Rainy days are hard on parents and kids alike. A string of bad weather can lead to cabin fever and maybe even a flat spot on your kids’ bottoms due to lack of physical activity. Even if you have a small house, there are activities your children can do that will get them off the couch and get their blood flowing. Remember: before any indoor physical activity, clearly establish ground rules with your children such as one person at a time, no shouting and any other parameters for the activity.
Just like Tigger, kids love to bounce. There are a few toys in this category in which you can invest that will safely burn energy but not break the budget (Note: these are not affiliate links):
- Bouncy Horse – This fun durable toy is great for all ages. Grab a stop watch and some masking tape, mark off the start and finish lines and you have yourself a race! Try it forward and backward!
- Mini trampoline – These trampolines are often found in the fitness aisle of big box stores. Make sure there is plenty of room (including headroom!) and make sure you specify one child at a time.
- Indoor hopscotch Mat – You can make your own with these simple instructions. Use a small beanie baby as the place marker.
While you may not allow balls in the house, you may be willing to entertain these safe, vase-proof alternatives
- Balloon volleyball – Use one balloon and two chairs facing each other. How many times can they volley without missing and without leaving their chairs?
- Paper basketball – A tightly wadded piece of printer paper and an empty basket make for a great indoor game of basketball. Play a mini-version of the game HORSE.
- Paper football – Watch this Youtube video for instructions on how to make a paper football. Clear off the coffee table, position with point down and, flick! Have another child create a goal post with his hands.
Add a stop watch to any activity and you have an instant race. Kids love to compete and allowing them to do so in a fun but calm way can make for an afternoon of indoor fun.
- Scooching race – The main rule for this game is that your bottom cannot leave the floor. Players can go forward or backward, whatever they find faster. Ready, set . . . scooch!
- Sit and spin race – If you have a sit and spin and a stop watch, you can see how many revolutions per minute each child can go. Watch out for tilting floors when you stand up!
- Kitchen relay race – If you have a group of kids over (or a lot of your own!) you can play this game. You can set a series of kitchen tasks to be completed by two teams (either simultaneously if you have enough materials) or sequentially (if you don’t). Ideas include, transferring one cup of water from one bowl to another with a tablespoon, untwisting and re-twisting the tie to a loaf of bread, folding three napkins into a triangle shape, or separating 10 grains of rice from a small pile.
It may be raining outside but with these great ideas, there will be a lot of fun inside!