Parents are always looking for fun things to do at home with their kids, and now more than ever in our time of social distancing. With schools closing and playdates on hold, there’s a wave of questions about what to do at home in our new routines, with parents wondering about the best ways to fill the time.
Many schools are offering resources to keep the learning going, but as physician and parent Michael Rich recently told NPR, this can also be a great time to help children discover fun new interests—it’s all about the balance of routines and play. “We could look at this as an opportunity to do a little independent study,” he suggested in a recent post.
Perhaps this sounds familiar. If you’re feeling the bind and wondering what fun indoor activities for kids to queue up next, look no further. We’ve rounded up 34 activities from our favorite Skillshare classes for drawing, playing games for kids, and getting creative—all with easy, affordable art supplies you likely already have around the house.
Scroll below to discover your family’s new favorite!
1. Make a Zine with Kate Bingaman-Burt
All you need is a simple 8×11 sheet of paper and markers, and you and your kids can create a MAGAZINE! Download the PDF template so you know just where to make the folds, and then let your kids go wild making “books” on everything their hearts desire. The class is full of fun prompts to get you started, like imaginary crayon colors, favorite snacks, and top YouTube animals.
2. “Paint” with Colored Pencils with Kendyll Hillegas
There’s a good chance you have a pack of colored pencils somewhere in the house, and now their power can be put to use for this next indoor activity: making a vibrant masterpiece. Using techniques borrowed from classical oil painting, Kendyll Hillegas shows how to sketch, blend, and layer color in a way that makes the page pop. Kendyll also has a fun class on using colored pencils and watercolors to paint pastries.
3. Learn How to Draw Comics with Ira Marcks
What’s better than reading comics? Drawing comics! Join cartoonist Ira Marcks for a beginner’s guide to making your own cartoons. Get inspired by his favorite comics, learn essential concepts like paneling and speech bubbles, and then create your own two-panel comic strip inspired by a one-word theme. For older kids, the class also includes an 18-page downloadable PDF so they have a handy reference for everything they learn along the way.
4. Discover 6 Ways to Doodle with Jon Burgerman
Jon Burgerman has a spontaneous, improvised doodle style that’s perfect for getting creative with your kids. In this class, he and his puppet friend Burgsy share playful exercises to help your imagination run wild. Follow along as he plays with paint colors and adds googly eyes to everyday household objects. See where your creativity can take you!
5. Make a Film on Your iPhone with Caleb Babcock & Niles Grey
For older kids aspiring to YouTube or TikTok fame, point them towards this class on the essentials of creating cinematic video with just an iPhone. This comprehensive class covers helpful apps and gear as well as strategies for filming and editing more artistic, compelling footage.
6. Create a DIY Photo Lightbox with Tabitha Park
Have a budding photographer in the house? Show them how a simple photo lightbox makes it possible to create an endless variety of scenes, from “dark and moody” to “bright and cheery.” In this helpful class, photographer Tabitha Park walks through the construction of a simple setup using materials you likely already have at home.
7. Create Instagram Poetry with Alison Malee
Kids who enjoy journaling and writing in diaries will love this class on Instagram poetry. Poet and performer Alison Malee shares her process for transforming a personal experience into a creative visual vignette that’s perfect for sharing on the ‘gram. Your budding artist will choose a favorite memory, describe it in rich language, then “style” and photograph it into a vignette.
8. Make Breakfasts for the Next Day with Ceri Marsh and Laura Keogh
This class offers a win-win: spend time cooking alongside your kids, and set the whole family up for a stellar breakfast the next day! This class, taught by magazine-editors-turned-food-bloggers Ceri and Laura, shares five easy and healthy make-ahead breakfast recipes, and all have plenty of opportunity for little hands to help gather, mix, and prep the easy-to-find ingredients.
9. Try Modern Brush Calligraphy with Kimberly Shrack
This lettering style is the look you’ve seen all over Pinterest, and Kimberly Shrack is a wonderful guide with prompts, practice sheets, exercises, and tips so you and your kids can quickly get to lettering phrases that are meaningful to you and your family. (You can pick up an 10-brush pack on Amazon for less than $20.)
10. Draw a Colorful Travel Map with Mike Lowery
Think of this like a twist on the classic treasure map. If your kids are feeling cooped up inside, encourage them to draw a favorite place from memory in this fun class with illustrator Mike Lowery. Consider your neighborhood, a favorite vacation spot, or even a map of your house!
11. Draw Flower Line Art with Peggy Dean
If your kids doodle in the margins of their homework, this class is a perfect match. Line art is a simple art form featuring illustrative, doodle-like designs, and it’s a great way to get drawing with everyday materials. In this class, Peggy Dean shows the endless possibilities of flower line art, walking students through ferns, branches, leaves, laurels, succulents, and more.
12. Draw on Glass with John Burgerman
Repurpose an old picture frame and break out those markers for some creative doodles in this fun indoor activity with kids.
13. Give People New Bodies with John Burgerman
Irresistibly fun for kids and adults! Draw a body (of an animal, mythical creature, or anything you like!) and line it up with someone’s head, then snap a picture on your phone for a zany portrait.
14. Draw and Paint a Funny Bunny with Em Winn
Flex those painting muscles and reinforce learning of shapes and patterns in this fun doodle session. All you need are watercolor paints, a paintbrush, and a Sharpie marker to create a cute, fridge-worthy picture.
15. Learn Claymation with Claudia Mcclelland
This step-by-step course will teach you and your kids how to create animated clay videos from start to finish, which is a longer project but definitely worth the time. As far as indoor activities for kids go, this one will keep them busy longer than most others!
16. Create a Cute Cat Collage with Em Winn
This is a great way to get creative with extra newspapers! Everyone’s cat will come out a little different, depending on what type of newsprint they use. The individual results are adorable!
17. Learn to Code and Program with a Dad & Son Team with Joshua Blewett
Here’s one of those fun kids games that serves an educational purpose too, and it’s taught by a father-son team! They walk kids through the coding process in an approachable, fun manner.
18. Create Your Own Hidden Words Game in Canva with Panos Papadakis
Stretch your mind and let your kids practice their vocabulary and spelling with this activity. Kids games can get boring, but when you create your own, it’s brand new!
19. Learn Chess from a Teenage Grandmaster with Tawin Matthew Nunbhakdi
This class is for beginning to intermediate chess players, and it is taught by a teenage chess champion, which makes it feel accessible to kids. Chess is one of those games for kids that is best learned by practicing, and this course is a great place to start.
20. Play an Ultra-Simple Drawing Game with Abinaya Sundhu
This kids game requires only a pencil and paper, but it can provide hours of entertainment. Taught by a kid, it’s simple to learn and fun to master!
21. Learn Bookbinding Basics with Caleb Sylvest
Make your own bound notebook under the tutelage of this crafty teenager. This is a perfect indoor activity for kids, and once they make the book, they can spend all day writing or drawing in it!
22. Learn to Draw and Watercolor in 3-D with Ron Mulvey
This in-depth course teaches kids how to make three-dimensional pictures, and the final result is a fun comic book–style drawing.
23. Paint Pictures of Wild Mushrooms with Natalia Crucian
Wild mushrooms come in a dazzling array of colors and shapes, and painting them is a joy. In this course you’ll practice painting porcinis, chanterelles, and fly agaric mushrooms, plus the grass they grow in.
24. Learn to Draw and Animate Cartoons with Damien Barban
Using an interface called Cartoon Maker, learn to draw and animate a unique cartoon! This is an indoor kids activity that will stretch their creative muscles and allow them to learn a new skill.
25. Watercolor Painting: Fun and Easy Cactus Postcard with Pooja Kenjale-Umrani
Make a piece of art you can send in the mail to brighten someone’s day! This course shows how to make a cute cactus postcard that will bring a smile to whoever receives it.
26. Teach Your Kids Computer Skills with Philip Campbell
Coding, Bitcoin, hardware—it’s not too early for your kids to learn about these technical concepts. Philip Campbell walks through the basics of a wide range of computer-related skills, making complicated topics easy to understand.
27. Create an Augmented Reality Scavenger Hunt with Paula Guilfoyle
Make an Easter egg hunt that is truly next-level! This course teaches parents and caregivers how to use an app to create an augmented reality scavenger hunt that kids will get a huge kick out of.
28. Learn the Basics of Cooking from Scratch with Kids with Kids Kitchen
Get inspired to let your kids into the kitchen to create and cook! This course teaches the skills parents and kids need to get cracking in the kitchen and enjoy a delicious product, no matter what food you make.
29. Create a Holiday Wreath, Tree, and Ornaments with Nora Connolly
‘Tis the season to get crafty at home with your kids! This course demonstrates three projects to make your house festive with a fun indoor activity for kids.
30. Learn to Write an Action Packed Introduction with Rules Rules
Kids can hone their writing skills with this entertaining, informative course designed to help them learn to jazz up their story introductions. There are three examples provided for plenty of fun learning opportunities.
31. Learn to Play the Ukulele with Aden Blake
If you have a ukulele lying around the house gathering dust, this is the class your kid can take to learn to play the thing! Aden Blake explains everything, from how to hold the instrument to how to strum a chord and even play some simple songs.
32. Create Watercolor Projects with Kolbie Blume
Dive into a series of lovely, relaxing watercolor projects in this course, which includes instruction for painting rainbows, combining watercolors with salt for a cool effect, and experimenting with colors and shapes.
33. Learn to Draw Faces with Ed Foychuk
This course is perfect for the intermediate to advanced artist looking to improve their portrait skills. Ed Foychuk teaches students how to draw faces with detailed, precise lessons.
34. Learn Ballet for Kids and Parents with Grand Art Ballet Dance
Learn to move gracefully in the privacy of your own home with this course, which teaches ballet body positioning and basic exercises to start your ballet practice. No pointe shoes required!