Speech Buddies Parents’ Corner – 10 Indoor Games For Kids (that won’t break the furniture!)
There are some days when either the weather or the schedule keeps the kids inside for just a bit too long and they start to become antsy balls of pent-up energy. Physical activity is essential for healthy bodies and minds, but can be challenging to accomplish some days. One particularly long winter many years ago I came to a realization – either find ways for the kids to actively play inside or install a room ensconced in bubble wrap. That winter was the year we tried possibly all the indoor games for kids and came up with some favorites – activities the kids can play inside without breaking the furniture!
10 Indoor Games for Kids
1. Walk Like an Egyptian
Take turns calling out a creature (or play the music and walk like an Egyptian) and have everyone walk across the room how they think that creature would move. Encourage the kids to get creative, both in their moves and in the creatures they select. Some ideas to get the game going include:
2. Slow Motion Sillies
Believe it or not, moving in slow motion takes energy, in part because you have to concentrate so much on moving more slowly! Try dancing, making a healthy snack, or even just doing routine activities like folding blankets, brushing teeth, or tying shoes.
3. Hold an Air Guitar Contest
If the guitar isn’t your child’s instrument of choice, let him pick another from his favorite song. Then turn up the tunes and start to rock-n-roll. It is a great activity to not only have some active fun, but it gives kids the opportunity to listen for instrument sounds and keep rhythm. You can also try out some of these easy homemade instruments and create your own band!
4. Balance Beam Acrobatics
Run a line of masking tape or painter’s tape across the floor to mark your balance beam. Challenge everyone to come up with a balance beam routine – and even if you fall off you’ll probably be OK!
5. Laser Hide-n-Go Seek
My kids are fans of laser tag and we love to play the home version of this arcade game, but you’ll need to wait until the sun isn’t shining or you can play in the basement because you’ll need it to be a bit darker. Play the game of hide-n-go seek, but the seeker “finds” people with his flashlight.
6. Scavenger Hunt
You can either plan ahead and hide items on a list or just make a list of things around the house – either one will get the kids moving. Set a kitchen timer and see how many items your child can find before the timer dings. Maybe it can be a way to find that other green sock that’s been missing for so long!
7. Freeze Dance
Play some music, get into a crazy dance, and then stop the music without warning. The object of this game is to freeze into whatever awkward dance position you are in when the music stops. Some other kids’ songs have great action lyrics, like the one from Patty Shukla below.
8. Plastic Spoon Challenge
This is a versatile game that we never seem to play the same way twice, as the objects we carry always seem to differ. Younger kids can carry a plastic spoon (or ladle for the toddlers) with their hands, while older kids can try to balance it in their mouths. Place an item in the spoon and mark a course. The goal is to carry the spoon without the item falling off before crossing the “finish line”. Some entertaining objects to carry include:
- cotton balls
- balloons inflated halfway
- plastic eggs
- another spoon (it takes some balancing skills!)
- rolled up socks
- anything you and the kids can imagine!
9. Balloon Volleyball
When the kids were much younger we would simple use a strip of masking tape across the floor as the visual of the net and play an informal game of volleyball – with a balloon. To make it more challenging you can make it a “feet only” rule and no hands can be used to get the balloon over the imaginary net. As the kids got older we moved up to using two dining room chairs with a bed sheet stretched between them for the net.
10. The Classics
Don’t forget about the old classics and fun ways to add twists that are tailored to your child’s needs. These classics have often have catchy rhymes and most don’t require any extra supplies.
- Simon Says
- London Bridge is Falling Down
- Ring Around the Rosie
- Where is Thumbkin?
If you have a large group of kids, try some of these indoor games aimed at youth groups – they get kids moving and laughing. Physical activity is not only important to help keep the peace in our homes, but for the health of our children. So bring on the cold and rainy (or snowy) weather! With these games and a few more ideas for imaginative play, the kids won’t require a bubble-wrap padded room – although that could be fun, too!