15 Indoor Family Activities for Winter

Published on 30 January 2020

When torrential rain and howling wind make outdoor activity impossible for your family, try something different to rule out boredom and bickering in your house.

Here, we're going ‘old-school’ with our list of indoor activities to keep your family focused, connected and hopefully laughing!


15 Indoor Family Activities for Winter 


1. Build a Fort

A hideaway or fort will delight the younger age groups as they create an ‘adult-free’ zone. Cushions, blankets and their favourite toys will keep them busy as they delight in the novelty of having a space all to themselves.

2. Baking

This activity will keep everyone busy while also having the added benefit of sampling the baked delicacies. If baking isn’t where your talents lie, choose something simple like banana bread. Or pick a Betty Crocker mix where you just stir in water, egg and oil and pop it into the oven. Remember, it should be enjoyable!

3. Cardboard Box House

A large cardboard box, perhaps from new a fridge or washing machine, allows creative minds to run wild as they get to decorate their new ‘home’. An adult can cut open flaps for the door and windows where needed for added fun. Kids will love the opportunity to play ‘house’ and if there are a few boxes, they can take turns visiting each other.

4. Indoor Camping

If your tent is gathering dust in your attic, pull it down and set up an indoor camping experience. Sleeping bags, torches and a picnic will help set the tone and the best news is that there's no danger of the tent being blow away.

5. Card Games

Older members of the family might enjoy learning some old school card games like Rummy, Beggar My Neighbour, Go Fish, Whist or Poker. Be warned, it could get a little competitive!

6. Rock Painting

This is an easy way to get creative if you want to do something a little different. Rocks decorated with monster faces or butterflies will brighten up any garden once they've dried completely. Stock up on some outdoor paint the next time you're near an art and hobby shop.

7. Treasure Hunt

Hide a number of written clues in various places around the house and watch as your family tries to solve the riddles to lead them to the hidden treasure. The treasure could be a book or a coin for their piggy bank. The hunt could keep them busy for hours!

8. Pencil and Paper Games

Ditch the screens and pull out a pencil and pad and introduce the kids to hangman or ‘noughts and crosses’. These games are simple but clever and will take the family back to basics.

9. Indoor Hopscotch

When the rainfall has sent you indoors, pull out some scotch tape and use it to make the outline for the number boxes of hopscotch. This will get hearts pumping and keep everyone laughing as they try to keep their balance.

10. Board Games

Having a few board games at the ready is a good idea for when family members are cooped up and bored. Some of the old games are still the best, for instance Operation, Monopoly, Draughts, Buckaroo, Scrabble, Guess Who? or Chess. Though not technically a board game, Twister gets a mention too - it always delivers on entertainment!

11. Blind Box

Cut out a hole in the side of a shoe box big enough for someone to stick their hand in and place an object in the box. Everyone takes turns reaching inside, feeling the object and trying to guess what it is. Hints can be given if needed and avoid using creepy crawlies!

12. Hot Potato

Family members gather in a circle and pass around a small object, like a beanbag or teddy, while music plays. The person holding the object when the music stops is eliminated and the game continues with the remaining players. The last player standing is the winner.

13. Charades

No tools required! All you need is a good imagination, patience and a sense of humour. And remember, no talking.

14. Knitting

While knitting is often associated with an older generation, this activity has many benefits for the younger members of the family, such as helping to reduce stress and anxiety while also positively impacting mental functioning.

Small, easy knitting projects will keep the interest alive for the novices, so leave the Aran sweaters for the die-hard fans. Check out some free and simple patterns suitable for beginners here.

15. Reading

Reading a good book is a great pastime all year round, but it's especially relaxing when sitting by a cosy fire while a storm rages outside. Your local library is a great resource and if there's a particular title you want, they can order it in for you. There will be books to suit every member of your family. Reading is a gift of a lifetime, so try to make it a habit in your home.


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