Fun Indoor Games
"It's raining, it's pouring, the old man is snoring..."
Rain is just ONE possible reason for needing some fun indoor games. But, regardless of your reason for needing them, here they are!
But first, a word about planning and set up that will make your indoor family activities more fun and much safer...
And now... on to the good stuff! There are two categories listed here for fun indoor games -
Fun Indoor Games
(that use big movement and require lots of space)
Line Tag – Fun indoor games for kids are sometimes hard to come by. But if you have access to a gymnasium, this game is a sure winner! Simply play tag… with a rule that says everyone has to stay on painted lines on the floor.
Balloon Basketball –
Divide into two teams. Set up two rows of 5-7 chairs (or one for each person) 1-2 feet apart and facing each other. Add one chair - that is shared by both rows – at each end. (See diagram.) A person sits on each chair. The two people on the end chairs become the “hoops.” One team makes up one line of chairs and one of the end hoops, the other team makes up the other line of chairs and the other end hoop. A balloon filled with air is batted from person to person until it goes through a hoop for a point. Everyone must remain seated! If you’d rather play standing, mark a large X on the floor with painter’s tape (so you don’t leave residue) for each person in the same pattern – 2 rows with a “hoop” at each end. This time players must stay on their “X” while batting the balloon for points. Make up or change the rules as needed!
Balloon Volleyball – Tie a string to the back of two chairs. Spread the chairs until the string is taut. Split evenly into two teams and volley an air-filled balloon back and forth over the "net."
Indy 500 Balloon Race – Each player attaches a short straw (1-2 inches long) to a balloon filled with air. A string is thread through the straw and attached between two chairs. To race, each person has to BLOW their balloon – without touching it – from one chair to the “finish line” at the other chair. Everyone playing could have their own two chairs OR each could take turns using the same chairs and timing their individual race.
Indoor Obstacle Course – Create an obstacle course out of whatever space and furniture you have available. Components could include: climbing over or under chairs, crawling under a table without disturbing any of the balloons tied to strings dangling from the top, sliding under a string stretched between two objects or pieces of furniture, stepping on a series of pieces of paper taped to the floor or crawling through a tunnel made from blankets or couch cushions. Add difficulty by requiring players to wear a hat while competing, jumping three times after each station or whatever else you can imagine. (This idea comes from 365 TV-Free Activities You Can Do with Your Child by Steve and Ruth Bennett.)
Fun Indoor Games
(that take up less space and use less action)
Losing Your Marbles – Place two saucers, about 5 inches away from each other, on a table. Put six marbles in each saucer. The object of the game is to move each of the marbles from one saucer to the other using only two plastic straws.
Safe Darts – Cover a piece of cardboard with flannel and use fabric paints to create point zones. Place a small piece of Velcro (the small round peel-and-stick pieces work great!) on several ping pong balls and use them as “darts.”
Table Top Hockey – Line a table with books to create field boundaries. Use a wadded up piece of paper for the puck and popsicle sticks for hockey sticks.
Baptism – Someone who is “it” chooses a category (such as: famous people, state capitals, colors, Disney movies – anything), which is shared with the group. “It” thinks of one item from that category and, without sharing with anyone, writes the word on a piece of paper (examples that match the previously listed categories might be: Marilyn Monroe; Boise, Idaho; orange; The Incredibles). “It” fills a sewing thimble with water and holds it over each player’s head, one by one, as they name items from the category that has been announced. Each answer may only be said once. If someone guesses the correct answer or names something that has already been said, they get the thimble of water dumped on their head and become the next “It.” (Side note: The only reason for writing down the thought-of item is to keep “It” honest! Otherwise, it might be too easy for him/her to dump the water on whatever head he/she thinks deserves it at the moment.)
Hot / Cold – This is an easy, play-at-any-time fun indoor game (although it could be an outdoor game, too), especially for young children. Send a person out of the room and while they are away, hide something - a picture, treasure, $1 bill – whatever! The person comes back into the room and begins searching for the hidden item. As they get close to the item, let them know by saying they’re getting “warmer.” If they are going away from the item, say they’re getting “colder.” Far away is cold; close is hot.
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