Stuck indoors? Kids on school vacation? Baby napping and the older kids are bored? Too cold to go outside? Whatever your reason is for staying inside - here are some of my favorite activities to keep kids active at home!
Did you know that that children need at least 60 minutes of moderate-intensity physical activity every day? While this might be easy to do in the summer months, or playing outside at the parks, it can be challenging in cold or rainy weather or if you are unable to leave the house.
Here are the CDC's physical activity recommendations based on different age groups:
This infographic and more can be found at:
Studies have also shown that just one hour of physical activity/play can improve brain function, improve sleep, and decrease anxiety that same day! Regular physical activity can also improve heart, lung, bone and muscle health. Check out these additional resources for a ton of other benefits of regular play and physical activity:
OK, so now you know the importance of building in physical activity as part of your every day routine. These are some of my favorite activities to do inside:
1. Obstacle courses
Building obstacle courses with kids is honestly one of my favorite activities! You can use everyday items you already have in your home and half of the fun is having your kids help build and plan it with you. Here are some of my favorite items to use for indoor obstacle courses:
Painter's tape: you can make a line on the floor for a balance beam, boxes to create an indoor hopscotch, "X" marks the spot, leap pads to frog jump to, a start and a finish line for a foot race, and so many more. Check out this fun video from Momentum Pediatric Therapy Network for more ideas using painter's tape:
Cardboard boxes: have any cardboard boxes hanging around from the holidays? I know I do! Place heavier toys in the box and have them push it around and give their favorite toys a "ride". Tie a rope to the box and have them pull it like a sled. Tape boxes together to create a tunnel they have to crawl through. Have some smaller boxes? Have them step over the boxes as hurdles.
Couch cushions: do your couch cushions come off? Place them on the ground to have your child walk across and balance on, crawl over, or stack them to create a crash pad! You could also large pillows.
Laundry baskets: to step over, climb in and out of, or throw bean bags/socks/balls into.
Step stool: to climb or step over - just make sure it is sturdy and stable if your child will be stepping on and off of it.
Hand and feet spots: create your own by tracing your child's hands and feet, or you can buy some online. I linked some here. Set them up in a line like a balance beam, put them together to practice jumping, or set them up like hopscotch. For more ideas, check out my video using feet spots and poly spots below:
Small puzzles: Place the puzzle pieces at the beginning and the empty puzzle at the end of the course. Each child can grab one piece and take it all the way through the obstacle course, until you have a completed puzzle at the end. The number of pieces and difficulty of the puzzle can depend on your child's age/developmental stage.
2. Dance parties
Turn up the music and have a family dance party! Try to learn a dance you've seen online, or just dance it out! Here are a few websites I like if I need some help getting the dance moves going:
YouTube: there are endless amounts of channels and videos on YouTube, but these are some of my favorites:
Go Noodle also has a ton of great videos to dance and sing a long to: https://www.gonoodle.com/
You can either try to find some yoga printables online, or you can follow along to a yoga video.
Pink Oatmeal is one of my favorite sites for gross motor games, both digital and printable. Be sure to check out the freebie page for free downloads and different themed yoga cards!
Try acting out different animals and doing animal walks: crab, bear, snake, alligator, elephant, giraffe, frog jumps, and penguin walks, just to name a few. You can get creative and make them up as you go!
Here is a great kid's yoga YouTube channel.
Does your child like Disney movies? Check out the Disney Family YouTube channel.
4. Balloon games
Have any balloons you can blow up at your house? If you do, balloons can be a safe alternative to indoor ball play. You can play balloon volleyball, balloon baseball with a small stick or a cut up pool noodle, balloon soccer, and so many others!
5. Practice gross motor skills
Is your child having a hard time with jumping, hopping, standing on one leg, skipping or galloping? Use a hallway or larger space in your home to practice these skills. Check out my social media posts and videos for tips and activities to help with these skills!
These are just a few of my favorite gross motor activities for indoors. What are you and your families' favorite rainy day/indoor activities? Comment on this post or send it in the chat! Tag me on social media if you and your family has fun with these activities!
***This blog is purely for educational and informational purposes. All of these activities should be used with close adult supervision (within an arm's reach) or adult assistance. Inchstones PT is not responsible for any harm, accidents or injuries from use of suggested toys/activities on this website. This website is not to be used as medical advice.***