Those long winter months or never ending rainy days can be brutal when you are the parents of active littles. These days spent inside are draining and it feels like the walls of your house are closing in on you and your kids are going stir crazy. You miss the days and moments where you can open the door and let them run all of their energy out… outside of your home! We get it, we are HUGE advocates for outdoor play, but unfortunately there are many days when playing outside just isn’t possible (or it’s just very uncomfortable or unsafe). We came up with a few ideas that you can bring to life with only a few materials and minimal set-up time for those inside play days:
A DIY obstacle course. You can honestly make an obstacle course out of anything in your house. Encourage your child to crawl under a coffee table, run around shampoo bottles (preferably empty to avoid a soapy spill), jump over a broom, and balance walk on wobbly pillows.
But, you may ask, how do I get my child to go through the course more than once or keep them engaged for longer than it took to set it up? Make it a bit more challenging by adding in puzzle pieces or Mr. Potato Head parts to gather along the way. Once they collect all of the pieces each time through, they can then work on putting together their masterpiece. Hide the pieces throughout the course or add a new one for each run through and watch as this entertains them for quite some time!
Non-sedentary Board Games. Board games like Candy Land or Shoots and Ladders are usually played sitting on the floor or at a table and do not offer much to activate your child’s energy level. But, what if these games do not have to be played while sitting the entire time? After each turn, take a movement break by jumping, toe touching, bear walking, rolling, or skipping. They can’t roll again until they complete the movement!
“The Floor is Lava”. This is a fun and classic game that we remember playing growing up (and we think we heard it’s now a Netflix show!) Throw some couch cushions and pillows all over the floor, turn on some music and hop from surface to surface, avoiding the hot “lava” floor beneath. This challenge can be done in any room and is pretty easy to clean up when the fun is done.
Treasure Hunt. Hide pompoms, pennies, erasers, popsicle sticks or any other small items around the house. Write a list of what your child needs to find and have your child go around in search for the hidden treasure. Offering a prize at the end like an art project or special treat can keep your child motivated to complete the hunt!
Simon Says. This oldie but goodie doesn’t take up a lot of room, but can include lots of movement directives and burn all of that kid energy!
- Jump up and down
- Squat and stand
- Stand on tiptoes
- Jump and turn in a circle
- Hop on one foot
- March in place
- Arm Circles
- Shoulder shrugs
Keep up the Balloon. There is just something so exciting about balloons. Kids love the act of throwing balloons up into the air and running to catch them- and it actually uses a lot of energy. Keep some extra balloons on hand to be blown up for those bad weather days. You will be amazed at how much fun they can have when you bring the party inside!