50+ Screen-Free Indoor Learning Activities for 5 year old- FREE Printables
VACATIONS or stuck indoors (like current situations) are equally exciting and difficult times (for parents) when kids are house-arrest because of weather or illness or some other unforeseen reasons, when you are just paranoid to take kids out to park or play area or play dates.
And you can neither match the energy levels of 5 year old nor entertain them whole day 24*7 for a couple of days….. phew!! THAT IS EXHAUSTING!
And you are tired of hearing “I am bored” every 5 minutes!!
And you don’t want them to be glued to screens or video games whole day!!
So now how do you save yourself from losing sanity & maintain peace at home, so that no-one kills each other?
Try these simple Screen-Free no-preparation easy fun and creative activities for kids at home, which will entertain them, tire them and there will be some or the other learning or skill development at the end of it.
Favorite ones go for repeat!!
How to entertain a 5-year old?
Honestly these kids are rolling balls of energy and it’s near-to impossible for the parents to “play with them” for the whole long day. And mine uses cartoons as the escape plan – either you play or let me watch cartoons..
Here is a list of indoor activities for kids which do not require much preparation or too many essentials and will keep kids busy for considerable time, atleast enough to let you have a coffee in peace or think of next activity to engage them to.
50+ Ideas of No-Screen Indoor Learning Activities for kids to keep them busy while at home
It would be a good idea to start the day with yoga or some kind of exercise, as there is less of physical activity when they are not going out, but is absolutely important for overall development.
A stock of colorful play dough always helps and is a winner with every age, paired with some stencils, knife, shape cutters and some free play models. Here are some ideas for inspiration. Encourage them to give shape to their imagination.
Make finger puppets with kids out of paper or cardboard boxes or felt or foam. And ask them to tell stories with the puppet characters. Do volunteer to become audience while sipping your hot coffee.
A simple dough to make at home my mixing flour and oil, you can give your child hours of entertainment. Variations like dino fossils, dino or animal jumping in it and then taking animals for bubble bath are surely to get kids excited and busy. Recipe of cloud dough here.
Kids love nature, plants, flowers and especially planting these themselves. So involve them in planting some seeds and encourage them to remember to water the plants daily. They will surely become responsible and caring. Possibly one the best indoor learning activities for kids.
Gardening can be made more fun by asking kids to paint and decorate their planting pots with pom pom, stickers, glittery foam, glitter glue.
Holidays give enough time to work on memory and play some memory games. They can make flash cards on their own and then play with them or try this Memory Game by Skola Toys (Amazon purchase link below*).
Some toys with enhanced creativity will settle the war of screen-time and no-screen, as they will be looking at screens anddrawing andthen playing with theri creations. Check Skipy Travel toys (Amazon purchase link above*).
Indoor picnic is a good idea. Ask kids to pack their favorite snacks, or better prepare their own vegetable sandwich and pack in picnic basket along with mat and drinks. Inviting friends home would even be a better idea.
Make use of old magazines at home, cut picture from them and handover to the kids with a glue and paper. Kids love gluing, atleast mine does. Differnet textured papers like gift wrapping papers can also be used to create mosaic arts.
Reuse used activity, coloring and alphabet books for making collages.
Check below a video of my boy making a picture collage from old magazine cuttings. Absolute free thinking!!
Kids love to imitate others and they often amaze us by the minute details they notice. Utilize the spare time as wonderful opportunity to learn what all they see and notice in the surroundings – at school, park, hobby class, home, shops etc. Our favorite are kitchen plays, shopkeeper and delivery boy role plays 😉
Need to utilize the energy outbursts, so engage them in some running round the house with paper airplanes.
Some sensory play with mud, sand, grains, rice etc. by creating a scenario in a box like construction, sea, farm or jungle. Sensory plays are good for overall sensory development.
Another way of involving physical work-out is balloons throwing, catching and kicking. One more interesting idea to charge up the balloons by rubbing against hair or some surface and then seeing them stick to face and walls and roofs.
Different varieties of blocks are useful in mental and cognitive development along with fine motor skills. Let the kids explore and create their imagination with the blocks – free play preferred.
Creating something is what every child loves. Just keep a stock of few craft essentials like pom poms, glitters, paper plate etc. and get crafting with kids. Ask them their favorite animal or object and then do crafts related to it.. season related crafts are always hit with kids.
Check here for 50+ easy craft ideas good for toddlers as well as for kids of age 5+ years. Try modifications and variations as per availability of crafting essentials and interests.
Best way to wear up the energy balls and that too the super fun way. Do join them in dancing and get join the fitness club. You and kids will get a sound sleep at night after dancing joyfully.
Tracing the blocks or matching the size/ shape of drawn patterns is an activity boosting logical reasoning and cognitive skills.
Adding on the bookish activities and bedtime stories, to encourage them to pick up books in vacations would be a good idea like –
- Puzzle books,
- story telling with book props,
- creating book-related crafts or
- asking the children to draw characters or scenes from their favorite book, or
- tell a new story with their favorite characters.
- puppet show
Our recent favorite is Gruffalo Jigsaw Book. Shop below: *
Books on Environmental Awareness
No-school days are still need to continue the learning process. Books based on science concepts that explain basic fundamentals in the form of story are the easiest to understand and relate and follow for kids aged 5 and above, like this series of Zayn and Zoey.
Zayn and Zoey series is based on The adventures of twins and stories are narrated in fun learning way that young learners are sure to be fascinated and will try to inculcate the science concepts in practical life. Reading and Vocabulary building are bonus, so win-win.
There are various concepts and story narrations to choose from in this series. We started reading with the Solar Power and Rain water Harvesting and finding these absolutely intriguing. (Amazon purchase links given below*)
Placing objects, pillows, cushions on the floor to jump and run is a 2-in-1 activity, playing and exercising. Better to place rug , carpet or mat below to avoid hurting upon falling.
Cardboard Box Parking or Doll House
Needless to say how much kids love parking spaces and doll houses. It’s super easy to reuse a cardboard box and turn it into a car-parking or a dolly house and ensure hours of play, without continuous nagging.
By hiding favorite toys at simple places in the house and then giving interesting clues or tasks to find them would be an amazingly interesting activity. Make them work their brain cells up.
This activity has always been a hit with us. Simply freezing his favorite dinosaurs or construction vehicles and then excavating them during the bath time. I prefer the break the ice in the bath tub. Sometimes I do add food colors for added fun. 2 fun ways of doing this activity:
- Salt & warm water can be used to melt the ice and dig out the frozen toys.
- Break the ice with hammer or throwing small ice cubes in the bathtub.
I love jigsaw puzzles. Best to boost logical and analytical reasoning. Age-appropriate jigsaw puzzles, word puzzles, picture puzzles, map puzzles are recommended to encourage kids to solve. We love wooden and floor jigsaw puzzles currently.
All kids love camping with their frozen or stuff toys. And so camping in the house will be a wonderful idea to keep them engaged and happy with self-play. A colorful foldable light-weight play tent is all we need to encourage the creative play. These ones occupy less space, so can be easily placed in living or play room as well.
Shop Now (Amazon purchase links below*)
Handmade Greeting Cards or Gifts
Encourage kids to make greetings cards or gifts for upcoming festivals or occasions. One benefit of preparing these now would be it will save your last-moment efforts and hassle. Plus they will pour their heart out in making cards or gifts for their loved ones. Hence working up on emotional quotient and social behaviour.
Who doesn’t love some fascinating magical science experiments! What can be better opportunity to turn science into fun.
Probably the best indoor learning activities for kids. Also utilize the opportunity to explain the reasons behind the magic so they understand the phenomena as well. Some easy one that can be done at home with whatever is available, with kids of age 5+ are
- Density experiment – with different density/weight toys
- Lava Lamp (oil-water density difference)
- Fireworks in a jar
- Balloon rocket (static electricity)
- Walking Rainbow
- Skillets Rainbow
- Magic Milk Coloring Experiment (Emulsion – Suspension) –video below
Good opportunity to have some quality family time. Choose any of your favorite board games and play together with kids, without gadgets. They will love these memories forever.
Hide & Seek
No child ever says “NO” to hide & seek! This game has been the most all-time favorite of all age groups, anywhere, any place. One of the most engaging and interesting indoor activities for kids. Adult supervision is recommended.
Some printable activity sheets are useful in practicing for the alphabets, numbers etc. I have provided few FREE printable sheets below which include memory games, odd ones out etc.
There is no age to learn household chores, and one MUST know basic life-survival skills like making a snack, making their bed, cooking, cleaning, tidying up, drying clothes, emptying dishwasher, folding laundry, setting up the dining table etc. Some ideas for Montessori-activities at home here.
Tidying-up before bed
It’s always a good habit to encourage them to tidy-up before going to be, so that you wake up to clean and sparky house. Tidying up their own mess also makes them responsible and next time they will be careful in scattering the stuff as they know they will be the one cleaning it up later. This Also wears them out, so ensures good night sleep.
This is a difficult time for everyone. It’s tough & demanding and troublesome to entertain kids 24*7 confined at home, but hoping and praying for it all to be fine soon.
Keep kids safe and protected. Engage them indoors with some indoor fun activities.. Stay strong mommas.
Stay Blessed & Safe!
Did you find these screen-free activities for kids helpful & useful?
Which is your favorite learning activity fr kids from the above list?
Share your favorite out of the above list, in the comment section below.
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