Stir-crazy kids and inclement weather can be a tough combination for parents. What can you do indoors to burn off some energy through those long stretches of extreme winter weather? Read on for activities that will get kids moving, laughing and escaping those winter doldrums.
Fun, easy indoor activities to keep kids active.
Dancing is always great exercise. Try these twists.
- Have someone be the DJ and stop the tune. When the music pauses, everyone freezes.
- Dim the lights and use glow sticks for added fun.
- Search YouTube for different dances and learn some new moves together, such as the moonwalk or a polka.
Bring sports inside.
Many ball sports can be played indoors on a smaller scale. Just make sure to clear the area of breakables.
- Create a simple volleyball net using string or yarn and blow up a balloon for the ball. For littles, play on your knees or switch it up and use feet or heads only.
- Use your hallway to play soccer. Set up clothes basket nets on each end and use a small rubber ball.
- Transform that hallway into a bowling alley. Use empty water bottles or toilet paper rolls for pins and a rubber ball.
- Turn a large room into a hockey rink. Use brooms for hockey sticks and tennis balls for the puck.
- Set up an indoor basketball hoop and use a nerf ball.
- Turn on your Wii Fit for a variety of sports that get kids off the couch.
Build a maze or obstacle course.
Transforming your space is an activity all its own, so challenge your kids to do the building if they’re old enough.
- Turn a space into a laser maze by zig-zagging yarn from chair legs and doorhandles. The object is to step through the maze without touching a “laser.”
- Pile up pillows and couch cushions and create a course kids can “race” through.
- Create a castle or fort out of cushions and sheets.
- Tightrope walk on a rope, string or tape stretched on the floor.
Add activity to your day.
You don’t always have to play an entire game or move your furniture. Find ways to add moving to your everyday life.
- Make a “move jar” by writing different types of moves on slips of paper, such as “monster” or “elephant” or “crab” walk. Challenge each other to move that way all day or practice several moves. This can also be done with yoga moves.
- Get up during commercial breaks and dance, do jumping jacks or another activity. Let kids pick what everyone does.
- Create an indoor snowball fight with rolled up socks or tissue paper balls.
- See how long you can toss a ball back and forth without dropping it or keep a balloon in the air.
- Challenge kids to stand on one foot while brushing their teeth, skip to dinner or summersault down the hallway.
Don't forget the classics
Go old school.
Don’t forget those classic games that get you off your feet and moving around.
- Play Twister, Simon Says or Charades.
- Get a hula hoop or jump rope.
- Create indoor hopscotch with craft sticks or pencils laid flat on the floor.
Kids can have great ideas or news twists on old activities, so don’t forget to ask them for some inspiration. With plenty of ideas, you can keep kids moving all winter long – no matter what Mother Nature brings.
Cassie Rothe, FNP - C
Family Medicine - Walk-In Clinic