Our Top 20 easy home activities to entertain the kids

painting one way to entertain

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Some days can be challenging. The kids don’t want to play with their hundreds of toys. You say to them “go play”…..they are under your feet and bugging you. Sometimes it is helpful to set up some play ideas to entertain them. You can sit with them to start the play (depending on the age of the child) and then let them continue. You may then get some peace to enjoy a cuppa or finish that task. We asked our Darwin Family Life members and compiled some of our own favourites to bring you our Top 20 ideas to entertain the kids at home. A blog to keep handy especially with the school holidays right round the corner!

Our Top 20 easy home activities to entertain the kids!

1. Play dough
Check out our easy homemade recipe here. Grab some things from the kitchen draws (cups, plastic forks, knives, spoons and cookie cutters) or your craft cupboard (paddle pop sticks, pipe cleaners, feathers) and add a different experience for them!
2. Bubblesbubbles to entertain
What kid doesn’t love bubbles. Grab the super cheap sticks from Kmart (like 50c or $1 last time I looked). Put bubbles in water for one idea. Or tape the bubble wands to poles – I saw idea so they don’t pour or spill out the bubbles everywhere!
3. Water play
Always a hit in our house. We have a bunnings clam shell and just have random items to pour, strain, scoop it etc. Or pop the sprinkler on and let the kids run under it! Such an easy fun activity in this hot weather at the moment and kids of all ages enjoy it. One of our members had this fun suggestion. I give my boys red food colour in the pool they splash it in themselves and cry “shark attack”….if they are wet first it wont stain them.  I know my boys would love doing this.
4. Hula Hoops
My kids love doing this and my 6yr old daughter is getting quite good! They can bring so much fun and entertainment!
5. Paintingkids painting
Painting – yep some Mums love or hate it. Most kids love it. My tip is to strip down the kids to just underwear or get them wearing old clothes and paint outside. Easier clean up and less stress! So many different types of painting…..finger painting, sponge painting, various paint brush sizes, cotton tip dot painting, using different nature items (leaves, sticks etc). You could also get some cheap canvases to create handmade presents for family members! We like to get a big roll of paper from Kmart and then cut off a big piece for everyone to use. Great to also make homemade painted wrapping paper for all those presents!


6. Masking tape car roads
I have done this a couple of times where I put masking tape down on my tiles and then using a black marker to make the little road lines on the masking tape. I make lots of roads connecting and then get all the cars out and let my kids go for it.
7. Collage and construction
Save up the cardboard boxes, milk bottles, toilet rolls and let them create master pieces. This is one of my kids favourite things to do at the moment. It can keep them entertained for hours! Ok maybe not hours but a good 30 minute stint. I just make sure that their creations do not over take our house lol. Every now and then I have to “recycle” and clean out their work but I take a photo and most of the time they don’t even know it has gone.
8. Lego, duplo and building blockslego to entertain
Another firm favourite in our house. Why not sit down and build a block city. Or build the tallest tower. So many options with blocks and endless fun and an easy way to entertain the kids.
9. Cubby house!
The good old cubby house under the dining room table! I throw a sheet over our table and they love to get comfy and take a blanket and cushions in. Sometimes they will play little games or take some books in. Very easy to do and great on a rainy day.
10. Make your own book
Do you have a little artist who loves to draw? Or a child that loves to write. Why not create their own book? Easy to staple some pages together and let them go for it. Depending on their age and ability you can assist them with the story writing or they can do it all themselves. An easy open ended activity that can be done over again or continued on other days.
10. Puppet show
I remember when my twins were babies and my eldest was a toddler we did this a bit. My daughter and I would grab some paper brown bags from the shops then draw our puppets/faces on them. We then got a cardboard box (nappy box or a bigger box if you have it, or even a small table turned on its side so you can be behind it.) We would then put on a show for the babies who sat and watched. It is a lovely activity to do with kids of all ages.
11. Paint with water books
I am stocking up on these during these school hols! We love these easy and cheap books. My kids love them and they entertain them for ages plus don’t make much mess. I know Kmart stock various water paint books for about $2 each. Also an easy stocking filler!!

tea party one way to entertain
13. Tea party
Set up a rug or blanket and get out the dolls and teddies. If you have plastic kids kitchen items – get them out or get out some old cups from the kitchen cupboards. Let their imaginations go wild – who is coming to the tea party?
14. Nappy box creations!
Do you have a baby or toddler still in nappies? Save a couple of nappy boxes and turn them into cars or robots or many other things. I often get some paper plates and make them wheels and a steering wheel for the car. Cut some holes in the box to make it fit so your child can put their arms through.
15. Dance and sing – party time!
Turn up the tunes (your favs or theirs!) and enjoy dancing around the room with them. Enjoy a little workout and get some happy endorphins happening. My kids love being picked up and danced around the room – always brings a smile to all our faces. Plus the dance moves the kids come out with crack me up!
16. Dress ups
Do you have a dress up box? Or maybe grab some dresses and high heels from your cupboard. You can also pick up some cheap things from the op shop that kids always love to dress up in!
games entertain
17. Board games
Do you have some favourites stashed somewhere you haven’t played in awhile? The ages of your children will depend on the games but some of our favs are twister (good for all ages! just modify the rules), the beetle game, kids scrabble (for the older ones 6+), kids monopoly. Comment and tell us some of your favourites.
18. Sensory fun!
My kids used to love shaving foam and painting it all over our outside table when they were toddlers! Why not make some homemade slime, goop or gak. Some fun and messy ways to entertain the kids.
19. Shape or letter hunt!
Create a list of shapes or use this printable shape hunt or the alphabet for older ones and get them to hunt around the house and yard to complete the list and find a shape to match all and something starting with each letter of the alphabet. Should give you some spare time to complete some to do’s on that list or make a meal.
20. Instrumentsmusic instruments
Whether you have a music instrument box or you raid the kitchen pots and pans, metal and wooden spoons – let the kids make some music and bang and play along to their favourite tunes.


We hope you have enjoyed our top 20 things to entertain the kids around the house. Please comment below with what your favourite is in your family and what easy ways you entertain your kids.

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