Creative Indoor Activities for Kids

September 2017 By: Kathleen Smith, MS, CHES Exercise Specialist, Children's Healthcare of Atlanta
kids playing with balloons in living room
All Ages

Too hot, too cold, even too rainy —sometimes, you just can’t get outside. As the mom of two young, active boys, I know staying inside often leads to boredom and excess screen time for the kids and you.

Over the years, my family and I have put together a go-to list of activities that keep us busy and active when playing outside isn’t an option. From setting up indoor obstacle courses to playing indoor volleyball, these games will help keep everyone moving until it’s time to head back outdoors.

  • Set up an obstacle course using household items like pillows as “rocks” to jump over.
  • Have a scavenger hunt around the house.
  • Turn on some music and dance! Make a game of it by putting one person in charge of the music and having everyone freeze when the music’s turned off.
  • Pretend the floor is hot lava!!! Put paper plates or pieces of construction paper around a room. Kids jump from paper to paper as they try to avoid the “hot lava floor.” The kids must travel from plate to plate (or paper to paper). Remember ... don’t fall in!
  • Blow up balloons and play volleyball or basketball inside. 
    • Safety tip: Latex balloons are the number one choking hazard our doctors treat in the ED, so as soon as a balloon pops, be sure to throw all of the remaining pieces away immediately.
  • Have animal races. Take turns calling out an animal name. When an animal is called, everyone has to move like that animal to a finish line. Make the animal noise, too, and you will have everyone laughing.
  • See who can do the most toe touches, jumping jacks, or exercise of your choice in one minute. You can even have a “counter” and “exerciser” to make it a friendly competition. Once the first “exerciser” is finished, just switch positions.
kids playing with balloons in living room