You don’t have to be a parent to know that a bad weather day – or days stuck at home because of Coronavirus school closings or activity cancellations – can be a nightmare for young kids.
Sure, movies and crafts can work for a while, but eventually kids need to get up and work off some steam. And that’s just talking about your average kid. There are plenty of kids who are super energetic. They need a safe, fun way to work off their natural energy, even when they can’t go outside. The ideas listed below are just a jumping off point for the multitude of fun, appropriate, effective indoor activities for energetic kids.
1) Fun with Balloons
People who suggest nerf balls as a fun indoor activity are usually unaware of how hard a truly motivated kid can whip one of those across the room. (Or how off their aim can be.) That’s why balloons are your best friend.
Cheap and light, balloons won’t knock over a lamp or leave a bruise. Instead, you can leave the kids free to play balloon volleyball, see how long they can keep theirs in the air without using their hands, or getting their hair to stand on end.
2) Dance ‘til You Drop
Dancing works off a lot of energy without requiring a lot of equipment or space.
Dancing and music related activities are also pretty versatile. You can:
- Have a free-form dance party
- Look for kid-friendly dance tutorials on YouTube
- Create wacky interpretive dances to their favorite songs
- Play games like musical chairs, ring-around-the-rosy or dance-freeze
3) Silly Races
Kids running full-tilt around the house is a recipe for disaster, so why not make the races a little slower, but a lot more interesting?
A few minutes is all you need to come up with a long list of racing challenges:
- Crab walks
- Wheelbarrow races
- Two-steps-forward, one-step-back
- Speed-walking like an Egyptian
- Waddling like a goose
- Hopping like a frog
- Army crawling
Write all your ideas down and put them in a hat. Pull them at random for a miniature at-home Olympics. Gold medal winner gets to pick the afternoon snack.
Classics are classic for a reason! A little painter’s tape for the squares and a toy to toss and you’re in business. Or, if you want to get creative, try your hand at making your own hopscotch mat that you can roll up and store.
All that really matters is that you can let the kids hop until they drop.
5) Build a Fort
Speaking of classics: fort building never goes out of style. Let the kids gather pillows, sheets, blankets, cardboard boxes and chairs, and build the fort of their dreams.
Fort building is creative and active. It’s life-size legos without the stabbing pain of stepping on a misplaced block.
6) Obstacle Course
Active indoor activities don’t need to take a big bite out of your budget. You can give your little Ninja Warriors an awesome in-home obstacle course with just a few cheap items that you might already have on hand.
You’ll need painter’s tape to mark the course, plastic cups to serpentine between, chairs to army crawl under, and cardboard boxes for, well, whatever you can come up with!
Want all the fun with none of the set up? You can’t go wrong with a rousing game of The Floor is Lava.
7) Stretch and Burn
Running is all well and good, but sometimes quieter, more contained, more challenging fun is good too. Get kids to try yoga poses, headstands, planks or other challenges to keep them focused and work off energy.
Learning yoga poses can pull double duty. These calming poses give active kids a quiet yet physical way to self-regulate when they’re in a bad mood or need to practice patience.
8) Secret Helper
You’d be amazed what kids can get done when they think it’s all just a game.
Toy pick-up is an easy place to start when it comes to turning chores into a game. Have kids race to see who can pick up the most. Make it a tougher challenge by giving them a basket to balance on their heads or telling them the can’t use their hands.
Sure, it’s nice to set the kids free in the backyard with a ball and some sunscreen, but indoor play days can be just as fun, free and energy-busting. Next time thunder rolls, or coronavirus keeps you and your kids (or their caregivers) at home, break out a few of these ideas to save the day.
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Kacey is a lifestyle blogger for The Drifter Collective, an eclectic lifestyle blog that expresses various forms of style through the influence of culture and the world around us. Kacey graduated with a degree in Communications while working for a lifestyle magazine. She has been able to fully embrace herself with the knowledge of nature, the power of exploring other locations, cultures, and styles, while communicating these endeavors through her passion for writing and expression. Her love for the world around her is portrayed through her visually pleasing, culturally embracing and inspiring posts. You can find her on Twitter, Pinterest and Instagram.
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