Indoor Movement Activities for Kids at Home
4 min read
Due to the COVID- 19 outbreak there is a lot of uncertainty right now. Will schools, preschools and child care centers close? Many already have. If you stay at home, you will need indoor movement activities for your kids.
As we are practicing social distancing and staying at home with our kids I really want to help. I have put together a post that will give you some ideas on how you can entertain your child while at home.
As a general rule movement is super important and should be an essential part of your child’s day. Movement helps your child strengthen their body and organize and calm their brain. Being indoors can be challenging to provide the same movement opportunities as if you were able to play outside. However, I put together a list that can hopefully help your kids get the needed movement.
As we are unsure how long and how much we will be staying indoors we want to keep our kids as calm and organized as much as possible. Happy & calm kids = happy & calm parents… right?
So here it is…
Indoor Movement Activity Ideas
Use what you have at home. Couch pillows, chairs, tables, tunnels, sheets. Any of these can be used to create some kind of an obstacle course.
Involve your kids in making them. You might be surprised what wonderful ideas they might have.
What movements to incorporate:
- Walking on uneven surfaces such as couch pillows
- Going under things such as chairs or tables
- Moving over things such as chairs, couch or a bed
Have a purpose:
The obstacle course can be much more fun if there is a reason why your child is doing it. Some reasons can include:
- Being chased by a sibling or parent
- At the end of the obstacle course they have to throw a ball into a target such as a laundry basket
- They need to pick up a puzzle piece and then run back to add it to their puzzle
Afterwards include them in clean up. Make it a game or a race to make it fun and motivating.
Jump & Pop
Have you been getting any packages lately? Did you seen those air filled packaging pillows?
Lay them out flat on the ground. Have your child jump onto them and pop them. Super fun! Most kids find the popping sound very motivating.
It’s not just the BOX
Before you recycle those boxes have a little fun with your kids. Depending on the size of your box you can try following ideas:
- Build a tower
- Knock down the tower by using a ball (target throwing) or have your child roll on the floor and knock it down
- Build robots, cars, boats, houses out of them
- If the box is large enough they can get inside and decorate with stickers and crayons
Create a scavenger list. It will include items that can be found around the house.
Then, have your child go on the hunt and find the items on their list.
There are lots of fun ways to play bubbles indoors. Check out my recent post for ideas “Developmental Benefits of playing with Bubbles”.
Boys and girls love exploring different worlds. Explore these worlds with them. You can play dress up and create the world to fit their theme.
What worlds would your child like to explore?
- Land of dinosaurs
- Being a Fireman or a Policeman
- Superheros adventure
- Princesses in a magical land
Turn on their favorite tunes and have a dance party. Maybe close the blinds and give them some glow sticks.
Fun with Tape
Washi Tapes are so versatile. There is an abundance of things you can do with them. Here are some ideas. Many can also be incorporated into an obstacle course.
- Create a balance beam by sticking a line on the floor (straight or zig zag)
- Make shapes that can be used to jump in and out of
- Put together a hope scotch
- Create “drawings” from it: a robot, a car, a flower, a star etc
- Make roads for cars
Rough & Tumble Play
This can be a fun active physical play. How to play so it doesn’t get out of control?
- No pulling on head or neck
- If someone says stop the other person needs to stop
- Everyone needs to have fun
- If your child gets too excited stop playing. Take a break and practice breathing and slowing the body down
2 people are needed for this game. 2 kids or a parent and a child.
One person kneels or stays on all fours while the other person tries to push them over.
If your child is trying to push you over give them some resistance so they can work on strengthening their body but then give in and let them win.
Then swap and repeat. Have fun!
Get your little one involved in cleaning or doing chores around the house.
Some ideas include:
- Wiping down the table after dinner
- Cleaning windows (maybe after their use window markers to draw on it)
- Helping to rearrange furniture
- Cleaning toys
There are many online videos available for guidance.
Use blankets and sheets to create a fort.
Once it’s created you can play, read stories with a flashlight, have a tea party etc.
Cars: Obstacle course
Create an obstacle course from boxes, empty milk cartons, washi tape, blocks, legos etc.
Then, have cars race and drive around the obstacle course.
Here is a fun twist on the standard bowling game. The traditional way to play bowling is to knock down the bowling pins while rolling the ball forward. This is usually done standing upright. This game mixes things up a bit. You still have to knock down the bowling pins but this time try doing it using these alternatives:
- Knock down the pins by kicking the ball forward.
- Turn away from the bowling pins making a wide stance. Then bend down and throw the ball at the bowling pins through the gap between your legs.
- Lie down on your belly and roll the ball forward towards the bowling pins.
- Sit on the floor, put your hands flat and lift your bottom off the floor. Once in position kick the ball forward knocking the bowling pins.
Don’t have bowling pins at home? No worries. Try empty water bottles or empty toilet paper rolls.
Follow your child’s lead
Ask your child what they want to play. Be present and have uninterrupted play time with them each day. Just 20-30min can make a huge difference.
For more indoor movement activity ideas for your kids make sure you check out the Preschool Section of my blog.
Stay Healthy and Have Fun!