7 Great Indoor Play Ideas

 Indoor Play Ideas

With much of the country being pounded with repeated snow storms and freezing temperatures, kids and Moms alike are sure to be experiencing some serious cabin fever. While most Moms probably have some go-to  Indoor Play Ideas up our sleeves, with so many indoor days this winter, they’ve likely been long since exhausted, and even the most creative among us are running out of fresh ideas. The next time you’re stuck in the house with your kids, try one of these seven creative indoor play ideas to keep everyone entertained.

 Indoor Play Ideas

  1. Sensory play: Sensory tables are a staple in early childhood classrooms. If you have one at home, now is a great time to make use of it. If not, find a plastic storage bin to fill with any interesting material your kids can squish, mold, pour, or sculpt. Favorites in my house have been colored rice, oobleck, shaving cream, homemade playdough, and dry oatmeal. A sensory bin also works great if kids want to play in the snow, but it’s too cold to go outside (or you just can’t bear to spend 45 minutes bundling them up only to have them be ready to come in after 10!) – scoop some snow into the bin, bring in indoors, and let the kids play with it right in the house!
  2. Party and Camp games: It doesn’t have to be anyone’s birthday to enjoy party games like duck, duck goose, musical chairs, and simon says. Once your kids tire of the standards, try some more unusual indoor games, like “I’m going on a picnic”. Don’t forget about camp games your kids loved last summer.
  3. Get moving: Just because you are indoors doesn’t mean your activities have to be still and sedentary. Set up ways for your kids to get their energy out without resorting to running in circles around the house or climbing the furniture (in other words, driving you crazy). Set up an indoor obstacle course to get them climbing in ways you approve of. Or try a game we like to call “Silly races”: Write down several different movement types (e.g., crawl, crab walk, tiptoe) on slips of paper and put them in a paper bag. Let the kids pull a slip from a bag, then race from one side of the house to the other using the specified movement.
  4. Guessing games: Try a taste testing game with your kids by giving them small bites of food blindfolded and seeing if they can identify the food. Once they discover how fun this can be, you can add in foods they wouldn’t ordinarily try and see if they’ll be more adventurous. You can also expand on the theme by trying a similar “test” identifying items by smell or touch.
  5. Art projects: Chances are by this point in the indoor season, you’ve done standards like coloring and painting until even your most enthusiastic little artists can’t take any more. But don’t give up on art altogether, just mix things up by trying some new materials. How about chalk, pastels, or food color drops for color, coffee filters, egg cartons, or old unmatched socks as a canvas, and buttons, pipe cleaners, or packing peanuts for 3-D art? (Wondering what to do with all those art projects once they’re done? Check out our recent review of the Artkive app).
  6. Go camping: Set up an actual tent or create one with furniture and blankets. Crawl inside a flashlight, books, toys, pillows and blankets and watch playtime, storytime, or naptime all seem suddenly more exciting.
  7. Get out of the house: Indoor play areas like this one in suburban Boston are becoming increasingly popular as they give kids a place to run around and expend energy in cold or rainy weather. Check out this great resource to help you find places to go in your area. If you don’t want to pay for a place to play, many malls have indoor play area that are free. If your kids are young enough, you can stick them in a stroller once they’ve exhausted themselves and take a brisk walk around the mall to get yourself some exercise, too.

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