Indoor Activities for Busy Tweens

tween drawing picture with colored pencils
Matteo Canessa/

There's nothing like getting your children outside to play, but sometimes the weather doesn't cooperate. If your tween is stuck indoors for any length of time, due to weather, illness or other circumstances, you'll need a few good indoor activities to keep him or her busy.

Fun Indoor Activities for Tweens

Below are a few ideas to get you started and get your tween busy and engaged.

Get Moving

Even if your child is stuck indoors for a few weeks, that's no reason to be inactive. Many game consuls offer children the chance to dance, work out, and burn a few calories. Even if you don't own a game center, you can find how-to videos on Youtube you can encourage your child to be physically active by dancing, doing yoga, or by creating his or her own aerobic workout.

Make a Fort

There's just something fun about grabbing all the spare sheets and blankets and making a fort. And tweens haven't yet grown out of the fort phase. Help your child create a really cool fort by first clearing out the furniture, and making room for his space. Brooms and furniture can help keep the fort up, and once it's ready for use, have him throw pillows and blankets inside for the cozy feeling.

Get Reading

Children have to read for school, but if your child isn't reading for fun than she's missing out. One of the best indoor activities available to any child is a good book. If your child doesn't have a book that she wants to read, visit the library or a used bookstore for economical selections. If she needs inspiration, she can search online reading lists for suggestions on books she might like.

Write a Letter

Yes, a real letter. Not an email. When the weather isn't cooperating, grab a pen and some stationary and get your tween to writing a letter. He can write to grandparents who live far away or even write a letter to his Congressman or a local politician about a cause or an issue that's important to him. Another option is to find a pen pal that your child can write to regularly. Writing is a great opportunity for your child to learn how to communicate and share this thoughts and feelings with others.

Get Creative

Crafts are a great way to keep kids busy when it's cold or rainy outside. Be sure your craft closet or craft cabinet is always stocked. It wouldn't hurt to keep a book or two on hand that will help your child learn how to tackle a new skill, such as knitting or crocheting. Craft kits are also a must-have for your supply closet.

Be a Helper

Tweens like to help out, and you can use that enthusiasm to get a project or two completed. Have your tween tackle a project, such as organizing a closet or clearing out the toy chest. You'll keep him busy, and have a tidier living space as the result.

Go Somewhere

Sometimes it's fun to pack a lunch, pile the kids into the van and take off for a local or nearby destination. Ask your tween if he'd like to spend the day touring a museum or trying something new, such as ice skating or bowling. If you're on a strict budget, consider one of the many free regional activities offered in your hometown. Many museums offer free admission on certain days of the week, and area malls are always a free destination if you're willing to just window shop.

Play a Game

Boardgames, cards, and puzzles may be old-fashioned fun, but they still work at keeping kids busy when they're stuck indoors. Keep them on hand for when your child needs something to do, and consider taking a break from your responsibilities to join in the fun. There's nothing like a game of Old Maid to get everybody laughing and having fun.

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