16 Ways to Entertain Kids Without a Backyard

Deborah Cruz | Apr 13, 2020 Being a Mom
16 Ways to Entertain Kids Without a Backyard
Image: iStock

Finding yourself inside with the kids a lot recently? It happens to all of us and when it does, it’s hard to know what to do to keep them entertained. When weather or circumstances prevent little ones from playing outside things can get a little hectic. It’s hard for kids to not run and play off all of that energy outside. But there are many ways to entertain kids without a backyard. Parents just have to get a little creative.

It’s ok. Everyone’s going to be okay. It’s fine to just slow down sometimes. Instead of feeling like there is no air to breathe or no place to go, parents can step back and look at as a chance to get a new perspective. An opportunity to be present in a world where life is always moving fast and childhood only lasts 18 years and then they’re gone.

Not having space outside for kids to run around and use their imagination is difficult but it definitely isn’t the end of the world. Here are 16 ways to entertain kids without a backyard.

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  • Life Imitates Art


    How about a virtual visit to the art institute? Afterward, give your kids paper, paints and a full range of imagination and let them create or recreate their piece. 

  • Dance Party USA


    Dancing is not only fun, but it is also good for you, it relieves anxiety and it helps to shake those sillies out. The kid has cabin fever; a spontaneous dance party is a cure.

  • Pajama Day Movie Marathon


    Some days it's perfectly okay to just stay in pajamas the entire day, pop some popcorn and binge watch a whole day of Disney classics. There is something about just hanging out as a family and singing along and laughing together that bonds like nothing else. 

  • Purge and Play


    Kids love to dress up and play. Why not do a little Marie Kondo organizing to the clothes, toys and shoes for the entire family? Of course, that doesn't sound like much fun but what if the kids get to try everything on? Who doesn't have a great time with dress-up clothes and a healthy imagination?

  • Camp Out Inside


    Camping out is always a blast but just because kids can't be outside under the stars in the great outdoors, doesn't mean they can't enjoy some fresh air, bright stars and bonding time in a tent. Pitch a tent, crack the window in the living room under glow in the dark stars. Do sing-alongs, eat hotdogs, make s'mores in the microwave and read stories together.

  • Immersive Language Dinner


    Teaching kids a language in an immersive way that is fun for them and can be fulfilling for parents. Sticky notes, Netflix shows and favorite songs played in Spanish, French or Japanese might inspire your little one to learn the language. If you really want to get them inspired, make a meal inspired by the chosen country of origin and try to only speak in that language for the entire meal.

  • Read a Book Together and When Done Let the Kids put on a Play


    Parents reading books to their children is always a good boredom buster but a good way to take it to the next level is to have your little ones put on a play of the book. The kids will get to flex their imagination muscle and the parents will get to see their little minds at work.

  • Indoor Jungle Gym


    Some parents might feel like their kids are being cheated out of the childhood experience by not being able to play outside in a big backyard but there are things that can be done to remedy the situation. How about installing an indoor playset, ball pit, personal trampoline, obstacle course or even a swing or climbing wall?

  • Kids in the Kitchen


    Kids can be great sous chefs in the kitchen. Little ones are great helpers and they love to spend the time in the kitchen making food with their parents. It teaches them a valuable skill while they get to play in the kitchen with mom or dad. 

  • Big Bird Who?


    Stuck inside? Look out the windows and play a family game of name that bird; bonus points for identifying the species.

  • Taste of Culture


    Opera, Ballet and Broadway shows are accessible digitally. It’s a great way to introduce your children to the arts and maybe even inspire them to try it out at home. What's more fun than dancing, singing and performing in the living room? Nothing, when you're a kid.

  • Name that Animal


    Many zoos are streaming online and it’s a great way to introduce your child to the animals at the zoo without worrying about tired, hungry kids or weather. Afterward, why not play zoo? Let your little one pretend to be their favorite animal.

  • Family Pillow Fort 


    Everybody loves a good pillow fort. Kids cannot resist the chance to put their little minds to work and create a one-of-a-kind secret pillow and sheet hideaway. Armed with just a few throw pillows, little ones can create an entire world of their own.

  • Board Games for Bored Brains


    Board games may seem like a simple answer to a complicated question but really, they are the perfect indoor entertainment that will engage a child's mind while spending time with the family.

  • Fancy Dress Dinner and a Classic Movie


    No backyard? Want to get all dressed up? No place to go? Parents get the entire family dresses up in their best dapper outfits for dinner and then finish the night off with a viewing of a classic black and white film. 

  • Family Nap


    A family that naps together is never bored. Or maybe they are but if they're sleeping, no one's complaining. Parents know that a sleeping child is a peaceful and happy child. Isn't that all any of us want?

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