4 min read

10 Fun Indoor Activities For Kids and Pets During the Holidays


Written by Emily Bayne

Veterinary reviewed by:

Published: 12/17/2020, edited: 11/23/2022


Stuck in the house for the holidays and feeling a little stir crazy? No worries! We have 10 fun indoor activity ideas to keep your kids and pets busy during the holidays. These unique activities will entertain your two- and four-legged kids — without driving you insane!

Play Red Rover

If you’ve never played Red Rover, you’re missing out, and so is your dog! Dogs love this game just as much as people, and it’s so easy to play!

Simply hold hands and make a chain of people standing across the room from your pet. Say “Red rover, red rover, send '[your dog's name]' on over,” and enthusiastically call your pet. Try to keep them from breaking through your arms or legs. When they manage to get through, send your kiddo on the other side, and have them attempt to break through your arm-chain. Your kids will be squealing to play this game again and again!

Have a tea "pawty"

What better way to spend a dreary day indoors than with a tea "pawty"? Set up some cups and make unsweetened tea with extras like honey, milk, muffins, scones, and little sandwiches.

The best part is dogs can drink unsweetened teas right alongside you. Stick with green or black tea with a little honey for Fido, and avoid flavorings like peppermint, citrus, and herbs like ylang-ylang. If you want to get really fancy, bake some fresh dog cookies for Fido to munch while they sip.

Related: 5 Christmas Cookie Recipes That Your Dogs will Absolutely Love

young person wearing a red cape standing next to a yellow lab dog also wearing a red cape and goggles

Add some pizzazz to your pet's wardrobe

If you’re looking for a unique indoor activity to keep kids and pets busy during the holidays, how about upgrading your pet’s wardrobe? Let your kids help as you bedazzle your pup’s collar with rhinestones, jewels, flowers, and anything else your kiddos find appealing. Use a hot glue gun to adhere the ornaments to the collar.

Your kids will love helping out, and your pup will feel snazzier than ever! If you want to get super fancy, you can even sew your pet an outfit from scratch using old sweaters or t-shirts from your closet. Your creativity is your only limit with this activity!

Related: 5 Easy Crafts to Make for Your Local Animal Shelter

Create a living room obstacle course

Use cardboard boxes, empty milk jugs, stacks of books, and chairs to create an obstacle course for your human and animal kiddos. This is a fun and unique activity that will help your kids and pets expend some energy during the holidays.

Get creative and use whatever you have on hand. Your kids will have hours of fun running and jumping over the obstacles!

Have your kids help teach Fido a new trick

What better way to keep your kids and pets entertained than by teaching Fido a useful trick? Teaching your dog to put away their toys is a relatively easy one, and it makes less work for you, especially during winter break when the house gets messy.

The idea is pretty simple. Place a box or basket for your dog to drop their toys into. While standing near the box with a treat in your hand, encourage your dog to drop the toy.

Our step-by-step guide on how to teach your dog to put their toys away will come in handy for this one. Your kids can help with practice and will love the accomplishment of teaching your dog something new! 

Make hand and pawprint art

There’s something so fun about getting messy while creating — and hand and pawprint art is a great way to do both! Grab some non-toxic paint and paper, posterboard, dried clay, or whatever you have on hand, and you’re ready to go! Dip your pup’s paws with the paint and get to pressing! Repeat with your kiddo’s hands for a fun piece you’ll treasure forever.

Go on a multi-species scavenger hunt

A scavenger hunt is a great indoor activity for kids and pets during the holidays — plus, they’re easy to set up with everyday items. You’ll just need treats and dog toys for Fido and candy and treats for the kids. Hide your items around the house and set your kiddos loose to find them. You might need to make Fido’s treasures easier to find if they aren’t used to scent work. This is sure to keep your babies occupied for a while!

dog wearing glasses reading book held by a two hands in a gray hoodie

Read books together

Want something more lowkey? Curl up with a blanket and your babies for a good book. Reading is a fun way to teach your kiddos and relax at the same time. Your pup probably won’t pay much attention to the stories, but they will love being cuddled and talked to!

Related: 5 Dog Training Books Every Pet Parent Should Read

Embark on a pretend camping trip

If your pack loves family camping trips, but it’s too cold out to plan one, why not have a pretend camp-out instead? Set up a blanket fort and bring all the camping essentials like flashlights, compasses, and snacks. You can even take turns telling spooky stories and make s’mores in the oven. (Just remember, no chocolate for your fluffers.)

You kids will have so much fun pretending to “ruff it” in the comfort of their home, and Spot will be glad you invited them!

Make an indoor excavation site

Sensory bins are an excellent mental stimulation activity for dogs and kids. While the idea for canine and human sensory bins are the same, the contents should be different.

For the kids, use a small plastic tote with packing peanuts, toys, figurines, pompoms, kinetic sand, scoops, feathers, and birdseed. Keep smaller round objects like marbles, beads, and dried beans for older kids.

For the dogs, you can use dog food, toys, tennis balls, treats, bones, sticks — literally anything your dog likes. Your human and furry kiddos will have a blast digging to find the hidden treasure! 

What indoor holiday activities are you planning for the fam this year? Share with us in the comments or on Instagram @wag!

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