The 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.
- Make a Movie – Kids love dramatic play. If you have a video camera, all you need is a little imagination, some paper to write out your ideas as well as storyboard them as well. Then with the help of Mom or Dad, kids can load their video into the computer for a quick edit in order to debut their masterpiece for an impromptu family movie night.
- For kids 3 and older, the Nintendo Wii and Microsoft XBOX Kinect offers interactive entertainment which really gets kids moving and excited. I’m not usually a proponent of video games for young children, but these particular game consoles are geared towards active compelling fun play for children.
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.