15 No Prep Indoor Activities for the Whole Family

Being asked to stay at home and social distance can be difficult for families. Finding stimulating activities to do can be expensive and time-consuming. Here are some ideas for no-prep activities to do with kids and teens while social distancing during the COVID-19 Pandemic.

Read through to learn five games and activities for Younger kids, five for older kids/teens and five that all ages would enjoy!

For Younger Kids

Obstacle Courses/Relay Races: Use the furniture in your home and create an obstacle course around your house. Use tape on the floor so your children know how to go through the house. You can even add signs with actions students must do before going on to the next obstacle. You can time your children and race, have fun announcers and videos each child going through. You can even make paper plate awards or medals for your children as they complete different challenges. Turn it into a family Olympics! Dress Up/Make Believe Games: Kids can play pretend for hours (and it's a great learning opportunity to practice vocabulary, problem-solving, social learning and STEM (children are often building things when playing pretend. Some ideas to help get kids started: play house/family, play restaurant/running a business, play pirates or living on a boat, play cops/robbers, play zookeeper/animals...but truthfully the great thing about young kids, they will come up with way more fun and interesting things than just these activities! Magic Bag OR Find it in the Room: These are basically different versions of “I Spy.” You can have your child guess what you are thinking of in the room. Or you can hide a toy or stuffed animal and play “Hot or Cold” as they wander around the room trying to find the toy. You can also play Magic Bag. Have a big bag and have the kids take turns secretly putting something in the bag. Then play 20 questions (or make it harder and play 5 or 10 questions) and see if the rest of the family can figure out what item they have in the bag using yes or no questions. Make a Play: This can be fun for older kids too, depending on how elaborate you make it. There are free scripts online or the kids can improve or make their own script. You can find boy scout skits that are short and fun. If your kids want to, they can add props, costumes, stage makeup, or backgrounds (using butcher paper, cardboard, or sidewalk chalk on a brick or cinder block wall or other household items). You can even make puppets and do a puppet show. Homemade Movie Theater/Restaurant: Watching TV can get to be too much when you're at home for days on end, but doing little things to make a movie a special and exciting thing can make it fun. Find a way to make the room totally dark. Have the students make tickets that you collect before they walk in OR have them decorate a cardboard box like a car and have a drive-in movie. You can make popcorn and let them eat it on a blanket or give them a treat while they watch the movie.

You can even talk about movie theater etiquette cate and have the family put other electronics away and sit quietly during the movie (if you have a family like mine that loves to make comments throughout movies!)

A Homemade restaurant is a similar idea where you take a normal task, but make it special. Have your kids help you decide on the meal. Set the table really nicely and ask one of your children to be a waiter. Another can make a menu. Someone can be in charge of the appetizer or dessert. Making everyday tasks more memorable can be a great way to enjoy time together without lots of extra work for parents.

For Older Kids:

Mafia: Mafia is a fun murder mystery game that can be played with any group that is more than 4 people. You can watch videos on Youtube to learn how to play, but basically you have the mafia, the Narrator and other people.

First, the narrator passes out papers with different roles written on it. Then they have everyone close their eyes. They ask the Mafia to open their eyes and silently point at someone to “kill”. Then they have the mafia close their eyes and ask each of the other roles to open their eyes individually (no one knows who is who). Then the Narrator tells everyone to open their eyes and they say who was “killed” that person is then out of the game. They can watch everything, but can’t speak.

The group then talks and tries to figure out who the mafia is (everyone is allowed to lie in this game). The group votes on one person to “execute.” Once they kill the person, that person tells the group their Role. Then everyone closes their eyes and the mafia has another turn to kill someone.

The game continues until either the mafia kills enough people that they are the majority of the group (and the mafia wins) or the other roles kill off the mafia. Some fun roles you can include depending on the group size: Citizen: This person has no extra part to play Doctor: The doctor can randomly heal one person each night. If they happen to heal the person the mafia wanted to kill, then that person is saved and gets to keep playing the game. Detective: The detective gets to randomly point at one person each night and the narrator nods yes or no to tell if that person is a part of the mafia Romeo and Juliet: These people go together. If the mafia kills one of them, the other dies as well and the mafia gets a double kill. You can check out this website to find LOTS of different roles to add to the game to make it more fun. Just keep in mind, you probably want about one mafia for every 3 or 4 other people. Murder in the Dark: This is a mix between Mafia and Hide and Seek. Play at night so the house is dark. Draw paper to determine if you are a citizen or a killer. Then everyone has one minute to spread out. The killers must figure out who each other is, and then they go around and poke people. Once you’ve been poked by a killer you must lie down dead. Then once someone finds a person lying dead they call out that there has been a murder and all the lights go on. People decide who they want to execute just like mafia, that person must then say if they were a killer or a citizen. The lights go off and the game continues with the people who are alive. Animal Sounds In this game, one person is blindfolded in the middle of a circle. Everyone else is sitting silently. The blindfolded person spins and then points at someone and says the name of an animal. The person they are pointing at then has five seconds to try to make a sound like that animal. The person in the middle then guesses WHO is making the sound. If they are right, they open their eyes and the person they guessed goes in the middle and is blindfolded (everyone quickly changes spots in the circle and the game continues). If the person in the middle guesses the wrong name, the person who made the animal sound claps once. Then the blindfolded person must spin and pick a new person and say a new animal and guess again until they guess the right person. Learn a famous dance on Youtube: Find a famous music video or dance. Watch the video and learn the moves to the dance. This can be a great activity for just one person or a whole family. You can even make up a dance to a song you like...if you are feeling really creative! Build a House of Cards: Getting tired of card games? Try to build a house of cards instead. This can be both frustrating and completely addicting. A wonderful way to pass time if you have a group of bored teens (or even adults).

For All Ages

Hide and Seek OR Sardines: Sardines are reverse Hide and Seek. One person hides and everyone looks for them. When someone finds them they hide with them. The game continues until the last person finds EVERYONE hiding in the same spot. Then that person is it. Granted, hide and seek games are more fun for older children if there is a big enough space to find good hiding spots. Build a Fort: Use pillows, blankets, and furniture and create a fort inside! If you want to have fun, have a pajama party and sleep in the fort...or attempt to sleep in the fort! Let children create their own space in the fort or space for their stuffed animals. Very frequently playing pretend ends in fort building, or fort building ends in playing pretend. Even kids who are too old to enjoy playing pretend, still enjoy building forts. Minute to Win it Games: There are SO many Minute to Win it Games online. Create a family tournament. Give out cheap prizes, and play games as individuals or as teams! Some games involve lots of prep and materials and others are quick and easy, but such a fun way to make a memorable evening with your family. Backyard Campout: Set up a tent, roast marshmallows (if you have a fire pit or just microwave for a short time), stargaze, play outside and just enjoy being together! Make a Movie: As a family, create a movie or music video. You can make a video, slide show or dance. Film it, edit it, and then watch it as a family!

I hope you enjoy these activities with your kids! For more activities check out a few of my other blogs: 5 Art Activities for Kids for $10 or Less Disney Camp Activities Harry Potter Camp Activities 10 STEM Activities for $10 or Less 10 Free Educational Websites for Kids

Related Questions:

How to motivate children with homework or at-home learning? Motivation is so important for student learning. Help students to become intrinsically motivated by helping them to see the value of the activity they are doing and explaining how it is important as a life skill. You may also need to use extrinsic motivation. When doing this remember to create autonomy. Have the child help come up with the rewards and consequences and then be consistent. You may like my Management Bundle or Growth Mindset Bundle on TPT.

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