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
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
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
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
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.
Cut shapes into your potatoes, spread with paint and create some amazing stamps to play with.
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.
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 for everything from family days out to online classes, arts, crafts and science experiments. 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.
We also link to other websites, but are not responsible for their content.