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60 Energy-Busting Indoor Games & Activities For Kids


Backhand Balloon Balance: Challenge your kids to balance a balloon on the back of their hand, and see how long they can do it before it falls to the ground. You’d be surprised how much they will move around with this one!

Balloon Paddle Ball: Use a fly swatter, tennis/badminton racket or make your own paddle using a paper plate and over-sized popsicle stick , then use it to play the games above.

These paddles are also fun for balancing your balloon. Have your kids try to keep their balloon on the paddle as they navigate through obstacles or run around the house. Not as easy as it sounds!

Balloon Foot Balance: For a real challenge, have your kids lie on the ground with their legs up in the air and try and balance the balloon on their feet. It’s not an easy task and requires a lot of concentration. It’s also a great core workout!

Balloon Volleyball: Make a “net” by tying a piece of string between 2 chairs and then have your child hit the balloon back and forth by running from one side to the other, trying to keep it off the floor. If you have 2 or more kids, have them hit it over the net as many times as they can without it falling.

Balloon Hockey: Use a small kiddy hockey stick or make your own out of cardboard to navigate a balloon into a net (use a laundry basket or box on its side if you don’t have any smaller ones to bring indoors).

 

Fun/Silly Moving Games

Just a warning – you’re going to have a hard time deciding which of these fun (and often giggle-fit-inducing) games to play first. They’re so entertaining that you’ll be wanting to join in too!

Sticky Spider Web: Use painter’s tape to make a web-like design on a doorway opening . Give your kids some newspaper to scrunch up and throw up on the web. Or get creative and use other light-weight objects like balloons. Have them count how many objects stick versus how many don’t for extra learning points.

Sticky Note Wall Bop: Attach 26 sticky notes to the back of a door and write a different letter on each one (in random order). Make a “start” line a few feet away from the door (more if you have older kids), and have your child stand behind it with a softball, bean bag, stuffed animal or pair of rolled-up socks. Now instruct them to throw their object to try and hit the “A” or the “T”. Players with more advanced aim and spelling skills can try and hit all the letters in specific words (to make it even tougher, if they miss one of the letters, have them start all over again!).

Alternatively, write different point values on each sticky and give your child 10 throws. For each target they hit, mark down the number of points. At the end of the round, tally up to crown a winner (or if playing solo, have them try and beat their previous score). (editor’s note: make sure your kids are retrieving their throwing object themselves…running and bending down to pick it up over and over again is all part of the exercise!)

Floor Bop: Take Wall Bop to the floor. Instead of aiming up high, your kids will now have to toss an object to land on pieces of paper on the floor. The same rules as above can apply.

Color Toss: Similar to Floor Bop, but with this game you’ll tape colored pieces of construction paper to the floor. Create your own point system where you get 1 point if you land a bean bag on any paper, but 5 points if you land on a paper that matches the bean bag color.

You can also use these colored “mats” to instruct your child to do fun tasks such as “bounce like a bunny to green”, “tiptoe to yellow” and “high knees to red”.

Ping Pong Ball Catch: Get out those plastic red Solo cups and a few ping pong balls (or any small object that will fit in the cup) and have your kids toss the ball to a partner and try and catch it in the cup. Start out close together and then keep taking a step backwards to increase the challenge. For a single-player, they can simply throw the ball in the air and try and catch it.

Alligator Alley: One of our favorite go-to inside games of all time. Simply scatter some “islands” or “boats” across the floor (use pillows, stuffed animals, books, etc) and then have your kids jump from one to the next without falling into the “water” and risk being eaten by a hungry alligator. Bonus points if Mom plays said hungry alligator and chomps after them when they stumble!

Crab Walk: Teach your child how to do the crab walk, then see how fast they can scurry across the room. Have races with siblings (or yourself!) and then increase the level of difficulty by having them balance a stuffed animal on their stomach. If it falls, they have to scramble back to the beginning and start again!

Cotton-Ball Crawl: This Cotton-Ball Crawl game (via Parenting) is tons of fun and involves moving a pile of cotton balls from one room to another using a spoon. The feather-weight cotton balls make it easy to fly off if they don’t balance it just right!

ABC Exercise Cards: Download these fun printable cards from Home School Share which outline an active task for each letter of the alphabet. Have your child do all the ones that make up their name, or simply pick at random. In addition to getting in some healthy physical movement, they’ll also be learning their letters!

Indoor Croquet: Make your own indoor croquet course using toilet paper rolls or pieces of construction paper (via Toddler Approved). Amp up the activity by writing active tasks on each “tunnel” that needs to be completed once your ball makes it through like “do 15 jumping jacks as fast as you can” or “go run up and down the stairs 2 times”.

Movement Chain: You need at least 2 players for this interactive game where the first person starts by performing a certain movement – this could be something simple like jumping 2 times or more complex like holding a plank for 30 seconds. The next person has to perform the first movement, and then add on another, forming a chain. The following person does the previous 2 movements, plus adds their own. You continue in this fashion until the chain sequence is broken (usually forgotten!) and then that person is out. The last one standing is the winner.

Potato Drop: The Potato Drop (via Parenting) is another one of our favorites because kids think it is good ol’ silly fun (we do too). Have all participants place a potato between their knees and race to a finish line where they have to drop it into a designated bowl or bucket. If the potato is dropped, or if hands touch it, they have to go back to the start and try again. (editor’s note: this is actually a great party game for big groups of kids – split them up into 2 teams and relay race to see which one can get all their potatoes into the bucket first!)

Mirror, Mirror: Stand face to face with your child, about a foot apart, and have them attempt to copy all your movements. Reach up and stretch to the sky. Do 10 jumping jacks. Run in place. Act like a monkey. Make it fun and you’ll both be working up a sweat in no time. Then switch roles and copy your child – they won’t be able to hold back the laughter (and neither will you!).

Airplane Landing: Make paper airplanes and throw them. The catch? You have to collect it and bring it back to the start line without walking – this could be running, hopping, skipping, twirling, crawling…let them get creative!

Crib Mattress Slide: This is another one of our go-to activities when we’re stuck inside – it’s super simple but kids think it is a riot! Take a crib mattress and prop it up on a bed or soft chair so it creates a slide to the ground. Now your kids can climb on up and slide down over and over again (just make sure you keep a hand on it at the top so it doesn’t slip down).

Pillow Case Race: On hardwood or tile floors, sit on a pillowcase (or a t‑shirt) and use your arms and legs to scoot around a “race” course.

Target Practice: Set up some targets (empty water bottles or paper towel rolls work great) and have your kids try and knock them down with Nerf guns or throwing soft objects. The exercise comes in when they have to keep going back and forth between retrieving their objects and the start line.

Wiggle Jar: Print out these inventive activity cards from Home School Share and place them in a jar for whenever your child needs to let the “wiggles” out. These cards are packed with great movements and silly actions like “pretend you’re in a band for 2 minutes: play the instrument of your choice” and “push the wall (hold it up) for 30 seconds”. Discard the few cards that have outdoor activities for when you’re truly stuck inside!