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Toys that will keep kids entertained indoors when it’s too hot to play outside


The products and services mentioned below were selected independent of sales and advertising. However, Don't Waste Your Money may receive a small commission from the purchase of any products or services through an affiliate link to the retailer's website.

Keeping the kids busy over the summer can be one of the biggest challenges for parents and caregivers. And with the arrival of summer, extreme heat waves often mean an end to outdoor play. While the kids may immediately want to turn on a tablet or video game to enjoy, you might want some different options to engage their hands and imagination.

If you want to add some new toys to your bag of tricks to bring out when kids are stuck indoors, then we have a collection that will make any child happy. Whether they love crafts, building, imaginative play or classic games, you’ll find something in this list to make indoor play days fun.

Creative Play

Aqua Magic Mat

Aqua Magic Mat

$26.99 at Amazon

If you have little ones who love to draw, but you’re running low on paper or fresh markers, then you’ll want to pick up the Aqua Magic Mat by Toyk. This color doodle drawing mat works with “magic pens” that use water for ink. No mess! The mat is large (40 inches by 28 inches) so more than one child can use it at a time.

Made by Me Create Your Own Window Art

window art project kit

$9.97 at Amazon

Add a little color to your windows with the Made by Me Create Your Own Window Art kit. The kit comes with materials for 20 projects including 12 pre-printed suncatcher shapes, window paint and more!

Fun Little Toys Kids Play Tent and Camping Gear Set

camping playset

$29.99 at Amazon

If you can’t go camping in the woods, then bring the fun indoors. The Fun Little Toys Kids Play Tent and Camping Gear Set comes with everything a little camper needs: a tent, a pretend battery-powered gas stove and oil lamp, binoculars, a cooking pan and more!

KidKraft Uptown Wooden Play Kitchen

play kitchen

$159.12 at Amazon

For years of imaginative play, this beautiful KidKraft Uptown Wooden Play Kitchen is worth the investment. The basic set includes a refrigerator, freezer, oven, microwave and sink. The deluxe version, which is only $20 more, comes with a metal accessory set (pot and pans with a lid, spatula and ladle) and a play food set.

Nothing compares to a toy that unlocks a child’s imagination. And reviewers say the detail in this kitchen will only make the play experience even more realistic.

“Other similar kitchens have just a big sticker where the water/ice dispenser is on the fridge door, with the dispenser as a picture on the sticker, but this one has an actual nook with buttons [decorations] above,” Amazon reviewer Diana shared in her review.


ThinkFun Gravity Maze Marble Run

gravity maze

$27.99 at Amazon

This fun twist on the classic toy brings together a construction toy and ranks as our top choice for a marble run set.

ThinkFun Gravity Maze Marble Run has a variety of ways to play. Kids can move through the included challenges to play a series of different games that challenge their thinking skills. The set can also be used for free play where the children can build their own mazes for the marble to run.

Amazon customers have left more than 31,000 reviews for this toy which has a 4.6 out of 5-star rating.

“This is one of the few games that everyone asks to play and it’s perfect when we have guests or kiddos over and keeps everyone busy and engaged for hours!” wrote reviewer Crystal Brown.

Straw Constructor STEM Toy

constructor set

$22.99 at Amazon

If you have kids who love to build but want to steer away from more brick sets, then you should check out this Straw Constructor STEM Toy.  From simple structures to large three-dimensional structures such as airplanes or rockets, the 600-piece set offers countless building projects for active imaginations and hands.

The set also comes with a storage box for all the pieces to help make clean-up easier when playtime is over.

“It is so versatile and can entertain five or six kids at the same time,” wrote Amazon reviewer dianeelaine in her 5-star review. “It’s also quick to disassemble and drop into a Ziploc bag for quick storage.”

MORE: The Best Magnetic Blocks and Tiles to Occupy Kids for Hours

Zen Laboratory Slime Kit

$24.95 at Amazon

Don’t let the kit description fool you. Although listed as a best gift idea for girls, all kids love to make this goopy substance. This slime kit comes with 50 different supplies to make a variety of colors of slime, including glow-in-the-dark options.

In addition to the different colors, kids can mix in all kinds of fun things including glitter, foam beads, fishbowl beads and more.

With more than 24,000 reviews and 81% of them ranking this toy with 5 stars, this is a top-ranking and best-selling slime kit on Amazon.

“Huge hit for my family,” wrote Lenore L. Stevens in her 5-star Amazon review. “I bought it for my grandkids. They have played with it over and over again.”

Coogam Wooden Tangram Jigsaw Puzzle

tangram puzzle

$8.99 at Amazon

This toy proves that classic toys can still keep kids happy and entertained. The Coogam Wooden Tangram Jigsaw Puzzle looks like an old-fashioned version of the Tetris video game. But, there’s no screen time required for the whole family to have hours of fun.

First, you have the challenge of filling the board with all 40 of the included pieces. Or, you can use the shapes to create a variety of pictures.  You’ll find many ways to play with just one puzzle.

More than 16,000 people have reviewed this toy, and 80% highly recommend the product for its problem-solving focus and high-quality construction and its playability for a wide range of ages.



Uno card games

First released in 1971, Uno has been entertaining kids and adults for over 50 years. It was created in Cincinnati, Ohio as a way for families to spend time together, and the original game is now available in more than 80 countries. As of 2021, 17 decks are sold every minute.

Today, you’ll find a variety of Uno games, like one with giant-sized cards, a deck with customizable wild cards and even a mobile game.

MORE: How to play Uno, because you’ve probably been playing it wrong

Rush Hour Traffic Jam Logic Game

Traffic Jam game

$21.99 at Amazon

With Rush Hour Traffic Jam, kids can work alone or together to solve the puzzle and move the red car off the grid. With 40 different challenges that increase in difficulty, this game will be kryptonite to your kids’ boredom.

About the Author
Marie Rossiter

Marie is a freelance writer and content creator with more than 20 years of experience in journalism. She lives in southwest Ohio with her husband and is almost a full-fledged empty nest mom of two daughters. She loves music, reading, word games, and Walt Disney World. You can find her writing about her personal health journey at and connect with her at More.