Ideas for Active Indoor Play

Funny little girl with pigtails sitting on a trampoline

I just saw the first weather prediction map for this winter. It looks just as bad as last year. Of course, it’s still great to get kids outside in rain and snow, but sometimes the weather is too bad, or they are just ready to be back inside. Last year, I posted a list of things to do on snow days –  This post is an additional list of ideas for more active indoor play.

  • Jump rope
  • Jumpolene
  • Mini trampoline – check safety guidelines first
  • Balance board
  • Sock skating on hard wood or linoleum – paper plates on carpet also works well
  • Tumbling mat
  • Build pillow forts (couch cushions) or blanket houses (draped over the dining room table)
  • Balloon games – keep away, keep it in the air, tennis
  • Ping pong – there’s also a smaller table top version
  • Wii – dance and sports games
  • Bouncy ball games
  • Hula hoops
  • Paddle ball toy or yoyos
  • No-run hide-and-seek or sardines
  • Dance parties – freeze dance and teacher supply stores have movement and music CDs
  • Hopscotch mat – make this with painters tape on the floor or sidewalk chalk on low carpet
  • Sit-n-spin
  • Limbo
  • Twister or Hullabaloo
  • Circle games – London Bridges, Ring Around the Rosie, Jenny Mouse, The Farmer in the Dell, My Little Boat, Elephant, Duck/Duck/Goose, Hokey Pokey, Jump Jim Joe
  • Listening games – Monkey OR Elephant, Palm Tree, Boat OR Knights, Kings and Riders (each take three people). For singles – Simon Says, Do This – Do That
  • Nerf dart guns or Nerf basketball
  • Indoor baseball – paper towel bat and rolled up sock ball
  • Obstacle courses
  • Yoga
  • Challenge walking – have them only crawl or scootch or crab-walk for an hour
  • Books are rocks, chairs and beds are islands and the floors are lava

Author: Dr. Rene Hackney

With a MA in school psychology and a PhD in developmental psychology, I founded and work as a parent educator at Parenting Playgroups. Somewhere in there I trained in the Developmental Clinic at Children's NMC and in the public schools. I have two beautiful, funny children who make me practice what I preach most everyday.

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