When the weather doesn't permit outdoor activities, your family can still get their wiggles out with these indoor exercises for kids. Choose from 25 exercises ranging from hallway mazes and animal races to indoor hopscotch and balloon volleyball. These fun ideas will get kids of all ages moving and shaking, and you won't even have to break a sweat to keep them entertained!
Indoor Exercises for Older Kids and Teens
Older kids have a tendency to lie around on devices if allowed, and it can be a challenge to get them moving, especially when they can't head outdoors. These creative activities will keep older children and teens interested and exercising within the four walls of your home.
Obstacle Course Challenge
Use everyday household items to create an obstacle course for kids to hop, crawl, and weave through. Include age-appropriate challenges to test kids' motor skills without ever having to venture outside.
Movement Scavenger Hunt
Scavenger hunts are fun ways for kids to move about through the home. You can hide objects in various parts of the house for kids to find. Include a physical task that must be done with each item found. Kids can only move forward in the hunt once an object is discovered and after the physical activity that goes along with it is performed.
If you have a standard Jenga game at home, turn it into something special! On several of the Jenga blocks, write physical activities kids can do. Ideas can be:
- Ten sit-ups
- Ten push-ups
- 20 jumping jacks
- Five somersaults
- 15 lunges
When a block that includes an exercise direction is removed, kids have to perform that task.
Practicing yoga is an excellent way to calm and center teenage minds while moving bodies. Get teens involved in learning a few basic yoga moves that they can work into their daily routine. Join in the fun and reap the benefits yourself. Doing yoga is a perfect way to bond with your teenager.
Human Knot Game
If you happen to have a gang of teens hanging around the house doing a whole lot of nothing, try a group game to get them moving. The human knot game works their minds and bodies and is bound to get a few giggles out of them.
Indoor Exercises for Little Ones
It is recommended that kids receive roughly 120 minutes of physical activity each day. When it is raining and pouring, how are you going to work all that exercise and movement into your young child's schedule? Here are a few easy ideas that help them move their bodies and keep them happy and engaged.
Little kids love racing and pretend play. Combine both beloved activities to create indoor animal races. Line tykes up and give them an animal to walk, hop or crawl like. They then race to wherever the finish line is, but they must do it without breaking animal character. A few ideas to try out are:
- Walk like a crab
- Hop like a bunny
- Slither like a snake
- Jump like a frog
Gather up old 20-ounce pop bottles or two-liter bottles and set up a bowling alley right in the hallway. Use a soft ball to roll towards the pins and see if kids can score themselves a strike!
Hallway Maze Challenge
Using painter's tape and hallway space, create a fun laser maze for children to navigate. See if they can make it through the entire thing without snapping the tape.
Nothing beats a good old dance party in the middle of the day. Shake the sillies out with your favorite kid tunes in the living room. Dance parties are guaranteed to get blood pumping and families giggling. Try a few fun variations of dance parties, like freeze dancing or slow-motion dancing.
Potato Sack Race
Little kids will get a kick out of trying an old-fashioned potato sack race. You'll need nothing more than a pillowcase to perform this indoor activity. Kids simply step inside the pillowcase and hop over to the finish line!
Charades is a favorite game amongst little kids because it allows them to pretend to be something else for a spell. Fill a hat with different ideas that kids can act out, and then watch as kids transform into whatever the card says.
Younger kids are still learning to follow directions, so Simon Says is a perfect activity to hone in on those skills while moving about. The parent gives kids directions by saying, "Simon Says..." or by leaving those two words out of the instruction. Kids may ONLY do the activity if the parent says, "Simon Says." If those words are left out, then kids should stay still.
Orange and Spoon Race
Give little kids a small orange and a spoon (a teaspoon and tablespoon will probably be too small for this activity. Look for a small ladle instead). The object is to race from a start to finish line without letting the orange drop to the floor. You can also try this race with older kids, but ask them to close their eyes for an added challenge.
Favorite Outdoor Games Brought Indoors
No doubt there are TONS of games and activities to do outside. Can any of your children's go-to sports be brought indoors? The following games are all traditionally played outdoors, but they can be modified to fit an indoor space as well.
Hopscotch is a classic playground or street game, but you can bring it inside on rainy days with a bit of creativity. Instead of using chalk to draw your hopscotch boxes, try using painter's tape or masking tape. Kids will have just as much fun playing this classic game inside as they would outdoors.
You don't need an ice rink to play a round of hockey. You can create a modified version of the sport using a hallway space, painter's tape, mini hockey sticks, and a soft puck. Using painter's tape, make a centerline and outlined goalie boxes in a long hallway space. Kids whack the puck back and forth in an attempt to score the game-winning goal!
Blow up a balloon and bat it back and forth, emulating the game of volleyball. Kids score a point when they hit the balloon to the opposing player, and the opposing player fails to keep the balloon in the air. You can create a net by tying a string to two objects in the center of play. For a hit to count, the balloon must go over the string.
Who doesn't enjoy a rousing game of hide-and-seek? This game can be played with your entire family. Everyone hides somewhere in the home except one person. That person is the seeker, and they are responsible for finding the other hiding family members. Play this game very quietly and listen for little giggles from kids hiding under beds and behind closet doors.
Living Room Jump Rope
Head out to the garage and bring the jump ropes inside. Move all the family room furniture out of the way so you can work some physical activity into television time. Put on the kids' favorite program, but when the commercials come on, everyone gets up, grabs a jump rope, and starts jumping!
Tape red Solo cups or styrofoam cups to the floor. These are your golf ball holes. Kids move about trying to score holes in one, just as they would at a mini-golf course.
Playing outdoor tennis is a fun way to get exercise. Take your love of tennis inside and play the tabletop version on your dining room table. With a bit of imagination and a few common household items, you can make a tennis table indoors.
Indoor Exercises for Kids to Try Solo
If you have an only child or one of your kids is home without siblings for most of the day, keeping them moving and entertained can be challenging. These five physical activities are easily done solo; no siblings or friends are necessary!
Hacky sack CAN be played with multiple people, but kids can also work on their skills independently. Challenge them to see how many juggles they can get in an afternoon. What is their top score? Take a break from work and verse them in juggles.
Kid-Friendly Fitness Video
When your creativity is running low, and children need activity and entertaining, give a fitness video a try. You can also find a few excellent fitness activity tutorials online. GoNoodle is a fantastic resource that keeps kids moving and engaged all on their own.
Can You Balance? Challenge
Create a list of balance challenges for kids to take on. Hand them a list of ideas to try, and set them free to test their motor skills. Ideas for balance challenges are:
- Can you stand on your head for 10 seconds?
- Can you balance on your left foot while closing your eyes? (It's harder than it sounds!)
- Balance on a small box standing on your right foot.
- Balance on the back of the couch.
- Balance your body on the dining room chair while lying on your tummy.
The Floor Is Lava
Playing The Floor is Lava can be done with multiple kids or a single child. The challenge here is to never allow your body parts to touch the floor (which is the lava). Kids hop from object to object, trying to make it to the finish spot without getting scorched. When playing this activity independently, challenge kids to get through a course while scoring their lowest time.
This activity is a great idea for younger children in need of something active to do. Pull out a large-piece board puzzle (aim for 25 pieces.) Hide the pieces all over the house. Your child then races through the home, searching for all the puzzle pieces. Once they've found all the pieces, they must put the puzzle together!
Get Creative and Get Moving!
Just because the kids can't spend an afternoon outdoors doesn't mean they have to lie around watching television. There are plenty of fun and interesting games and activities for children to try out inside the home. Body movement is crucial to all developing children, so be sure to make the time to encourage active play every day.