5 Ways to Spice Up Indoor Play

By: Mollie Shauger | Tuesday, January 14, 2020 | Child Care

A young girl having fun while dancing. Credit: iStock

The unpredictable winter weather and shorter days can make it difficult to get outside and get that daily dose of exercise. It’s recommended that children ages 6 and older get at least an hour of physical activity each day, and play is one way kids can stay active and healthy. Here are some creative ways to make indoor play fun and engaging, while keeping kids moving.  

1. Play simple games 

Classic games like Duck, Duck, Goose and Simon Says keep kids active and attentive. Another great thing about them is that they don’t cost any extra money and can be played just about anywhere.

2. Make fitness fun

Have kids try The Shoe Tie Challenge or Impossible Card Catch from the American Council on Exercise, to improve balance, confidence, and coordination. These two exercises require little to no room and equipment, and are a fun way to engage kids’ bodies and minds. Or build your own obstacle course with a variety of stations. 

3. Put a spin on yoga

Yoga can help promote relaxation, while also improving muscle strength and flexibility. Make it even more fun by incorporating a favorite game like Jenga. From Today’s Parent: Use a pencil to write down a yoga move on each Jenga block. Set up the tower and play the game as usual, but every time a block is pulled out, every player has to do the specific yoga move. If the tower falls, do the plank for 30 seconds.

4. Dance

Use your phone, tablet, or other device to play your child’s favorite music. Add this fun twist: Stop the music at random times and shout “freeze.” When the music stops, your child has to stop dancing and hold their position until you restart the music.

5. Recreate outdoor activities 

Grab some masking tape and create hopscotch squares inside. Create an “indoor playground” by piling up old blankets and pillows for soft indoor climbing fun, or set up an indoor basketball game using crumpled up newspaper balls thrown into a laundry basket or a box.

Kids can stay active with the YMCA. Ask your local YMCA branch about child care, youth sports, and aquatics programs that help children develop healthy lifestyles.


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