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20 Indoor Kids' Crafts and Activities to Tame Cabin Fever

Published on: January 08, 2013

Homemade bathtub puffy paint by Chalk In My Pocket

Feeling a little low on creativity? Hit the tub and get busy making colorful masterpieces with the help of Chalk in My Pocket’s homemade bathtub puffy paint. The recipe only contains three ingredients – grated soap, dye, and hot water – yet this is one project that’s sure to have your little one cheering for bath time fun. And Mom will certainly love that cleanup is as easy as pointing the showerhead over the artwork once the painting party has finished!

Homemade Washi tape car track by Le Jardin de Juliette

Give those toy cars a little room to zoom with this fun Washi tape car track featured on Le Jardin de Juliette. Putting the track together is half the fun, and this quick and easy activity is sure to entertain your mini car lover for an afternoon and beyond! Check out the site for more inspiration and neat photos of this cool impromptu track.

Homemade marble racetrack by HomeSpun Threads

Got some extra pool noodles hiding out in storage? Consider making a DIY marble racetrack like this one featured on HomeSpun Threads! Easily made by cutting the noodle in half (Mom Amy recommends a serrated knife for the job), this marble racer will provide plenty of fun for your cooped-up minis when the weather takes a turn for the worst. You’ll be off the races in no time!

Homemade indoor bowling game by Meet the Dubiens

In need of a new game? Upcycle your family’s leftover plastic bottles and turn your hallway into a colorful DIY bowling alley like this one featured on Meet the Dubiens. Mom Jill says that her kids not only loved being able to bowl indoors when the weather turned cold, but that this activity is also quick and easy, inexpensive, and one that can be reused in the future. To make your own, you’ll want to have 10 plastic bottles, 10 shades of paint, a little bit of water, a ball (Jill bought hers at the dollar store), and a glue gun for keeping the caps sealed tightly (optional). Check out the rest of Jill’s walkthrough for more details on getting started.

Color scavenger hunt by The Artful Parent

Mom Jean of The Artful Parent came up with this great idea for a color scavenger hunt on the fly while trying to prepare dinner – and she’s happy to report that it was an absolute hit for both mom and daughter! To get started on your own scavenger hunt, simply hand your child a small bucket and ask her to find 10 items of a particular color. Once that color’s items have been found, begin again with a new hue. All in all, a super simple yet fun idea that’s sure to keep your tot’s boredom at bay!

Homemade sponge sailboats by Dash Recipes

Sail the day away on a bathtub adventure with these cool homemade sponge boats featured on Dash Recipes. Easily made with kitchen sponges, wooden chopsticks, and cloth squares for the sails, these sweet little schooners are sure to pack plenty of scrub-a-dub fun for your kiddo come bath time!

Homemade discovery bottles by Modern Parents Messy Kids

Mom Steph of Modern Parents Messy Kids shares this fun idea for creating DIY discovery bottles, and she says that both her kids equally enjoyed shaking the heck out of them for an afternoon! Steph says that this activity is great for its open-endedness, and that the premise is quite simple – fill up recycled plastic bottles with different ingredients and materials, glue the tops shut, and let your kids run loose with shaking and listening and watching to see how the ingredients mix. Check out the rest of Steph’s post to see the ingredients she chose for her bottles.

Homemade newspaper play structures by Inner Child Fun

There’s nothing quite more fun than constructing an indoor fort on a blustery day, and this neat newspaper structure featured on Inner Child Fun is sure to keep your minis entertained from beginning to end! Noting that this activity is not only frugal, but also a great way to bring geometry and engineering to life through play, Mom Valerie simply used rolled newspaper rods, and pipe cleaners to connect the joints before her girls got busy constructing. And, she says that it kept them busy right up until dinnertime – gotta love that!

Homemade glitter slime by The 36th Avenue

Anytime the word “slime” is involved, you’re bound to have found a winner, but leave it to Mom Desirée of The 36th Avenue to take it up a sparkly notch with this DIY glitter slime. Made using three total ingredients – Elmer’s glitter glue, water, and Borax, this crafty-cool gorgeous slime is sure to provide plenty of fun, and can be stored for future use in recycled jars. And as an added bonus: this quick and easy homemade slime can double as a fun take-home gift for play friends!

Homemade string trap for kids by My Home Life

Have a young “Spy Kids” lover at home? Use some yarn and tape to create your very own laser beam field with this fun inspiration featured on My Home Life! One activity that’s sure to be a great boredom buster for a cold winter day, this cool yarn laser obstacle course is free and incredibly easy to create when you’re in a pinch.

Homemade toy parachute by No Time For Flash Cards

Mom Allison of No Time For Flash Cards says that once her son said, “This is the best craft EVER,” she knew that she had to share. And thus, became the great toy parachute craft featuring this little skydiving Playmobil man. (But really, what a great idea!) Easily made with a dinner napkin, tape, a hole puncher, yarn, and a wee paratrooper that’s up for the challenge, this parachute will surely take many of your child’s Lego and Playmobil friends on the soaring adventure of their lives!

Homemade board game by Mama Scout

Tired of playing the same old board games? Take a tip from Mama Scout and consider inventing your own! To get started, Mom Amy suggests using cereal box cardboard, markers, paper for cards or scrolls, dice, small toys, and any leftover pieces from other games – pawns, spinners, etc. Amy says that backing off and letting her two kids run wild with creating the rules to their liking was by far the best part because her kids made the game so much more open-ended than she could ever have understood. Sounds like a true winner to us!

Homemade shoe box doll house by My Poppet

Turn an old shoebox into your child’s favorite doll’s dream house with this neat tutorial from My Poppet. Simply pull out some old glossy magazines, and let your little one run loose playing interior collage decorator with her new abode. And, when it’s time to pack up, just put the lid back on the box and set it on the shelf for dolly’s next adventure – easy!

Homemade denim beads by Crafts By Amanda

Hoping to give this year’s style a personal touch? Pull out a pair of old Levi’s and turn them into a cool accessory like this snazzy necklace featured on Crafts By Amanda! Perfect for the young fashionista who loves to create her own trends, these vibrant “beads” are easily made using strips of denim, glue, and paint. And not to mention, the sky’s the limit when it comes to what can be created – bracelets, key chains, artwork, and beyond!

Homemade catapult paper airplane by Mini Eco

Mom Kate of the fab Mini Eco shares this quick and easy idea for putting a fun spin on the classic paper airplane – and we think this is one plane that’s sure to get plenty of airtime! To get started on your own, simply punch a hole in the bottom of your finished plane and loop a rubber band through.  And as Kate says, “It’s pretty quick and fires a surprisingly long way so get ready to duck!” Now how’s that for some DIY indoor fun?

Homemade tin can robots by This Homemade Life

Mom Alison of This Homemade Life shares two fun tutorials that everyone can enjoy– one for creating these cool DIY can-do robots, and one for tasty homemade peanut butter cups… We must admit, that’s a pretty darn good match-up! To make your own can-do robots, find a variety of nuts, bolts, googly eyes, and other fun materials, and glue them onto mini magnets. Once your parts are ready for play, let your little one begin building his robot Mr. Potato Head-style, by mixing and matching all of the pieces into silly expressions and faces on the can. And if you’re also interested in Alison’s homemade peanut butter cups, check out the rest of her post for the full scoop!

Homemade repurposed crayons by Make It and Love It

Get some early spring cleaning done around the craft room and revamp those old crayon odds and ends into cool new shapes with the help of Make It and Love It! An oldie but a goodie, this activity is fun for all from beginning to finish, and once the new shapes are made, you’ve got some sweet new multicolored crayons to dazzle with! And getting interesting shapes is easy – consider snapping up some silicone ice cube trays at Ikea during your next visit, or on Amazon for your pre-winter crafting stockpile.

Homemade comic strip pages by Dandee

For your older cooped-up kiddos, consider printing off some quick and easy comic strip coloring pages like these ones shown on Dandee, and watch as their stories are brought to life! A great indoor project for young budding artists, these simple paper outlines can offer up hours of creativity…. And plenty of fridge-worthy artwork!

Homemade cardboard castle by Mer Mag

Got some extra cardboard in the garage? Consider making an interlocking cardboard castle like this one featured on Mer Mag. Made from a sturdy old cardboard box, duct tape, and a bit of bright paint for decoration, this cool fortress even had Mom Merrilee down on her hands and knees playing “castle” with her kids… And she admits that she forgot how fun it was to delve into different accents! Be sure to check out her full post for more details on making your own castle, Merrilee offers up a great tutorial with plenty of fun “castle” photos.

Homemade gumdrop sculptures by Tinkerlab

Sometimes, it’s the simplest of projects that can save the day – and that’s exactly why we love this fun idea for creating gumdrop sculptures included on Tinkerlab! Mom Rachelle reports that this project was not only a perfect boredom-buster for the afternoon, but that it even continued on after dinner time and well into the next day. Rachelle also notes that though they’d tried marshmallows and jellybeans in the past, gumdrops are the way to go – their malleable surfaces are perfect for creating structures that are bigger and more complex. To learn more about this project –and to see the rest of the cool structures her daughter made – be sure to check out Rachelle’s full post.

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