How to Keep Kids Active Inside

Cerys Parker

It’s cold outside and although I’m sure your kids are having fun for a while in the snow, ice and rain, there comes a point when they are cold and need to be indoors, but they’ve still got loads of energy. We parents all know what happens if kids go to bed without using up that energy – bedtime is a struggle, over the course of the night you get night time visitors and morning comes a lot sooner than we all hoped for. So activities that you can do at home that will keep the kids active and using up that energy are essential this time of year. We’ve put together just a few that will keep the kids on their toes, your nights wake free and mornings to a respectable hour.

The easiest is to get dancing. Put on your kids’ (or yours!) favourite music, switch the radio on or turn to a music channel on the TV and get dancing. Who can make the silliest moves? Play “how low can you go?” How about a game of Musical Statues? Get marching with some of these classic marching song suggestions from Let’s Play Music.

Or if you’re feeling really crazy, You Tube some of the action songs from your youth and teach the moves to the kids – how about a little Macarena or for us oldies “The Birdie Song” (if you don’t know it Google it. It’s hilarious).

Kids love obstacle courses. You could spend a fortune making your home into soft play zone, but you don’t need to. Gather sofa cushions, blankets, pillows, throws, chairs from around the house and set up a route that has them balancing, jumping, climbing, crawling, throwing (add in a few bean bags or rolled up socks and a washing up bowl) and any other way you think they could move.

Stair sledding – so it’s cold outside, and winter there may or may not be snow, but that won’t stop you doing some sledging inside if it’s safe to. Grab a pillow and start somewhere on the stairs and go down, climbing up again and you have your own sledding slope. A friend of mine growing up had a long hallway and the stairs were at the opposite end to the front door, we took the sledding to the next level and used sleeping bags.

Another journey down Memory Lane, play some playground games. Hide and Seek, Traffic Lights, Simon Says, What’s the Time Mr, Wolf, if you are looking for some inspiration or to refresh your memory then check out the Games from Childhood 101. Any of the games that will keep the kids moving and active around the house are great for using up that excess energy.

Jumping on the beds – Go on! You know you want to! Make sure that the bed is stable, there isn’t anything to hit when you jump and if you fall off you’ve got enough room and then let the kids jump. Not enough room, but you’ve got an old air mattress? Blow that up and jump there instead.

Get creative with your activities – How about trying The Amazing Rectangle from What Do We Do All Day so easy to set up and then loads of possibilities on how to use it to keep kids moving.

A few years ago, I went through a Get Fit kick and I brought an exercise ball. It’s still sitting there, but seeing these 6 ideas on using a fitness ball with kids from My Mundane and Miraculous Life has got me hunting out the pump to get active with the kids.

Outdoor toys make great indoor toys in the winter as well and can be used in different and fun ways, check out the scooter board winter art creation from Golden Reflections, so many extra benefits than just keeping kids active. The mini trampoline is perfect to bring inside and get kids jumping, but you can use it in other ways here’s 5 ideas for getting active on the mini trampoline from B-Inspired Mama.

Dust off the Yoga Mat and get kids trying yoga, make it accessible to them with Animal Yoga, or Winter Olympics Yoga which is perfect for this time of year.

Bowling – Get creative first and then get bowling! Set up an alley in your home and bowl down your snowmen with this idea from my site, Rainy Day Mum.

Indoor snowball fights are a must and so much fun, put away the breakables and then create your own snowballs using one of these ideas from The Inspired Treehouse, or how about putting in some learning with a sight word snowball fight from Growing Book by Book.

Move like a… games are a fun way to get active at home and the bonus is you don’t need a huge amount of space to do it in. You could move like characters from a book as we did with The Animal Boogie Moving Game over on Rainy Day Mum, or just move like any animal you can think over Lemon Lime Adventures has 15 ways to move like animal.

Have fun chasing a chain reaction! Raid the craft box for some sticks and build a chain reaction. Make it as long or as short as you want and see if you can beat it to the end.


how to keep kids active inside

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Cerys Parker is a marine biologist and teacher as well as a Mum to 2, she is the founder of Rainy Day Mum, sharing Creative Family Fun, come rain or shine inspiring ideas for art, play and activities that the whole family can enjoy together.