Indoor Activities for Active Kids
Like most boys, my son is overflowing with energy. I often think I could be a billionaire if I figured out how to bottle up his zest for life and sell it to tired parents. In reality, I have to constantly find creative ways to expend this energy, especially during the long winter. I try my best to encourage outdoor play as an all-season necessity. But there are inevitably those days when it’s too cold or my son simply wants to be indoors. So I’ve been gathering ideas for indoor activities perfect for my active child.
Winter Indoor Activities for Kids
• Dance Party. Simple is really best in my busy household and you can’t get any easier than a fun dance party. Create an iPod playlist just for kids ahead of time or tune into a kids’ playlist on Spotify or similar app. Throw in a game of Freeze Dance or Musical Chairs (when friends are over) for even more fun.
• Pillow Fight or Pillow Pile Jump. A spur-of-the-moment pillow fight always gets a lot of giggles and releases a ton of extra energy. When you’re done, have the kids stack the pillows in a huge pile and enjoy jumping into them (one child at a time).
• Classic Playground Games. Bring these classic playground games indoors in winter – Red Light/Green Light, Mama May I, Hide and Seek, Flashlight Tag, Tug-of-War, Freeze Tag.
• Exercise Stations. Set-up a circuit of fun kid-friendly exercises – Jumping Jacks, Rocket Jumps (squat down, place hands between feet, and jump up with arms reaching to space), Somersaults, Hula Hoops, Jump Rope (if ceiling is high enough), etc. Have kids do each one 5-10 times.
• Fun with Balls. There are a million ball activity ideas on Pinterest but here are a few that struck me as fun – Ping Pong Ball Catch (play catch using plastic cups and small balls), Indoor Bowling (set-up plastic cups in a tower or rows), and Velcro Ball.
• Balloon Tennis. Make tennis “rackets” using paper plates and large craft sticks. Then, blow up balloons to start your game. When done, you can play Balloon Basketball with an empty trash can or empty box.
• Animal Walks. From crab and gorilla to kangaroo and turtle, this animal walks list not only tells you how to do each walk but it explains the benefits of animal walks for helping children regulate their sensory systems (something my son definitely needs!).
• Indoor Snowball Fight. When you can’t get outdoors for the real thing, make your own snowball fun using crumpled up paper, small bean bags, or small stuffed animals.
• Masking Tape Obstacle Courses. Use masking tape to make an obstacle course on your floor for child to walk, jump, race, or roll a ball on. Or, keep it simple with this list of 5 activities using 6 lines of tape.
• Ninja Box Kicks. Have kids stack old cardboard boxes in a variety of sizes and then practice making ninja kicks to knock them down.
• Yoga. When you’re ready to transition to a quiet time activity, consider 5-10 minutes of yoga using these 5 kid-friendly yoga poses. Then, set-up a quiet space for your child for a much-deserved rest period.
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