Activities for Kids to Do in Apartments

by Maggie McCormick

Living in an apartment has its advantages, but the small space and concern over bothering the neighbors aren't some of them. If you're living in an apartment while raising kids, you can't just send them out to the backyard without fearing for their safety. During inclement weather -- or when you're just not able to go outside with them -- they'll need to have activities that can fit the location.

Quiet Time Activities

Kids might need to be quiet at certain times of the day, whether it's a baby sister sleeping, too early on a Saturday for the neighbors or just the time of day when the child needs a bit of a break. Children can play board games together or with another adult in the house. Ants in the Pants, Candy Land and Memory are classic games for young children. Several versions of each of these games can tempt any child. Children can work alone on craft projects. A toddler or young child can practice fine motor skills while painting, cutting and pasting. Older children might enjoy picking up a more "grown-up" craft such as woodworking, jewelry making or knitting.

Active Play

While you might not want to disturb the neighbors, accepting some daytime noise is part of apartment living. Check with the neighbors about their schedules so that you can allow for some active play indoors. Turn on a CD to have a dance party. Young kids especially will enjoy having some control over music selection. Create an obstacle course using different furniture -- jump on the pillow, go around the chair three times, then under the table -- and mix it up once the kids have mastered the first course.

Imaginative Play

Children need to flex their imagination muscle as well as the physical ones. Encourage them to create plays using puppets, dolls or stuffed animals. To get younger children started, try reading a book, then have them perform the story you just read. Children might also enjoy going on pretend adventures, such as being pirates on a treasure hunt or astronauts going to distant planets. Simple household objects such as paper towel tubes, cardboard boxes and bed sheets aid this play.

Chores and Helping

According to, the website of the American Academy of Pediatrics, young children can get involved in work around the house. Though you might not have a yard to work in or an easily accessible garbage disposal location, children can help with meal preparation, folding laundry, doing the dishes and dusting. You're likely to find that your child even enjoys the activities you find so mundane.

About the Author

Maggie McCormick is a freelance writer. She lived in Japan for three years teaching preschool to young children and currently lives in Honolulu with her family. She received a B.A. in women's studies from Wellesley College.

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