We’ve put together a fun and low-cost list of fun indoor activities that will help keep your child from getting cabin fever this winter. There’s something for everyone – from high-energy movement games to more subdued, exploratory activities. Share any pictures of you and your child enjoying these activities on our Facebook page. They’ll bring us all some much needed warmth!
1. Balloon volleyball. Sideout! This great visual-spatial activity is easy to create. All you need is a balloon (for the ball) and a string or ribbon (for the net). You can play a game of 1-on-1 or get the whole family involved. Click here for more details.
2. Crepe paper lazer maze. Find a roll of crepe paper at your grocery store (I’ve also seen them at CVS and Walgreens) and tape them to the side of your hallway in every direction. Your child can duck and weave through the “lazer field” – just like a covert operative stealing some prized artwork! Click here for more details.
3. Ice cube shuffleboard. It’s a bit like curling and a bit like shuffleboard but the goal remains the same: get your ice cube to land in the center of the bulls-eye by sliding the cube across the floor. You can use masking tape to create the bulls-eye and your ice cube trays are likely already stocked! There’s virtually no mess either – a paper towel cleans up everything.
4. Marshmallow igloo. Kids love to play with their food! With a paper bowl, some glue and a bag of mini marshmallows, you can make simple igloo. It can also be a nice chance to talk about how other people live. Click here for some interesting facts about igloos.
5. Stuffed animal parade. Collect all the stuffed animals from around the house and line them up in parade formation. Before the parade begins, ask your child to tell you a bit of backstory about the animal (Likes? Dislikes? Where is he from?). That may be difficult for some children so you can modify this game by asking them to simply give the animal a name. You then put on your best announcer voice and announce each animal, sharing as many details as you can as your child marches the animal around.
6. English muffin pizzas. This quick and easy recipe can be a lot of fun. Your child may enjoy scooping the sauce, sprinkling cheese, and placing the toppings on top of the English muffin. Bonus: they’ve just made their own lunch! Click here for the recipe.
7. Freeze dance. This is perfect for kids who love to move! Put on your favorite song and turn up the volume. When the music stops, you and your child should FREEZE. Don’t move a muscle! If you want to make it more challenging, challenge him or her to move in different ways. For example, instead of dancing you could move like a crab, a bear, a bird, or a dinosaur.
8. Indoor hopscotch. You don’t have to be outside to hopscotch if you substitute some masking tape for chalk outlines. Tape a hopscotch court to the carpet and start hopping! There are also some fun variations, including hopscotch in a circle and having to hold a heavy object while you hop. Click here for more info on game play.
9. Treasure hunt. Hide clues all over the house with each one leading to the next one. Kids will love thinking about where the next clue is and seeking it out. Plus, it’s really simple to scale this to your child’s developmental level. A prize at the end is always a great incentive, even if it’s as simple as a tasty snack or a short stack of pennies. Tip: Both kids who are readers and those are still learning will appreciate visuals in addition to the words.
10. Masking tape maze. Make a maze on the carpet with masking tape and have your child find their way through. They can walk the maze or kick a small ball through it. For a greater challenge, try blowing a ping-pong ball with a straw.
11. Paper football. Too cold for regular football? Get your reps in with paper football! All you need is a table and a triangle of paper to play. Each team has four downs to score a touchdown – you score a touchdown by getting your football to hang over the edge of the table without falling off. You can also scale this game to your child’s abilities – give them more downs if they need it. Click here for more info.