No Garden? Try These Ideas To Bring Outdoor Play Inside

Family camping in a tent inside making a fun outdoor activity an indoor activity for the kids.

Stuck indoors? No garden to play in? Weather too grim for the park? That’s not a problem. We’ve put together dozens of ideas for bringing outdoor activities into the home. Find out how to stage an indoor barbecue, pitch a tent in your living room, or even recreate the beach.

Tuck Into An Indoor Picnic

It’s one of the simplest indoor activities you can do, and kids of any age should find it fun. All you really need is some finger food and a blanket to sit on. But why not take things further? We’ve put together a guide to staging themed picnics, including a beach lunch, a camping picnic (with crafted ‘campfire’), and a classic picnic. Added bonus: no wasps or ants.

Indoor BBQ

I see your indoor picnic, and raise you an indoor barbecue. All you need is a good griddle pan and some BBQ staples, like veggie kebabs, corn-on-the-cob, sausages and burgers. Our guide to indoor barbecuing includes plenty of tips on setting the mood -- including the all-important summer playlist.

Keep Fit While Having Fun

The kids can still keep fit and active even if they can't go outside - activities like dancing will keep them entertained.

One of the most challenging aspects of being stuck indoors is the lack of space to run around. Don’t let that stop you giving the kids activities that’ll burn off energy. We’ve put together 30 ideas, including a reverse limbo, a jigsaw-scavenger hunt hybrid game, a balloon race and -- that old favourite -- Simon Says.

Pitch A Tent

If you’re longing for a family holiday, try having one at home. Younger kids will love the adventure of pretending to go on a camping holiday. Start looking for a camp site (Bedroom? Lounge? Hallway?). Then, put the tent up. You could use a real tent if you have one that will stand without hammering poles into the ground. Alternatively, make something up, with sheets and curtain poles, or even the backs of chairs to support the canopy. Our full guide to indoor camping includes ideas on food to pack for your adventure, games to play when camping, and even tips on getting a good night’s sleep if you choose to stay overnight in your tent.

Make An Indoor Den

Similar to the campsite idea, you might also help your kids build an indoor den. Cardboard boxes, old sheets, the gap behind the sofa, the underside of the table… you’ll find inspiration everywhere once you start looking around with child’s eyes. You can even theme the secret base: Jungle den, midnight fairy garden, wizard’s nook… our den guide has them all.

Life’s A Beach

Recreate the joys of the seaside without the jellyfish stings or parking hassle. Take a bathtub paddle, make your own sand, blow up the inflatables, and cool off with ice lollies. Plenty more ideas here to turn your home into the Costa del Domicile.

Build An Obstacle Course

Make an indoor obstacle course for the kids to have a go at to keep them having fun inside.

Time to rearrange the furniture, string blankets across the living room and lay temporary stepping stones across the carpet. Planning out an indoor obstacle course can be as much fun as actually tackling it. Our guide includes tips on including intellectual challenges or concentration games to turn your impromptu obstacle course into a veritable Crystal Maze.

Outdoor Activities… Indoors!

Go on an indoor wildlife hunt. Turn a room into a garden by rearranging your houseplants. Build a maze with furniture, or arrange an indoor treasure hunt. Many of the activities you’d do in a garden or park can be enjoyed indoors too. This guide suggests 12 ideas for bringing the outside in.

Older Kids And Teens

Building a den or paddling in the bath might not be first on the to-do list for the typical teenager. But we can also do a little better than another eight-hour session on the Xbox. Try suggesting these creative ideas. They include the simple-but-rewarding activity of growing indoor plants (chilli is always a winner), tips on making window art, or going for a virtual bike ride.



At Kidadl we pride ourselves on offering families original ideas to make the most of time spent together at home or out and about, wherever you are in the world. We strive to recommend the very best things that are suggested by our community and are things we would do ourselves - our aim is to be the trusted friend to parents.

We try our very best, but cannot guarantee perfection. We will always aim to give you accurate information at the date of publication - however, information does change, so it’s important you do your own research, double-check and make the decision that is right for your family.

Kidadl provides inspiration to entertain and educate your children. We recognise that not all activities and ideas are appropriate and suitable for all children and families or in all circumstances. Our recommended activities are based on age but these are a guide. We recommend that these ideas are used as inspiration, that ideas are undertaken with appropriate adult supervision, and that each adult uses their own discretion and knowledge of their children to consider the safety and suitability.

Kidadl cannot accept liability for the execution of these ideas, and parental supervision is advised at all times, as safety is paramount. Anyone using the information provided by Kidadl does so at their own risk and we can not accept liability if things go wrong.

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