hand-eye coordination.

There are tons of free activity books online. At Purple Ladybug, we have FREE printable activities and coloring e-booklets you can download!

You can print the entire booklet or just the pages you like the most!

5. Bake Cookies

girl baking cookies with mom

Making cookies is a great indoor activity for kids that’s both fun and budget friendly. Basic cookie recipes use simple pantry ingredients like flour, sugar, butter, and eggs, so you don’t have to spend much. This activity is an opportunity to teach your kids important baking skills.

They’ll love mixing the batter, shaping the cookies, and decorating them. The best part is the delicious reward at the end when they get to enjoy their homemade cookies.

Here are easy cookie recipes you might want to try with your kids:

6. Do an Indoor Obstacle Course

indoor obstacle course kids

To make an indoor obstacle course for your kids, you’ll only need your imagination and some household items to set up your course!

For example, use chairs to create tunnels to crawl through, pillows to hop over, and a hula hoop as a hoop jump. You can also place cushions on the floor to create balance beams and use masking tape to mark a zigzag running path.

Time them as they navigate the course; they’ll have a blast trying to beat their previous records. It’s a great way to keep them active, improve coordination, and have a blast indoors.

7. Play With Makeup

purple ladybug mermaid makeup kit 

You don’t need to splurge on fancy makeup to give your kids a makeover! Use what you have, or grab affordable kid-safe makeup sets like Purple Ladybug’s Mermaid Glamour Makeup Kit.

Let their imaginations soar as they experiment with colorful face paints, funky hairstyles, and playful accessories. It’s a wonderful chance to bond with your little ones, share lots of laughter, and create special memories they won’t forget.

8. Make Mini Pizzas Together

girl baking pizza with mom

Aside from being a fun and budget-friendly activity, making pizzas with your kids promotes healthier eating choices. You can use affordable pre-made pizza dough or make it from scratch with simple ingredients.

Let the kids choose their favorite toppings, like colorful veggies, pepperoni, or cheese, and have a blast rolling out the dough and adding all the goodies. Once the mini pizzas are baked to perfection, enjoy a delicious meal with your kiddos.

9. Make Friendship Bracelets

Purple Ladybug liquid glitter bracelets 

Crafting friendship bracelets is a great budget-friendly indoor activity for your kids. All you need are some colorful threads, beads, and little creativity.

You can also find affordable friendship bracelet kits with everything they need to get started, like our Make-Your-Own Liquid Glitter Bracelets! Each kit makes six glitter bracelets they can share with their friends.

It’s perfect for expressing your children’s artistic side and creating personalized gifts for friends and family. This activity teaches them the value of friendship and the joy of giving something handmade with love.

10. Watch a Movie and Make Movie Night Snack Trays

girls watching a movie and eating popcorn

Who doesn’t love a cozy movie night at home? Pick a family-friendly movie everyone will love and prepare a DIY movie night snack tray. Add popcorn, chips, pretzels, crackers, cheese, and chocolates (just to name a few!) to your tray.

As the movie plays, your kids can snuggle up with blankets and pillows, creating a comfy movie night experience. Don’t forget to dim the lights and turn up the volume!

11. Design 3D Art

wax craft kits 

With a colorful pack of Wax Craft Sticks, your kids can create all sorts of three-dimensional art. The sticks are easy to mild and shape, making it easier for your kids to build anything from butterflies, cars, and flowers to towering sculptures.

This hands-on activity fosters their creativity and enhances their fine motor skills and spatial awareness. These wax sticks are reusable, so they can reshape and redesign their creations as many times as they want!

12. Do an Indoor Scavenger Hunt

kids indoor scavenger hunt

Create a list of items your kids need to find around the house or hide small objects for them to discover. You can make it educational by including things related to colors, shapes, or numbers, or make it more playful with their favorite toys or treats.

Divide your kids into teams or let them hunt individually, setting a time limit for added excitement. This hunt will keep them engaged and active as they explore different rooms and use their problem-solving skills to find them.

13. Make a Time Capsule

kids making a time capsule

A time capsule lets your kids preserve memories and cherish them in the future. To make one, you’ll need a sturdy container that can withstand time, like a metal tin or a plastic container with a secure lid.

Here are some fun ideas of what to hide in a time capsule:

  • Photos of family, friends, and pets.
  • Handwritten letters sharing their thoughts, dreams, and wishes.
  • A handwritten letter for the future.
  • Drawings or artwork showcasing their artistic skills.
  • A list of their favorite songs or movies.
  • A small trinket that holds sentimental value.

Place them in a ziplock bag to protect them from moisture or damage. You can also wrap delicate items in bubble wrap or tissue paper for added protection. Once it’s ready, you can choose a designated spot to bury it in the backyard or store it safely in a cool, dry place indoors.

14. Make Your Own Art Gallery

kids making art

Creating your own gallery is a fun indoor activity that allows your kids to showcase their creativity and imagination.

Gather all their artwork, whether it’s paintings, drawings, or crafts, and arrange them in a designated space on the wall or table. Put tape or sticky putty to secure the pieces and encourage your kids to add titles and descriptions for each artwork to make it feel more like a real gallery.

Invite family members or friends to view the gallery to make it extra special. Your kids will be thrilled to see their artwork displayed and receive compliments from their visitors. It’s a great way to boost their confidence and achievements.

15. Write Letters to Loved Ones

kids writing letters with dad

Writing letters to loved ones is a heartwarming indoor activity that brings joy and connection. Encourage them to write heartfelt messages, share fun stories, or draw pictures. Whether it’s to grandparents, cousins, or friends, receiving a handwritten letter is a delightful surprise.

This activity will help hone their writing skills and nurture their emotional expression and gratitude. It’s a wonderful way to stay in touch and show their appreciation to those they care about.

16. Keep the Balloon in the Air

little girl playing with balloons

Keeping the balloon in the air is a fun and active indoor activity for kids. All you need is a balloon, and you’re good to go!

Gather the kids in a clear space and have them stand in a circle. The goal is to keep the balloon from touching the ground, using only their hands or any part of their body except their feet. They can hit, tap, and even volley it to one another.

It’s a simple yet engaging game that keeps them moving and laughing. You can also make it more challenging by setting a timer and trying to beat their own record.

17. Host a Tea Party

kids tea party with mom and dad

Set up a cozy space with cushions and blankets and gather their favorite stuffed animals or dolls as special guests. You can use real teacups, saucers, or toy tea sets for younger kids.

Fill the teapots with warm water or caffeine-free tea, and provide a selection of snacks like cookies, sandwiches, or fruit. Your kids can take turns serving the tea and treats, practicing manners and hospitality.

This activity is an opportunity to encourage imaginative play and social skills as they engage in pretend conversations with their guests.

18. Make Popsicles

little girl eating popsicle

You’ll need popsicle molds, small paper cups, sticks, and juice or fruit puree. Let the kids get creative and mix different flavors or add chunks of fresh fruit for extra fun.

Pour the puree into the molds, insert the popsicle sticks, and pop them in the freezer to set. While waiting for them to freeze, your kids can enjoy a mini science lesson on transforming liquid into frozen treats. Once they’re ready, pull out the popsicles and enjoy!

We hope you’ll try these fun indoor activities for kids! Try building blanket forts, making mini pizzas, designing 3D art with wax craft sticks, and more!

Share your kiddos’ creations with us on social media @PLBfun on Facebook and Instagram. We can’t wait to see their amazing minds in action!

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