Discover a range of indoor games that can help keep kids entertained. Find out why you should encourage indoor play and how it benefits a child. Get some activity ideas.
12 Indoor Games That Are Fun and Healthy For Kids
Sometimes parents need a way to entertain their children without having to take them outside. Weather often keeps us cooped up indoors, and children with excess energy or who are fighting boredom can quickly get into trouble when there is nothing fun to do.
Of course, the default these days is to sit the kids in front of the television or place a tablet in their hands to keep them busy. However, this is not an ideal way to occupy kids. Too much screen time may not be healthy for children. Instead of resorting to technology, there are many fun indoor games that you can use to keep boredom away and get your kids interacting with each other and with you.
Indoor games should not be forgotten during this time in which technology has taken over our lives. While technology has its good points, using it is often a very solitary thing. When all we do is constantly look at a screen, it hurts our ability to interact with others, and it leads to a sedentary lifestyle, which can lead to obesity and other health issues.
If you are a parent who wants to get your kids more active, then learn more about indoor games that you can play with your kids or that you can set up for them to play. Find out why you should encourage such play and get some great game ideas.
Reasons To Play Indoor Games
There are many reasons why you may want your kids to play indoor games. One of the biggest reasons many parents need such activities is bad weather. If it is raining, snowing, too hot or too cold, it doesn’t make sense to send kids outside to play. However, being stuck inside can cause cabin fever and kids can get crazy, which can lead to a lot of stress for parents. Playing games is a great way to keep kids occupied.
Some parents look to these activities to help get their kids away from the video games, computers, tablets and cell phones. They want their kids to interact with the real world and spend time with the family. Instituting regular play time away from the screen is a great idea that encourages kids to be more creative and more active.
These activities also can bring a family together. Siblings can reconnect or whole families can play and get closer. It is always good for a family to enjoy spending time together and to create and reinforce those important bonds.
Benefits of Indoor Play
There are many benefits to playing indoor games instead of doing other activities. The main one is that it gets kids away from technology. There have been many studies about the benefits of limiting screen time.
Some of these benefits include:
Improved grades in school
Better social skills
Even if activities involve just sitting and playing, they are still beneficial to the child. Staring at a screen can strain the eyes and neck muscles. Playing games can help kids learn how to entertain themselves without technology. It also can also make them better at learning how to interact with others.
12 Indoor Activities To Try
Here is a look at 12 activities you can try with your kids when you want them to get away from technology, or when you are stuck inside thanks to the weather.
1. Build a Tower
A little competition is always fun. The competition also helps to teach kids how to handle losing and winning graciously. Build a tower is simple. You do not even need special toys to do this. Using any unbreakable objects you would like, you can compete to see who can build the tallest tower without it falling over.
2. Pencil and Paper Fun
With nothing more than a pencil and paper, you can have some fun. There are plenty of great games for which you only need a pencil and a piece of paper. Some of these games include:
3. Classic Board Games
If you have board games, pull them out and dust them off. There are plenty of games made for all ages that can be perfect for keeping kids entertained. Some great classic options include:
Chutes and Ladders
Another great game that may not exactly be a board game but still falls into this category is Twister. This game is wonderful because it also is physical, so it will get everyone up and moving about.
Putting together a puzzle may not seem like an exciting activity, but give it a try. You might be surprised at how much fun it can be. Trying to figure out which pieces go where organizing pieces and discussing the puzzle can bring families closer together. The final creation can even be saved and displayed as a reminder of a day spent together.
5. Card Games
If you have a deck of cards, then you can have a good time. You can find many specialty decks to play specific games, such as Go Fish and Old Maid. With a regular deck, you can still play some fun games that are age appropriate; you don’t have to teach the kids poker. Here are a few ideas:
6. Musical Chairs
A great classic that can be a wild time, musical chairs requires a little bit of space. You also need some chairs, one fewer than the number of people playing. Finally, you need music. Put the chairs in a circle with the seats facing out. Have everyone walk around the chairs while the music plays. When the music stops, everyone has to try to get a seat. Whoever doesn’t get a seat is out. One chair is removed and the music starts again. This continues until there are one seat and one winner.
This is another game using music. However, this doesn’t require a lot of space or anything else. You just need the music. Start playing the music and everyone dances. When the music stops, they must all freeze. If anyone moves before the music start again, they are out. Keep playing until there is one person left dancing.
8. Hot Potato
Yet another musical game, hot potato starts with everyone sitting in a circle on the ground. You will need something to act as the potato. A soft, small stuffed animal is a good choice. The “potato” is tossed from person to person once the music starts. When the music is stopped, whoever has the potato is out. This continues until only one person remains.
9. Hide and Seek
If you are feeling adventurous, consider playing hide and seek. This classic game involves one person being “it.” This person hides his or her eyes and begins counting down from 20. As the person who is “it” counts, everyone else hides. Once “it” is done counting down, he or she starts looking for the hiders. The last person found becomes “it,” but the current round doesn’t end until all hiders are found or have to reveal themselves if they hid too well to be found.
10. Balance Beam
If you want a way to help get kids focused and burn off some energy, then try playing balance beam. You will need an open area and a roll of tape. Put the tape in a long straight line on the floor. Everyone then has to try to walk the “balance beam” without falling off.
11. Simon Says
This game can be as crazy or as mild as you want. It is also very inclusive since almost anyone can play. One person is Simon. Simon stands in front of everyone and begins giving instructions. The players have to follow these instructions if they are preceded with the words “Simon says.” If Simon does not say “Simon says” and someone does the action, then they are out. This continues until one person remains. That person is the winner and becomes the new Simon.
For a hilariously good time and a great way to reuse old bottles, set up a bowling lane in your home. It helps if you have a long hallway or room to play in. Set the bottles up in the traditional bowling pin pattern. Using a softball, each player takes turns. You can keep score just as you would real bowling.
It may be tempting to sit your children in front of the television or give them a tablet to stay entertained when you’re all stuck inside. However, too much screen time is never a good thing. While technology does have its good points, you want your children to be well-rounded. This requires them learning to play and entertain themselves without having to turn to the Internet.
Luckily, there are plenty of wonderful indoor games that you can play with your children or set up for them, that will keep them busy for hours. They will not only get their eyes off the screen but also interact with each other, get physical exercise and learn that using technology isn’t the only way to have fun.
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