Keeping kids entertained is an ongoing challenge. And with summer nearing its end and days getting shorter, kids will be spending even more time inside, meaning it’s time to find some indoor toys and activities to keep them occupied.
We’ve found indoor toys for all types of kids, whether you’ve got a STEM enthusiast, a gamer or a budding artist.
Take a look at this roundup of options that will keep your kids entertained and out of your hair:
Toys for creative kids
‘Complete Cookbook for Young Chefs’
Kids with an interest in culinary arts will have fun working their way through this 100-recipe book. Written by America’s Test Kitchen, it’s kid-friendly with full-color images and simple instructions.
$17.99 at Amazon
‘Animation Lab for Kids’
Children can dive into the animation process with this book that covers everything from storytelling to stagecraft. It’s process-oriented, so kids are able to complete small-scale video projects as they learn new techniques.
$15.62 at Amazon
Klutz Make Clay Charms Kit
With this set, kids can create clay charms for bracelets or design a collection of miniature figurines. The 60-page instructional book is easy to follow, and it comes with clay in nine vibrant colors as well as jewelry pieces.
$21.99 at Amazon
Lit Energy Portable LED Light Box Tracer
This LED light box tracer is the perfect pick for creative kids who enjoy tracing, sketching, drawing or calligraphy. The light box is ultra-slim, so it’s easy for kids to bring along for trips, too.
$23.99 at Amazon
Hercules DJ Party Set
Is your child a music lover? Let them have fun working this DJ deck to create playlists or new beats. The set comes with DJ headphones and LED bracelets that light up to the beat of the music.
$129.99 at Amazon
ToyVelt Dinosaur Take-Apart Set
This 218-piece set lets kids assemble six diminutive dinos with tiny tools. The set comes in a transparent carry case, and all ABS plastic pieces are BPA-free, nontoxic and skin-safe, so parents can feel good about them.
$25.97 at Amazon
Bitsbox Coding Subscription
Look forward to new projects every month when you sign up for Bitsbox, a coding subscription service for kids. Geared toward ages 6 to 12, it teaches kids to make video games, simulations and even apps. The boxes come with “Grownup Guides” so you can join the fun.
$28.45 at Amazon
Omano JuniorScope Microscope
Kids get to take a closer look at the wondrous world around them with this junior microscope set. It comes with an exciting adventure guide, in which kids learn to use the three-magnification microscope by performing experiments. It’s a must-have for young science lovers.
$129.99 at Amazon
Snap Circuits LIGHT Electronics Exploration Kit
Children can bring electronics to life with this light-themed Snap Circuits set that builds more than 175 projects. The set lets kids plug circuits into smartphones and tablets so they can see exactly how circuits react.
$79.99 at Amazon
Toys for gamers
‘Snowrunner’ for PS4, Xbox One and PC
If your kids love trucks, let them try their hand at driving big rigs in this thrilling new game. They’ll need to keep calm while they traverse challenging terrain to make deliveries on time, tow fellow truckers or complete other seemingly impossible logistics missions.
$49.99 at Amazon
‘Paper Mario: The Origami King’ for Nintendo Switch
July’s hottest release arrives with accolades from those who loved “Paper Mario” games of the past. Join Mario and his pal Olivia as they battle the Folded Soldiers to save Princess Peach (yes, again) from King Olly’s castle. Kids will love the quick-witted humor of this motley crew of characters.
$59.99 at Amazon
Best educational toys
Skillmatics Educational Game: Animal Planet Guess in 10
Keep skills sharp with this animal-inspired guessing game for two to six players. Games are short, and cards are full-color, so it’s easy for kids (and adults) to stay engaged. There are also five other themes available, like Inspiring Professions or World of Sports.
$13.99 at Amazon
Jasonwell Aqua Magic Doodle Mat
Looking for a fun way to help kids flex their handwriting skills? This jumbo water doodle mat is plenty of fun for open-ended play, and it doubles as an educational tool with its alphabet frame and stencil set. It’s also eco-friendly and nontoxic thanks to a water-activated pen.
$21.99 at Amazon
Square Panda Multisensory Phonics Playset
This sensory learning playset works with iPads and iPhones. Kids ages 2 to 8 can develop their math and reading skills with 11 learning games that incorporate oversized letter tiles for a tactile learning experience.
$34.65 at Amazon
Toys for active kids
Playz Crawl Tunnel and Ball Pit Set
Kids will have a blast crawling between two tunnels and three pits in this home ball pit set. While you still need to purchase balls separately, it’s worth the investment for a fun indoor playground option.
$79.95 at Amazon
GoSports Putt-Thru Croquet Game
Are your kids getting into the swing of golfing? They’ll love bringing their short game indoors with this mini putt-through set. It comes with nine gates that can be set up anywhere, indoors or outdoors.
$29.99 at Amazon
National Geographic Balance Stepping Stones
This award-winning toy remains one of our favorites for its unique approach to helping young kids develop balance and coordination. They’ll have a blast jumping on these squishy platforms, which can be used with the FITDECK cards in certain challenges.
$49.99 at Amazon
Winning Moves Rubik’s Cube
Thanks to live-streaming and social media, Rubik’s Cubes have undergone a total revival. With 43 quintillion possible moves — it’s a real number, or so they say — it’s one of those toys that can be enjoyed for hours on end.
$12.99 at Amazon
Ravensburger 3D Earth Jigsaw Puzzle
If kids have had their fill of 2D puzzles this year, invite them to try their hand at this 540-piece 3D Earth Jigsaw Puzzle. Pieces are made of ultra-sturdy plastic and hold together without glue. Once kids fully assemble the globe, display their achievement on the included metal stand.
$49.99 at Amazon
LEGO Creator Expert Harley-Davidson Fat Boy Kit
Older kids will love this year’s brand-new LEGO Creator set featuring a Harley Fat Boy. The amount of detail has blown away LEGO enthusiasts, especially the moving pistons of its Milwaukee-Eight engine.
$99.95 at Amazon
Sian Babish is a writer for BestReviews. BestReviews is a product-review company with a singular mission: to help simplify your purchasing decisions and save you time and money. BestReviews never accepts free products from manufacturers and purchases every product it reviews with its own funds.