Countdown of the Top 20 Toys & Games for Indoor Play
From puzzles to board games, here are our the Top 20 toys and games that beat TV any day!
Interested in more fun activities? Check out our Boredom Busters Post!
When your child is alone with a puzzle you can expect three basic skills to be built:
- Physical skills — from holding puzzle pieces and turning them until they fit
- Cognitive skills — as they solve the problems of a puzzle
- Emotional skills — they learn patience and are rewarded when they complete the puzzle
For younger children, playing with LEGOs assists with fine motor skill development. They learn how to assemble and take apart the bricks, which come in varied shapes and sizes. During play, the small twists and turns of their hands, fingers, and arms build strength, coordination, and dexterity—key skills required for handwriting, crafts, and independent dressing.
Play is a child’s work and according to educators and child development experts, it’s essential for developing imagination and creativity. Give a child some LEGOs and unstructured play time and you will help him ignite his imagination and expand his creativity. That pile of brightly colored plastic bricks may transform into a fortress, pirate ship, or a rocket that can blast off into space. Why are imagination and creativity so important? These abilities support social, language, critical thinking, and problem-solving skills.
18. Taco Cat Goat Cheese Pizza
Taco! Cat! Goat! Cheese! Pizza! is as unique as its name. It’s a power packed quick and simple punk party game. This is a high octane rowdy cousin to Slap Jack and Irish Snap, and it’s filled to the brim with hand slapping mayhem!
Each player places a card from their hand (like snap and dobble) face up in a community pile while saying taco/cat/goat/cheese/pizza in player sequence – when the card matches the mantra – boom – everyone slaps their hand on the deck – the last one picks up the cards – the winner is the player to lose all their cards first.
For extra fun, there are special action cards – the gorilla, narwhal, and groundhog, which players have to make gestures before racing to slap the deck!
17. Choose Your Own Adventure Books
Each book from this classic gamebook series contains marvelous adventures. Follow the yeti to Shangri-La, power down the Ant People, or train with the world’s most powerful ninjas and learn their ancient skills. At least 25 different endings per book!
16. Summer Bridge
Prevent learning loss! Summer Bridge Activities is an AWARD-WINNING summer learning series that is an easy and proven way to help children retain their classroom skills. Research shows that on average, children can lose 2.8 months of grade-level equivalency skills over their summer vacation. By using Summer Bridge Activities books students enter their new grades prepared and confident.
Summer Bridge are used by millions to strengthen skills and build confidence. Each one includes exercises in Math, Reading, Writing, Language Arts, and more!
15. Brainquest Flash Cards
Brain Quest is America’s #1 educational bestseller, with more than 45 million copies in print. Curriculum-based, but infused with a spirit of fun, it’s loved by kids, trusted by parents, and used and recommended by teachers because it works – and entertains, too.
Each Brain Quest deck is a fast-paced question-and-answer game that challenges kids on the stuff they need to know, when they need to know it. All Brain Quest content aligns with national and state standards and is overseen by the Brain Quest Advisory Board, a panel of award-winning educators.
14. UFO Drones
The UFO Drone soars through the air using motion-sensors that react to walls, objects, and your hand gestures! Just charge it up using the included USB cable and you’re ready to take flight. Ages 8+
Features: Learn to perform stunts and tricks using gestures to control the UFO
No batteries required, charges via included USB cable
Skill Building: Children will practice gross motor skills as they chase after their UFO drone, using hand gestures to control its movement.
13. Air Forts
The Air Fort is an instant play fort that inflates in less than 30 seconds. When the kids are ready to play, simply attach your Air Fort to a box fan and you’re ready to go! No cushions, blankets or pillows are needed. Create a mess-free fort quickly and easily. When bedtime hits, unless a slumber party calls, all you have to do is stuff your Air Fort into its matching carrying bag and you’re done. The carrying bag is small in size taking up almost no storage space.
12. You Gotta Be Kidding! Book
Adapted from the hugely popular board game, this interactive and completely engaging book serves up hundreds of bizarre, embarrassing, sometimes ethical and sometimes stomach-churning dilemmas that kids will love to pose to their friends and siblings, whether in the backseat, on a sleepover, at a party, on a rainy day, or during a lull in the lunchroom (if you dare).
Ponder the icky: Would you rather eat 10 pounds of cheese -OR- a bucket of peanut butter—with nothing to drink? The exponentially icky: Would you rather drink liquid found leaking from a garbage can -OR- chew on a hairy clump found between the cushions of an old couch? The fantastic: Would you rather be able to talk with all animals -OR- be able to understand all languages? The priority-testing: As a soccer player, would you rather mess up and score a goal for the other team but still have your team win -OR- play your best game ever even though your team loses? And the hair-raising: Would you rather swim across a river that is filled with crocodiles -OR- spend the night on an island where man-eating tigers live? Fascinating sidebars throughout are filled with interesting ancillary information—the nature of drool, left-handedness vs. right-handedness, what’s dangerously filthy and what’s just gross, why we blush when we’re embarrassed—so kids can learn something as they laugh!
11. Rock Painting Kits
Creativity for Kids hide & seek rock painting kit is weather resistant and perfect for you, your friends and family to paint rocks to hide outdoors to spread kindness, encouragement and happiness throughout your community – one rock at a time!
This rock painting kit for kids gives you everything you need to paint, decorate and hide 10 rocks! The hide and seek rock painting kit includes 10 natural river rocks, weather resistant paint (8 colors) and waterproof transfer designs (similar to temporary tattoos), tracking stickers, 2 paint brushes, transfer sponge and instructions. Hide your painted rocks throughout your community and post them online for your friends to view! See how other rock painters have decorated their rocks and see if someone finds your hidden rocks in your community with the hashtag (#Creativity for Kids or #creativityrocks). Rock painting is a fun craft for kids and adults alike. Painting rocks is an arts and craft activity that allows you to express yourself and create a unique work of art.
10. Fold & Go Trampoline
Ready, set … JUMP
The Fold & Go Trampoline is designed to keep kids bouncing for hours. Easy to assemble and perfect for indoor and outdoor active play. Kids will love jumping and laughing on their very own mini trampoline. Parents can feel good about watching their kiddos be active as they strengthen their legs and arms with every bounce. Plus, laughter and regular exercise can boost self-esteem, reduce stress and improve sleep.
9. Ollyball -The Ultimate Indoor Play Ball
It’s time to PLAY BALL IN THE HOUSE! Hit it hard, kick it full-speed indoors without breaking windows, marking up your walls, or leaving a nasty bruise!
The 12 inch reinflatable ball, with Patent-pending KrunchCOR® construction, absorbs the impact from a full-speed hits and kicks. The outside cover, made in the USA, can be colored with crayons, markers and even paint! Ollyball is the ultimate indoor play ball!
The idea is simple. Someone asks for a part of speech: a verb, a noun, an adjective, or an adverb. They’ve even included definitions and examples of the parts of speech, in case anyone forgets. Players call out their ideas to fill in the blanks and in the end, you have a story reeling from one silly sentence to another until nothing makes sense! That’s what you call a Mad Lib the world’s greatest word game. Players have been howling with friends or laughing all to themselves for over 35 years!
7. Bounce Battle
Fun, Competitive and Additive Game of Strategy, Skill and Chance.
Bounce Battle is the easy to learn and quick to play battle of orange vs. white. Choose your color, pick your battle and bounce ping pong balls into the game cube to win. There are dozens of ways to battle, including 3D Tic-Tac-Toe, Nine Cup, Level Out, Point Ball, Alphabet Soup, H-O-R-S-E (trick shot), and others.
Battle anybody, anytime, anywhere! Easy to learn and quick to play. Race to the finish or take turns. Play multiplayer, 1-on-1, teams or tournament style.
6. Crystal Growing Kits
Let little geologists grow their own vibrant crystals with our craft kits. Kids can create unique crystals in a variety of colors and display each of them in the cup to delight their friends and families!
5. Fairy Gardens & Dinosaur Habitats
- GROW A FAIRY WORLD: With a little creative magic, you can grown your very own enchanted fairy garden. This open-ended fairy craft kit lets your child embrace their creative side by making a unique creation that’s all their own.
- COMPLETE FAIRY GARDEN CRAFT KIT: Everything you need is included – just add water! Kit includes an 11″ diameter flower shaped paintable potting dish, enchanted flower house, gemstones, flowers, butterflies, paint, potting mix and seeds that grow like magic
- EASY INDOOR GARDENING: Indoor gardening is great for all seasons! Once decorated, place your Enchanted Fairy Garden by a window and watch your plants grow and thrive. Magic Bean and Wheat grass seeds can begin to sprout in as little as 2-4 days.
- HAVE FUN WHILE LEARNING: See your child’s creative side come to life as they paint and decorate their fairy garden. Learn about botany and the life cycle of plants as your child watches their fairy garden grow!
Grow n’ Glow Dinosaur Habitat
- Dinosaur habitat – grow and create your own dinosaur habitat! Put your own spin on the look of pre-historic times with this complete craft activity that any dinosaur loving kid will enjoy
- Complete terrarium kit for kids – comes with everything you need for two full plant lifecycles. Kit includes toy dinosaurs, dinosaur fossils, light up volcano, lava paint, glowing stones, planting container, potting mix, quick grow chia, wheatgrass and bean seeds, soil scoop and plant Mister
- Glow in the dark – this dinosaur garden kit contains glow in the dark paint and a volcano so turn out the lights and watch your Dino habitat glow up!
- Science kits for kids – This science kit for kids is the perfect steam experience that combines the science of botany, history and art into one fun and interactive craft
4. Kablocks Blast
KaBlocks Blast uses kinetic force rather than air power to blast soft foam blocks even higher – over 6 feet into the air! Now even the littlest three-year-old can create impressive explosions time after time.
3. Rock & Roll Rainbow Drum & Rainbow Piano
Rock & Roll Drum
- LEARN TO PLAY THE DRUMS ♫ Perfect for beginners- rock out then roll it up! Color coded set using a spectrum of color makes it easy to learn with included Music Book.
- PLAY AND PRACTICE ANYWHERE ♫ The drum kit features flexible roll-up design, battery and USB power options (cord included), and audio input/output (heaphones included) for fun, portable, on-the-go rock sessions!
- PROFESSIONAL SOUND and FEEL ♫ Features multiple drum sounds, professional demos, instrumental accompaniment tracks, record and playback, audio input and output, even connects to MP3!
- REAL DRUM SET – MADE ELECTRONIC ♫ The electronic drum kit makes your real drum set electric! Designated pads & pedals for Crash Cymbal, High Tom, Open/Close Hi-Hat, Snare, Pedal Hi-Hat, Dual Crash Cymbals, Low-Mid Tom, Ride Cymbal, Low Floor Tom, and Bass Drum.
- ANYONE CAN BE A ROCKSTAR ♫ Perfect for everyone from children to adults. Grab your drumsticks, follow along in the color coded Music Book, and become a star!
Rock & Roll Rainbow Piano
- Piano is flexible so when you’re done playing, you can roll it back up into its box. Portable – take it with you anywhere, even when you go outdoors!
- Can be powered by batteries OR USB (cord included) so you can play anytime, anywhere!
- Features a unique Play-By-Color song booklet, multiple keyboard tones and demo songs, record & playback, echo/sustain, built-in speaker with volume control, and audio output
- 49 standard keys allows you to play tons of music without taking up the space of a large piano or keyboard
- Perfect for everyone from beginner to master, children to adults – rock out then roll it up!
2. Kumon Learning
Kumon workbooks will help students master core academic, critical thinking, and early learning skills through colorful worksheets that are enjoyable for kids of all ages.
Board games are important for achild’s mental and social development. From improved concentration to creative development, children are enriched with various skills while playing board games.
Board games or table top games are both entertaining and educational. These games help develop skills like decision making, social interaction, and critical thinking.
BONUS! Glo Pals Light Up Cubes
Designed to Keep Kids in the Tub and Help with Sensory Development
Glo Pals are liquid-activated, meaning they only work when water is in the bath tub or in a container. Draw a bath or fill a container with water, drop the Pals in, and watch them light up!
Each Pal has a face and a different personality, and when placed in liquid, the faces will project onto their surroundings, making for fun interactions!
For the largest selection of toys and games in the Triangle area, visit one of our convenient locations. Our experienced team can help you choose the perfect gift! If you’d rather call ahead for easy, curbside pickup, it’s just that easy!
- Learning Express Cary (Corner of Kildaire & Tryon) 2020 Kildaire Farm Rd,
Cary, NC 27518
- Learning Express Raleigh (North Hills)4209 Lassiter Mill Rd #128,
Raleigh, NC 27609
- Learning Express North Raleigh (Falls of Neuse & Durant)9660 Falls of Neuse Rd #130,
Raleigh, NC 27615
- Learning Express Durham (15-501 & I-40)3604 Witherspoon Blvd #101,
Durham, NC 27707