70 Indoor Activities and Games for your Children

70 Activités et Jeux Intérieures pour vos Enfants

We have compiled a list (70!!) of indoor activities and active games that will inspire you when they need to expend a little energy or simply keep them busy.

Is the weather unsuitable for going out today? How can we occupy our little raccoons who are wreaking havoc in their natural habitats?

These activities combat boredom and also test the mind, the body, their motor skills, their coordination, their flexibility and a little strength!

child, rain

Keep this survival list handy in case it snows, rains, gets too cold or hot, or just gets bored!

But if the weather is nice, why not go for a walk?

We also created a list of 40 beautiful nature walks in the major regions of Quebec .

Game Lists:

12 Games with Adhesive Tape or String

10 Games with Inflatable Balloons

12 Throwing Games

2 Treasure Hunting Games

3 Maze and Obstacle Games

7 Sports Games

11 Classic Active Games

3 Random Games of a Dice

1 Bonus Idea!

4 Games to Become an Actor/Actress

2 Imaginative Games

3 of Music + Dance

Exercise Videos

Do the housework (yes!)

child t-shirt

12 Games with tape or string

If you have a roll of painting tape it will be your best friend once you try these ideas that allow children to exercise their energy in all kinds of creative ways. Otherwise, string will work almost as well as ribbon.

rope games

Shape games with ribbon: use this tape to put a variety of shapes, letters and/or numbers on your floor. Ask your child to stand on their favorite and then give them instructions to follow that will lead them to their next destination (for example: "walk like a bear to the square", "jump like a frog to the square"). to the T", "run to the rectangle")). This game allows children to move, but also helps them learn their shapes, letters and numbers.

If you have colorful “mats” ask your child to do fun things such as “bounce like a rabbit to green,” “tiptoe to yellow,” and “knees high to red.”

Watch Out for the Alligators : One of the all-time favorite indoor games. Simply scatter "islands" or "boats" on the floor (use pillows, stuffed animals, towels, etc.), then have your children jump from one to another without falling into the "water" and risk being eaten by a hungry alligator. Bonus if a parent plays said hungry alligator and chomps on them when they fall into the water!

Tape lines: Make 5-10 separate lines of tape, each about 20-30cm apart, on your floor or carpet. Label the line “start” first, then give your children simple instructions:

Long jump: see how many lines they can cross. Have them try to beat their high score every time. Experiment with swinging your arms versus arms behind your back.

Jump with a few steps: now let them start taking 1, 2, 3 steps back and see if they can jump even further!

Backward long jump: increase the difficulty by performing a backward jump. Be careful, tell them to do a little jump at the beginning because keeping their balance is more difficult.

Hop: How far can they jump on one leg?

Long stride: How far can their leg reach with one foot on the starting line?

Create a race track: use your ribbon (or string) to create a huge road system for your children's toy cars (or little people). Add a little math, have them measure the length of their track. The key to making it active is to make it large-scale, so they engage their core muscles while crawling around.

Hopscotch: Make a simple hopscotch game. Create a large square with your tape, then divide it into 9 or more smaller squares, marking random numbers in each one. Now ask your child to perform a specific movement to reach the next number like "jump to 10", "zoom to 3", "swipe to 67".

Balance game: Whether with ribbon or string on the ground, you can make a path for them on the ground (or let them do it themselves) so that they can balance on the ribbon or string “without falling down”. Leave a gap between certain ends so that they have to jump to reach the other end while keeping 1 foot on it. Does the course go over certain obstacles? It’s up to the parent to decide!

10 Games with inflatable balls

All children love “balloons” so use this enthusiasm to get them moving. You just need to change a few “rules” to get them moving around to develop their gross motor skills while burning off some of their energy.

Always keep a few on hand when things get tough at home.

**Quick reminder to say burst balloon pieces can be a serious choking hazard, so if you have young children, make sure they are supervised during these activities at all times**

child with inflatable ball

The ball cannot touch the ground : This is the classic game that kids fall for every time. The rules are simple: throw the ball in the air, but don't let it hit the ground. To make it more difficult for older children, have them use more than one ball.

You can increase the level of difficulty (and the energy spent) by telling them to use only one hand or both hands, 1 ball, or 2, or 3!

Time them to see how long they can do it, or if you have multiple kids, have them count how many times they can hit it back and forth... then see if they can beat their time or who does the better! This game is great for improving arm strength and hand-eye coordination.

Add Stuffed Animals to the Floor or other small objects that they have to get around while hitting the ball. Or have your child choose their favorite stuffed animal and hold it in their hand so that it's basically the one kicking the ball. You would be surprised how this simple variation can further increase their pleasure!

Penguin walk : place a balloon between your child's knees and make them walk without dropping it or bursting it. Make it more difficult for older children by having them go around a few obstacles. If they drop it, they have to go back to the beginning.

For several children, have them play as a team with the ball placed between their hips. Once they get the hang of it, get out your timer to see how quickly they can do it.

“Pinata” balloon : Hang a balloon by a string from your door so that it is a few inches higher than your child's arm reach. Then challenge them to try tapping it with their hand. Count how many they can do in a row without failing (it gets tiring very quickly!). Up the ante by seeing if they can jump and touch the ball with the top of their head!

Blow the ball on the ground : Set out a course and see if your child can blow the ball to the finish line on all fours or face down on the floor. They will need to do a lot of exercises working their upper body and core strength.

Backhand Ball Balance : Challenge your kids to balance a ball on the back of their hand on a short course and see how long they can do it before it falls to the ground.

“Racket” balloon : Use a fly swatter, tennis/badminton racket, or make your own racket using a paper plate and a popsicle stick (or use a paint stick or plastic spoon). plastic), then use it to play the games above.

These “racquets” are also fun for balancing your ball. Have your kids try to keep their ball on the paddle while they go through obstacles or run around the house. Not as easy as it looks if mom or dad tries too!

Foot Balance Ball : For a real challenge, have your kids lie on the floor with their legs in the air and try to balance the ball on their feet. This is not an easy task and requires a lot of concentration. It's also a great core workout!

Ball volleyball : Make a “net” by tying a piece of string between 2 chairs, then have your child hit the ball back and forth while running from side to side, trying to keep it there. above the ground. If you have 2 or more children, have them hit it on the net as many times as possible without it falling. To play basketball, take a laundry basket or a box larger than the ball.

12 Movement games and throwing

Warning : you're going to have a hard time deciding which of these fun games to play first. They are so entertaining that you will want to join them too!

postit child games

Aim for “Post Its” : Stick several PostIts or any other piece of paper on a door or a piece of wall and write a different letter on each (in random order). Make a line on the floor a few feet from the pasted papers (further if you have older children) and ask your child to stand behind it with a soft ball, a stocking roll or 2, a small bag of beans, a stuffed animal.


Now have them throw their object to try to hit the “A” or “T”. Players with more advanced aiming and spelling skills can try to hit all the letters in specific words (to make it even harder, if they miss any of the letters, have them start from scratch !).

Alternatively, write different point values ​​on each sticky and give your child 10 throws. For each target hit, record the number of points. At the end of the round, count up to crown a winner (or if playing solo, have them try to beat their previous score). Make sure your children collect their throwing object themselves! Running and bending over to pick it up again and again is part of the exercise.

Aim at the ground: Instead of aiming high, your children will now have to throw an object to land on pieces of paper on the ground or in boxes, on a cousin. The same rules as above may apply. This game is also played with traditional “pockets” but throwing rolled up stockings or with a little rice or dry lentils inside is always more fun and requires more energy to throw (be careful of the holes!). Increase the difficulty by increasing the distance, or changing hands!

Do you have little bouncing balls? : Get out some plastic cups and a few bouncing balls (or any small object that can fit in the glass) and ask your children to throw the ball to a partner and try to catch it in the glass. For less skilled children, give them a small box to make it easier. Start by being close together, then continue taking a step back to increase the challenge. For a solo child, they can simply throw the ball into the air or at a wall and try to catch it.

Crab Walk : Teach your child how to do the crab walk, then see how fast he can dash across the room. Organize races with siblings (or yourself!), then increase the difficulty level by having them balance a stuffed animal on their stomach. If it falls, they have to go back to the beginning and start again!

For younger children, you can start with the name of their favorite four-legged animal, and add a stuffed animal or small object on their back when they crawl.

Cotton Ball Race : This game is a lot of fun and involves moving a pile of cotton balls from one room to another using a spoon. Featherweight cotton balls make it easier to take off if they don't balance it perfectly. Not easy if they try to go fast to beat their record!

Indoor Croquet : Create your own indoor croquet course using small balls or paper balls. Give them a spoon or something they can use to hit the ball or paper ball. Nothing in sight? So tell them to “flick” the ball of paper to make it move across the floor! If you don't have a tunnel to pass the ball of paper through, take an empty can or plastic container. Enhance the activity by writing active tasks on each "tunnel" that must be completed once their ball has passed such as "do 15 jumping jacks as fast as you can" or "go up and down the stairs 2 times."

Chain for movement : You need at least 2 players for this interactive game where the first person starts by performing a certain movement - this could be something simple like jumping 2 times, or more complex like holding a plank for 30 seconds. The next person should perform the first movement, then add another, forming a chain. The next person does the 2 previous movements and adds their own. You continue doing this until the chain sequence is broken (usually forgotten!) and that person is eliminated. The last one standing is the winner.

Potato (or ball) race : This is a favorite because the kids think it's a little silly. Have all participants place a potato between their knees and run to a finish line where they must drop it into a designated bowl or bucket. If the potato falls, or the hands touch it, they have to go back to the beginning and try again. This is also a good game for groups of children: divide them into 2 teams and have a relay race to see which one can put all their potatoes in the bucket first!)

The mirror : Stand face to face with your child, about a foot away, and ask him to copy all your movements. Stretch towards the sky. Do 5 jumping jacks. Run in place. Act like a cat. Have fun and you'll both be sweating in no time. Then, reverse the roles and copy your child - they won't be able to hold back the laughter (and neither will you!).

throw in pan games

Airplane Throwing : Make paper airplanes and throw them. The thing? You have to collect it and bring it back to the starting line without walking - this could be running, jumping, skipping, twirling, crawling... let them get creative!

Pillowcase Run : On hardwood or tile floors, sit on a pillowcase (or t-shirt) and use your arms and legs to complete a “run” course.

On a mat, tell them to put their feet in the pillowcase and do a little run, a course, or use a ball in another hand!

Target throw : Set up targets (empty water bottles or paper towel rolls work great) and have your kids try to knock them over with soft objects (example: bottom roll up). Increasing the distance to improve their coordination and the exercise comes from having to go back and forth between retrieving their items and the starting line.

2 Treasure Hunt Ideas

We parents often look for some of our things (hello keys, wallet, phone) but the children don't have the same happiness! So help them with a scavenger hunt of their own with creative ideas.

Hide 1, 2 or 3 things that they really like : a toy, a book, a dog, etc. For younger children, hide it in just 1 room (and don't hide them too well!). For the slightly older ones you can make things a little more complicated by hiding them better or even giving them a set time in advance.

In the dark or half-light : If you have a room that can become dark enough by turning off the lights and closing the blinds, send your children into a flashlight or that of your phone where they must find certain objects hidden in the darkness using 'a flashlight. Kids often go crazy for this game!

3 Ideas for a maze or obstacle course

Incredible ideas for creating your own DIY maze or obstacle course will test your child's strategic skills while getting their heart racing.

head swing games

Mission Impossible Obstacles : Using adhesive tape, armchair cushions, brooms, create obstacles in a corridor or room so that your children can navigate with their bodies. Put the band up and down, forcing them to step over and crawl under in various places.

The small problem with this game is that after once they will want you to do it to them often!

This game is great for preschoolers because it allows them to work on their spatial body and problem-solving skills - plus gets them up and moving.

Obstacle Course : This tried and tested idea is always a huge hit with kids and can be modified each time so it never gets old. Be sure to create an engaging course that includes a variety of movements (jumping, crawling, balancing, etc.) and uses a large surface area. Have your kids help create the course (which is half the fun!) using some of these creative ideas:

- Hoops to jump through

- Ribbon line for balancing walking

- Sofa cushions to jump between

- Table to crawl under

- Cover on 2 chairs to cross the crab

- Tupperware containers to cross

- Stuffed animals to roll

- Plastic cups to run between

We love that obstacle courses are great for kids of all ages - younger kids just love being able to complete all the obstacles, while older kids can race against each other or against the clock.

You can even have them try it by balancing a bean bag or stuffed animal over their head, or with one hand behind their back.

Take 10 minutes to set up a super engaging course, and you'll benefit from happy, exhausted kids.

Do you have a garage that is not too full ? Sometimes the most obvious ideas don't come to mind until it's too late. If you have a garage, why not take your car out and let your kids run wild in the open (but covered) space. Depending on their size, they could use their scooters, bikes and other outdoor ride-on toys, or play a game of tag, catch, soccer or street hockey. The best part about it is that your kids actually feel like they have outdoor play time.

7 Sports games

Another way to bring the outdoors inside is to adapt your child's favorite outdoor sports to be indoor-friendly. Try these variations for lots of sweaty fun:

Games toss in the basket

Basketball : A basket or any container, a ball or soft object that they can throw and that's it. Basketball game! Place laundry baskets, buckets, boxes and place them on the floor, stairs or hang them on a doorknob or hook. Make your own balls with a ball of paper, rolled up socks or stuffed animals.

See who can shoot the basket from the farthest. Put lines of tape on the floor to see how many baskets they can make from each one. Or set a timer for 1 minute and challenge them to make as many baskets as possible (running to get the “ball” after each shot!).

Skating with paper plates : simply take 2 paper plates, remove shoes and stockings so you are barefoot (they will "stick" better), then slide them. This is a good solution for “skating” on carpet!

Let them try it with a pair of woolen mittens under their feet.

Bowling : Set up your bowling "lane" with painter's tape (or a hallway is perfect) and use plastic bottles or cups for bowling. Use any type of ball to play bowling, trying to knock down as many pins as possible. Keep track of the score or just aim to knock them all down in one round. Create a pyramid of plastic cups for even more fun.

Hockey : Bring outdoor nets inside, or set up a goal using 2 cones (or plastic cups), a chair (mark by passing it through the legs) or a simple door frame. Use any soft or paper ball.

Mini Golf : If you already have mini golf putters, you will only need a few “holes” to start your golf game. Glue plastic cups on their sides to the ground or create tunnels with pieces of construction paper. If you don't have putters, use long rolls of wrapping paper, hockey sticks, pool noodles, or spoons for cooking and playing on your knees!

Dress the players : Have them put on their favorite sports clothes and meet at a designated location within minutes. Just wearing "special clothes" will get them out of boredom and excited for what's ahead!

11 Classic Game Ideas

Some games are classics for a reason: they're just fun. These are our favorites, updated for modern indoor play:

Egg and Spoon Race : Grab a spoon and any small round object that fits on top (or if you're brave and have easy to clean floors, go ahead and use a real egg!). Create a course for your child to navigate and see if they can do it without dropping it off the spoon. Once they understand, focus on speed!

egg and spoon games

Potato Sack Race : Update this classic using pillowcases! Have your kids step in and hold it around their waist, then jump to the finish. So simple, but they will laugh like crazy and get tired at the same time.

3-legged race : Do you have 2 who need to move? Secure the outer ankles of these 2 children with something soft and stretchy like a long ski sock, PJ pants or bandage. Now they will have to work as a team to coordinate their movements to get from point A to point B. This is one of our favorites because it not only strengthens gross motor coordination, but is also great for bonding between siblings and sisters!

The wheel barrow : Take wheelbarrow racing to the next level by asking your child to complete a puzzle or collect other objects. Set up a wooden puzzle board and scatter the pieces around a room. Grab your child's ankles (or hips to make it easier for toddlers) and hold them so they can walk on their hands to pick them up. They must bring each piece 1 by 1 and insert it into the board until the puzzle is completed. (this is ideal for strengthening the upper body!)

Hoop : If you have a Hula Hoop, now is the perfect time to dust it off and bring it back to life. Make it fresh by turning it into a game like who can make the most circles around their waist, arm or ankle. For little ones, place it on the floor and practice jumping in/out, side to side or have them pick it up and use it as a steering wheel to drive an imaginary car all around of the House !

Jumping Limbo : Do ​​Limbo in reverse: instead of going under it, have your kids jump over it! Using something flexible like a stretchy exercise band, string, or jump rope, have 2 people hold it (or attach it to something on one side) and start it on the ground. Have your children run in a circle and then jump over them. After a few successful jumps, raise it a few centimeters. Keep lifting it until they can't jump any higher!

Red light, green light (purple light?!): Your kids go crazy for this game every time. We like to add a few different colored lights as the game continues to keep it interesting:

Yellow light: Slowly crawl to the ground

Green light: Jump like a frog

Blue light: jump to try to touch the sky

Purple Light: Do a silly dance

Hide and seek: Make the game more active by having them hide on different levels (if you have them) of your house each time, that way they go up and down the stairs every few minutes. Or have the player found first perform a "penalty" which can include classic exercises like jumping jacks, burpees or sit-ups!

Jean Dit : Introduce your child to the Jean Dit game and he will make all the active movements you dream of. But make sure you always make them a little silly - think animal movements, dramatic actions and anything that fits on a foot.

Twister : Stretch out well by playing a game of twister. Don't have the game? No problem! Create your own by gluing paper circles to the floor.

Parachute : Grab a bed sheet and get your whole family involved - everyone takes sides and moves their arms up and down quickly. Put small balls or balloons on top and try to knock them down. The kids love it!

3 Activities chosen with a die

We love these fun, interactive games where you assign a task by rolling a die or cube with things to do on it. Children simply roll the cube to see which activity they have to do and for how long. You can create different themes like animal movements (think "run like a rabbit" or "jump like a frog") or opt for classic exercises (jumps, sit-ups or planks anyone?) and put them to use. scale appropriately for your child's age and ability.

games with a child

Kids really love these simple but slightly silly games, and you can easily change them up with new tasks to keep them fresh. Here are some of our favorite variations:

(1) Superhero dice : Not bad for all children who love superheroes. Just write down hero names, roll the die and they will fly like Superman, zoom like a Batmobile and run like Flash or fly like the gallery chase!

(2) Animal Action Dice : Write creative animal moves like “Crawl like a Snake” and “Jump like a Squirrel”.

(3) Move like an insect : Dice giving ideas for the movement of insects and their movements. Your kids will have fun crawling like caterpillars and flapping like butterflies while burning off lots of energy!

1 Bonus Idea!

These may not be printable, but they are very easy to execute and still extremely engaging.

Assign a die : on a sheet of paper, assign each number from 1 to 6 a movement or action. Ask your child to roll a die and complete the task assigned to the corresponding number. Make it active but stupid for best results. Some fun ones to try:

Do 10 jumps… blindfolded!

Walk backwards like a crab around the edge of the room

Fly like a bird to the bathroom and back

The snake crawls for 20 seconds

For more fun, use 2 dice and assign moves to one die (running, jumping, etc.) and animals to the other. Roll them both and your kids will "slide like a monkey", "jump like a fish" or "jump like an elephant" amid bursts of laughter.

4 Ideas: Become an actor/actress

This isn't a problem for most children, as acting is often a skill they practice daily (consciously or not!). Ask your kids to channel that drama into these exciting activities that also reduce their energy.

Motion Charades : Pretend to be your favorite animal, superhero or sports player by imitating their signature moves (no sounds allowed!). The other players try to guess who they are – the first to do it correctly gets a point. If your kids have trouble thinking on the spot, write down some suggestions and place them in a hat to draw from when it's their turn

Create a show : invite your children to create their own play (you will provide the audience!). The only catch is that they have to create it around an activity you give them - this could be a sport, an activity (karate, dance, gymnastics) or our personal favorite, a juggling circus show ( attempts at least) and jumping through hoops. Once they're ready to perform, record it on video to make it look like a real production (plus, kids love watching themselves on tape so you have some down time while the replay plays) .

Have a fashion show : Kids love dressing up, and this idea takes that love to the next level. Create a long parade with tape or kraft paper and invite your fashionistas to take their best walk while you pump out the music. You can play judge, awarding points for style, creativity and their overall attitude.

Choreograph a Routine : If your child loves dance, theater, or just loves being the star of the show, challenge them to choreograph a one-minute solo routine to perform in front of their loyal fans (you). Not only does it get kids thinking creatively and working independently (i.e. mommy takes a break), but it also gets their blood flowing as they practice over and over until until it's perfect.

2 Imaginative games

Exercise your child's body and mind with these active imaginative games.

Snowball Fight : Create an indoor snow fight by creating your own snowballs from crumpled up pieces of newspaper. Build your own fort for shelter between casts. It's a favorite with kids and they burn a ton of energy dodging and avoiding incoming blizzards.

Bear hunt (burn or freeze) : Hide a bear (or other stuffed animal) somewhere in your house and ask your child to find it (use "hot" or "cold" for younger children who can need a little direction).

3 Ideas Music + dance

It's time to bust out your best 90s dance moves and turn up the music. With these games, your kids will forget all about the rain or snow outside, and instead, they'll be dancing up a storm of their own.

dancing with children

A dancing parties ! Turn on the high energy music and dance! Make sure you have a large open space (away from toys to trip over) and twist, twist, and weave your way around the room. Add musical instruments or turn out the lights and bring out glow sticks to keep the party going.

Dance and Freeze : Add a game to your dance party where one person stops the music and everyone else must instantly freeze. If you catch someone moving, they are eliminated. The last one standing (or dancing in this case) wins.

Musical letters : Make pieces of paper with big letters on them and spread them around the room. Play music while they dance, then stop it and call out one of the letters. They must immediately find the letter and sit on it. If they choose the wrong one, have them do 15 jumping jacks (or whatever age-appropriate move you decide). Adapt this activity to your child's level - use colors, numbers or words to make it easier or more difficult.

Exercise videos!

Let's face it, most kids would love to sit in front of their iPad on a rainy day for hours, but a burst of pent-up energy at bedtime isn't exactly our idea of ​​fun. Instead, turn their “device” time into fun exercise by turning on kid-friendly YouTube exercise videos.

What are your favorite YouTube channels and videos to get your kids moving?

To do the housework (!!)

Oh yes! Vacuum cleaner, broom or Swiffer, open your cleaning cupboard and ask your child to choose their favorite tool. The Swiffer always seems to be a highly coveted item, and having them work their push/pull muscles while cleaning the house is a win-win combination. Do your children do the housework? Yes, try it. Ok, it won't be perfect but still! ;)

brooms for cleaning with children