Indoor Fun for Allergic Kids

Here’s how to create an indoor playground!

Medically Reviewed by Laura J. Martin, MD on October 25, 2012
3 min read

For the thousands of children with seasonal allergies, rising pollen counts mean nasal congestion, itchy eyes, irritated throat, and feeling tired.

A good way to cope is to keep your kids away from allergy triggers like tree, grass, and weed pollen.

When the pollen count is high, keep allergic children indoors. But what do you do with bored, cranky kids?

To help, WebMD gathered tips from the experts -- parents and allergy doctors -- to help you keep tots and tweens entertained when the pollen count keeps them inside.

  1. Get Crafty. Stock up on supplies for drawing, painting, and creating fun objects of every sort at your local dollar store. With as little as $10 or $20 in little things like construction paper, colored pencils, pipe cleaners, and stickers, you can get keep the kids busy inside for hours when the pollen counts are high.
  2. Hunt for Treasure. Bring out your child’s inner pirate by putting together a treasure hunt. Hide kid-cool swag like small puzzles and toys around the house, offer a few hints and let 'em go.
  3. Pick Up the Pieces. Jigsaw puzzles can offer hours of entertainment, especially if the puzzle is of something your child adores. Think characters from a favorite animated movie, dinosaurs, even the kids themselves. Look for companies that create photo jigsaw puzzles with an image you provide of your child.
  4. Get Your Cards Right. All you need is craft paper, colored markers or paint, a little glue, glitter, and maybe a few fabric scraps and your kids are on their way to creating charming hand-made holiday or birthday cards for friends and family.
  5. Go for the Big Picture. Cover one of the walls of your child’s bedroom with lots of craft paper and let him go to town creating his own mural. And when the kids tire of their artwork, you can help them cut it up into wrapping paper for future gifts.
  6. Buttons to Baubles. Gather buttons, beads, uncooked elbow macaroni, ribbon, and string and let the kids make bracelets and necklaces.
  7. Whip Up Some Holiday Duds. Whether for Easter, Halloween, July 4, or another festive occasion, get the kids ready by helping them make holiday hats, headbands, or vests with fabric paint, sewing scraps, and old shirts. Or design decorations for the next holiday: Think snowflakes, four-leaf clovers, flags, and Christmas trees.
  8. Create Bendy Critters. Grab a bag of long balloons and encourage the kids to make animals or other interesting shapes out of them. You can find instructions for creating fun balloon animals online.
  9. Spike a Beachless Volleyball. After the kids are done creating balloon creatures, blow up a few big round balloons, divide a long hallway with a rope or belt across the floor, and get them moving with balloon volleyball.
  10. Curtain Up! Have your kids put on a play. Encourage them to write a story, create a stage -- maybe a corner of the living room set off with a blanket -- and design costumes (combining their clothes with a few of yours perhaps?). Then when they’re ready, sit down, and enjoy the production.
  11. Picnic on the Carpet. Get the kids to put together a picnic, complete with blankets, plastic ware, homemade paper ants and flowers, then you provide the edibles.
  12. Fort-ify the Den. With a few chairs, the back of the couch, pillows and a blanket, encourage the kids to build a secret hideaway where they can read, tell stories, enjoy snacks, or just lounge around.
  13. Put an 'S' on Her Chest. Have your kids create their own girl or boy superhero -- then draw a comic book telling the hero’s story and adventures.
  14. GoTub Surfing. It’s time for the kids to slip on swimsuits, slap a little sunscreen on their noses, and get splashing -- in the tub. With a little cool music, some fun foods like frozen grapes, strawberries, or ice pops, and a bit of imagination your kids can pretend they're grooving on the beach. Bonus: They’re getting clean, too!