“I’m boooored!”

I’m boooored!” As parents and carers, how many time are we likely to hear our child say this – especially when we're indoors, at home?!

Being in our usual surroundings doesn't have to be boring. There are lots of fun filled ways of playing in and around the home to keep children happy and entertained.

Here are our top 35 ideas for playing at home:

  1. “Egg” and spoon races (no real eggs needed – a ping pong style ball works fine).
  2. Act out a story from a book
  3. Blindfold (hoodies on back to front) pillow fights
  4. Candle decorating
  5. Cat’s cradle
  6. Catch the fairy (use a torch and shine it in a dark room)
  7. Clapping games
  8. Cork fights … like food fights but less messy
  9. Drawing pictures and colouring in
  10. Dressing up
  11. Eye spy
  12. Fashion show
  13. Hide and seek
  14. Hopscotch – made with tape
  15. Junk modelling with smaller household items
  16. Kitchen disco
  17. Making cars, castles or spaceships with cardboard boxes
  18. Making dens
  19. Making paper planes
  20. Making small worlds with dinosaurs, toy cars, toy animals
  21. Musical chairs
  22. Obstacle course – using sofa cushions, chairs,
  23. Ping pong or volleyball with a balloon
  24. Playing school, café, offices, shops, hairdressers
  25. Putting on a performance
  26. Rock/paper/scissors
  27. Saucepan drums
  28. Simon says
  29. Skipping or French skipping (elastics).
  30. Sock puppets
  31. Stair toboganning in cardboard boxes and pillows
  32. Steppingstones with cushions
  33. Tea party/indoor picnic
  34. The floor is lava
  35. Treasure hunt.

How many can your family complete?

More play ideas

We also have some ideas for messy play:

  • Painting
  • Make gloop or slime
  • Making and playing with play dough
  • Blowing bubbles with straws
  • Making mud pies, potions and perfume.

Being messy is a natural part of childhood but if you have any concerns read our tips on dealing with messy play!

Why play matters

Playing – indoors and outdoors – is good for children. When children choose what to play, who to play with, and how to organise their play, they have more fun. Children also develop and learn in all sorts of ways while playing. Playing helps children develop: self-esteem, imagination, creativity, co-ordination, confidence, concentration communication skills, balance … but most of all playing is fun!

Get involved

We are preparing for when parents and children may need to stay at home. If you’d like to get involved and help other families at this tricky time, send us a video of you and your family sharing your top indoor play ideas or if you’d like more info email us.

Also, share your play ideas with us – tag us on social media – FacebookInstagram and Twitter – and use #ProjectPlay!

35 indoor play ideas can be printed and shared.

Reflections from a homeschooling parent

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