20 Quick and Simple Activities to do at Home with Kids

Sticks of coloured chalk

As parents, we’re not always blessed with the time to set up complex learning activities or games for our kids at home. I try to do a range of fun activities in our house and some take longer to set up than others, but I think all parents need a few quick and easy activities up their sleeve, that they can do at home with the kids at a moments notice.

I have a few go-to simple activities that I do regularly at home with my daughter that take very little time to set up and that I know keep her engaged. They’re the trusty faithfuls that I fall back on if I’m having a day of it, or am running on empty.

Below is my list of simple activities to do at home with kids. Some of them require some basic resources, but once you have them in the cupboard, you can call upon them when needed. Some are inside activities and some are outdoors. If you have more than one child, you can easily adapt these activities to keep them all entertained.

Why not make a note of the activities you think your children will enjoy and keep them to hand for when you need them.

So in no particular order, here are some fun, quick and simple activities for kids to do at home.

  • Make a paper airplane – my 2 year old loves this, but older children can estimate and measure distance or have a competition
  • Chalk drawing on the patio – young children can mark make, older children can draw pictures, write words or number sentences or play hopscotch. Don’t worry – it washes away!
  • Make a fortune teller
A fortune teller made from green paper
  • Play naughts and crosses
  • Play skittles
  • Do some dot market art. I discovered dot markers recently, they offer a mess free way of painting with no set up or cleaning up to do – perfect!
  • Play hangman – a great way to practise spelling and extend vocabulary
  • Junk modelling – raid your recycling box, give the kids some sticky tape, glue and other decorative bits and bobs and leave them to create something amazing
  • Set up a sensory activity in the tuff spot – we like shaving foam, coloured rice or porridge oats. Just add some other objects (pots, spoons, brushes, toy cars and animals) to create something engaging and interactive
  • Playdough and pasta faces – simply give them playdough and pasta and see what they come up with. We make our own playdough and I tend to put it in a tuff tray so it stays contained and minimises tidy up time.
  • Make books – book making is fun and inspires some fantastic writing and drawing. And all you need is paper!
  • Create a roll play area – we have a pop-up house that is easy to store and set up
  • Create a reading corner – get some cushions, blankets and a range of books (and maybe some snacks) and enjoy some story time
  • Water play – my daughter loves to play with water. She has a small tray outside that I fill, then I give her a range of pots to pour the water in and out of. A watering can is always a winner too! For extra fun, add some bubbles
  • Build a fort
  • Make a toilet roll character – monsters are a fun and simple option
  • Play hide and seek
  • Do some paper mosaic – I tend to cut up lots of squares to make enough for a few sessions, then store it away for when an activity is needed
  • Go on a minibeast hunt – older children can create the list of what to look for
  • Get the Lego out (or something else they can build with) and see who can build the tallest tower

I hope some of these quick and simple kids activities make it on to your go-to list.

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