Whether you’re looking for indoor games for kids’ birthday parties or ways to keep your little ones busy on a rainy day, we have your back. With indoor games for children from 2 years and up, there’s something on our list for little kids, teens, and everyone in between.
We have put together a list of our favorite indoor games, the materials needed for each, instructions for playing, and where appropriate, some variations on basic gameplay.
So, get your game face on, and enjoy.
Indoor Games For Kids 2 Years and Older
- Decide on a start point and endpoint.
- Set everyone at the start with an inflated balloon and a straw.
- The first person to blow their balloon from the start to the finish, using the straw, wins.
- For younger children, you can race a shorter distance.
- Make the game more difficult for older kids by setting out an obstacle course they must navigate while blowing their balloon.
- If someone touches their balloon they have to go back to the beginning and start again.
Materials: Music you can turn on and off easily.
- Play the music and have everyone dance or otherwise move to the music.
- Turn off the music at random points.
- When the music stops everyone must freeze in the exact position they’re in.
- The first person to move is out.
- The last person left playing wins.
- The first person to move isn’t out but instead must do a forfeit such as waddling around the room like a duck.
Pass The Parcel
Materials: Paper or cling wrap for wrapping plus small prizes.
- Loosely wrap a small prize in a layer of wrapping paper, cling-wrap, or cloth.
- Rewrap with multiple layers, placing small prizes between some layers.
- The kids sit in a circle and pass the parcel to the person on their left while music plays.
- Turn the music off randomly, and whoever is holding it when the music stops peels off a layer. If they reveal a prize, they keep it.
- Keep going until the final prize is revealed.
- Place slips of paper with forfeits between some layers instead of prizes.
Materials: Random boxes, markers, scissors, and balls.
- Cut holes in the boxes and allocate a value to each one. Ensure they are large enough to fit a ball through.
- Set the boxes at different heights and distances.
- Kids take turns throwing the balls at the holes and score points when they get the ball into the hole.
- The highest score wins.
- Use crinkled up newspaper or balloons instead of balls.
Materials: Paper cups.
- Each child gets a bag of paper cups.
- One person is the timer and shouts “Go.”
- Each child tries to build the tallest tower of paper cups before the time is up.
- The owner of the tallest tower wins.
- Forget the timer and whoever builds a tower made of a predetermined number of cups first, wins.
Materials: One balloon per person.
- Give each person an inflated balloon.
- Each player must keep the balloon off of the floor for as long as possible.
- Players cannot hold the ball and must keep it moving.
- Players are out if their balloon touches the floor or if the balloon stops moving.
- Play with one hand behind the back or by using just the knees to keep the balloon up.
- Add other places the balloon cannot touch, such as furniture, the walls, and more.
Indoor Games For Kids 3 Years and Older
Materials: Only the players.
- All of the players lay on the ground and pretend to be sleeping lions.
- One person goes around the group making jokes or funny faces.
- When one of the lions moves they are out.
- The last sleeping lion wins.
- Have each player who is out help try to wake the remaining lions.
Blind Man’s Buff
Blind Man’s Buff, also known as Blind Man’s Bluff, is an ancient children’s game that was played perhaps as long as two thousand years ago (1).
Materials: A buff or something else to use as a blindfold.
- One person is “it” and is blindfolded.
- That person is spun around several times and must try to touch one of the other players.
- The other players must move about the room as quietly as possible.
- The person who is “it” must catch one of the other players.
- If “it” touches someone, that someone becomes “it.”
- When a person is touched they don’t become “it,” they are out of the game and the last person in the game wins.
Materials: Empty bottles, water, ball, or a bowling set.
- Fill each bottle with approximately one inch of water.
- Stand the bottles in a triangle formation.
- Roll or throw the ball to knock over the bottles.
- Put more water in the bottles, making them harder to knock over.
- Label each bottle with a score, and the person who scores most wins.
Guess Who Twinkles
Materials: Just the players.
- One player is chosen to be “it.”
- “It” is blindfolded and sits on the floor.
- The other players stand and hold hands in a circle around “it.”
- The circle of players dances around, singing Twinkle Twinkle Little Star.
- When they get to the last word, the circle stops.
- Whoever is “it” has to guess which player is standing directly behind them.
- If they guess correctly, the named player becomes “it.”
- Use any song and stop on an agreed-upon word.
Materials: A large potato, or fake potato, for each player
- Designate a start point and a finish point.
- Players line up at the start and hold a potato between their knees.
- Players then waddle like a penguin to the finish point, without dropping their potato.
- First across the finish line wins.
- Use a stuffed toy, balloon, or other objects.
- Set out an obstacle course between the start and finish lines.
Materials: Just the players.
- One player is “it” and must hide, in the same way as you would in Hide and Seek.
- The other players must try to find “it.”
- When someone finds “it,” they hide with them.
- The game continues until there is only one person still looking and that person becomes “it.”
Hunt Against The Timer
Materials: None, but a basket is helpful for smaller children.
- One player chooses a color and sets a timer.
- Everyone races to find items of that color and bring them back to the starting point.
- If the timer goes off before you return, you’re out.
- Once you return to the starting point you cannot leave.
- The winner is the person who returns to the start with the most items before the timer goes off.
- Instead of choosing a color, choose a letter or other common distinguisher.
- Allow players to steal items from other players. If they steal without being caught, they can keep the item. If they’re caught, they have to give the other player one of their items.
- One player is Grandma and stands with their back to the other kids.
- The other kids try to sneak up on Grandma, touching the wall next to her to win.
- Grandma can turn around at any moment and the others must freeze.
- If Grandma sees someone move, that person is out.
- The last person creeping forward or the first person to touch the wall wins.
Materials: Three hard-boiled eggs in their shells for each player.
- Pre-boil an egg for each player and ensure they are cold before playing.
- Each player takes an egg and they begin by gently tapping the narrow ends of their eggs together.
- When one egg cracks, the players flip their eggs and bang the wide ends together.
- The first player to have their egg crack is out and the winner gets a new egg.
- Keep going until only one person is left.
- Use the eggs for sandwiches.
Indoor Games For Kids 4 Years and Older
Materials: Zingo Game.
- Each player takes a Zingo card.
- Players take turns sliding the Zingo Zinger device to expose two tiles.
- If a player sees a tile that matches an item on their card, they call out.
- The first to call out wins the tile and puts it on their card.
- The first player to fill their card wins.
- Other Zingo games are available, such as Zingo Number Bingo.
What’s The Time, Mr. Wolf?
Materials: All you need are the players.
- One player, Mr. Wolf, stands at the end of the room with their back to everyone.
- The other players line up at the opposite end of the room. Together, they call out “What’s The Time, Mr. Wolf?”
- Mr. Wolf turns around and tells them a time. As he turns back around, the players take as many steps as the time is. So, if he says it is one o-clock, they take one step.
- Mr. Wolf turns his back again, and the kids ask the time again. This time the wolf says another hour for the time and the players take the corresponding number of steps.
- This carries on until either a child wins by touching Mr. Wolf on the back or Mr. Wolf replies by saying “Dinner time” instead of an hour and chases the other players.
- The player who is caught becomes Mr. Wolf.
- Deal six cards to each of the players.
- Players look at their cards and place any pairs they have to face down on the table.
- The first player asks any other player, “Do you have a ……,” asking for a card that will make a pair with another card they already hold.
- If the answer is yes, the answering player must hand over the card. The asking player then puts their pair face down on the table and goes again.
- If the answer is no, the answering player says, “Go Fish,” and the player who asked takes another card from the deck.
- The player to the left then takes a turn.
- The first player to put down all of their cards wins.
- Keep playing until only one person is left.
Indoor Games For Kids 5 Years and Older
Materials: Players who know each other’s names.
- The players sit in a circle on the floor and one child sits in the middle.
- The child in the middle squats down like a kangaroo and closes their eyes.
- Players in the circle say, “Skippyroo, kangaroo, dozing in the midday sun, here comes a hunter, run, run, run.”
- An adult points to one child who has to touch Skippyroo on the shoulder and says, “Guess who caught you, Skippyroo?”
- The child in the center has to guess who has caught them.
- If they guess correctly, that person sits in the center and becomes Skippyroo.
Dots And Boxes
Materials: Pen and paper or Dots And Boxes sheets.
- Draw even rows of dots on the paper.
- Player one draws a line between two dots.
- Player two then does the same.
- When a player can draw a line between two dots to make a box, they put their initials in the box and take another go.
- The player with the most initial boxes wins.
Materials: Foam bath letters and Ziploc bags.
- Ahead of time, freeze each of the foam bath letters in water in a Ziploc bag.
- Place all of the frozen bags in a dish.
- Each player takes out a bag and uses a spoon to excavate the letter from the ice.
- The first person to spell out a four-letter word with the defrosted letters wins.
- Use multiple sets of letters and choose a word everyone must spell.
Classic Board Games For Little Kids
Who’s The Baby?
Materials: Photos of family members or friends when they were babies.
- Lay the baby photos out, face down.
- The first player picks a photo and has to guess who the person is.
- If they guess correctly they keep the photo. If not, they place the photo, face down, back where it came from.
- The winner is the person with the most photos at the end of the game.
- For older kids, use celebrities or other famous people’s baby photos.
Balls In Cups
- Tape paper cups, open end up, to random points around the room, be sure to place them at different heights.
- Each child takes turns to try to hit a ping-pong ball into a cup.
- A ball in a cup wins that player one point.
- The player with the most points wins.
- Players stay at one cup until they get a ball in and then move onto the next cup. The fastest player to get balls in every cup wins.
Materials: Straws, paper, and pens.
- Each child gets a straw and some paper cut into triangles.
- Curl the triangles around so they look like tiny, narrow, cone hats.
- Decorate the cones.
- Place a cone on the end of the straw and blow to launch your “rocket.”
- Have everyone stand behind a line. The winner is the one whose rocket goes furthest.
- Stand behind a line and tape targets to the floor. Whoever hits the most targets wins.
Crush The Cups
Materials: Paper cups and straws.
- Tape a starting line at one end of the table and a rectangular goal at the other.
- Players must blow an upturned paper cup from the starting line to the goal.
- The first person to get three cups into the goal, or any other number of cups you choose, gets to crush the cups.
Materials: This game only requires players.
- One player is chosen to start.
- That player begins with any genre of a story like horror, drama, or action, with a sentence beginning with the letter A.
- The next player carries on the story but must start their sentence with a word that begins with the letter B.
- The next player starts their sentence with C, and so on.
- If a player hesitates when it’s their turn or says “Um,” they’re out.
Materials: Magnetic wands and magnets and prizes.
- Tape small magnets securely to your random prizes, then wrap the prizes in a layer of paper.
- Tape an area on the floor to serve as the fish pond.
- Drop all of the wrapped prizes into the “fish pond.”
- Give each child a wand and let them fish for prizes.
- Fishers must hold their fishing rod between their teeth and fish with hands behind their backs.
Going To Grandmas
Materials: Just the players.
- The first player says, “I’m going to Grandma’s house and I’m taking a …” and then says an item beginning with A.
- The next player takes their turn and says, “I’m going to Grandma’s house and I’m taking a…” They repeat the item the first player says and add one of their own beginning with B.
- The game continues until someone makes a mistake.
A Bug’s Life
Materials: Dice and paper pens.
- A different bug body part is allocated to each of the numbers on a dice. Use head, body, leg, tail, antenna, and eyes.
- Each player has a pen and paper.
- The players take turns to roll the dice.
- They draw the body part that corresponds with the number they roll.
- Players need six legs, two eyes, two antennae, a body, a head, and a tail.
- The first player to complete their bug wins.
Materials: Flour and two edible prizes.
- Pour flour into a large bowl, along with a prize.
- Compact the flour and turn it out onto a flat surface.
- Lightly balance a prize on top of the “mountain.”
- Each child takes turns to cut away a slice of the mountain.
- If the prize on top falls, they are out. Replace the prize.
- When only one player is left, they have to find the second prize in the flour, with their hands behind their back.
Materials: Books of mazes or maze printouts, pens, a hat, scarf, and gloves for each player.
- Each player is given a copy of the same maze book or five maze printouts. The clothing items are put in one big pile at the opposite end of the room.
- The timekeeper shouts “Go!” and the kids start working their way through the maze.
- When they get to the end of a maze, the child runs to the pile of clothes, selects one item, puts it on, and runs back to their mazes.
- The first player to complete the fifth maze wins.
Materials: Pen and paper.
- Before the game begins, write down several words or phrases on separate pieces of paper. Fold the paper pieces and drop them into a pot. If you need inspiration, check out our charades post for ideas.
- One player takes a slip of paper out of the pot and has to mime the word or phrase to the other players.
- Whoever gets the word takes over and mimes the next word.
- Play in teams and time the mime. If the player’s team guesses the word correctly before the time is up, they get a point. If they don’t get the word in time, the other team guesses and, if they are right, they get the point.
- Purchase a pre-made charades game.
Materials: Lots of socks.
- Split everyone into two teams.
- Put a line down the center of the room and put one team on each side.
- Ball up socks and put an equal number of socks on each side.
- Set a timer, and players must throw their socks onto the other team’s side of the room.
- When the timer goes off, players stop and whichever team has the fewest socks on their side, wins.
- Don’t use a timer. Instead, the first team to get all of their socks onto the other side wins.
- Use crinkled up balls of newspaper or stuffed toys instead of socks.
Materials: All you need is players.
- One player makes a random movement, such as a jump or a wave.
- The next player makes the same movement, then adds one of their own.
- The third player makes the first, then the second movement, and adds one of their own, and so on.
- The first player to get the chain wrong is out.
- Limit the types of movements that can be made, by implementing rules such as you can’t add a movement with your left hand.
- Rather than the person to the left going next, the mover nominates another, random player.
Reverse It, With Bells On
Materials: A blindfold for each player and some wrist bells.
- Every player, except one, is blindfolded.
- The last player has bells attached to their wrists and ankles.
- The blindfolded players have to catch “it.”
- When a player catches “it,” they hand over their blindfold and have the bells attached and carry on.
The Chocolate Game
Materials: Large bar of chocolate, knife and fork, gloves, hat, scarf, and a die.
- Unwrap the bar of chocolate and place it on a tray or large plate, along with the knife and fork.
- Everyone sits in a circle, with the chocolate in the center.
- The first person rolls the die.
- If they get a six, they go to the center of the circle, put on the hat, scarf, and gloves, and start eating the chocolate with the knife and fork.
- If they do not throw a six, that person passes the die to the next player, who then throws, and so on.
- Each time someone throws a six, they go into the center and take over from the person eating, who then goes to sit down again.
- Use mittens instead of gloves, which makes it harder to eat the chocolate.
Indoor Games For Kids 6 Years and Older
Heads Or Tails
Materials: Players and a coin.
- One person is the coin tosser.
- Everyone else puts their hands either on their heads or their bottoms.
- The coin is tossed and if it lands heads up, everyone with their hands on their bottom sits down.
- If the coin lands tails up, everyone with their hands on top of their heads sits down.
- Keep going until there are only two players left.
- One must choose heads and one tails.
- The last person standing, wins.
Materials: Pen or pencil, and paper.
- Write the names of random objects such as “cat” or “book” on pieces of paper, fold them up, and drop them in a pot.
- One player draws a slip of paper that lists the item for other players to guess. The drawer must not speak.
- The player to guess correctly becomes the drawer.
Who Am I?
Materials: Pen and paper.
- Write the names of individual cartoon characters on separate pieces of paper and drop the pieces into a pot.
- One player removes a piece of paper but doesn’t read it.
- They hold the paper on their forehead so the other players can read it.
- The player asks questions to try to figure out who the person on their piece of paper is.
- Questions can only have yes or no answers.
- Use famous people, historical figures, fictional characters, celebrities, or other people.
- Play Guess Who?
In Plain Sight
Materials: Random objects or party favors.
- Hold up an item to be hidden in the room.
- All but one player leaves the room while the final person hides the object.
- The trick is that at least part of the object must be in plain sight.
- Everyone else returns to the room and looks for the object.
- The winner is the first person to find the object. That person then becomes the hider.
- Take photos of a series of objects and print the images, and hide all of the items while all of the kids are out of the room. Lay the images face down and have the children turn over one photo at a time and hunt for that object. Whoever finds the object, keeps it.
Materials: Paper and pencil for each person, random small objects, a tray or plate, and a towel.
- Fill a tray or plate with random small items.
- Everyone looks at the tray for one minute and then it is covered with a towel.
- Everyone writes down as many objects as they can remember.
- The winner is the person who remembers the most things, correctly.
- Players get a point for each correct item and lose a point for an incorrect item.
- Younger children can draw the items on any canvas they can’t spell.
Indoor Games For Kids 7 Years and Older
Materials: Players, and pen and paper.
- All of the players write funny or silly phrases on pieces of paper and drop them into a pot.
- One player is “it” and sits in the center.
- The other players take turns to draw a piece of paper from the pot and read it out to the player who is “it.”
- Whoever makes “it” laugh takes over as the person in the center.
- Whoever is “it” sits with a mouth full of water. If they laugh, the person who made them laugh gets soaked.
Materials: Several strips of paper, pens, and pencils.
- Give each child a strip of paper and have them draw a head at the top.
- Each child folds the paper so the head they have drawn cannot be seen, but two lines to show where the neck is should remain visible.
- The children pass their paper onto the next person who then draws the body to the waist level.
- They fold down the paper, leaving only two lines to show the width of the waist. The paper is then passed onto the next person, who draws the rest of the figure.
- The paper is passed again to the next person who unfolds the paper to reveal the entire figure.
Materials: Pens, paper, and a bag of small random objects.
- One child sits with their back to the others.
- The child takes an item from the bag, being sure not to let anyone else see it.
- They then describe the item and everyone else draws what they think the item looks like.
- The first child shows the item and the group decides who has the most accurate picture and that person wins.
- Players are placed in pairs.
- One person has a bucket tied around their waist.
- The other person throws candy and the first person has to catch it in the bucket, without using their hands.
- Use loose candy and throw handfuls.
- Instead of candy, use small toys.
Materials: Pen and paper for each player and a timer.
- One person is “it.”
- They call out the first initial of their middle name.
- Everyone then has a predetermined amount of time to write down as many words they can think of starting with that letter.
- When the timer goes off, anyone with a word nobody else has gets a point. The person with the most unique words wins.
- Instead of words, you write down animals, birds, or anything else you choose beginning with that letter.
The Price Is Right
Materials: Receipts or pens and index cards.
- Create your own version of The Price Is Right.
- Write down the cost of a number of items on separate pieces of card.
- Add some fake, additional prices as red herrings.
- The first player puts the prices they think are correct on the items.
- When they’re done, you tell them if they have any prices correct.
- If they’re not all correct that player sits down and the next player tries.
- The first to get them all correct wins.
- When someone gets a price correct, they keep that item.
Two Truths And A Lie
Materials: Just the players.
- One player is “it” and they make three statements. Two of them must be truths and the third must be a lie.
- The other players take turns to ask “it” one question.
- After they have answered, the player guesses which statement is a lie.
- If they get it right, the player becomes “it.”
- If they get it wrong, the next player takes a turn.
- Split the players into two teams. A player on one team speaks, the other team ask questions and guesses which statement is the truth. A correct answer nets the team a point while an incorrect answer gives the other team a point.
Indoor Games For Kids 8 Years and Older
Make sure to check for food allergies of all the players before beginning this game.
Materials: A blindfold and random food items from the kitchen.
- One person is blindfolded and the other players go to the kitchen to choose a food.
- The players return and give the blindfolded player a taste of the food.
- If the player gets it right they nominate someone else to be the taster.
- Points can be given for each correct answer or you can just play for fun.
- The taster also has a peg on their nose so there are no clues from the food’s smell.
Murder In The Dark
Materials: Players and a dark room.
- One person is nominated as the detective and they leave the room.
- Everyone else sits in a circle with their eyes closed.
- An adult taps one player on the shoulder and they become the murderer.
- With the detective still outside the room, all other players stand up and move about in the dark.
- The murderer taps another player on the shoulder. That player screams and falls to the floor.
- After a count of ten, the lights go on and the detective comes in.
- The detective asks questions to find out who the murderer is, but only the murderer can lie.
- When the detective thinks they know who it is, they arrest the murderer.
Name That Tune
Materials: Pens and paper.
- One person is “it” and they write down the names of five songs, without letting anyone see.
- The person who is it then hums or gargles the tune for the other players.
- The other players write down what they think the tune is.
- “It” reveals the correct song titles and the person with the most correct answers wins.
Indoor games can be fun for cold, rainy, or snowy days.
They are also fabulous for family game day.
Play one or play several and have your own Olympic “games” at home. The only thing you must do is have fun because your children will and they’ll likely be asking you to play more games with them.