12 Things To Keep Kids Entertained At Home When Space Is Limited
There are so many good things to be said about small houses or apartments: they’re cozy, easy to clean, and don’t require a ton of furniture. However, when you find yourself and your whole family stuck inside with nowhere to go, not even the park or playground, you'll need some things to keep kids entertained in small spaces.
Even with unlimited screen time and copious snacks, everyone is bound to get a little stir-crazy. Many of these activities can be used either indoors or outdoors, which means even if you don’t have outdoor space, you’re still covered. From forts (seriously, you can never go wrong with a fort) to obstacle courses and even board games that get kiddos moving, there’s something here for kids of all ages (parents will also appreciate the moment of solitude they get while their kid shimmies through a tunnel or pretends the floor is lava). You may have downstairs neighbors who would rather not hear the thunderous sound of kids jumping overhead, so it's important to have a mix of loud and quiet(er) options at your disposal. These are 12 super fun activities kiddos can do, even in very small spaces, that won't be hugely disruptive for everyone else around.
We only include products that have been independently selected by Romper's editorial team. However, we may receive a portion of sales if you purchase a product through a link in this article.
1. Bring The Outdoors In
These river stones of varying heights allow kids to design paths or obstacle courses, then test their coordination and balance. The set of six rubber pieces have rubber studs on the base which helps stop the stones from slipping, but also protects your floors. One of the best things about this toy is that it's hard to outgrow (even adults will like it) because you can make the paths increasingly harder by putting more distance between the stones.
2. Bean Bag Toss
Sometimes you just need to throw things, and this indoor hanging bean bag toss is a great way to do-so without breaking anything. The bean bags look like small birds, and as your kiddo gets more precise you can make the game more challenging by asking them to throw the bean bag into a specific numbered hole, or by having them move farther away from the door frame.
3. An Activity Rug
You don't need chalk and a sidewalk to have fun with hopscotch. This rug brings the classic game indoors and it's a fun way to get kids jumping and moving (sorry to any downstairs neighbors). It has a skid-proof backing so it won't slip, it's machine washable which is a major win, and it's sturdy but easy to enough to roll up if you don't want it out permanently.
4. A Mini Trampoline
This three-foot trampoline is perfect for when your kiddo needs major exercise but you don't want them bouncing off the walls or running laps through your house. While it's light and easy to move (and can accommodate up to 55 pounds) the one slight drawback of having this inside a small space is that it's not super easy to store, though in a pinch you could take the handle off and put the trampoline under a bed.
5. A Tunnel
There's something so novel about playing in a tunnel, and little kids will love going through this caterpillar-shaped one over and over again. Perfect for small spaces, this toy is active without being super loud, plus it collapses into a small hoop shape that's easy to store.
6. A Themed Tent
With all the bread breaking and knitting going on, it feels like it's the 19th century, so you might as well embrace the log cabin with this play tent. It requires a bit of adult setup (no tools required) but once it's up, it can go in or outside. Kids will also love the pull-back plaid curtains that let them peek out and see what's going on at the homestead.
7. Build An Awesome Fort
This is just like building with life-sized K'nex blocks, and kiddos will be able to create a custom fort of their dreams. Depending on their age (the blocks are designed for kids ages 4-11 years old), they may need a little help designing and putting their new house together, but once it's built, you can throw a blanket or a sheet over the structure, and everyone gets a bit of alone time.
8. A Bouncy Toy
This classic vinyl bouncy horse is a fun way for kids to practice movement, balance, and coordination. They'll love hopping around the house on their new sidekick, plus it comes in tons of cool colors, and you can pick a shade that you love.
9. A Wand That Always Knows What To Do
This is the perfect small-space toy because all you need is the magical wand and slice of floor to get your kids moving. The wand calls out funny instructions like, "wiggle like a worm," or "stomp like a dinosaur." It includes 90 commands and 26 musical tunes so it's hard to get bored.
10. Yoga Cards
This bright deck of cards includes 50 yoga poses for kiddos or adults to try at home. The names of each pose is written at the top of the card, but there's also a clearly illustrated picture of each move for non-readers to mimic. It can be fun for two kiddos to swap cards and both attempt the silly poses.
11. An Active Board Game
Usually when kids play "the floor is lava" on their own, it means couch cushions and blankets get strewn across your home. This board game will spare your furniture because it comes with 25 foam tiles for kiddos to step on, plus there are action cards that say things like, "touch your toes" for an added challenge.
12. A Scavenger Hunt Game
Kids love to find things (except when it's something that actually needs to be found, like shoes... ), and this scavenger hunt board game does all the work for you. The cards provide the names and pictures of common household objects (a teddy bear or a baseball hat, for example) and kids can go on a mission to find the item on the card. Be prepared to have your house a bit ransacked, though there is a built-in clean-up round.