Lockdown Ideas: 50 indoor activities for autumn and winter
Hello, lockdown part two! Don’t worry, we’re back with 50 more indoor activities for kids that are perfect for autumn and winter, so you can keep the whole family entertained from the safety of your own home!
From classic arts and crafts and fun games to movie nights, tasty recipes and some early Christmas inspiration too, we’ve got loads of simple indoor activity ideas for all ages that are perfect for this time of year. Don’t forget to tag your adventures with #DOWTKDaysIn on Instagram too, so other parents can find your ideas!
- Homemade snow recipe
Dreaming of a white winter? This two-ingredient snow recipe is a great way to level up your sensory play, and it’s really easy to make. All you need is baking soda and water, and the more you add, the more snow you’ll make! You could also add glitter for extra festive sparkle.
- Snow slime
If your kids love playing with slime, then these 7 snow slime ideas are sure to be a hit. From melting slime to fluffy foam and loads more (who knew there were so many options!), find your favourite and get creating.
- Order a ToucanBox
Haven’t heard of ToucanBox yet? Well you’re in for a world of fun! Packed full of arts, crafts and a magazine, this little box is full of great surprises, plus it’s delivered straight to your door! Choose from crafts like dinosaurs and space, or try a limited edition Christmas box, packed with craft ideas to get you in the festive spirit! Whichever one you choose, you can save 50% off your first box - that works out as just £5.95 for your first box, incl. P&P!
- Paper snowflakes
This is an activity we all remember from our own childhoods, but they’re a great way to practice scissor skills and create some handmade Christmas decorations too! Using just paper and scissors, try these easy paper snowflake ideas or come up with your own creations!
- Ice breakers toy rescue
Another great sensory activity for kids, the possibilities are endless with this ice breakers toy rescue game. Combining science with seasonal fun, kids will love the chance to rescue their favourite plastic toys from their frozen blocks!
- Write your letter to Santa
Christmas is coming, and one of our favourite festive activities is writing letters to Santa. Despite everything going on this year, Royal Mail is still helping Santa to send replies to children, as long as you post yours before Friday 11th December. Get some ideas for creating your letter to Santa here.
- Leaf printing and painting
We’re not quite ready to let go of autumn yet, so this leaf printing activity is a great one to do in early November. Raid the garden or your local park for the best leaves, then head home for an afternoon of crafting. You can print on anything from paper, to t-shirts, tea towels or anything else!
- Science experiments
An oldie but a goodie, these easy science experiments to do at home were a huge hit the first time around, so are a good bet for now too!
- Make a window display for your local area
We’ve had rainbows for the NHS and pumpkin trails for Halloween, so it’s time for another crack at creating a fun window display! Guaranteed to brighten up daily walks around your local area, it’s a great community project idea too. Why not create a Christmas display?
- Pinecone painting
Another great autumn activity, pinecone painting is a fantastic child-led activity with no pressure. We love the honesty of this one, you can start off trying to create something specific, but the fun is in the process - so let their imaginations run wild!
- Make your own paper Christmas bauble
It’s never too early to get in the Christmas spirit, and these paper Christmas baubles double up as an easy craft activity idea too.
- Make handmade Christmas cards
In the digital age, there’s something to be said for receiving a card or a letter in the post, so why not use this time to make your own Christmas cards for family and friends? Simply buy some card, then decorate however you choose - check out some of these ideas on Pinterest.
- Paper plate dinosaurs
Dinosaurs are cool all year round, and this paper plate dinosaurs craft is fun, easy and provides hours of fun! All you need is some paper plates, paint, clothes pegs, coloured paper and some googly eyes - you could even add some glitter for some extra sparkle.
- DIY bookmarks
A lot of us got back into reading during the first lockdown, so this craft is perfect for your little bookworms! We loved this DIY unicorn bookmark craft, but you could decorate it however you wish. Just follow the simple origami steps, and let the kids loose on the design.
- Winter hat watercolours
What do you get when you mix watercolours and a bit of ‘magic’? Using white crayon and some watercolour paints, you can create this colourful winter hat craft, topped with a pom pom of course!
- Paper umbrellas
Need something to brighten up a rainy day? These paper umbrellas are colourful, cute and easier than they look - and you don’t need loads of supplies to get started!
- Build your own car garage
You don’t need a fancy mat to enjoy playing car games at home, you can get creative and build your own! Using cardboard and a few other supplies, you can build your very own race track in your living room.
- Pyjama party and film night
Now that the nights are getting colder, what’s better than cosy pyjamas and a good film? Pick one of your old family favourites, or perhaps even try something new, just don’t forget the snacks too!
- 5 things to watch on Netflix
Looking for a new watch on Netflix? Try some of these recommendations, as suggested by 8-year-old Poppy!
The Inbestigators, Odd Squad, Little Lunch, iCarly, Teen Titans Go
- 5 things to watch on Amazon Prime
If you’re on Amazon Prime, there’s loads of choice for family shows and films. Not signed up? Join Prime now and enjoy a 30-day free trial!
Kung Fu Panda: The Paws of Destiny, Little Big Awesome, Tumble Leaf, LEGO City Adventures, Dino Dana
- 5 things to watch on Disney+
The Nightmare Before Christmas, Muppets Now, Phineas and Ferb the Movie: Candace Against the Universe, Frozen II, The Nutcracker and the Four Realms
- 10 family films to watch together
Planning a family movie night? Snuggle up on the sofa with some of these handpicked favourites:
Descendants, Onward, The Witches, Trolls 2, Klaus 2, Early Man, The Grinch, Over the Moon, Enola Holmes, Hotel Transylvania 3
- Winter hot chocolate
Nothing says winter quite like snuggling up on the sofa with a nice hot chocolate - topped with cream and marshmallows of course! Check out this indulgent hot chocolate recipe for kids.
- Make gingerbread
It’s never too early to bake up some jolly gingers, and this easy gingerbread recipe is our go-to. It’s perfect for getting the kids involved, and they’ll love choosing their cutters and decorations too.
- Themed dining nights at home
Bon appetit - serve up themed dinner nights with the family to keep dinners exciting during lockdown! Try family pizza night where everyone chooses their own toppings, or Mexican night with fajitas and tacos. The possibilities are endless.
- At-home smores
You might not be able to enjoy a family camping trip, but you can bring the fun of one to your home - with at-home smores! These tasty treats can be made by following a few simple steps, all you have to do is build your perfect smore with biscuit, chocolate and marshmallow, pop them in the oven to grill, and then top with a second biscuit to make the perfect sweet sandwich. Keep an eye on them, they’ll be done sooner than you think!
- Unicorn bark
Chocolatey, colourful and topped with sprinkles - what’s not to love about this unicorn bark recipe? Super easy to make with the kids and delicious too, this is a great recipe to have up your sleeve when you need a treat.
- Pizza pinwheels
These pizza pinwheels are a fun twist on your usual pizza, making them a quick, easy and delicious lunch or snack. They’re great for little kitchen helpers too.
- Reindeer rice krispies
Rudolph the red-nosed reindeer rice krispie cake - it might not have the same ring to it, but they are definitely more delicious. They use only 4 ingredients, take minutes to make and look great - definitely one to add to your list of recipes!
- Caterpillar fruit skewers
If you’re looking for a way to get your kids eating more fruit, these caterpillars might just do the trick. Use a strawberry for the head, complete with edible blueberry eyes you can ‘stick’ on with melted chocolate. For the body, use any fruit your kid likes: grapes, mango, kiwi and apple all work well.
- Snowman snacks
As we get closer to Christmas, these snowman snacks will be a welcome addition to any lunchtime treats. Using Babybel’s, dried cranberries and pretzel sticks, you can create your own tasty snowman treats.
- Hidden veggie nuggets
If you’re anything like us, sneaking veggies into meals is a parenting superpower - and these hidden veggie nuggets are some of our favourites. With no chicken in sight, these ‘nuggets’ have been tried and tested - just ease up on the paprika if you’re little ones are likely to sniff out the spice.
- Ice cream bar
If you can’t go to the ice cream shop, then bring all the fun to your home, with a DIY ice cream bar! Pick up some cones or little bowls from the supermarket, along with a choice of all your favourite flavours. In little bowls, add the toppings you love, from biscuit and sprinkles to chocolate flakes or fruit. Then, drizzle with a sauce of choice, and enjoy!
- Do a scavenger hunt
It may be an obvious idea, but the best part about a scavenger hunt is that you can make it your own with very little work! We’ll be creating some templates in the next few weeks, but you can have a go at creating your own too. Try one outdoors looking for things like leaves, colours or signs, or try one indoors - finding patterns, pairs or items of clothing!
- Alexa games
Amazon’s Alexa has really upped its game, with lots more witty answers and games that the kids will love. Try asking some of these:
“Alexa, do you believe in Santa Claus?”
“Alexa who’s on the naughty list?”
“Alexa open the advent calendar” - from December 1st
“Alexa, ask Silly Things to tell me to do something silly”
“Alexa, play Would You Rather for Family”
- Online escape room
Put your detective hats on and get your magnifying glasses at the ready and try to solve these at home games. Escape Hunt has a whole host of play at home games for you to solve, and the best thing is they’re perfect for the whole family.
- Family card games
A pack of cards can go a long way, and they were always the first things packed for a family staycation! Try Slapjack, Go Fish, Crazy Eights or any other of your family favourites.
- Make your own board game
If you’re feeling creative, why not create your very own board game? All you need is some paper and pens, and anything else you’d like! The options really are endless, and the best part is you get a super fun game to play at the end.
- Family Pictionary night
Have you got budding artists in the family? Even if drawing isn’t always your thing, Pictionary is a great way to spend an evening, and there’s always bound to be plenty of laughter with this classic game. Buy yours here, or try making your own.
- Magnet fishing
This is a great, simple game for tots and older kids alike! It’s perfect to play in your living room, and you can even add a festive twist too. All you’ll need is a wooden dowel or stick, some baker’s twine, a magnet and some paper clips. If you’re feeling fancy, check out this DIY fishing game.
- Printable pretend playsets
Missing taking the kids to your favourite role play centre? Your little ones will still be able to use their imagination and get creative, thanks to these free printable playsets! From the post office to the vets, there’s something for everyone to discover.
- Mystery potions game
We’ve got the perfect mystery game for your mini detectives, and it’s free! The Mystery of the Missing Potions is perfect for kids aged 4-8, and it’s packed full of puzzles, hidden clues and there’s even a terrific science experiment too.
- Buy top family board games
Family game night is a great way to get everyone together with a bit of competitive spirit, you could start a tournament to crown an ultimate family game champion! Shop our favourite family board games now.
- Do a virtual tour of museums etc
If you’re missing your family trip to the museum or zoo, we’ve got the next best thing. Fire up the computer and take a look at these virtual tours and webcams, there’s everything from watching adorable koalas and goats, to wandering around historical sites.
- Host a Zoom quiz or game night with family
If you haven’t hosted your own Zoom quiz, then now's the perfect opportunity. Come up with your very own games night or quiz and with all of your loved ones involved, it makes for the perfect evening.
- Build an indoor igloo/den
If you’ve got some spare cardboard boxes around, then you’ve got everything you need to build an igloo, fortress, or even just a den! Whether you want to pretend you’re penguins, brave knights, or just have fun, it’s a great way to get creative.
- Dance party with Spotify Kids
Put on some of your favourite tunes and get moving. A dance party is not only a great way to get active, but it’s also super fun! And with Spotify Kids, you can blast all your little ones favourite songs.
- Build soft play at home
If you’re missing your favourite soft play, why not try recreating it at home? Create a mini obstacle course with things in your house, and add in some things to clamber up or slide down - your little explorer will love it! You could even order some balls to create your very own ball pit!
- Indoor camping/sleepover
As the nights get colder, a camping trip isn’t top of anyone's list, but that doesn’t mean you have to put the tent away for another year. Pitch up in the middle of the living room and have a sleepover, you might not have a campfire, but you can still tell stories and have some treats too.
- Plan your weekend adventures
With the kids at school, we know you’ll be looking to get the most out of the weekends, we’ll have a weekend winners blog coming soon!
- Support your favourite attractions
If you’re missing your favourite local attraction but can’t visit, there are still loads of ways you can get involved and help, including:
- Buy a gift voucher to visit in 2021
- Book a visit for later this year
- Adopt an animal at your favourite zoo
- Look out for fundraisers you might like to support
Looking for even more ideas? Take a look at some of our other posts:
*Please note this post contains some affiliate links that we may get some money from at no additional cost to you.