Cheap and easy (indoor) entertainment for kids

Cheap and easy (indoor) entertainment for kids

It’s always good to have a list of cheap and easy entertainment for kids, especially indoor entertainment as the weather can put a stop to getting out in the fresh air. As February school half term approaches (surely one of the most miserable, weather-wise), I was chatting with my sis about what she could do that wouldn’t cost a fortune but would keep my niece entartained.

We came up with some pretty good options (the benefit of trying many of these out in our own childhood!) so I though I’d share them with you.

A visit to the library

You can wile away an hour or two in the library, picking out stories and audio books to take home and taking part in the free (or nearly free) activities usually going on in the school holidays. It’s a great way to get out of your own four walls whilst being undercover for free.

An indoor picnic

The weather might not be good enough for picnics, so bring it inside. When I say picnic, let’s not go overboard. I’m talking about sandwiches, maybe some grapes and a packet of crisps. (Hey, if they still do iced gems, they’d be perfect for an indoor picnic!) Laying a blanket on the floor and, of course, picking a few teddies, will add to the indoor adventure.

Sow seeds

You can be adventurous as you like, but cress, runner beans or a sun flower are all simple ways to start. Cress can be grown in a yoghurt pot, and to extend the activity, I always think it’s fun to cover the pot in white paper or paint and draw on a face so the cress looks like hair.

Find a box (make believe fun)

The ultimate imaginative play item. They might have a room with a billion toys in it (ok, so not a billion, but it feels like that when you’re tidying up sometimes) but a box won’t fail to provide hours of fun. If they’re feeling creative (and you’re feeling brave), why not let them paint it as whatever they want?

Put on a show

We used to love practicing and putting on our own little shows, usually a dance show or gymnastics display. My mum definitely used to appreciate the opportunity to sit down with a cup of tea, whilst we pranced around the living room the the grease soundtrack. It also provided a brief spell of time where we weren’t making a mess, something most mums will probably appreciate.

Bake cakes or biscuits

OK, so the last suggestion was mess free, but this one probably won’t be. I always loved baking as a child. Even if you’re no good a baking, you can pick up a simple cake or cookie pack that needs minimal baking skill. If it all goes wrong, you’ll probably make stronger memories than if it all goes to plan! (That’s something I know from experience!!!)

Play board games

I used to love board games. In fact, I still do. When we were younger, it was mostly scrabble and scategories. Now, there seem to be so many games that appeal to children of all ages. If you’re playing board games, it’s another reason not to have the TV droning on in the background. Less screen time has to be a good thing, right?

Make a den

Clothes horses, sofa cushions, duvets… your house is full of perfect den building materials. Dragging stuff from all over the house was always a good way to burn off some energy when we we stuck indoors as kids.

Do some science experiments

I know this might sound boring on the face of it, but there areactually loads of fun and easy science experiments you can do at home. I found loads of free science experiments over at sublime science. Many of them can be done with things you’ve already have, so you don’t need to buy anything extra.



Hopefully this gives you some fun ideas for that next wet and miserable weekend or school holiday that won’t cost you a fortune. Just because it’s wet and windy, doesn’t stop you wrapping up and splashing in puddles… but its good to come indoors and warm up afterwards.

Do you have any fun free (or cheap) ways you entertain the kids when the weather is too bad to go out? We feel like we’ve come up with a good list, but more ideas are always good!


P.S If you want to save this for later, you can now pin this on Pinterest 🙂

16 thoughts on “Cheap and easy (indoor) entertainment for kids

    1. You’re spot on with that- some stuff works for some but doesn’t for others. Simple baking, I can generally handle. Doing crafts not so much… nothing I try ever looks like it does on Pinterest! Glad to hear from another board game player 🙂

  1. Great ideas! My daughter goes to a year-round school, so she has a three-week break coming up soon and we aren’t going anywhere. Fortunately, we usually get some mild park weather days even in winter here. Museums can be a good source of inexpensive entertainment too. So can meeting grandparents or working parents for lunch.

    1. Museums are a great suggestion Emily. We don’t have a huge number where we are and they do have an entry fee. If you do have them, makes sense to make the most. Especially as so many have child friendly exhibits. Hope you enjoy her 3 week break 🙂

  2. We have basically cleared out our basement so our little one can run from one end of the basement to the other. He has a blast getting out all of his energy and finding different things to play with.

    1. Sounds awesome! And so much easier to enjoy being indoors when you’ve got the space for him to burn off all that energy 🙂

    1. Yes! Someone else who used to put on shows! 🙂 It’s a shame we didn’t have a video camera, it must be fun to watch back!

  3. Great list of activities that are easy to set up for those rainy days. I love a trip to the library I find we talk to each other more at the library. I’ve attempted the baking soda volcano experiment with my daughter before but it didn’t really work so I will have to go and check out the sublime science. Thank you for linking up to #KCACOLS

    1. What a shame about the volcano… I’ve tried some experiments and had no success and others that have been really fun. When they work well, it’s a great way to occupy them with something that inspires their curiosity!

  4. Perfect ideas! My kids loved to build dens when they were younger. Sure, it’s a little messy for a while, but it’s hours of free entertainment.

    My son also loved the water, so we would fill the kitchen sink with sudsy water and gave him funnels, ladles, and other little kitchen items. This would keep him busy for up to 2 hours! 🙂

    1. Amanda, I love the idea of filling the sink with water and letting him play with stuff you’ve already got. No matter how many toys a child has, they always want ‘real’ versions of things, whether its keys, phones or utensils!

  5. Junk modelling is the best – I just empty out the stuff I’m planning to recycle and give my eldest (5) a roll of sellotape and a pair of scissors. She is literally in heaven lol! #KCACOLS

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *