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Active Indoor Activities for Kids

summerindoor_500The dog days of Summer have arrived. Blazingly hot weather poses pitfalls for young and old alike. As a parent of young children though, the challenge lies in how to keep your active kids entertained indoors when the heat’s too extreme outside. They’re bound to get cranky due to boredom unless you engage them with compelling activities. Therefore I’ve come up with a list of ideas to diminish the possibility of the kids plunging into cabin fever meltdown.

Active indoors games:

  • Duck Duck Goose – a classic which only requires a small space and a couple of participants.
  • Musical Chairs – A few chairs (small stepping stools work well too) and music.
  • Play Catch – Make use of an open space. Soft bean bag or plush balls. Can roll the ball or catch. Mix it up based on the ages of the kids.
  • Hop Scotch – Might require some assembly of a board. Check out the following link from Nick Jr. for a Backyardigan’s Hopscotch board. http://www.nickjr.com/crafts/backyardigans-hopscotch.jhtml
  • Jumping Jacks – Not only do they get exercise, but you can incorporate counting games into the mix.
  • Build a fort – Make use of pillows, sheets, etc. to build a fort. From there the kids can choose to create a game. Storm the castle anyone?
  • Have a Music Jam – Play guitar? Even if you’re playing causes the neighborhood dogs to sing, it doesn’t matter. The point is to just break out some instruments, play them, and let them belt out some songs to their heart’s content. If you don’t have any instruments on hand make use of pots, spoons, pillows, boxes, etc. Basically anything that can be safely used as a percussion instrument.
  • For kids 3 and older, the Nintendo Wii offers interactive entertainment which really gets kids moving and excited. I’m not usually a proponent of video games for young children, but this particular game console is geared towards active compelling fun play for kids.

When the children are ready to cool down you can always direct them to more sedate interactive activities such as craft building, painting, coloring, drawing, card games, and more. Reading books with them can also be used as a catalyst for imaginative play. Perhaps they can act out the stories. The possibilities are endless.

I’m sure there are plenty of other great ideas out there. Please comment below with your ideas for safe, fun, and compelling active indoor activities for kids.

  • I love these ideas! Another one is to write your own Think It Ink It Publishing stories with your kids and then have them act them out. Acting, reading and writing their own words can be an empowering, fun AND educational activity. Check out our professionally illustrated wordless picture books at http://www.thinkitinkitpublishing.com

    • Anonymous

      Fantastic concept. So wonderful to have you making such a positive impact on children in a variety of media. I think having children storyboard their ideas might be useful as well. Whether it’s in a comic book style format or some prepackaged interactive one.

  • I love these ideas! Another one is to write your own Think It Ink It Publishing stories with your kids and then have them act them out. Acting, reading and writing their own words can be an empowering, fun AND educational activity. Check out our professionally illustrated wordless picture books at http://www.thinkitinkitpublishing.com

    • cutemonster

      Fantastic concept. So wonderful to have you making such a positive impact on children in a variety of media. I think having children storyboard their ideas might be useful as well. Whether it's in a comic book style format or some prepackaged interactive one.

  • LOL – that picture is AWESOME!

    I really want to get the Wii. But we also have the clickstart which is a leapfrog game, and it’s educational, which I like as well. Plus it teaches the kids to use a keyboard and mouse.

    • Anonymous

      Thank you for your kind words about the image. Any opportunity to have some fun with graphics makes my day. 🙂 As for the Wii, if your kids are content with the LeapFrog products, then why spend the money on a game console? Besides, I’m pretty certain there will be new Wii hardware introduced sometime next year.

  • LOL – that picture is AWESOME!

    I really want to get the Wii. But we also have the clickstart which is a leapfrog game, and it's educational, which I like as well. Plus it teaches the kids to use a keyboard and mouse.

    • cutemonster

      Thank you for your kind words about the image. Any opportunity to have some fun with graphics makes my day. 🙂 As for the Wii, if your kids are content with the LeapFrog products, then why spend the money on a game console? Besides, I'm pretty certain there will be new Wii hardware introduced sometime next year.

  • Some really good ideas. My wife is usually the wiz with indoor activities and crafts thought every once in awhile I have my shining moment. Maddie and I made a cardboard periscope a few weeks ago just using a old rectangular box and some plastic sticky back mirrors. Fun time making it, decorating it, and playing with it. The Wii is awesome and definitely something that she can handle while getting us off the couch.

    • Anonymous

      I love the periscope idea. Very innovative. I think the Geek Dad book by Ken Denmead would make a great fit in your home. I’m running a contest which ends tomorrow, June 29th, at 10pm so there’s still time to enter. Take a look. Just put in your periscope idea if you’d like. Good luck! http://wordpress.cutemonster.com/2010/06/win-the-geek-dad-book/

  • Some really good ideas. My wife is usually the wiz with indoor activities and crafts thought every once in awhile I have my shining moment. Maddie and I made a cardboard periscope a few weeks ago just using a old rectangular box and some plastic sticky back mirrors. Fun time making it, decorating it, and playing with it. The Wii is awesome and definitely something that she can handle while getting us off the couch.

    • cutemonster

      I love the periscope idea. Very innovative. I think the Geek Dad book by Ken Denmead would make a great fit in your home. I'm running a contest which ends tomorrow, June 29th, at 10pm so there's still time to enter. Take a look. Just put in your periscope idea if you'd like. Good luck! http://wordpress.cutemonster.com/2010/06/win-th

  • Ben

    The Wii is something that we end up playing! My son loves playing and watching me play ;), Mario Bros. Wii

    I live in Phoenix and it is extremely hot here for about 4-5 months. When I say extremely hot, I mean over 100 degrees. It sucks!

    • Anonymous

      Ben, 4 to 6 months is certainly a long stretch to endure extreme temperatures. Glad you manage to have fun indoors with your son despite the oppressive heat outside.

  • Ben

    The Wii is something that we end up playing! My son loves playing and watching me play ;), Mario Bros. Wii

    I live in Phoenix and it is extremely hot here for about 4-5 months. When I say extremely hot, I mean over 100 degrees. It sucks!

    • cutemonster

      Ben, 4 to 6 months is certainly a long stretch to endure extreme temperatures. Glad you manage to have fun indoors with your son despite the oppressive heat outside.

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