Finding new and fun activities to do with kids can be a challenge, particularly when getting out and about is tricky, and resources at home may be limited.
Whether you’ve got young children who aren’t yet ready to go to school or you’re currently stuck at home with your kids self-isolating, it’s important to keep them sufficiently stimulated.
That’s where physical, crafty and educational games can come in handy. These creative activities will help keep your kids engaged and use simple materials that you probably have around the house.
There's plenty of solutions available – so we’ve rounded up 17 of the best screen-free activities, which can be done indoors or in the garden.
In this article, you’ll find out
- Why creative activities are important for kids
- The different types of educational kids games
- Why you should pay educational games with your children
- Fun educational games for kids
- Fun education games for older kids
- Simple crafts for kids
- Simple crafts for older kids
- Physical games for kids
- Physical games for older kids
Why creative activities are important for kids
While they’re fun for kids to do, creative activities are also important for their mental and emotional development.
One, they can help to process their thoughts and feelings. And two, they provide children with the opportunity to try out new ideas, explore new ways of thinking and have a go at problem solving.1
What different types of educational kids’ games are there?
If you’re a newbie to children’s games that are not only fun, but educational, you might want to know a bit more about what sorts of games are out there.
There are multiple options to choose from, including:
Educational board games
Board games aren’t just for adults! In fact, there are numerous ones specifically for kids as well as options that can be easily adapted to help teach little ones valuable skills like spelling and counting.
If you’re keen to get your kids using tech in a more productive way, an educational video game is a good call.
They’re usually very fun and engaging, plus they’ll hone your child’s knowledge of specific subjects and their ability to perform certain tasks.
Why should you play educational games with your kids?
If you’ve got a little one at home that’s in need of distraction, it can often be tempting to stick them in front of the TV or a tablet.
If you’d rather get their brains working in a more engaging and productive way though, an educational game may be ideal.
While playing games – especially video games – might not seem very beneficial on the surface, there are many studies that show how educational games can:
- Teach kids collaborative and social skills.
- Get them used to the idea of rules and playing fair.
- Increase overall engagement, particularly if you’re trying to teach them a valuable skill for the future.
- Improve their logic and strategy skills.2
17 fun activities for children at home
Read on to find out more about the fun activities that you can do at home with your children.
Fun educational games for kids
Wondering which educational games to invest in? Take the opportunity to teach your kids a bit about science, English and maths while having fun with these creative activities and games.
Here’s a handful of fantastic options:
Animal-lovers in your family will love this app. Designed in collaboration with the National Geographic Society, it’s a virtual world where you can play games, go on adventures and have parties – all of which have been created to teach children facts about the natural world.
Another physical game that’s great for educating kids is Spot It! Made up of cards with words and pictures on them, the Basic English edition is perfect for training kids to read, pronounce words and match up images.
This worldwide educational platform combines learning maths with fantasy games. Able to be adjusted to your child’s age and school curriculum, Prodigy sees players create their own wizard and compete in mathematical duels.
If you’re after a multi-purpose game that can help support your child’s understanding of numerous subjects and skills, Busy Things is perfect. It’s an online learning platform packed with over 100 different educational games targeted at kids aged 3 to 11.
Fun educational games for older kids
This fast-paced board game is actually for ages 7+. However, it can be easily adapted for smaller children. Coming in a banana-shaped pouch, you’ll find dozens of tiles with letters on them which you can use to help kids create words, sentences or spell their own names.
Paper helicopters are fun to make and provide an appealing toy to play with afterwards. All you need is some paper, paperclips, scissors, and tape. Different templates are available online to help you with your design.3
DIY lava lamps
DIY lava lamps are surprisingly easy to make by just adding water, oil, fizzing tablets (e.g. Alka Seltzer), and food colouring to large clear bottles. This video shows you how it all works.4
Simple crafts for kids
By mixing salt and food colouring, you can have a new creative art material for your kids. Make sure to complete this process in a ziplock bag with the air squeezed out to avoid any mess.5
Kids can then make salt paintings by squeezing glue onto paper and sprinkling on their different coloured salts. The results can be quite spectacular!
Paper scrap challenge
This one’s an old favourite. Give your kids some old magazines or catalogues, paper, scissors, and glue to make collages.
Collaging is an entertaining and creative activity that will keep them interested for a good couple of hours.
Shakers and rattle drums
Rummage in your recycling for containers made of different materials and fill them with various small objects to create a range of percussion instruments.
Rice, dried beans, and beads are all good noisemakers. Add a homemade rattle drum, made from circles of card, string, and beads, and your kids can enjoy making some fantastic music.6
If you have a cylindrical cutlery drainer, this homemade version of kerplunk is easy to make with a few straws and some beads or mini pom-poms.7 Alternatively, kids can make their containers by cutting holes in cardboard tubes.
Encourage your kids to paint them with colourful patterns to make games they’ll love to keep and play again and again. These creative activities will help keep kids’ minds and bodies active while staying at home.
Simple crafts for older kids
Cup and ball game
Cup and ball is a traditional kids’ game that can deliver plenty of amusement. Kids can make their own by attaching a bead to some string and gluing it to a yoghurt pot, then enjoy a bit of competition with others at home. They can get creative in decorating them too.
If you’ve run out of paints, did you know that you can make your own with ingredients found in the store cupboard?
Mix the below ingredients, divide the mixture into ice cube trays or small plastic containers, and colour with food colouring.8 Use your new paint like regular watercolours and get creative!
What you’ll need
- 3 teaspoons light corn syrup or golden syrup
- 6 tablespoons cornflour
- 6 tablespoons baking soda
- 6 tablespoons white vinegar
- Food colouring
Physical games for kids
A treasure hunt
One of the best ways to get kids up and active is to bribe them with prizes. And what better way to do that than with a treasure hunt around the house and garden?
You could even make it seasonal with an Easter egg hunt, summer snacks, spooky Halloween treats or mini Christmas prezzies!
Disco dance time
A fun one for all involved, dancing is a great way to get people up and moving – including children. So why not go the whole hog?
Play some of their favourite music through the speakers, shut the curtains and have a disco where you all bust your best moves.
Physical games for older kids
Okay, hear us out on this one. A lot of kids love a bit of healthy competition, which is why we’d recommend setting up a fitness challenge!
Whether it’s push ups or sit ups, this is a great way to keep them active and you could even have it as an ongoing challenge for the whole family.
Fly a kite
Embrace your inner Mary Poppins and go fly a kite! Not alone of course, with your little ones. Not sure where to go? Try your local park area or even your garden if you have the space. One extra thing to be aware of, try and schedule it for a dry yet windy day for the best results.
The final say
We hope you’re now feeling inspired to get creative in your home with our list of fun activities for kids. Combine movement with a balanced diet to ensure their health stays on track while they grow and develop.
If you’re concerned about their dietary habits or want to support their brain health, use natural supplements to ensure they’re getting the ideal balance of vitamins and minerals.
Last updated: 14 April 2022