Winter weather is cold, blustery and wet. Children abound with endless energy regardless of the seasons. When going outside isn't an option make a list of safe indoor games to release that pent up energy and enthusiasm.
After the holiday season it may not be in the budget to always pay a fee to bring your family to an indoor gym or event. Here are a few ideas to help spark creative play time at home:
- Indoor Ice Skating: This technique works great on carpet: place foot size pieces of wax paper on the floor, and open your own rink For hardwood or tile floors, simply wear a thick pair of wool socks. Add some music (i.e., “The Skater’s Waltz”) and play freeze skating. When the music is playing, “All Skate.” When the music stops, children freeze in place.
- Follow the Leader: As your children move around the room, follow them. Do any exercises they do, including gallops, wiggling, one footed hopa, backwards walking, tippy-toes etc. Then you be the leader into an Obstacle Course by arranging furniture safely maneuvering over, around through and behind. Hopefully when it is your child's turn you'll be able to keep up!
- There is always an energetic "Simon Says" or "Hot, warm, cold" game that could keep that same momentum going if you want to keep the same theme.
- Crab Soccer: Blow up a balloon or use a nerf ball. Get down on your hands and feet, belly facing up, bottom off the ground, and get moving. Try to get the ball into another persons goal without ever getting out of your crab position, and never using your hands.
- Play musical plates: When the music stops, the children must perform the physical action that you have written under the plate. The first person done with this action can control the music for the next group.
- Freeze play: This is a preschoolers favorite! After the music stops freeze into any position an animal would make. Trying to guess is a riot!
- Bean Bag Toss: Toss the bean bag back and forth to each other, backward, forward, up in the air, and turn in a circle, etc. A few variations are using a balloon, or tossing them into baskets, onto pillows, or to use this as a toy clean up game.
- Mirror Dancing: Put on some music and grab a partner. Stand face to face and choose one of you to begin being the leader. Dance in tune to the music. At each song change, trade roles.
- Teddy Bear Stretch: Hold a teddy bear in front of your children. Manipulate the bears body, having children imitate what they see. Then give the kids a turn to hold the bear.
- Animal Hour: Have children list some animals on a piece of paper. Separate the papers and place them in a hat. Draw one and see who can add the most detail to the animal that you have chosen, moving like them, jumping, squacking, etc.adding Charades to this is an idea! Then do it all again in SLOW MOTION!
- Twister: This is a homemade version, use the tiles on the kitchen floor marked with a color or place peices of construction paper on the rug in the living room. Plenty of bending, stretching and funny poses to follow!
- Popcorn Pushups – Put a small bowl of popcorn on the floor. Lower yourself down and stick out your tongue to get a piece of popcorn with each thrust.
- Tickle Tag – Chase your children and when you catch them, it's tickle time.
- Snowball Throw. Give each child two pieces of white 8 1/2-by-11 inch scrap paper or 9-by-12 inch inexpensive easel paper. Have them wad each piece of paper up and make two “snowballs.” Place a jump rope or clothesline on the ground. Divide the children into equal numbers and place them facing each other on opposite sides of the rope.Drop their snowballs onto the ground and start the music. Have them pick up their snowballs (one at a time) and throw them across the rope to the opposite side when the music ends it's all over! But you've just had your first indoor snowball fight! For instant cleanup, have the children try to make a basket as they toss their snowball into a waste basket or brown paper grocer bag.
- Walk this way Day: See how long the entire family can walk backwards during the day. How about side stepping? Can you hop in well padded socks til lunchtime?
These and many more indoor activities are geared to making the most of a snowy day, or to prevent the hum-drums of cabin fever. It's not that hard to adjust these activities to your family's unique "likes".
And when the weather isn't so harsh make a family outing to any of these places for children in Boston before it snows again!
Mall Walk: Too cold for a walk outside? Go for a walk in a mall. Make it a quick once around, or see how many things you can get in order of the alphabet. Ex: A for Airplane, B for Baby, C for Crayons, etc.