When the weather gets nasty and school's out for the holidays, you might find yourself with a house full of kids full of way too much energy, with no way to burn it but to drive you crazy and bounce of the walls. But fear not, because my gift to you this holiday season is a go-to list for some serious indoor family fun that will not only entertain and keep those kids busy, but tire them out and let them have a great time doing it all too.
1) Play games that involve the whole body. We love twister, leap frog, hide and seek, hide the toy (or candy cane), musical chairs, pin the tail on the donkey, red-light-green-light and jump rope.
2) Suggest activities that are not totally sedentary, like putting on a puppet show instead of watching a movie, or playing a marching band and making up music instead of just listening to the radio. Have the kids work together and put on a little performance that you can reward with popcorn, for example. It gives them something to work towards and keeps them focused and interested. They can also dress up and get in costume for this, which is fun.
3) Think of games your kids enjoy in the summer outdoors, which you can bring inside. Easy garden party games like potato-sack races, relays, obstacle courses, even indoor soccer (setup small goals on each side of a hallways or garage), etc. My daughter loves hopscotch on the sidewalk, so I let her draw with chalk on our wood floor, or the cement floor in our basement, and it wipes off super easily when she's done!
4) One word: Magic tricks! There are so many simple, easy magic tricks you can look up on line and teach the kids or show them with just a deck of cards, or some dice. Show them a few and then let them work on those and do a magic show for the family later on.
5) Large art projects are a great way to spend time indoors and keep kids busy and happy. You can buy gel markers and let them draw on windows; you can put large pieces of paper up and let them make a mural; you can roll up a rug or cover a hallway with paper and help them make body tracings they can decorate.
6) Stretch! Not every kid is into yoga but that's no problem. Look up some simple yoga poses like Down Dog, Cow, Cat, Tree pose, Warrior, Mountain Pose, Child's pose and such, and let your kids enjoy creating these positions-and trying to hold them!-with their bodies. Ask them what type of tree they are, or what color cat, or which breed of dog. Help them use their imaginations to make stretching fun.
7) Boogie! Have a dance off, or a dance party or turn off the lights and put a spot light onto a wall and do some shadow dancing. Kids, especially little ones, need nothing more than some good music to get down and boogie. Try a rockin' conga line, do the hokey-pokey, have a hula hoop or limbo contest to change things up a bit.
How do you keep your kids active and happy indoors over the school holidays?