It’s difficult to entertain kids these days. Lockdowns and coronavirus quarantines aside, finding fun activities for kids, especially ones under five, can seem nearly impossible. We’re happy to report we’ve done the heavy lifting for you with this curated list of indoor, outdoor, and local, destination-based ideas. Even free things to do with kids.
When that rainy weather rolls in, children seem to instinctively go wild. DIY home crafts, pretend play, and active indoor adventures can keep children entertained for hours when stuck inside.
DIY Home Crafts
Crafting at home is a fun and educational way to play. Both boys and girls alike will enjoy these sensory, hands-on activities. For children with special needs, DIY home crafts can be used in conjunction with therapy and rehabilitation. Here are a few ideas:
Paint with Sponge Stamps
Sponge stamps are a creative way to build an art project using everyday household items. Trace designs on the sponge with a permanent marker, and then use sharp scissors to cut them out. Try an array of rectangles, squares, triangles, circles, stars, diamonds, hexagons, hearts, or moons. If your sponge is difficult to cut, wet it a bit to make it softer. Popsicles can be attached to the shapes via hot glue sticks if you want to make handles for the sponges. Fill a paper plate or empty egg carton with colored paints for your kids to dip the sponges in. Let them paint away!
Explore in a Sensory Bin
If you haven’t made a sensory bin yet for your child, a rainy day is the perfect time. They encourage children to indulge in open-ended play. They also teach important concepts about discovery, scooping, pouring, and exploring. You can work in elements of all five senses, depending on how you want to build them. Sensory bins are a great activity for children who may be visually impaired as well since they require kids to use their hands to touch and feel a variety of objects in a liquid or textured medium.
Create Homemade Playdough
There are many taste-safe ways to make playdough for young children. (Here’s a sample recipe.) Your kids will not only have the best time playing with these multi-color creations (thanks to food coloring), but they will also love helping you make them from scratch. Playdough is a hit with every child and is especially a great indoor activity for children who experience limited mobility.
Pretend play is not only a great approach to pass the time, but it’s also an amazing opportunity to improve gross motor skills. Kids love to use their imaginations, especially when they are forced to spend the day (or days) inside. Pretend play gives parents wonderful opportunities to teach their children life lessons in a simple way. All activities can always be tailored to meet the needs of all children, whether they have developmental delays, impaired vision, or limited mobility. Here are a few fun games that will keep kids busy around the house.
- Set up an indoor picnic and invite your child’s favorite characters and stuffed animals.
- Play dress up with mom and dad’s clothes, and put on a show for the whole family.
- Challenge your kids to build a fort using items they find around the house.
These options for active adventures provide parents with entertaining indoor activities that will also burn off that seemingly endless energy.
Create a Treasure Hunt
Designing a treasure hunt will be fun for both the kids and the parents. A treasure hunt provides a great indoor adventure for kids of all ages. It requires critical thinking skills, teamwork, and problem-solving. Create clues on construction paper and let your kids play detective for the afternoon. This is also a great indoor activity for children in wheelchairs.
Play Indoor Hopscotch
Use colored masking tape to map out a hopscotch board. This activity will not only tire the kids out, but can also teach them how to count, follow instructions, jump, and stand on one leg at a time.
Have a Dance Party
Freeze dance is an old classic that’s still entertaining children everywhere. Turn up the music and allow them to let loose. Who doesn’t love a dance party to energize the day?
The great outdoors does wonders when it comes to the health of children. Natural sunlight, fresh air, and nature are all important factors in a child’s development. The possibilities are endless when it comes to outdoor games and activities in the sunshine. From playing a simple game of catch to running through a homemade obstacle course, daily time spent outdoors is crucial when possible. Here are some enjoyable outdoor activities for kids.
- Play a Game of Tag
- Create a Carwash
- Build an Obstacle Course
- Plant a Family Garden
- Practice the Alphabet with Sidewalk Chalk
If you’re looking for a change of scenery, there are several affordable destination-based options to choose from.
Daytona Beach, FL Activities
Daytona Beach is an incredibly family-friendly destination. There are many fun activities for kids in Daytona including beautiful beaches, scenic nature walks, museums, and sports venues. Here are two can’t-miss attractions.
Ponce Inlet Watersports – Dolphin & Manatee Tours
As one of the most popular area excursions, the Ponce Inlet Watersports Dolphin and Manatee Boat Tour allows passengers to cruise the calm Intracoastal waterways while searching for some of marine life’s most beautiful creatures. Kids will love the close-up encounters and smooth ride on the flat-bottom boat. During the tour, the boat will anchor onshore for a bit to let families look for shells, sand dollars, and crabs. Another great perk? This activity is free for kids under three.
Charles and Linda Williams Children’s Museum
The Museum of Arts & Sciences features a special wing for children where the exhibits are interactive, hands-on, and education-focused. Admission is complimentary for children five and under. The Charles and Linda Williams Children’s Museum is wheelchair accessible and also offers a number of ADA accommodations. They even provide a social narrative guide for caregivers and parents of young children and adults with special needs on the spectrum. This guide provides a step-by-step narrative about what to expect during a visit to the museum.
Orlando, FL Activities
Nearby Orlando is another great destination filled with fun activities for children. Besides some of the most famous theme parks in the world, Orlando is home to a plethora of fabulous, interactive attractions including the Crayola Experience.
Visiting the Crayola Experience is like being part of a child’s dream world in real life. This attraction is made up of 27 hands-on coloring adventures. You can even name and wrap your own unique Crayola crayon. Children under three can enter this exhibit for free. The entire experience is also ADA compliant and wheelchair accessible, allowing children with special needs and mobility limitations to enjoy it to the fullest.
Entertaining kids of all ages, especially younger ones, can be an uphill battle. Come out a winner with these creative indoor, outdoor, and destination-based kids activities. Let us know once you give them a try! Share which activities your kids have participated in and upload your photos to our Facebook page. We love getting to know the families in our wonderful community.