Monday, December 27, 2010

15 Great Indoor Activities for Kids

15 Great Indoor Activities for Kids

When the temperatures drop and the sunset comes early, it gets harder and harder to entertain restless kids. Rather than turning on a movie, or setting them up to play computer games all evening, encourage these great activities to get your kids moving!
  1. Dance: In First Lady Michelle Obama's Let's Move campaign, she encourages parents and children to get up and dance! Not only can you learn valuable moves on the dance floor, but merely dancing around for an hour can burn upwards of 200 calories! Take a leaf out of Michelle's book and get up and dance!
  2. Pass a Balloon: Blow up a large balloon and tell your kids to keep it off the ground. This can provide about 30 minutes of entertainment, but if you incorporate a competition, a reward, or bonus points, it can last much longer.
  3. Scavenger Hunt: A great way to keep kids entertained indoors is to create a scavenger hunt. Hide a number of items around your home, and give each child a list of what to find. You can send them off on this adventure, and then make lunch or do laundry in a quiet and relaxed environment.
  4. Hide and Go Seek: This is always a crowd favorite, especially if your home is full of nooks and crannies. Encourage your kids to get creative, and they'll be occupied for hours.
  5. Build a Fort: All you need is a few pillows, blankets, and chairs, and you've got the raw materials for a great fort! Offer your kids costumes or create a story to add to the adventure.
  6. Charades: This is a great game for kids and adults alike. Pass out a few slips of paper, and have your kids write down items in a theme – such as Disney Movies and Characters, or characters from a favorite books series. You can all take turns acting them out using your own house rules.
  7. Hula Hoop, Jump Rope: If Rocky can jump rope for hours, it's got to be good, right? Grab a few hula hoops and jump ropes, clear out one of your rooms, and turn on some fast-paced music. Your kids will love learning new skills, and you'll love getting their heart rates up! You can even hold a tournament or a competition to make it more interesting.
  8. Competitive Chores: Get your housework taken care of while simultaneously getting your kids active! Create chore competitions with a treat at the end, such as no laundry for a week, or the loser has to make lunch!
  9. Group Games – Duck Duck Goose, Red Rover, Ring Around the Rosie, Hokey Pokey: These classic group games are a great way for a large group of children to play together. If you have 2, or 3 kids, these games can create an hour of entertainment! The best part is that parents can easily join in, without tiring themselves out too much!
  10. Modified Sports – Basketball, Soccer, Bowling: Foam balls and toys like Nerf can bring traditional outside sports to your living room! Set up a small hoop or two goals and get your kids playing! Although foam is much safer, you still probably want to hide antiques and avoid the china cabinet.
  11. Active Video Games – Wii, Kinect: Traditional video games, albeit fun and endlessly entertaining, are extremely sedentary activities and should be limited to just an hour or two a week. The new, active video games incorporate fitness, coordination, and even dance skills! Consider Dance Dance Revolution, Wii Bowling, Playstation Move or Xbox Kinect next time your kids want to spend hours in front of the television on a cold or rainy day.
  12. Make Your Own Playdough: Everyone's favorite childhood treat can easily be made at home, with just a few simple ingredients. Your kids will love this gooey toy even more when they make it themselves! They can even create their own custom colors for a unique twist.
  13. Crafts: From pasta necklaces to Popsicle picture frames, there are hundreds of ways to get crafty with your kids. There are plenty of places to find great crafting ideas online, from simple and easy , to advanced and extravagant.
  14. Read Together: Most children's love of learning is spawned from a love of reading. Fuel your child's mental capacity by reading together each day. Whether you spend a few hours on Harry Potter or on Peter Rabbit, showing your kids that reading is fun is a great way to help stimulate their appetite for knowledge.
  15. Board Games: There's no better way to bond with your entire family than over a traditional board game like Monopoly or Chutes and Ladders! You can even spice things up a bit with Mouse Trap, Cranium, or a competitive card game. Teach your kids to think logically with these great family-bonding games! You can even let them win.
With these great ideas, you and your kids will never be left bored on a rainy day!

About the Author:
Amanda is a writer and blogger living in San Diego, CA. Though she often writes about the benefits of outdoor physical education supplies, she finds it's still important to find ways to encourage healthy physical and mental activity for kids when the weather doesn't permit them to go outside. For more physical education resources, check out the SPARK PE Program for more information.

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