During this time of social distancing, it’s important for our families to follow the CDC’s recommendation to stay at home as much as possible to help stop the spread of coronavirus.
Kids across the state of California and most of the country have no problem following those guidelines — their schools are closed. And for parents, that means an unexpected surprise: a house full of kids all day and night, with little chance of a break!
Some parents are working remotely from home, which is a real struggle when combined with childcare and overseeing their kids’ remote learning.
With everyone feeling a little stressed and stir-crazy, there’s never been a better time to discover fun indoor activities for kids that benefit your family’s physical and mental health.
Even during quarantine, staying active is important for your children:
- It helps in brain development
- It boosts moods
- It helps kids focus better — perfect for remote learning
- Improves heart, bone, and muscle health
- Helps kids get a good night’s sleep
If you’re looking for healthy and productive ways to keep your kids moving and occupied, you’ve come to the right place! Here are some of our favorite fun indoor activities for kids, organized by age group.
Fun Indoor Games for Preschoolers
Preschoolers have a ton of energy and love to play. But all that running around isn’t just about fun — their bodies and brains rely on play to develop motor skills and balance.
From being able to throw a ball to doing jumping jacks, physical strength and coordination start at an early age.
Preschoolers need 2 hours of play every single day to support their growing bodies. It helps their bones grow strong, build physical endurance, and strengthens their ability to focus.
Filling two hours of play isn’t always easy, even in normal times. And when you’re stuck at home, it’s even harder.
But don’t sweat it — try out some of these preschool-approved games that are perfect for long days at home.
The classic game of freeze dance will have you and your little one laughing and dancing in no time.
To start, pick some of your child’s favorite music and press play. Then, everyone playing needs to show off their best dance moves until you randomly press pause.
As soon as you press pause everyone must freezes — no matter how crazy the position is! The bigger and sillier the dance, the more fun the game! It’s goofy, it’s wacky, and little kids love it.
Homemade Obstacle Course
After a few rounds of freeze dance, treat your kids to a healthy snack and make sure they drink some water. Then, move on to an indoor homemade obstacle course!
This is like a do-it-yourself playground right inside your house. The best part is, you can make it with everyday items you already have around your home!
All your kids need is a little creativity to bring your obstacle course to life.
A few ideas to get you started:
- Do the limbo under a rope
- Get on your hands and knees and crawl under a row of chairs
- Jump in and out of a hula hoop that’s on the floor
- Balance on a board that is well-supported on both ends
- Make a maze out of couch cushions sitting up on their sides
String all of these little challenges together, and your kids will be well on their way to becoming American Gladiators!
Indoor Games for Elementary Schoolers
As kids get a little older, their free-for-all playtime should be combined with some more specific exercises that benefit their heart and muscular health, like dancing, running, and gymnastics.
There are great online courses for kids to get in those more intensive (but still fun) workouts, but there are also plenty of indoor games to keep them busy, as well.
Lip Sync Battle of the Bands
Everyone loves to imagine themselves as being a world-famous rockstar. With this game, the only thing keeping your kids from the stage lights is a little imagination!
Each participant gets to pick their favorite song, then lip sync along. Bonus points for dance moves and air guitar!
It’s extra fun if you give them something to use a microphone, like a wooden spoon or lollipop.
Glow Balloon Free Play
Open-ended playtime with no rules or structure is important for elementary-age kids. Free play gives kids the opportunity to express themselves and come up with creative ways to have fun.
All you need to kick off an exciting free play session is a simple toy and whole lot of imagination. Our favorite toy for free play? Glow balloons!
Glow balloons are an easy way to give your kids a new way to play. And the best part about them is your kids can make them all on their own.
You’ll need balloons and glow sticks. Snap the glow stick to activate it, then put it inside a deflated balloon. Blow up the balloon and tie it. And there you have it — glow balloons!
A good open-ended game with glow balloons is to see how long you can go without it touching the ground. From there, the sky (or at least the ceiling) is the limit.
Indoor Games for Preteens
Like it or not, preteens are officially the new teenagers. Between social media, the internet, and smartphones, our little ones grow up faster than ever.
And pre-teens can be hard to entertain with something that doesn’t involve a screen.
But it’s important for your preteen to spend some time each day moving their bodies, focusing their minds, and getting their eyeballs off their phone or the TV.
An approach we recommend for kids of this age is to choose more mature activities that will make them feel all grown up. It’s a perfect chance for you to bond, something that gets harder as they get older.
Here are a few ideas:
If you’ve never tried yoga, this might be the perfect time to start. It can help get away from the stress of the current situation we’re in, and give you a chance to relax with your preteen.
Yoga is all about mindfulness, and anyone can do it. It can help kids learn empathy, find focus, and develop their sense of self-confidence.
Plus, yoga can:
- Make you stronger
- Help you sleep better
- Reduce stress
There are great yoga videos designed specifically for teens and preteens that you can follow along from the comfort of your own home. Start with the one above, then try this one. Namaste!
This is an easy way to have fun while inside. All you need is some brooms and a tennis ball (or any soft ball that won’t destroy the inside of your home — even a crumpled piece of paper will do).
Create two goals at each end of a hallway, either with a laundry hamper on its side or just by designating a certain space, like the entrance to a room.
Make two teams and give everyone a broom, or something else relatively soft that they can use to knock the ball around.
The objective is simple: Get the ball into the other team’s goal! Whoever gets to 10 points first is the winner!
Finding the Fun in Good Dental Hygiene
Some things never change. Even with our kids taking classes from home, restaurants closed, and all our plans thrown up in the air, we still have to eat, sleep, and brush our teeth.
But even something as boring as brushing and flossing can be fun for our kids when it’s turned into a game.
Read our guide on games and activities to play in the bathroom every morning and night to make kids’ dental care a bit more fun »