POPSUGAR Celebrity

18 Indoor Games Kids Love

Feb 16 2014 - 5:51am

Looking for new ways banish boredom and burn off pent-up energy indoors? From "freeze dance" to a creative "bear hunt," these 18 great activities recommended by other moms will keep your kids entertained for hours!

Source: Flickr user Drew Coffman [1]

Hallway Bowling

"My grandkids loved those plastic bowling [2] pins/balls for bowling in the hallway . . . or the kitchen, at one house, which was a galley kitchen." — Irene S. via Facebook [3]

Source: Flickr user stevendepolo [4]

Indoor Hopscotch

"Put masking tape on the floor and make a hopscotch [5] game!" — Dana R. via Facebook [6]

Source: Warren Heath [7]

Balloon Bopping

"Balloon bopping [8], take turns, you must hit it on your turn no matter where it is. Don't let it hit the floor! Game over if it hits the floor." — Angela V. via Facebook [9]

Source: Flickr user Marcin Witchery [10]

Freeze Dance

"I just put on music and let him dance [11]. Sometimes we play 'Stop-dance' where he has to freeze when I stop the music and if I catch him move, even to blink, he loses a point. Start with 10 points and subtract." — Angela V. via Facebook [12]

Source: Flickr user msjennb [13]

Bear Hunt

"I set up a bear hunt for my class [14] because it was too wet. I made binoculars out of toliet paper rolls and hid pictures of bears throughout the school and we went looking for them. When we found one I took a picture of it. I printed the pictures and sent them home with them." — Tara C. via Facebook [15]

Source: wallstickz via Etsy [16]

Simon Says

"[A] really easy game to play with all ages is Simon Says [17]. The aim of the game is to catch the kids out but we play it as a way to keep them occupied if we are delayed somewhere or to burn up energy on a rainy day or as a party game!

The way to play it is as follows: One person (usually the adult) is the caller. The caller shouts instructions, e.g. 'Simon says, dance Gagnam style,' 'Simon says, hop on one leg 50 times.' If the caller says 'Simon says' then all players have to obey. If they do not say 'Simon Says,' the player should NOT do anything! It's a really fast game and the kids get so excited that they concentrate on the instruction and forget about the 'Simon says' element. It's great fun catching them out!

Here's some examples of instructions. If the kids are older it's great to keep changing the instructions quickly. If they are younger, go a bit more gently! Simon says . . .

  • Do 10 star jumps
  • Balance on one leg for 20 seconds
  • Clap your hands 5 times
  • Sit down — Stand up (if you do this quickly you might trick them!)
  • Dance like a chimpanzee
  • Bark like a dog
  • Cluck like a chicken
  • Lie down and go to sleep — Get up

You get the idea! You can make it as physical as you like in short bursts which means it'll burn energy but not get out of hand! Enjoy" — Niamh [18]of Daisy and Finns Party Ideas  [19]

Source: Flickr user toywhirl [20]

Wii Games

"We love playing the Wii in the winter . . . Some Just Dance and Wii Sports [21]." — Sunshine S. via Facebook [22]

Source: Flickr user Aaron Jacobs [23]

Mini Trampoline

"We have a small, just-their-size trampoline [24] — best yard sale find ever!" — Christy J. via Facebook [25]

Source: Flickr user Breahn [26]

Train Games

"My kids are big train buffs. So, one indoor game that is popular in our house is to make use of our hardwood floors and black tape and to make train tracks all around the house [27]. The kids then spend hours pushing their trains — as well as cars, buses, and taxis, around their own little Island of Sodor. We also did this at their birthday party and it was a huge hit."  — Anna C. [28] of Simplystylishmom [29]

Source: Flickr user Beth Coll Anderson [30]

Kid Yoga

"If you have Comcast they have kids yoga on demand [31]." — MacKenzie S. via Facebook [32]

Source: Flickr user sunchild123 [33]

Hide and Seek

"My son loves playing hide and seek [34]. We even played it today by counting in Spanish which my son is learning in preschool. Every game leads to us chasing each other around the house laughing hysterically." — Tanya K. [35] of Family Adventures in the Canadian Rockies [36]

"Hide and go seek is always a favorite [37] in our house! The kids love running feverishly around in hopes of finding the best hiding place. To increase the activity level of this game, once found, both the hider and the seeker need to race back to the 'start' before they change roles." — Sarah [38] of More Than Your Average Mom [39]  

Source: Flickr user apdk [40] 

Air Hockey

"We have an air hockey machine so we enjoy playing that [41] and so far, I'm the reigning champ! Lol." —Lauren H. via Facebook [42]

Source: Flickr user Drew Coffman [43]

Sock Snowball Fight

"Snowball fight [44] with clean but old rolled up socks . . . they can make forts or do sneak attacks up and down the hall!" — Erine A. via Facebook [45]

Xbox Kinect

"As much as we love games and puzzles, after being inside Xbox Kinect really gets them moving [46] a lot more than the Wii and after an hour of dancing, jumping, squatting, flapping they are exhausted at the end of a day." — Donna M. via Facebook [47]

"We love our Xbox Kinect games [48]! The sports ones are really fun, too." — Julie B. via Facebook [49]

Source: Flickr user scottvanderchijs [50]

Building Forts

"Blankets and chairs and more make forts the best thing ever [51] and it never gets old since not one fort is like another. Hours and hours of fun!" — Melanie B. via Facebook [52]

Source: Flickr user libbyrosof [53]

Activity Bags

"We set up brown lunch bags and toss milk caps into them [54]. Each bag has supplies for an activity . . . keeps them busy for hours. I even sneak in some house chores." — Julie B. via Facebook [55]

Source: Filckr user stevendepolo [56]

Hide and Seek in the Dark

"We may turn off all the lights and play hide and seek [57] with flashlights." — Sabrina W. via Facebook [58]

Source: Flickr user Michael Bentley [59] 

Treasure Hunt

We play treasure hunt [60]. We draw maps out for each other and hide different items (like stuffed animals or toys). We put the different rooms in the house on the map and X marks the spot where the item is hidden. We've already made this game last an hour. The best hiding spots are in closets or laundry hampers." — Angie B.

Source: Flickr user Unskinny Boppy [61]

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