1. Marco Polo
This is a fun swimming pool game to play for 3 or more kids especially when it's hot in summer. It's very similar to tag but played in the pool and the finder has their eyes closed.
The best kids' activities are simple to play, need no special equipment, and are fun for all ages.
Here are our top 10 activities for kids:
Continue below for our full list of 209 activities for kids.
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Play fun games kids love and entertain them for hours.
This is a fun swimming pool game to play for 3 or more kids especially when it's hot in summer. It's very similar to tag but played in the pool and the finder has their eyes closed.
Many older kids love this game because it’s a battle with an army of pieces each with different strengths and weaknesses. Chess is a great way to train yourself to develop plans and think strategically. It's one of the classic indoor activities.
See my Guide to Babysitting Older Kids for more ideas.
Draw boxes on the ground with chalk with the numbers 1 to 10. Add a final box with ‘home’ written in it. To play you throw a small stone to put it in a square then hop in the numbers missing the number with the square in it. Don’t fall over or touch the lines.
This is a fun outdoor activity but you can play indoors by marking out squares with tape instead of chalk.
Hide your face behind your hands then say ‘BOO’ as you suddenly move your hands away. This is a fun game for babies and toddlers.
Sit in a circle and each person says three things about themselves, two things that are true and one lie. Everyone else tries to guess which is the lie.
This is a great way to learn about each other.
Such a simple and fun game. All you need is a ball (tennis balls are perfect) and a flat hard surface to play on. You can mark out squares with chalk, or even better, utilize the joins in a concrete path. This game is great for improving coordination and fitness.
Daloodoo is a fun spelling game that's easy to play and lots of fun! To start, print out the free Daloodoo game sheets and you will set everything up in just a few minutes. The first person to spell 'Daloodoo' wins! Instructions provided.
This is a fun guessing game for all ages. Divide into teams and one person at a time acts out a word or phrase that is written on a piece of paper. The actor cannot speak while acting. The team with the first correct answer gets a point.
This is another classic game suitable for all ages. Take turns carefully removing a block from the tower (with a single hand only) and place it on the top. Whoever knocks the tower down is the loser, everyone else wins! This game has a great buildup and a sense of anticipation.
This game is fun for the whole family.
Check what you have in the cupboard, there are so many great board games to play for any age, here are just a few:
A pack of cards is so versatile, there are hundreds of games to play, here are some great suggestions:
Cards are one of the best indoor activities for kids.
Teach kids to clean up after themselves with the pack-away game. Just start singing (to the tune of London Bridge is falling down):
Just like Timmy (Insert your child’s name)
A classic game loved by kiddos everywhere.
One child is the seeker, they close their eyes and count to 20 while everyone else hides. The seeker then announces in a loud voice “Coming ready or not” and the search begins. The last person found is the next seeker.
This is a great game to play inside but it's also one of the best outdoor activities.
This is fun to set up as well as play. Use whatever random household objects you have to create a variety of obstacles along a path from a start to a finish. Who can do it the quickest? This can be played indoors or outdoors.
Another classic kids' favorite. One person gives orders starting with “Simon says...” and everyone has to copy, eg: “Simon says jump on the spot”. If they give an order but don't say “Simon says” anyone who follows the order is out.
This is a fantastic low-energy game that can be played anywhere by any age. For younger kids start by saying the color of the spied item, for kids who can read use the first letter of the word.
My children love this game. Start with a selection of 1 to 8 toys of various sizes and shapes then one person hides them all in a room or the yard. Then everyone else tries to find as many as they can. This is one of my favorite activities for kids.
Get that creative energy flowing with these kid-friendly arts and crafts that are great for developing fine motor skills. Arts and crafts are also perfect indoor activities for a rainy day.
This is a great idea for little kids.
Hold a piece of paper over an interesting surface and draw over the top with a crayon to reveal a textured pattern. What patterns can you find inside or outside? See if anyone can guess what the textures came from.
First, draw a simple grid on a large piece of paper (A3 is a perfect size).
Next, start at the bottom left and number all the squares until you get to the last one in the top row, label this one ‘finish’.
Draw snakes and ladders between randomly selected squares and then you're done!
All you need to start a game is a dice and some coins as markers.
Make a ring from a long piece of cardboard joined so it perfectly matches the child's head size. Cover it in aluminum foil to make a silver crown. Decorate it with colored beads, cellophane, and jewel stickers. Add ribbons and shear cloth like a veil. Optionally make a wand or scepter.
Find a large paved area such as a driveway or concrete patio and start drawing with colored chalk. Try drawing a big hole in the ground and try not to fall in!
Start by exploring outside to find the perfect rocks. Small stones that fit in the palm of your hand are best.
Glue on googly eyes or paint them, try using liquid paper if you don’t have paint.
Make a home for your pet rocks in a box or around the base of a potted plant.
Paint two tissue boxes to look like dinosaur skin, you can even add plastic mesh so it looks like scales.
Glue triangles of sponge to the front to make claws.
Now put your feet in them and stomp around the house roaring like a T-rex. Grrrrrrrr!
Fold a sheet of paper in half 3 - 5 times in different directions and at different angles then start cutting small shapes out. Unfold the paper to reveal your creation. Try experimenting with different folds and cut shapes. Can you make a snowflake?
Kiddos love having their faces painted.
For girls, rainbow fairy makeup or a butterfly are great ideas. For boys, a superhero or monster may be their preference. Animals like tigers, frogs, and a shark are also popular.
Make sure you use proper face-painting paints so it washes off easily at bath time.
Learn some amazing face painting tips in our dedicated article Face painting for babysitters, you’ll be so glad you did.
Draw little faces with markers and give them arms with pipe cleaners or wire. Make little clothes from scraps of fabric. Make a whole family.
Peg them to people when they’re not looking and see how long it takes them to notice!
Do you have some unused odd socks? Turn them into Sock Puppets!
Sew on buttons for eyes or glue on googly eyes. Make hair from wool or make a cute hat.
Attach a tongue made from a piece of red fabric. Try making a forked tongue from a red rubber band to make a snake.
Hide behind the couch and put on a puppet show!
Find a block of post-it notes (a small writing pad or an old book with wide margins works too).
Next, draw a picture on each page slightly changing it each time.
Flick through the pages to see your animation come to life! Make a movie series with a different book per episode.
Cut out wing shapes from thick paper or cardboard and sticky tape them to the sides of an empty plastic bottle.
Attach a triangle to the back to make the tail.
Make a cardboard propeller with a hole in the middle that neatly fits over the bottle opening, and screw on the bottle cap to hold it in place.
Draw round windows with a marker and a pilot in the cockpit.
Now you’re ready for takeoff!
Find a tree or favorite pot plant in the yard and make it a magic tree by decorating it with special things.
Sprinkle glitter or confetti around the base of the trunk and hide small toys and trinkets in the branches. Tie ribbons or colored string to the leaves so it flows with the breeze.
Paint a door and windows on the trunk so it looks like fairies or elves live there.
Start with something easy like a cape, a fancy collar, or leg warmers. Try pants and a shirt if you're looking for a challenge.
Make sure your dog is okay with the game and they're always comfortable.
This is a fun game to play in a group where you pass the drawings between each step.
Start by drawing landmarks like mountains, trees, rivers, and buildings. Then draw a big red X where the treasure is buried. Make your map look old by creasing it and soaking it in cold tea to yellow the paper. Once it's dry roll it up and put it in a bottle.
Take 10 blank A4 pages, fold them in half and staple them along the spine. Find a nice piece of cardboard to make a hardcover and decorate it with wrapping paper. Attach a ribbon for a built-in bookmark. Don't forget to write your name and the date on it.
Start with a paper shopping bag, put it over the child's head then mark the eye positions. Take it off before cutting out the eye holes. Next, get together lots of different materials and let them decorate their mask. Try out wool, colored paper, stickers, sticky tape, beads, fabric, and whatever you have lying around.
Use a thick black pen to make a complicated maze then see if anyone can make it from start to finish using a pencil. Rub out the pencil for the next person to try. Make it harder by not touching the sides or completing the maze with one line and not lifting your pencil off the page. Squeezing through tiny gaps with a pencil will help to develop fine motor skills.
You can work from a photo or try drawing a portrait from life. The model sits still while the artist draws them. If you don't have an idea easel find a hard-cover book to lean on. Try drawing with different media: Graphite pencils, colored pencils, or markers are great.
Line up 6 markers in the color spectrum order and sticky tape them together: red, orange, yellow, green, blue, and purple. You have created a rainbow pen!
Drawing a rainbow in one simple arc with your rainbow pen! Try drawing other things too: hearts, stars, patterns, and write your name!
One person draws a simple abstract squiggle on a page then a second person does their best to turn it into something.
Try doing this in a group, everyone draws a squiggle then passes their paper to the next person and everyone tries to make a picture.
Get out your colored markers or crayons, download our free coloring book or try our amazing coloring book of kids drawings, print them out and start coloring. Try playing music at the same time to get the creative juices flowing.
You can even try out our free babysitting flyer generator, print out some black and white posters, then get the kids you’re babysitting to color them in for you. They look brilliant on the street!
Everyone loves receiving presents, why not make some for the people you love. Find an old toy, unused object, or something you have made and wrap it up with beautiful paper. Don't forget to make a name tag and add a ribbon. Enjoy the gift of giving!
Find an empty plastic bottle, put in a handful of rice, and close the lid to create a basic shaker. Experiment with beads and other items to create different sounds.
Make a custom shaker by applying paper-mâché over a blown-up balloon, then pop it when it's dry, add beads and a handle. Paint it in bright colors.
Is it someone's birthday soon or another special occasion such as Christmas, Mother's Day, or Father's Day, Why not make a special card?
Start with plain paper or cardboard and decorate it with markers. Don’t forget to write a beautiful message.
Use stickers to create a picture on paper and draw in extra parts. Try decorating something by covering it with lots of stickers.
Don’t have any stickers? Check your fruit bowl, most fruit comes with special fruit stickers, or make your own from sticky tape and markers.
Find a blank wall that needs some love, the kids' room is a perfect location.
Next, decorate the wall by putting up lots of drawings, photos, and paintings with blue tack (so they can be removed later).
Create a sign for the top of the wall “Julie's art wall”. (use your kid's name or multiple kids). They will be so proud of their creations.
Make sure you leave space for future art.
Kids love getting their fingers into playdough and that's why it's one of the best sensory activities. Make a dinosaur or a mushroom house, or a turtle. Kids learn by doing.
See our playdough games sheets for more fun ideas.
Don’t have any playdough? Make it in 3 minutes with our easy playdough recipe.
This is one idea that I love.
Find a big piece of cardboard then cut out a rectangle that is slightly smaller than your artwork.
Cover your frame with aluminum foil to make a fancy silver frame. Draw patterns over the top with a black marker.
Staple a string across the back.
Attach your artwork to the frame with sticky tape then hang it on the wall.
Draw a grid of 4 squares across and 6 squares down on a piece of paper.
Next, draw a basic shape in every second square, eg: a circle, spiral, star, heart, letter, or number.
To play the game the child tries to copy each shape as closely as possible by drawing it in the adjacent square.
This is an excellent way for children to learn shapes and practice fine motor skills. Make the grid smaller and use more complicated shapes for advanced kids.
All you need is some paper and you can create a whole fleet of aircraft. Try different designs for speed, stunts, or gliding. Who can fly theirs the furthest?
Draw windows and graphics on your plane with colored markers.
Get out your paint set and paint a beautiful picture. Try setting up an easel outside and painting a landscape from life. What is the main focus of your scene?
Create and eat beautiful, healthy food together. Cooking is one of the best activities for kids.
All you need is a selection of fruit, toothpicks, and hungry kids! It's perfect for a snack.
Use the toothpicks to join pieces of fruit together. Make legs, arms, a head, and of course eyes.
Try making a turtle, a caterpillar, a crocodile, or a monster.
What animals can you make?
Everyone loves freshly baked cookies (even parents) and it makes the house smell great too!
Kids love to help out making the mixture and learning how it’s done. Take turns mixing with a wooden spoon.
Roll the mixture into balls and flatten them on a tray. Decorate then if you like.
Kids are so excited when they’re finished and ready to eat!
First, get the equipment together, a blanket, paper plates, and cups.
Next, prepare the food, make celery and carrot sticks, cut sandwiches, get a selection of fruit, and maybe even some chocolate for dessert!
Pack everything in a basket then find a nice place to enjoy lunch outside together.
This is a fun dessert idea just before bed.
Try serving chopstick-friendly food like fruit salad or marshmallows.
Turn the light off, crack your glow sticks to light them up, and have a glowstick dessert!
Clean and take your glowsticks to bed when you’re finished.
Parents or caregivers will need to be extra careful with this activity.
Spike potatoes with a fork, cover them in butter, and wrap them in silver foil. Next, put them in the hot coals of a bonfire once the flames have died down a bit for 30 - 60 minutes.
Fish them out with a long stick, open the foil, and serve with salt and pepper. A lovely dinner, YUM!
Start by cooking flat pieces of gingerbread. Next, cut them to shape and ‘glue’ them together with icing. Decorate your house with icing flowers and little animals.
Take a picture and show your friends and family.
Start by finding lots of different drinks and extras from your fridge, eg: fruit juice, coconut water, sports drinks, milk, strawberries, oranges, berries, and mint.
Next, try mixing different combinations together to make special potions.
Can you make healing drinks, super energy drinks, or space drinks?
Don’t forget to use special curly straws if you have them.
Fresh salad sandwiches are delicious and healthy, learn how to make them together. Recommend ingredients:
A healthy salad where all ingredients start with 'C'! Start with a couscous base then include any of the following:
Can you think of other ingredients that start with ‘C’?
A perfect treat for a cold day that’s super-easy to make.
Add a marshmallow to the top!
Start with a pre-made pizza base or make one from scratch if you know how.
Next, cover the pizza with a thin layer of tomato paste using the back of a spoon.
Add your favorite toppings such as capsicum, salami, mushroom, pineapple, ham, and olives. Add a layer of mozzarella cheese then put it in the oven.
Homemade pizza time!
Blindfold each participant and then feed them small amounts of food and see if they can guess what they’re eating.
Make sure to only use nice food and be aware of any allergies.
Gingerbread men are so fun to make because of the decorating.
Use different colored icing, currents, chocolate chips, nuts, and sprinkles to make the most amazing creations.
Eating them is even more fun!
Fruit ice blocks are so nice in hot weather. Experiment with different juices and add pieces of fruit for a wow factor.
If you don't have ice block molds use plastic cups with a paddle pop stick in them. Alternatively, make fruit ice blocks in an ice block tray and add them to drinks.
Every child loves decorating cakes. Start by collecting a variety of yummy toppings, eg: fruit, chocolate, sprinkles, and nuts.
Next, ice the cake to create a blank canvas to work from.
Finally, create beautiful patterns and designs with your toppings, you could even make a picture.
Finally, it’s time to eat it!
For kids who love to have all eyes on them. Here are some ideas for engaging an audience.
Step 1: Left foot; stand on your toes with your heel up. Right foot; stand flat and slide it backward.
Step 2: Switch feet positions: Right foot; stand on your toes with your heel up. Left foot; stand flat and slide it backward.
Put on some awesome rock music with epic guitar solos.
Let your hair down and rock out. Feel the music flow through you as your hands move like lightning across the imaginary strings.
Give your heart and soul to the performance like the rock god that you are!
One person is the designated deejay, they are in charge of the music.
When the music is playing everyone dances like crazy with wild movements, twirls, jumps, and spins. When the deejay stops the music everyone has to freeze on the spot!
Can you freeze quickly enough?
Babies and young kids love nursery rhymes, try out these:
The aim of stand-up silly comedy is to make the audience laugh, it doesn't matter how you do it.
Try telling funny jokes (see our 300 best kids jokes), wearing funny clothes, accidentally falling over, or being silly and making a fool of yourself. What way works best for you?
Find a spacious area indoors, the lounge room is perfect.
Take turns being the deejay and play all your favourite up-tempo music while everyone dances. Practice special moves. Have a dance-off!
Try closing the curtains, turning the lights off, and playing with glow sticks while you dance.
Start by selecting a fun song to dance to. Play the song bit by bit and make up moves that match the sound of the music. Try acting out words to help tell a story.
If you're in a group try inventing a new synchronized dance.
Find all your musical instruments or make your own. Use two spoons to make a tapping sound, pots and pans as drums and cymbals, or make a guitar from a piece of cardboard and string.
Put on some music and play along. Film yourself so you can see what you look like.
Everyone loves a good joke. Toddlers especially love to tell knock, knock jokes.
See our huge list of over 300 funny kids jokes and pick your favorites to make a comedy show!
Make a pretend microphone from a toilet roll core and a ball, or use a real one if you have it.
Play your favorite songs and sing along.
Don't forget all the actions and synchronized dancing!
Try out a duet.
Start off slow and then get crazy. Move the legs and arms in time with the beat, and do spins, somersaults, the splits, or breakdancing.
See if you can make people laugh with funny, unexpected dance moves.
You might need to make a magic wand for some of these tricks:
Find three things to juggle, eg: balls, balloons, screwed-up paper balls, handkerchiefs, wooden spoons, or sponges.
Try juggling two first, then three, then four if you can.
How long can you juggle without stopping?
First make a puppet stage, try moving the couch out from the wall so you have space behind it to operate the puppets without being seen by the audience.
Gather your puppet performers, they can be sock puppets, finger puppets, or any fun toys.
Next make up a fun show, eg: fighting action with robots and dinosaurs, romance with Barbie and Ken, or an animal adventure.
Take turns telling scary stories in the dark while shining a torch up at your face. Tell strange but true stories that really did happen to you.
Make up the craziest story possible but pretend it really happened.
Tell 'what if' stories, eg: What if I won the lottery, what if I entered a surfing contest, what if I was a horse?
When kids have the energy to burn. Burn baby, burn!
You need a nice open space to play a good game of frisbee, if the yard isn't big enough, try the local park.
Get in a big circle so everyone is the right distance away. See how often you can fly it to each other without dropping it.
Basketball is a classic. Try playing HORSE, one-on-one, or a team game if there are enough participants.
If you don't have a basketball ring or ball, use a bucket and make a ball from screwed-up paper then have an inside shooting competition.
This is a fun backyard game for 3 or more kids.
All you need is a bat and a ball. One person bats, one bowls the ball, and everyone else fields.
Get to the fence for a four, over the fence is six and out! (then you have to fetch the ball)
Tag is one of the best activities for kids when there is a larger group.
One person is ‘it' so they have to catch someone, everyone else is trying to escape. When someone gets tipped, they're now ‘it' and it's their turn to catch someone. The previous ‘it' has 10 seconds to get away!
Mark out goal posts at either end of an open area of grass, set up teams, and kickoff to begin.
Everyone loves a game of soccer and it’s a great way to keep fit.
All you need is two kids and a ball. Start off close together, throw it to each other and when you catch it, take a step back.
How far apart can you get?
This is a fun way to build up your throwing strength and accuracy.
Tie a string across the room and place a sheet over it to make a net then play tennis by batting a balloon to each other with your hands. Don’t let the balloon touch the ground or the other team gets a point.
Mark out a running track, and use trees or other landmarks to define different legs of a race.
Run in a group or take turns and time each runner on your mobile and see who gets the lowest time.
This is enjoyable for the whole family. Two people can hold a broom or place it on something like a chair to get the right height.
Keep lowering the broom until only one player is left, they are the winner!
How low can you go?
The best thing about putt-putt golf is it can be played almost anywhere with household equipment..
If you don’t have a putter you can use a cricket bat or even a stick.
Any small ball will work just fine.
Make holes from plastic cups, plant pots, or even a shoe on its side!
Design a course and hold a golf competition.
Find a set of empty plastic bottles to make the pins (they don’t have to be the same).
Most balls are great for bowling, soccer balls, basketball, and even tennis balls.
Set up the pins and see how many shots it takes to bowl them all over.
Activities to support inquisitive minds.
For older kids who are interested in science, dismantling broken toys can be a fascinating experience.
Before throwing a toy away, take it apart to see how it works on the inside. You can find lots of interesting parts like electric motors, gears, wires, switches, and lights. You can even use these parts to make something new.
With a bit of practice, you may even learn how to fix toys instead of throwing them away.
This is a good learning experience for babies. Find lots of safe household items that have different textures and surfaces and let them explore. Just make sure they don't eat anything! Here are some good suggestions:
Make simple electronic circuits from batteries, wires, switches, motors, and lights.
Learn how to connect electronic components together and experiment with different battery sizes.
Try building a drill, a fan, or a torch.
Writing a story can be very exciting because you can include all of your favorite things. You decide what happens and there are no limits!
Let others read your stories and watch their reaction.
Could you be a budding author?
Everyone has enjoyed puzzles at some time in their life.
Spread out the pieces on a table and turn them all face up to begin. Start by finding the edges and corners and build from the outside in.
Piecing puzzles together can be quite relaxing.
Do you have a magnifying glass, a microscope, or a macro lens that clips over a mobile camera? These tools are great for exploring the tiny world around us.
Look at the fibers in a piece of cloth up close, find interesting leaves, feathers, or bug wings and see them in extreme detail. You will be amazed at what you can find.
Give out random maths questions when everyone least expects them and see who can correctly answer first.
Try a variety of operations such as addition, and subtraction, and throw in a few negative numbers too if they're advanced enough.
Keep mathematics at the top of their mind by constantly counting things.
There's nothing like brain teasers to pass the time and develop problem-solving skills. Here are some good suggestions:
How many bedrooms do you want? What about a pool inside with a waterslide from each bedroom? Make sure you have room for a garage or rocket launching pad!
The learning dinosaur game starts out as a fun DIY project that you can easily build with recycled materials, then the game begins! It is fun to play for babies, toddlers, and even older children.
See our complete instructions and how to play guide including pictures!
There are lots of good websites about the planets, Wikipedia is a great place to start, and so is NASA.
See what each planet looks like and how it's different from Earth.
What is the Great Red Spot on Jupiter?
Marvel at the rings on Saturn.
And discuss, is Pluto really a planet?
There are unlimited worlds to discover in books, and kids who read regularly can get a better head start in life. For these reasons, reading is one of the best activities for thirsty, young minds.
If your child is too young to read by themselves, then read for them. Ask what their favorite books are and enjoy the stories together.
Try changing the main character’s name to your child’s name for added fun and engagement.
See our recommended kids books for babysitters for iconic stories along with activity ideas that follow on to keep the entertainment going.
Let them make something they can be proud of.
This can be a great project for older kids. You will need some wheels, wood, and a few bolts.
Paint your billy cart in exciting colors when you're finished with construction and when it's dry you can race it down the driveway. Just make sure to keep off the road.
Swings are lots of fun. All you need is a tree and a bit of rope.
Make a hanging swing by threading a loop through a piece of pipe.
Make a tire swing from (you guessed it) an old tire.
Traditional swings use a board of timber.
Or try a crazy new swing invention by tying a bike or a chair to the rope!
Do you have a tree in the backyard that's suitable for a treehouse?
Add beams of wood and attach netting to make a hammock lounging area in the tree.
Make sure you have adult supervision to make sure everyone is safe.
Do you have any unused wood or panels in your yard, or maybe branches or large pieces of bark? If you do, then it's fun to build a cubby house with these materials.
Find a good spot, eg: the bottom of a tree or in a bushy area with lots of branches, and then start building walls.
Use a panel of wood or stretch plastic over the top for a roof.
Just be careful of any snakes and spiders.
Knock a stake into the ground in a sunny spot then watch the shadow move throughout the day. To set up the sundial, place a stone at the end of the shadow at each hour with the hour written on it. Now you can tell the time during the day by seeing which stones are closest to the shadow.
Do you have an old tent in your attic? All ages love setting up camp.
Find a nice sunny spot in the backyard and start assembling. Put up shade cloth and grab camp chairs and a pretend fireplace.
Have a picnic in the tent when you’re done.
You will need two tin cans and some string.
Make two holes in the sides of each can near the top and tie string loops to them. Make sure the loop is the right length so you can reach it while standing up straight on the tins.
How far can you walk on your stilts without falling over?
Older kids, who are into computers, might love to build a website.
Create a text file, save it with the ‘.html' extension, and open it in your web browser to view it.
Read tutorials online to learn how to write basic HTML.
Upload your website to a free host on the internet.
Start with a length of wood, cut a point at the front for a bow, then attach a mast. Make a sail from an old sheet.
Try sailing your boat on a lake on a windy day. How well did it go? Do you have ideas for improvements?
All you'll need is two thin sticks, a cut-up garbage bag, and some string. Try experimenting with different kite shapes to see which flies best. Don't forget a decorative tail.
These are fun and teach you about science. All you need is two paper cups and a piece of string.
Put a small hole in the bottom of each cup to attach them together with a piece of string. Pull the string tight to make a phone call, and hold the cup over your ear to listen, while the other person talks into the cup. The sound waves travel along the string as vibrations.
Cut a door leaving one side folded for a hinge. Add a keyhole and make a key from leftover cardboard. Cut out windows to let light in. Draw appliances on the walls inside like washing machines, TVs, kitchen cabinets, and security control panels.
Model houses are fun to build and you can use all kinds of materials, cardboard, match sticks, balsa wood, plastic, and foam. All you need is some modeling glue to hold everything together.
You can even make furniture and people to live in your house.
Stack shoe boxes on top of each other to make different stories in your house.
Use wrapping paper as wallpaper, and cut out windows.
Make furniture from cardboard and other small boxes.
Add a kitchen, a bathroom, and a bedroom.
Take your toys on a house tour to see if they want to move in.
Building with blocks can be fun for all ages and it's excellent for babies to develop hand-eye-coordination. Older kids, get to test their creative engineering skills.
Try building a block tower taller than you. Other great ideas include castles, zoo houses, train stations, and tiled patterns.
Kids never grow tired of building pillow forts.
Collect a bunch of pillows, couch cushions, and blankets then build a house to play in. Use pegs to hold blankets in place and use the couch as part of the structure if you need to.
This can be extra fun in cold weather.
Lego is one of the best toys in the world because it encourages children to develop their creative side. Build a house, a castle, a rocket ship, or a race car. Even adults can play with Lego for hours. Babies and toddlers can play with the bigger lego block versions too.
Teepees are easy to construct and kids love playing in them.
All you need is three long poles (brooms or sticks are ideal) a sheet or blanket, and a few pegs.
Start by joining the poles together at the top with a heavy-duty rubber band or some string.
Next, open out the poles into a pyramid shape and cover them with a sheet. Hold the sheet in place with pegs.
Finally, decorate the teepee with comfy cushions and soft toys.
You can build tee pees inside or outside if the weather is sunny.
Promote a healthy body and soul from an early age.
You'll need teams of two for three-legged races. Tie a piece of cloth to hold two teammates' legs together then have running races. You'll need to work together if you want to win! (It's not as easy as it looks)
You'll need at least two kids for this competition and a long length of rope.
Tie a piece of colored wool (or similar) to the middle of the rope and mark the start position on the ground so you can see how far it moves during the war.
The trick is to get down low and dig your feet into the ground if you can.
Skipping can be done solo or in a large group, all you need is a rope. Try tying one end to a fence, one kid can swing the rope and a line of kids can all jump together. How many can you do in a row?
Kids can have hours of fun with hula hoops. Start around your waist then try other parts of your body when you get better, eg: around your arm, a leg, and even your neck.
How low around your ankles can you hula hoop before it falls to the ground?
Gymnastics helps to strengthen muscles and improve body control. Try these ideas:
This is an excellent fitness exercise to play on monkey bars or simply on the ground. Tuck your toes under the bed to help with sit-ups.
How many can you do in one go?
Yoga is a great way to relax and destress, even for kids. Try these poses.
Sit in the classic cross-legged meditation position with your hands resting on your knees and your thumb and middle finger touching on each hand.
Stay quiet and still and concentrate on your breathing.
Try meditation music and dim the lights to create the right mood.
When you have to get out of the house these are some of the best kid-friendly places to go.
Why not organise a play date with a friend?
Visit them at their home or meet in the park. Bring some fun collaborative toys to play with.
Your dog will love it if you take him on an adventure.
Explore your neighborhood and say hi to your neighbors on the way. Enjoy the community you live in.
Make sure you have your dog on a lead and don't forget to take doggy poop bags so you can clean up any mess.
Learn about our history by seeing how people lived in the past. Marvel at old technology (remember when phones were connected to the wall) and laugh at the old fashion.
Do your kids have some pocket money to spend, if so, a trip to the shop is a great way to teach them about money and how you buy things.
If it's a hot summer day, then a trip to the local pool is a great way to spend time together.
Make sure you take sunscreen, a hat, and a shirt to protect you from the sun.
See our complete guide: babysitting at the pool for safety tips, games, and a checklist of items to bring.
Go and visit Grandma or Grandpa, they'd love to see you. You could even write a card for them and pick flowers on the way. Family is very important for children.
If you have a park nearby then go and explore it. Take toys that require lots of space such as a football, hula hoops, radio-controlled cars, frizbies, or a kite and then spread out and enjoy playing in the open air. (See our guide to babysitting at the park for more ideas)
Libraries can be very exciting because there are so many books to explore, it's also one of the indoor activities that you don't do at home.
Teach kids how to borrow books and make it a regular outing that they can look forward to.
Bedtime stories are always special if you have new books to read.
See our Guide to babysitting at the library for fun activity ideas that children will love.
The zoo is one of the best outings for kids. See all the wild animals you've read about in books in real life!
Take lots of photos and videos so it's a day to remember.
Let kids explore the world of possibilities that lies before them.
Have fun feeding and changing your toy babies and playing with them.
Set up a play house with a comfy bed and put your toys to sleep. Children love play-acting in a family setting.
Make a mask from a paper plate and elastic, and make a cape from a towel or small sheet. All sorts of accessories are possible including stick swords, utility belts, wands, shields, and cardboard ninja stars. Make a secret base and then save people that need help.
Put on a big white shirt to be a doctor or nurse. Is someone sick? Take their temperature, and wrap them in bandages to make them feel better.
Is there an emergency? Maybe you'll have to do an urgent pretend operation!
Try acting like famous people without speaking and see if anyone else can guess who you are.
Use the pretend money in a Monopoly game if you have one or make money from paper and markers.
Set up a shopfront from a cardboard box or with a small table.
Find items to sell from around the house, empty packets and bottles are great things to use.
Use a magic wand to turn people into different animals and watch them act the animal out.
Try a frog, dog, cat, horse etc.
See if you can make everyone laugh.
Take turns saying a line from your favorite movie and see if anyone else can guess what movie it's from.
Try doing actions too if it helps.
Make a pretend hose from a cardboard tube and turn a toy car into a fire engine. Drive around the house putting out fires and saving people.
Make a space helmet from an ice cream dish and where silver clothes.
Make a spaceship from a cardboard box and draw lots of controls and computer screens on it.
You might need special space food for your trip.
Bathtime will never be boring again! Make sure you read our 21 bathtime tips for babysitters and also brush up on your children’s water safety.
Find a variety of objects and try to guess if they will sink or float. Then put them in the bath to see who's right.
Find small toys and wrap them in the bath washer and give them as presents.
Happy Bathday! Oooh, what is it?
Opening bath presents is lots of fun.
Find safe kitchen utensils that can be played with in the bath, some examples are:
These things can keep kids entertained for hours.
Put rubber bath toys into small containers of water, then freeze them. After a few hours, take out the ice blocks and watch the children smile and have the greatest fun ever playing with them in the bath (just make sure the water doesn't get too cold.) Older kids may also enjoy trying to break the ice with wooden hammers! Fun, fun, fun!
A big thank you to Anne Haris from London Governess who sent in this excellent idea, I’m going to try it this week!
Capture air in a cup by pushing it underwater while upside down then tip it to the side to release bubbles!
Try bigger and smaller containers to make big and small bubbles.
Blow up a few balloons and put them in the bath. See if you can get the tap water to spin the balloons around as the bath fills up.
Dribble water on the balloons from high up to make a fun rain sound.
Put 1 to 10 glow sticks in the bath to make it look like the water is glowing. Turn the light off for an out-of-this-world experience.
Of course, bubbles make everything more fun.
Try making a mountain from the bubbles or a hat!
Explore and appreciate the natural world and all its wonders.
This is a fun thing to do in Spring.
Try to pick daisies with a long stem, split the stem near the bottom with your fingernails then insert the next daisy. Repeat the process to create a chain of daisies.
Wear them around your head like a crown.
Go outside and explore at night, use a torch so you can see where you're going.
Can you find any nighttime animals?
Look for a nice clover patch and then sit in the grass and search for clovers with four leaves.
If you're lucky you might discover a magic clover patch with lots of fours and even five-leaf clovers.
Make sure you make a wish if you find any.
Press them in a book to preserve them.
Go on an expedition outside and find interesting leaves, tree bark, small sticks, nuts, flowers, and other natural objects then create a picture from them. During fall this is one of the best activities for kids.
Start by laying out your items on a page and move them around to get them in the right place. Once you’re happy, glue them in place and you’re done.
Do you have a spare plant pot or an old cup or bowl that you don't need anymore?
Put a small hole in the bottom then half-fill with soil.
Find a small plant and transfer it to your new pot and fill the remaining space with soil.
Water it thoroughly outside then bring it inside and place it on a saucer to make a beautiful potted plant.
Explore your garden and smell all the different flowers.
This can be a fun adventure for a baby.
Buy some flower seeds from your local store, fill some pots with soil or prepare a small garden bed, then plant and water your seeds.
Check on them each day, remove any weeds, and water them before the soil gets dry.
Soon you will have flowers sprouting!
Hunt for flowers outside and pick one or two of each kind you find. Put them in a vase inside to brighten a room.
Just remember, never pick flowers on someone else's property.
If it's a hot day then chances are the garden will need watering.
Use a watering can or a hose and make sure all the plants get a good drink.
Go explore the natural world by taking a walk through the bush or the woods.
See how many kinds of plants you can find.
Take a plastic container, add air holes and then go bug hunting.
How many different kinds of bugs can you catch?
Add some leaves and bark into your container so the bugs feel at home.
Find a spot to quietly hide and watch for birds. See how many species you can spot.
Use binoculars if you have a set so you can see them close up.
Find some seeds or bread and place it somewhere in the garden and wait for birds to find it. If you regularly put out food you can attract a variety of beautiful birdlife.
On a clear dark night lie on the lawn and look up at the stars. Turn off the house lights to remove any glare.
See if you can identify any planets or shooting stars.
We have so many other great ideas to entertain kids.
For babies who can't crawl yet, tummy time is a great way for them to exercise.
Put them on their tummy for short periods of time so they can build up their muscles.
Put a toy in front of them and encourage them to move towards it.
Can you ride your bike on the back wheel? Practice makes perfect. How far can you go?
Get your beach shovels and buckets or your digging toys and create a big hole.
Make tracks through the sand for toy cars.
On a hot day use the hose to create rivers and dams.
Setup some bases with buckets of water and/or a hose then stock up on weapons, eg:
Show a small hand mirror to a baby and let them explore their reflection. Move it closer and further away.
Try turning it to an angle so you can look at each other.
Set up camp in the garden with a tent, sleeping bag, and a torch.
You'll hear all the beautiful sounds of the birds as the sun comes up.
If it's the weekend, you can camp for multiple nights.
People hardly write letters anymore so it's so exciting when you receive one. Write one to your best friend and ask them to write back!
Try using a special pen and neatly ruled paper.
Decorate your envelope so they know something is special the moment they see it.
Make sure nothing sharp, hard, or breakable is nearby before you begin. Try marking out a circle in the middle of the room, grab your pillows, and attack! The last one standing in the circle is the winner.
Find a hand mirror then get out your kid-friendly makeup, it's time for a makeover.
Experiment with eyeshadow colors and styles, lipstick, mascara, and blush.
Find the perfect look for you.
Have a hair styling day and experiment with:
Create a line of kids. Whisper a message to the first kid and then they whisper it to the second, etc. See if the message is the same when it gets to the other end.
Your dog will love the attention from a doggy wash.
Get a bucket of soapy water, some sponges, and a brush then start washing.
Rinse off the soapy water with a hose and watch out for flying water when your dog tries to shake themselves dry.
For extra pampering use a hairdryer and make them all fluffy!
Take turns playing music and see who guesses the song name first.
Guess the artist too for extra points.
Try different nail polishes, sparkly and colored. Paint designs and pictures.
Use fruit stickers for fun nail art you can easily remove.
Set up a fortune-telling area and read people's palms.
Look into a crystal ball (or any kind of ball) and tell them what's going to happen in the future, how successful they will be, and who they will marry.
Don't forget to get paid for your services!
On a hot summer day, set up the sprinkler and take turns running through it. Fill up buckets and pour them over each other.
Don't forget sunscreen to protect yourself from the summer sun.
Start copying everything someone says by repeating everything after them. Do the same actions too.
For the kids being copied, try to say something that the copier doesn't want to say.
Just remember to stop if anyone gets annoyed!
Changing the layout of a kid's room is a major thing for them, it can be lots of fun.
Move the bed to a different location so they have a completely different outlook.
Pretend to forget where they are in the morning for a laugh.
Get your teddies together and prepare some snacks and drinks then set up a picnic.
The best thing about teddy bear picnics is the teddies don't eat much!
If it's a windy day then flying a kite is lots of fun.
Make sure you let out a lot of string and then run as fast as you can to get it up into the air.
You might need to go to the park where there is lots of room to do this.
Never fly a kite near power lines!
One child becomes a horse on all fours, and the other rides on their back like they're riding a real horse.
Try galloping, trotting, or even rodeo!
Play on the soft carpet so no one gets hurt.
Such a simple, but fun game and you don't need anything to play.
The first one to blink is the loser!
Blow bubbles and see how many you can pop.
Try to catch bubbles again on your bubble blower.
Try to make giant bubbles by making a blower from a wire coat hanger and dipping it into a bubble mixture in a baking tray.
Who can make the biggest bubble?
'The floor is lava' is in my top 10 activities for kids.
Can you get across the room without getting burned?
Try using cushions from the couch as stepping stones or wrap your feet in lava-proof material!
Open up your costume box or find old clothes, hats and accessories and have dress-up time.
Try dressing up as Mum, Dad, or your brother or sister. Or dress up in amazing fashion like a celebrity.
This is a fun game to play down the hallway.
One child goes to each end and you roll a ball back a forward to each other.
Try putting obstacles in the middle or using multiple balls for extra fun.
Trick shots are lots of fun. Set up buckets and cups in different locations then try to bounce balls into them. Make things harder by doing it under the table and through the chair legs or down the stairs.
How tricky are you?
Build a jump from a piece of cardboard resting on a pile of books in the hallway then zoom your cars along and make them jump.
Try to jump over other cars or through narrow gaps.
Roll up in a blanket or sleeping bag and crawl around the floor like a caterpillar.
Can you do the arched back, are you eating leaves?
Who looks the most realistic?
Start a club and create a secret handshake that only members know.
Make it interesting with special moves, waves, and clicks, or make it subtle so that it's hard to notice.
Cut out fish shapes from paper and add a paperclip to each one, spread them around the floor.
Tie a piece of string to a stick and connect a magnet to the end.
See how many fish you can catch!
This can be done with real or pretend tea (real tea is obviously better!) You need a teapot and some small cups and optional saucers.
Get all the guests together in a circle for the tea party, they can be real kids and/or toys, everyone's welcome!
Set out all the equipment and take turns pouring tea for each guest. Snacks also go well with tea.
One child holds another by their feet while they walk with their hands, it looks like you're wheeling a wheelbarrow!
Have wheelbarrow races down the hall.
If you have a big box full of toys, then chances are you have plenty of fun toys that you've forgotten about.
Start working your way through them and I bet everyone will be playing well before you reach the bottom.
You don't want to watch TV all day but watching a movie is a great way to relax after high-energy activities.
Get comfortable and even cook popcorn!
Internet radio is fantastic because there are so many genres of music to explore. Do you prefer country, classical, rap, electronica, dance, or jazz?
Try reading, drawing, or building things while you're listening.
Set up a video call with family or friends via Skype or Facetime.
Tell them what you've been doing and show them your latest art and creations.
Grandma and Grandpa would love to speak with you.
Blow up a bunch of balloons and draw faces on them.
Blow up a balloon then let it go without tying it to see it fly around the room.
Put balloons on the floor and have a popping competition.
Use a mobile, iPod, or tablet and take funny photos of everyone. Try using fun photo apps to add stickers or warp people's faces to make them funny.
Group photos are the best.
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