The winter season brings shorter, colder days, which causes many families to retreat into their homes until the “hibernation period” is over. While everyone loves feeling warm and cozy, it’s not always easy finding new ways to keep the little ones entertained when you’re all cooped up in the house. Not to worry! Below are 6 fun indoor games that will help you beat those winter blues.
1. Try indoor hopscotch.
While you would normally use sidewalk chalk to sketch a hopscotch grid outside, masking tape can take care of that job indoors. Just tape your grid (and the numbers) on the floor or carpet, and get to hopping and ‘scotching!
2. Put on a scavenger hunt.
Give your kids their own “Amazing Race”-style experience by putting on an indoor scavenger hunt. Create clues and hide them all over the house, with each clue leading to the next one. If you want to get fancy with it, you can even record yourself giving one of the clues on an MP3 audio recorder (or something similar), and when your kids get to that one particular stop, they can press the “play” button to hear the clue. Set up some cool prizes as rewards for finishing the hunt, such as a yummy snack or a cool (but inexpensive) toy. Not only will this be loads of fun and excitement for your little ones, but it also engages all kinds of great cognitive skills to further their development.
3. Go water bottle bowling.
You don’t have to hit the lanes to go 10-pin bowling; just use empty plastic water bottles and a ball from the dollar store to crank up your own bowling game at home! The fine folks over at U Create Crafts [http://www.u-createcrafts.com/plastic-bottle-bowling/] have posted a wonderful tutorial on how to use inexpensive acrylic paint to make multi-colored bottles for your bowling pins, which will give this game a crafty-esque spin as well.
4. Send the kids on a “spy mission”.
We’ve all seen those movies where a spy is trying to infiltrate an enemy’s compound, and they’re faced with maneuvering across a room that has been rigged with all kinds of red laser beam sensors. You can replicate this same scenario in one of the rooms of your home by taping several strands of red yarn in criss-crossing configurations across the space. Once you’ve set everything up, send your child on a “spy mission” to see if they can make it across the room without touching a single strand of yarn.
5. Create an indoor obstacle course.
You can use large pillows, couch cushions, hula hoops, chairs, blankets, and practically any other object you see fit to create a fun and challenging indoor obstacle course for the kiddos to enjoy. Create a course that will have them jumping, crawling, stretching, and hopping from one obstacle to the next, which will help them get a good dose of exercise in the midst of all the fun.
6. Try the balloon challenge.
This is one of the simplest games in the world, but it can really captivate a preschooler’s attention. Inflate a regular-sized balloon and toss it into the air, and then tell your kids that they have to keep it from hitting the ground at all costs. Set the rules to where they can do anything but grab the balloon with their hands in order to keep it afloat. Consider timing them to see how long they can keep it from touching the ground, or even challenge them by counting how many times they can bump, punch, kick, volley, headbutt, or otherwise keep the balloon afloat.
This winter, your kids don’t have to be affected by cabin fever. Try the games listed above to give them plenty of good laughs and fun times on those cold winter days!