No matter where you live or what time of year it may be, Mother Nature doesn't always make it possible to play outside. From thunderstorms and windstorms in the spring to extreme heat in the summer, and of course, the return of the cold in the fall and winter months, kids often need things to do only indoors. Indoor games are a fun solution that'll provide your kids with hours of entertainment. Here are a few ideas we love.
Fun Indoor Games for Kids
If you want to keep your kids amused and wear them out at the same time, then consider these awesome active indoor games for kids. Best of all, you likely have all the supplies you need in your home right now. A few of these family games don't require any equipment at all.
Indoor Obstacle Course
This game can be as creative as you want to make it! Parents just need to come up with a series of obstacles for their kids to make their way through. These can include:
- Using old cardboard boxes and chairs to make tunnels
- Placing strips of painter's tape across doorways to make a barrier to crawl under or hop over
- Laying out pillows on the floor to jump across
- Taping together the ends of old pool noodles and laying them out across the room. Kids can hop into the various circles using only one foot.
- Testing their balancing skills with oranges and spoons. Kids can place the orange in the spoon and race across the room. If it falls, they must go back to the starting line and begin again.
- Grabbing old pillow cases and having a potato sack style race amidst the obstacles.
Use what you have and get creative; you can make also this as competitive as you and your kids want. Your kids will love the challenge and you'll love that they're doing a fun, fitness-themed activity.
The Floor Is Lava
As the name implies, the floor is lava and your kids need to avoid touching this hot surface! Pick a room where you don't mind your kids climbing on furniture and throw some pillows and small blankets around the floor.
Have everyone start on the floor and turn on some music. At random, pause the tune and yell, "THE FLOOR IS LAVA!". Then, count down from five. Your kids have to find a safe surface in this time or they are out! Restart the tunes and repeat until only one person is left standing.
Create an alternate parent-free version by having kids start at one end of the room and work their way to the other side. Use painter's tape to draw the "safe zone" they have to get to and get creative with your placement of "safe zones" to make this course a bit of a challenge. First one to make it to safety wins!
This is a classic outdoor game that's easily brought inside! Again, grab some painter's tape and make a unique square pattern on the floor. Label each square with a number using the tape as well. Then, grab any small object for your kids to toss.
To start, have the player toss the object into square one. Then, they must hop over the box that the object landed in and continue across the board with only one foot touching each square. Once across the board, they must turn around and make their way back, following the same rules.
If they make it successfully across the board and back, they take another turn, tossing the object into square two. This will repeat until they mess up or make it back and forth eight consecutive times.
Turn on your favorite tunes and start grooving! When the music stops, everyone must freeze immediately. If you're caught moving, you're out! Restart the music and continue the process until only one person is left standing.
Funny Animal Races
First, clear the furniture out of a room and mark a starting and finish line with some painter's tape. Next, have everyone draw an animal name out of a hat. These can include a frog, a donkey, a bear, a crab, a penguin, a caterpillar, or a seal. Once they have their designation, have your cute creatures take their places.
Players must make it across the room by doing their particular animal's walk. Have the races go for multiple rounds to allow players to draw both easy and hard animals. The person with the most wins at the end of the last round wins!
Giant Tic Tac Toe
Create a simple DIY game of Tic Tac Toe inside and have tons of fun. Painter's tape is the perfect tool to make your board on almost any surface. Then have each kid grab five of the same object for their game pieces. These can be types of canned food, colored solo cups, or bottled drinks.
If your kids master the 3 by 3 square board, then consider upgrading to a 4 by 4 board to create more of a challenge. Just remember that they will need eight game pieces each to play this version.
This is another fan favorite among kids that is not only fun, but it improves their listening skills. Select someone to be Simon. This person will say "Simon says" before each command - "Simon says touch your toes" or "Simon says hop on one foot".
As this person gives each command, the others must follow their direction while continuing to do each of the prior commands. However, if a command is followed, and "Simon says" does not precede it, then that person is out!
Parents can set up this fun indoor game in a wide doorway. Simply tape strings across the walkway to create your net. Then, blow up a balloon and get ready to rally! For bigger groups, grab two chairs and put them on either side of a room. Then, take a string and tie it to each chair to create your net.
Secret Agent Laser Game
Think about any crime movie in the 21st century. Just like you see in these films, you want to create a laser beam security system for your kids to navigate through so they can get to the thief who is stealing the treasure! How do you make this happen? You use toilet paper and painter's tape!
Find a hallway and simply tape strips of toilet paper across the open space. Make sure that these strips are in a criss-cross configuration. If the toilet paper rips, then the player triggered the alarm and they will have to start again. If they make it across the maze of "laser beams" they win this fun indoor game and save the day!
Amateur Chef Game
Everyone needs to eat. Why not make mealtime a fun game? A pizza parlor is always a great place to work - take everyone's order and then have your "kitchen staff" prep the pizzas. Buy pre-made individual pizza crusts, various sauces, cheese, and toppings.
Don't forget dessert either! Grab safe-to-eat raw sugar cookie dough, cream cheese, and fresh fruit. This can be a healthier treat that's fun to make.
Indoor Olympic Games
A little competition can bring loads of entertainment!
- Long Jump: Take your handy dandy painter's tape and make six or seven evenly spaced lines on the floor. Then, have your players line up and see who can leap the farthest.
- 7 Meter Dash: Grab your stopwatches (or cell phone) and see who can sprint down the hallway in the shortest amount of time! Again, mark a start and finish line for the players.
- Gymnastics: Have your kids complete a series of kart wheels and somersaults, balance on one foot for 20 seconds, and complete five consecutive jumps.
- Basketball: Set up laundry baskets, pots, and storage bins throughout the room. Use painter's tape to designate the free-throw line. Then, grab some balls or simply crumple up some paper to see who can get the most baskets!
Everyone's going to be giggling during this silly indoor game! Blow up some balloons, have everyone place one between their legs, and see who can waddle the fastest! Better yet, create obstacles that players have to waddle around, hop over, and even wiggle under.
Master Builder Competition
This is a combination of the television show LEGO Masters and a good old-fashioned scavenger hunt! Hide LEGO pieces all over the house and then have each person draw a color out of a hat. They will then hunt for their pieces and build a masterpiece with what they find.
Parents can then judge these creations and select the winners. Since you want everyone to have fun, have a different category for everyone to place in-Best Overall, Most Creative, and Most Likely to Fall.
Land, Sea, Air
This is another game that can keep everyone active and only requires painter's tape. Designate an area for the "land" and one for the "sea." Similar to Simon Says, one person leads the game directing people to jump to land, jump in the sea, or jump as high as they can in the air. Hop in the wrong spot and you are out. Last one standing, wins!
Saran Wrap Game
This fun party game can also serve as a great indoor game for kids to play when stuck inside of a rainy day. Best of all, parents can prep it in advance and then pull it out as needed! All you need to do is head over to the Target Dollar Spot or the Dollar Tree and grab some fun trinkets, knickknacks, and toys. You can also entice them with a few five-dollar gift cards to their favorite spots.
Take the most coveted item and start with it as your center. Wrap it in a hefty layer of saran wrap. As you continue to add more layers, wrap in more toys and trinkets. The bigger, the better.
When your kids are ready to play, grab a set of dice. One player gets to roll, and the other gets to unwrap as fast as they can! If the first player rolls a double, then they get the saran ball and the next player gets to roll the dice. Their hands will certainly be busy with this amusing game.
Win It in a Minute
Keeping your kid's minds active is another great way to wear them out! This indoor game for kids uses items you have around the house, making it an ideal option for any occasion. Set your timer and see who can complete the tasks the fastest!
- Balloon Toss: Jugglers will be great at this game! See which player can keep five balloons in the air for sixty seconds.
- Fruit Loop Pick Up: Grab some Fruit Loops, Cheerios, or Apple Jacks, as well as your collection of toothpicks. The goal is to pick up as many of these O-Shaped cereal pieces as they can in this short window of time.
- Sorting Skittles: Get a bag of Skittles, or any of your kid's favorite colorful snacks, and pour them all into a big bowl. Start the clock and see who can sort the most in a minute.
- Penny Stacks: Got a lot of spare change? See who can make the highest stack of coins one handed.
- ZYX's: How well do your kids know their ABC's? See if they can recite them backwards in 60 seconds!
Get Creative When Coming Up With Indoor Games
Sometimes the best indoor games are ones you come up with on the fly. Look around your home to see what supplies you have and go from there. Just consider the ages of your kids and their skill level when deciding on the best option for your family.
Games like balloon volleyball and hopscotch are great for any age, whereas the Saran Wrap game and Win It in a Minute are better suited for a slightly older crowd. If you think a game could be fun, but are worried about one person completing the tasks, make modifications so that everyone can participate. The result? Indoor games that keep everyone happy.