Inside: These indoor games for kids to play at home on those rainy days will keep your littles (and adults) happy all day long! Enjoy some needed screen-free time and have fun with your high-energy kids.
Either something fragile of mine broke, or my upstair neighbor’s decided to take up river dancing while they did a little cleaning in their kitchen.
I know it’s hard being stuck inside all day. Especially if you are trying to avoid the tantalizing temptation of turning on the television.
“It’s only one show, Mom!“
Yea, it’s one show, but after that show is over, I feel like I’m trapped in a house with Grumpy McGrump-pants. and his fearless crew.
I check where the sounds of the crash came and the kids disappear as fast as crispy bacon off a hot skillet. Thankfully the damage wasn’t too severe.
“Let’s play a game!” I shout.
Each of my young children takes turns shouting at me their ideas for a fun time inside on a rainy day. Most suggestions are met with shouts of disapproval and “Ew, gross!” from each other.
Then this list was created.
So, until they can run free on a warm spring day at our local park, we play one of their many favorite indoor games.
I want to make this list as helpful to you as possible, which is why I broke these indoor game ideas up into the following sections.
Insiders Scoop: For quick reading, jump to your favorite game ideas using this Table of Contents!
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Do your kids love balloons as much as mine? I’m confident that if my children could get away with a room full of balloons they would never ask for anything else…until they popped them all and then they’d want more.
Blow the balloon. Give each child a large balloon and have them blow this from one side of the room to the other. They will need to lay on their tummies for this game. And one way to make this balloon game competitive is to see how far your kids can blow their balloon in the least amount of time.
Balloon in a cup. Blow up an assortment of balloons and grab as many big, plastic cups from your kitchen cupboards. Throw the balloons into the air and try to catch them in the cup. You can award points based on catches.
Don’t let the balloon touch the ground. Everyone picks out their favorite color balloon and they see how long they can keep their balloon in the air. If you have older kids, you can give them some challenges, such as, only using your elbow, knee, or head.
Tap the balloon. Tape several balloons to the wall (or over the door frame) and see how many balloons your children can jump and tap. You can put a few balloons closer to the ground for your toddlers and higher for older kids. The higher the balloons are, the more points they’re worth.
Balloon volleyball. Set up a mock-volleyball net, or place some tape on the ground and have your children bounce a balloon back and forth.
This packet of balloons would be perfect for these games. There is an assortment of colors and enough in this bag to last you for several rainy days.
Animal noises. What animal sounds do your kids know? Test their skills by making crazy animal noises and have everyone guess.
Sticky note wall game. This game is perfect to help your children with their spelling or recognizing their letters. You’ll want to write one letter per sticky note and place them on a door or wall. Then, have your children throw a few bean bags (or a small Ziploc with rice) at the letters.
Hangman. There is one game you can never go wrong with and that’s Hangman. Instead of using random words, you can help your kids review their sight or spelling words, continents, or other educational topics.
Puzzles. I have a high-energy, wall bouncing, strong loving boy who rarely sits still. Do you have one of those, too? One rainy day I couldn’t hear him and poked my head in the kitchen. I found him sitting at the table completely occupied with a fun puzzle. I’ve never seen him so relaxed and calm before. You better believe we have a few more puzzles around our home now.
Dominoes. Who says kids don’t love to learn when they’re having fun? My boys love everything Paw Patrol and this Paw Patrol dominoes game is perfect to help them with their counting. For older kids, this game set would be well-loved.
Paper and Pen Activities
Connect the dots. On a piece of paper, draw 6×6 dots. You’ll want to take turns joining two dots going vertically or horizontally to create a square (no diagonals!) If your lines complete the square, put your initials in the box. The person with the highest number of boxes wins.
Tic tac toe. Does this classic game ever get old? If you don’t want to waste a lot of paper playing this game, you can lay down some tape on the floor and use bean bags or random items for x’s and o’s.
Family portraits. Have your children draw a portrait of another family member. This indoor game idea is perfect for those moments when you need a little quiet time.
Write a letter to grandparents. One of my favorite memories from my childhood was writing letters to my grandmother. We wrote back and forth for almost 30 years! If you don’t have the opportunity or relationship for your kids to write to their grandparents, you can always create some beautiful cards and donate them to the hospice or nearby nursing home.
Write a story together. Take turns writing one sentence or paragraph at a time. See what kind of crazy story you and your children can come up with before the end of the day.
Fun Moving Games
Slow-motion tag. If you don’t want your children running in a certain area of the home, you’ll need to establish parameters. Otherwise, enjoy watching your kids get their energy and wiggles out with slow-motion tag.
Indoor frisbee. Instead of using frisbee discs, grab some light-weight plastic Tupperware lids. This will cause far less damage and won’t travel as far as a real frisbee. Your kids can set up obstacles or need to hit certain objects in order to move on to the next challenge.
Hopscotch. Use tape to outline your indoor hopscotch. Your children can enjoy an outside game inside your home. And, one of the best things about making your indoor hopscotch is you can leave this up all winter long.
Crabwalk. Who doesn’t remember doing the crabwalk as a kid? Your children can set up races or do a crabwalk around the home just for fun.
Copycat/Mirror, Mirror. You’ll need two people to play this game. Have two children stand opposite of each other and have them copy one another. The goal is to have them recreate a mirror image of each other’s movements. This game may be challenging for young children but perfect for your older kids.
Build a fort. Gather up your sleeping bags, chairs, and pillows to make an impenetrable fort. If you have a small personal army, you can build two or more forts and play a quick game of “Capture the Flag.” Or, if you’re looking for a more bonding experience, grab a few flashlights and snuggle up with a good book to read.
Put on a performance. One game my children could play for hours was anything that involved having my complete attention. This could be putting on a dance show, being silly with puppets, or anything with music. As long as they were the center of attention, they were happy.
Crib slide mattress. Pull out your old crib mattresses and lean them against your couch. Your young kids will love this DIY indoor slide.
The one thing I love about these indoor games for kids is the variety of options. Your children are unique with their passions and interests, and that’s what makes them so special.
Let’s keep going with more indoor game ideas!
The Hunt Is On Games
Puzzle piece hunt. This game is fun to play with larger puzzle pieces. Hide all the pieces and have your children work together to complete the puzzle. This game invites cooperation and teamwork.
Follow the leader. My kids love any excuse to run around, even if they are stuck inside. The way I found to successfully play follow the leader is to set a timer for each leader. This gives the children assurance knowing their time is coming and gives everyone a reason to share the lead spot.
Airplane landing. Each person can make a paper airplane and throw them as far as they can. However, here is the catch. When your children go to collect them, they can’t walk back like they normally would. Instead, they have to skip, jump, twirl, or do something else silly.
Pillowcase race. Grab some of those old pillowcases you have lying around your home and have your children race from one side of the room to the other. Just make sure there aren’t any unwanted obstacles in the way. You can also line the pathway up with stuffed animals and blankets to make for a softer landing if they should fall.
ABC Hunt. Each child will keep a piece of paper to keep track of their letters. The goal is to find one object per letter in your home. For example, b for a bowl, c for the couch, and d for the door. Your kids can work independently or together as a team. See how many letters in the alphabet they can complete.
Color hunt. Very similar to ABC Hunt but instead of letters your children will want to find and identify colors. A few ideas for a color hunt can include using paint cards or construction paper. They can either write the object and color down on a piece of paper or (if the object is small enough) place the item on the card or paper.
Gross Motor Play
One of the things I love most about gross motor games is how much energy and exercise my kids get through the day.
Balancing beam. Place a long piece of tape across the floor and let your children challenge themselves to walk across without stepping off. If you want to add a little challenge to this game, add some music and limit their time.
Lengthy jumps. This game is perfect if you have a bit more room to jump. You’ll want to help your children lay out five rows of tape, each spaced apart. You can space the tape from 6-inches to 12-inches depending on your children’s ages. The goal is to see how far your child can jump.
Indoor obstacle course. Who doesn’t love an indoor obstacle course? Your children can create their own using chairs, pillows, and brooms. Or, you can string some paracord to create a mini-spider web you kids have to get through. The possibilities for an indoor obstacle course are nearly endless.
Fine Motor Games
Toss a penny. Line a few cups along the floor and pull down your coin jar from the top shelf. Give each child five coins and have them toss the coins into the cups. Whoever puts more coins into the cups win.
Indoor bowling. Grab a few soup cans from the shelf and a tennis ball (or something similar) and create your own indoor bowling alley! If you worry soup cans might be too heavy, you can also use empty milk cartons or paper towel rolls.
Juggle. Your kids will love this indoor game as they learn to juggle using tennis balls, folded socks, or bean bags. Have them start with one, then two, and finally move up to three objects. There are several YouTube video tutorials they can watch if they feel stuck.
Egg and spoon race. I know the idea of giving your children perfectly good eggs might make you scream. Not because of the eggs themselves, but the idea of the mess you’ll need to clean after the egg cracks. Instead, your kids can use boiled eggs, plastic Easter eggs, or tennis balls.
Classic Games and Activities
Nothing beats the classics.
Hide and Seek. This indoor game for kids is ideal if you’re not wanting to spend money on supplies and you’re looking to spend a good chunk of time playing. If your kids are older, you can also teach them the game, “Sardines” which is essentially hide-and-seek backwards.
The following classic games have been played and enjoyed by children for as long as anyone can remember. There are different themes you can use, such as making animal noises for “Simon Says” or helping your children identify uncommon colors in “I Spy.”
Mother May I?
Red Light, Green Light.
One of the things I love most about these fun indoor games for kids is how you can get the supplies for either cheap or find free in your home.
Before you leave, don’t forget to grab your parent-child interview freebie HERE. After all the fun you’ll have playing inside together, sometimes it’s peaceful to slow down and enjoy a heart-to-heart conversation with your child.