5 Simple Indoor Activities For Kids To Do At Home
If the weather turns bad during Winter school holidays it can be a challenge to keep kids entertained inside without them being in front of a device! But with a little imagination and a few basic items, kids can have a seriously good time and burn off some energy with these activities.
1. Balloon games
There are many different games you can play with the humble balloon. Here are a few that were popular with our younger ones:
- Balloon tennis - run a piece of string or wool across a room. Then using a fly swat as a racquet, the kids hit the balloon over string and score points if the balloon touches the ground on the opponent's side.
- Balloon volleyball - this is just like balloon tennis but without the fly swats and you place the string at a much higher height. This game works well when you have more than 2 kids who want to play, as you can have multiple players on each side.
- Keep it up - I think most kids start playing this game naturally when given a balloon. You have to tap the balloon up in the air and it isn’t allowed to touch the ground.
2. The floor is lava
This game needs no additional items to play as it uses the floor of the home and all of the objects in it. The aim of the game is to move around the house without using the floor. The floor is “lava” and if you step on it you are “burnt”. Kids move around the house using furniture and other items they can find. For example, they might grab a pillow and throw it ahead of them, stepping on the pillow instead of the floor, managing to stay safe. Some of the kids will even take their t-shirt off to use as stepping stone!
It is a good idea to set some boundaries on what you are happy for the kids to use and how high they can climb up etc, advising them to not climb on book shelves or any other items that could potentially tip over with their weight on it.
3. Wheelbarrow or bear walk races
Wheelbarrow races would require a minimum of 4 kids - 2 to be on the ground using their hands to propel them along and 2 standing behind them holding their feet up. This is actually quite a work out. The kids can determine heats with some rest times between races to make a game of it.
If you have less than 4 kids playing, bear walking races also provides a good challenge. Bear walking is actually an exercise wrestlers use to develop whole body strength, so again it is a good work out for the kids. To do the bear crawl, kids get down on their hands and feet with their knees slightly bent and keeping their bottom high in the air. They then move their right hand and left foot forward and then their left hand and right foot forward. For younger kids just getting the coordination in place for this will keep them occupied for some time!
4. Indoor hopscotch
Find a larger area of the house where there is space on the floor and use masking tape to create a hopscotch court. Hopping is one of the key locomotor skills, which are the building blocks of coordination. The more hopping practice in the younger years for kids, the better! As general gauge, 3 year olds will be learning to hop on their preferred side only, 4 year olds will begin to achieve hopping with their non preferred side and 5 year olds can generally hop on both sides. If you are not familiar with the rules of hopscotch or what a court looks like you can find information here.
5. Musical statues
Musical statues may require you to be the music master, depending on how many kids are playing. If you have 3 or more kids, they can take turns being the music master. Find a top 40 playlist on any streaming platform or whatever your kids’ favourite music is and get the kids dancing. Once they are grooving away and not expecting it, stop the music. The kids are to stop completely - like a statue and not move again until you start the music.
In the competitive version, if a child moves, they are out for the remainder of the game and the winner is the child left standing at the end. Alternatively you can just play for fun.
Nicole Avery is a Melbourne mum to five beautiful kids aged 8 to 18. She is the master organiser behind the popular parenting blog Planning With Kids and the author of a book by the same name, where she shares tips and tricks for organising the chaos of family life.