35 Easy No-Prep Indoor Activities For Under 5s | Kidadl


35 Easy No-Prep Indoor Activities For Under 5s

As each day of lockdown passes, it's likely becoming more difficult to come up with ideas to keep your little ones entertained. On rainy days, it can feel even more difficult to come up with easy no-prep ideas.

So we've written a list of easy no-prep activities to help generate some ideas for your kids to have fun during lockdown. The effectiveness of each item on the list might depend on your kids' age and energy levels so we've made sure the activities we've included are varied. We've also ensured that the activities require no, or very little prep, as we appreciate the struggle of getting all the right equipment and resources before activities.

1 - Indoor Scavenger Hunt

Indoor scavenger hunts don't need any preparation to be successful. There are ready-made indoor scavenger hunt lists online (with pictures!) so you don't have to spend any time thinking of items. You might choose to add some items unique to your household on your list.

2 - Story Time

Child reading story to hedgehog toy

Reading a story is one of the many great activities you can do indoors. There's no better form of fun than your kids' imagination. It also creates the opportunity for your kids to practice their reading skills at home. Audible has some amazing options too.

3 - Storynory

If you fancy snuggling next to your little ones and listening to a story, then there are endless audiobooks for kids online. Try Storynory for some great free audiobooks!

4 - Bath Time Ideas

Bath Time

Make bath time more fun by playing some great games in the bath. It can be as simple as using the soap to blow huge bubbles or using your kids' favourite toys to come up with some imaginative stories. This one only requires a bath full of water.

5 - Invest In A Great Bath Toy

If you want to make bath time even more fun, you might decide to invest in a new fun toy. Take a look on Amazon at some of the great bath time toys and activities they have. For example, this Yookidoo Elephant Baby Shower makes bath time brighter and more fun.

6 - Easy Colouring  

If you have access to a printer, there are endless characters online ready for colouring. Whether your kids love animals, space or cartoons you can find an unlimited amount of blank canvases. You can spend hours colouring your favourite characters.

7- Simple Drawings

Perhaps your kids like drawing their characters before they start colouring them in. In which case, all you need is some scrap paper and some pencils! Drawing is perfect as it is easy and requires absolutely no prep. You can also find great drawing activities online.

8 - No Prep Painting

If you have some paint for toddlers, then this is a brilliant way to spend the day. Just get out some blank paper and let your kids' imagination go wild! Use your hands to paint a monster, or use your fingers to make a happy animal.

9 - Complete The Pictures

Another easy and fun activity is to start drawing a monster, object or character and get your kids to finish the drawing. This can result in some really fun drawings and a great activity to do together. You can also expand this and play 'guess what I'm drawing'.

10 - Practice Your Cutting Skills

Parent teaching child cutting paper

Using the endless amount of printable activities on Google, or using their own fantastic paintings and drawings, you can watch your little ones practice their cutting skills. This is a great way for preschoolers to practice while they're not going to class.

11 - Play With Finger Puppets

You can use your brilliant cutting skills to cut out some animals and turn them into fabulous finger puppets. You can then spend some time coming up with great stories for your new puppets.

12 - Use Flash Cards To Help Learning

If your little ones are learning the names of animals, or shapes, or colours, then you can also find some great flashcards online. No prep is required to implement some this form of teaching and you can reuse the flashcards again and again!

13 - Write Some Greeting Cards

It might be a bit early for Christmas preparation, but if you want a huge head start or if you have any birthdays coming up, then this is a great time for your kids to make some handmade cards.

14 - Play Dough Activities

Playdough is a great activity to help in the development of fine motor skills. If you already have play dough, then this easy, no-prep activity can be started straight away. If you fancy making your own playdough, then this can be a fun activity, but requires some more prep.

15 - Jigsaws

Children playing with jigsaws

See how many jigsaws you can complete during lockdown. They are a fun way to improve fine motor skills and require no prep whatsoever.

16 - Maths Printables

There are also so many numeracy activities online to try out. Many of them are great fun so you can combine learning with playtime. You can also create your own playdough maths activities at home which will help your kids practice both their counting and fine motor skills.

17 - Masks

Speaking of printables, search the web for free masks for kids for another simple no-prep activity. There are some great free paper masks which are quick and easy to cut out and make fun props during playtime.

18 - Play Money

Set up a little shop and maybe sell some sweets and treats or favourite toys. You can print out some 'play money' which helps your kids learn about money and adding up. They might also find it exciting to be the shop keeper too!

19 - Printable Games

If you search Google for printable games, you'll see some fantastic, no-prep activities for kids. Dot-to-dot, bingo and spot the difference are just some of the many brilliant activities that your kids can enjoy.

20 - Play With Lego And Duplo

Lego is one of the best kids activities due to the endless possibilities. Duplo is for ages 1-5 and is an equally fantastic way to spend the day.  

21 - Play With Your Other Toys

This no-prep activity might seem obvious, but try to search for those forgotten toys in the back of the wardrobe as you might find some great simple, no-prep activities.

22 - Listen To The CBeebies Radio Podcast

If your toddler loves CBeebies, but you want an alternative to reduce screen time, then these CBeebies radio podcasts take you to a world of fantastic adventures with your favourite CBeebies friends.

23 - Snuggle Down And Watch A Film

There's no better activity than sitting down to cuddle and watch a quick film together.

24 - Learn A Nursery Rhyme

Learn a nursery rhyme with The Wiggles!

25 - Learn To Tell The Time

For the ambitious 5 year-olds, you might want to set them some tell the time activities. You'll see lots of kids activities online which require no prep.

26 - Build An Indoor Den

Use cushions and sheets to build an awesome den. Watch this quick video on how to set up a simple den for your kids. You can then play a game and do activities inside your den!

27 - Write A Letter To A Friend Or Family Member

A quick and simple activity to set your little ones. I'm sure a family member would love to see a letter in the post from you!

28 - Play An Indoor Game

If you've got a hula-hoop, bean bags and enough space, you can have a quick game of target practice, where you have to throw bean bags into the hoop.

29 - Have A Pretend Picnic With Your Teddy Bears

This quick no-prep activity only requires your favourite teddies and some cups and saucers.

30 - Chalk Drawing

Perfect for those with balconies floors to let your little one draw exciting patterns and pictures.

31- Rainbow Making

Make your own rainbows with whatever's around the house to show support for the NHS.

32-Potato Printing

Cut shapes into your potatoes, spread with paint and create some amazing stamps to play with.

33-Egg Decorating

Create some fun characters out of eggs, and draw on some faces and clothes.

34-Hide and Seek

A simple but easy game to keep your little ones entertained especially on those rainy days.

35- Even More Simple Lockdown Activities

These free family fun activities will help you to get through lockdown and provide even further inspiration! These free print outs will reduce prep time and make the activities easy to set up.

We hope you've found some inspiration for keeping the little ones busy in this article. If you're looking for more at home activities for the whole family, check out How To Go Out While Staying Home With The Kids and How To Make The Weekend Feel Like The Weekend for some ideas.

Written By
Eleanor Gustard

Having loved everything art and crafts so much as a child and wanting to pursue this when she grew up, Eleanor recently moved to London from Bath to study for a degree in Fine Art. Eleanor loves exploring the city in her spare time, especially visiting galleries and seeking out new arts events to go to with her partner. When she’s not out enjoying what the capital has to offer, Eleanor is a keen outdoor adventurer and lover of all things travel, always looking for a new destination to discover.

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