Tag Archives: kids activities

Active Indoor Game Ideas for Kids

10 Best Indoor Games to Get Kids Moving

Many of us are looking forward to a 3-day weekend but for parents, a long weekend translates to three days with the kids and it’s easy to feel like a cruise director. January is an exceptionally chilly, blustery time of year and both kids and adults are mostly stuck indoors on the weekend. Whether you’re hosting a sleepover or a family game night, these fun indoor games will help your kids burn some of that excess energy. But don’t worry — no sneakers required. Your coziest flannel pajamas, as always, are perfectly acceptable attire.

Best Indoor Games for Kids

Jump around in these ‘Stay Cool’ pajamas by Big Feet.

Active Indoor Game Ideas for Kids

1. Race to the Finish. Use masking tape or painters to tape to create “lanes” on the floor. Create flashcards with different movements such as hop, skip, or crabwalk. Get creative and let the kids come up with ideas too. For example, one card could read “walk like a chicken” or “swing like a monkey” and have participants come up with their own interpretive movements. Draw a movement card from a hat at random. Players participate in a silly “race to the finish” with the chosen wacky movement.

2. Twister. The classics never fade. Twister is a still an uproariously fun game to play during a sleepover, family game night, or just a fun night in with friends! You’re more likely to topple over from laughing than from loss of balance. Just be prepared for your kids to mock your attempts at agility for the rest of the weekend!

3. Indoor Bowling. Stack plastic cups into a large pyramid. Stack them high and stack them deep. Use a 5-8” toy ball, or even a tennis ball, to roll on the floor at the pyramid. Players get a point for each “pin” they knock down. Just like bowling, the game becomes more challenging as more pins are removed.

4. Limbo! Remember this one? Limbo is a game best played in a group, so it’s a great choice for a sleepover. Grab a broom or mop and see just how low everyone can go! Remember, ‘Limbo’ is one part game and one part dance party, so have the kids help you come up with a killer playlist that everyone will enjoy.

5. Balloon Waddle. A less messy version of the egg-and-spoon race, Balloon Waddle is a silly game that’s perfect for little kids! Blow up some balloons and see if the kids can “waddle” from one end of the room to the other with the balloon between their knees, without dropping it. If it’s too easy or the kids are a bit older, set up a few obstacles for the kids to move around or hop over.

Active Games for Sleepovers

Sleepover-ready in these super comfy dinosaur pajamas by Big Feet.

6. Musical Chair Dance Party. A great group game that can be fun at any age with the right tunes! Simply gather a number of chairs that is -1 of the number of participants and arrange them in a circle, seats facing outward. Play upbeat music. The group must dance (not walk!) around the chairs until the music stops, then it’s a scramble for a seat! Whoever is left without a seat when the music stops is out. Subtract one more chair and keep playing until there’s a winner!

7. Charade-ercise. For the athletically-inclined crowd or a family of sports enthusiasts, create a game of charades that involves a little more movement than most. Create your own categories such as sports, sports-themed movies, and athletes (remember, swimmers, skiers, gymnasts, and dancers count!). Using flashcards, write down your own sporty subjects for participants to energetically act out.

8. *Lego Hunt. Treasure hunts are for more than backyard birthday parties. Perfect for sleepovers or busy little kids, create your own “lego hunt” inside your home. This game is a little more like an Easter Egg Hunt and less involved than a Treasure Hunt where you have to create clues. Simply hide Legos, or Duplo blocks for little kids, around the house. Assign each player or team a color to locate. Hide the same number of pieces for each color. See who can find all their pieces first. Play again and again to see if the kids and beat their best time!

*This game could be played a variety of ways if you don’t have Legos or Duplo blocks. Think about any toys that can be divided into categories, such as animal figurines (mammals vs. reptiles), action figures, cars, and dinosaurs (cars vs. dinosaurs, for example).

9. “Dunk” Competition. This one is surprisingly simple, yet amuses kids …and some adults… of varying ages. You can host an indoor “dunk” competition that doesn’t involve mounting a basketball hoop to your living room wall. Simply set an empty garbage can across the room and see who can make the most shots, either in a row or best out of 10. The perfect activity for a simple, sporty family game night.

10. Hide-and-Go-Seek. Don’t forget this one! Similar to a treasure hunt, a good old fashioned game of hide and seek will have kids running around the house for hours as they take turns being the “seeker.” This game is still a great hands-off way to tire out any child!

We hope these game ideas inspire you to get your family moving this weekend. For more tips and ideas for entertaining kids during these cold winter months, check out The Pajama Company Blog at thepajamacompany.com/blog.

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11 Best Summer Sleepover Ideas

11 Summer Sleepover Themes

School is out and the kids are home! By now you have probably compiled a list of summer boredom busters or are desperately searching for easy ideas to entertain your kiddos. Whether they are at home or bouncing in between daycare or summer camp, you’re going to have to burn that energy every weekend!

The best way to get kids to wear themselves out is with each other. Why not team up with other parents and take turns hosting sleepovers throughout the summer? The kids will have a blast and the parents will get a break. Here are a handful of simple summer sleepover ideas for guaranteed pajama fun!

Big Feet Kids Pajamas for Sleepovers

Kids Dinosaur Union Suit from Big Feet Pajamas

Best Summer Sleepover Themes

1. Under The Sea

Do you have a “Little Mermaid” at home? If so, you can’t go wrong with a classic princess theme with an under sea twist. Strategically hung blue, green, and gold streamers will create a magical kelp forest. Play Caribbean music and games, like limbo. Give the kids crowns and tritons so they can pretend to have underwater adventures! Of course, when it’s time for a movie, only one will do.

2. The All-American

What’s more American than hot dogs and apple pie? Baseball. Set up T-ball for little ones in the backyard and serve up dogs, fries, and apple pie (store bought is great — we won’t tell!). After the kids put on their pajamas, pop in The Sandlot for evening entertainment. Good all-American fun.

3. Christmas in July

Kids love this surprising, topsy turvy theme! Great for a heat wave, pull out some Christmas decorations and embrace winter in July. Lower the A/C and pull out lots of snuggly blankets, twinkle lights, and hot chocolate. Have the kids watch Elf or Frosty the Snowman in their flapjacks — a guaranteed giggle fest!

4. Roughing It

Kids love to play pretend. Set up a tent in the backyard so they can “go camping.” Roast marshmallows over the grill to make s’mores. Play flashlight tag and tell scary stories. When movie time rolls around, have them bring their sleeping bags inside and watch Open Season.

5. Berry Bake-Off

Berries are finally in season! Take the kids strawberry or blueberry picking or just pick up a few cartons in the store. Look up an easy no-bake recipe for little ones to try, like whipped cream berry parfaits, or make hand pies with older kids. The goodies will be a fun treat to enjoy during an evening showing of Ratatouille.

Munki Munki Goldfish Pajamas for Sleepovers

Goldfish Long John Set by Munki Munki

6. Waterpark

Create a water park in your backyard using sprinklers and a slip n’ slide. The kids will wear themselves out quickly running around in the sunshine. They’ll be more than ready to curl up in their pajamas and watch Finding Nemo at the end of the day!

7. Garden Party

If there’s one thing kids love, it’s getting their hands dirty! Inexpensive pots, soil, plants, and seeds will provide lots of gardening fun! Pick up popsicle sticks and have the kids make and decorate tags identifying the name of their plant. Consider fall plants that the kids can start sprouting now and plant later at home. After they’ve washed their hands and put on their PJs, pop in Zootopia (the main character’s parents are farmers!) or James and the Giant Peach.

8. Moana Dance Party

Two themes in one! It’s hard not to boogie to the incredible Moana soundtrack. Create a Pandora station based on the music and the station will automatically play similar kid-friendly tunes. Throw in grass skirts, leis, glow bracelets (for bioluminescence in the “Realm of Monsters”) and you’ve got yourself a super fun dance party! Be sure to show the movie at the end of the day after the kids settle down.

9. Pirates of the Caribbean

Kids love a scavenger hunt! Set up a pirate themed treasure hunt in your backyard. Consider small toys and chocolate gold coins as the big prize! “Capture the Flag” is another great option. The kids will have a blast swashbuckling in pirate hats with foam swords. When it’s time for bed, show Disney’s Pirates of the Caribbean or for little ones, the animated classic, Peter Pan.

10. Pool Day

For the tween set who is “too cool” for themes, consider a “pool day.” There are many inflatable pool options that are great for lounging in. Set up magazines, sunblock, music, water guns, or nail polish for a relaxing day of fun in the sun. Depending on age, movie options could include Hotel Transylvania, Dunstin Checks In, or Blue Crush.

11. Frozen Karaoke Party

For the kids who can’t get enough music, how about a karaoke party with a Frozen theme? Kids karaoke machines are relatively inexpensive or you could just play fun Disney soundtracks on Pandora or Spotify. Once the kids are in their jammies and tucked in for the night, play Frozen for one more round of sing-along fun.

For more ideas for summer family fun, visit The Pajama Company at our blog, thepajamacompany.com/blog.

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15 Summer Boredom Busters for Kids

15 Summer Boredom Busters for Kids

“I’m bored!” says every child three days into their summer vacation. While it’s not our job as parents to be cruise directors, here we offer alternatives to the default response of “Go outside and play!” Unlike elaborate Pinterest-inspired activities, we tried to keep this list to activities that most children could do without too much adult intervention. Of course, please use your best judgement when selecting activities that are both safe and age appropriate for your kiddos!

Screen-Free Summer Activities for Kids

1. Water Balloon Fight

Why a water balloon fight vs. a squirt gun fight? Time! The kids will have a blast filling and making the balloons… which also incidentally kills more time. If you’re worried about clean up and the environment, know that you can find biodegradable water balloons — 500 for less than $10!

2. Sidewalk Chalk Obstacle Course

Have your kids devise an “obstacle course” with sidewalk chalk. It could be one that they skip, hop, and jump through or use with their bikes, trikes, or scooters. This activity is a great way to get them to use their imagination and get some exercise!

3. Sprinkler Fun!

Sprinklers are a classic summer boredom buster for kids! A great alternative to splashing in a pool, running through a sprinkler will amuse your kids for hours, especially when you combine the activity with others like water balloons and squirt guns. Inexpensive and quick to set up, apart from supervision, this activity takes minimal effort.

4. Sun Tea

Sun tea is a quick and easy activity that is especially amusing for the younger set. Select a tea with a vibrant color, preferably a fruit tea, like passionfruit, peach, or mango. Place several of the bags in a large, clear, glass pitcher or mason jar for a big batch. Fill it up with water and set it in the sun to “brew.” After an hour of playing, the kids will return to find a brightly colored pitcher of tea waiting for them — made by the sun!

5. Plant and Bird Identification

Plant identification is a great activity for younger children who are excited about reading and science. Give them a plant or bird guide that is specific to their region and encourage them to find and identify different birds, flowers, shrubs, or trees in either their backyard or a local park. Increase the “science” factor by giving them magnifying glasses or binoculars to examine their finds with more detail!

Summer Boredom Busters for Kids

Can’t go camping without the right gear! We love these matching Lazy One flapjacks!

6. Backyard Camping

Can’t drive out to the wilderness for the weekend? Camp in the backyard! Have the kids set up a tent, wear their favorite pajamas, and sleep outside in the great outdoors. Even if they’re not keen on spending the night outside, they’ll have a blast pretending to camp all day long. Perfect for kids who enjoy imaginative play.

7. Nerf Blaster Target Practice

If your kids love Nerf blasters, set up “target practice” outside. Give them plastic cups to stack and knock over. Another option is to have them draw and hang paper targets. If they’re of the age where they enjoy competition, encourage them to keep score and practice their math skills while they’re at it!

8. Dominoes

Another old school rainy day classic, find dominoes and teach your kids how to set up trails of falling dominoes. Look at YouTube videos of dominoes falling to get inspiration for epic examples of what people have created. Take videos of the final result and maybe post it on the web for other domino enthusiasts to enjoy!

9. Make Popsicles

Popsicle molds are pretty common these days and can purchased on Amazon or in stores like Target or Walmart. While there are a lot of “recipes” for popsicles that involve fresh fruit and a blender, simplify the activity by purchasing an armful of fruit juices. Have kids combine their favorite juices into fun new flavors!

10. Crayon Rubbings

Send your kids outside with pad of paper and a box of crayons. Show them how they can make “rubbings” of their favorite leaves and flowers to create fun and original artwork. Simply place the leave under a piece of paper and lightly add pressure with the crayon to create an imprint of what is beneath. Works best when you take the wrapping off the crayon and rub lengthwise.

11. No-Bake Baking

It’s too hot outside to turn on the oven! Search the web for “no-bake desserts.” Since these recipes don’t involve an oven, they’re often easier for younger children to make from start to finish. Great for building kitchen skills and confidence!

12. Make Collages

Drawing, coloring, and painting are a great way to pass the time. If you have a lot of magazines and junk mail, give the kids some age-appropriate scissors (or help them cut!) and encourage them to enhance their artwork by collaging.

13. Squirt Gun Painting

Using squirt guns, water, and food coloring, your kids can make paintings outside. Set up large pads of paper at a distance and fill various water guns with different colored water. Let them fire away and create!

14. Water Xylophone

Fill several tall glasses with various amounts of water. Using a spoon, tap each glass. Show your kids how filling the glasses with more or less water creates a different sound. This is a fun way to experiment with music in your kitchen!

Summer Boredom Busters for Kids

This goldfish pajama set from Munki Munki is perfect for playing in pillow fort!

15. Living Room Fort

In many regions, summer has no shortage of rainy days! When your kids are trapped inside, let them build the living room fort of their dreams: no chairs, bedding, or pillows are off-limits! They’ll have a blast building the cozy castle of their dreams. Later that night, host a family pajama party in their “new home inside of home.”

For more ideas for summer family fun, visit The Pajama Company at our blog, thepajamacompany.com/blog.

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Rainy Day Craft Ideas for Kids

April Showers: Simple Rainy Day Crafts for Kids

April showers bring… cold, rainy weekends with the whole family stuck indoors! Make the most of a rainy spring day with easy crafts you can do with the kids. Don’t have a PhD in Pinterest? No worries. These are truly simple craft ideas that everyone will enjoy. So easy, you can stay in your pajama pants all weekend. These craft ideas only require items you can find in your house or at your local dollar store. No gold leaf paint required.

Rainy day pajama day!

These Kids FlapJack Pajamas from Lazy One are perfect for rainy day fun!

11 Easy Rainy Day Crafts for Kids

Rainy Day Finger Puppets

1. Marker Top Finger Puppets. We’re willing to guess you have a dried up marker or two (or thirty?) hiding around the house. Use the caps and materials like construction paper, yarn, twine, or pipe cleaners to make these fun finger puppets featured on The Handmade Adventures of Captain Crafty.

Rainy Day Marble Paint Project

2. Marble Painting. We love this one from The Mother Huddle! It’s finger painting with a twist. Squirt a little paint on top of  a sheet of paper inside a baking pan. Drop a marble or small ball inside and let your kiddo twist and turn the pan to roll the ball through the paint and create one-of-a-kind works of art! This craft combines getting messy with the added bonus of a noisy marble rattling around a baking pan — sure to be a hit!

Rainy Day Puppet Theater Project

3. Rainy Day Puppet Theater. Maybe combine this idea with the ‘Marker Top Finger Puppets’? A rainy day is perfect for a day at the theater, especially if your kids construct it from this cool template that you can run off your printer! Using only a cracker or cereal box, paper, scissors, glue or tape, and some popsicle sticks or skewers — your kids can quickly create their own puppet theater with this craft from BKids.

Rainy Day Paper Lantern Craft

4. Tracing Paper Lanterns. Using translucent tracing paper and watercolors or markers, have your kids create pictures and tape or glue them to old glass jars. Pop a tealight inside and you have mood lighting for dinner, courtesy of your children. The original project idea from Mamascout is a bit more involved if you want to get fancy!

Rainy Day Fun Googly Eyes

5. Eye-Bombing. Another idea we’re in love with! Using a pack of stick-on googly eyes, “eye bomb” common objects in your house to turn them into a source of silliness! This craft would be even funnier if another parent or older sibling were to come home to discover the random peepers! A big belly laugh courtesy of MiniEco.

Rainy Day Egg Carton Craft

6. Egg Carton Bouquet. The kids with love creating a new springtime centerpiece for your kitchen table. This fun upcycled craft idea comes from Better Homes & Gardens. Simply cut up an egg carton, paint each of the “egg holders,” and twist together pipe cleaners to make stems.

Rainy Day Marble Run Craft

7. Cereal Box Marble Run. This super simple marble track from Made by Joel uses only a cereal box, scissors, and glue to create hours (okay… maybe 40 minutes?) of fun for your little one. You can encourage your kiddos to get more creative and paint or color the box, add stickers, glitter — go wild!

Rainy Day Fish Craft Project

8. Fishy Fun. Have paper plates laying around the house? Create these fun, Pac-Man inspired fish from Made Everyday with scissors, construction paper, and whatever else you have on hand. This is craft is especially fun considering the recent popularity of book The Pout Pout Fish. It could be a great project after story time!

Rainy Day Brushless Painting Activity

9. Brushless Painting Station. Kids love getting messy. A surefire way to keep them busy for hours is to encourage some messy play. NurtureStore suggests a “brushless” painting station. Using utensils, leaves, twigs, cotton balls, sponges, cookie cutters… let your kids paint with anything but a brush! This craft is guaranteed to grant you a couple hours of silence.

Rainy Day Memory Game

10. Memory Game. This is a simple old school rainy day activity that will definitely pass some time! Curly Birds suggests putting a handful of objects on a tray — all the same color — and have the kids stare at it for a few minutes to memorize what they see. Cover the tray with a cloth and take one object away and have them guess which one is missing. This is not only great for memory, it’s a wonderful way to help them build their language skills!

Pop Up Zoo Rainy Day Craft

11. Pop-Up Zoo. This pop-up zoo craft idea from Tinker Lab will keep your children amused for the whole afternoon! Have them create the animals they know and recognize and then invent new ones for some whacky imaginative fun!

For more ideas for springtime family fun, visit The Pajama Company at our blog, thepajamacompany.com/blog.

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Snow Day Activities to Amuse Kids

10 Simple Snow Day Activities to Keep Your Kids Amused

The temperatures may have temporarily risen here in the Northeast, but we know better. Mother Nature still has plenty of “winter fun” in store. Snow days are an inevitable part of parenting in many parts of the US, and yet every time they roll around we’re unprepared (like tax season, anyone?). Be ready for your next snow day with these simple activities that will keep your kids amused — for just long enough to catch up on your inbox.

Pancake Design Snow Day Activity

Pancake designs are a fun way to start the day, cozy in your flannel pajama pants!

Pajama-Friendly Boredom Busters for Snow Days Continue reading

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How to Host a Winter Pajama Party

How to Host a ‘Winter Wonderland’ Pajama Party

After we unplug the Christmas tree and pack away our holiday decorations, many people feel a touch of ‘post-holiday blues’ because there is nothing left to celebrate and a long winter ahead. Don’t feel sad! There is a lot to celebrate after the holidays!

For one, we aren’t faced with the daunting task of entertaining in-laws and houseguests for another weekend packed with holiday traditions and formalities. Those of us who travel aren’t faced with another weekend in an airport, dragging luggage and children from coast to coast to visit family. The magical, sparkly, snowy winter weather is still going strong, which means we have a lot to celebrate — right at home.

Without all the holiday obligations, we can gleefully spend the rest of the winter season in hibernation. Why not celebrate what’s left of the season with a laidback ‘Winter Wonderland’ pajama party? Since the kids will be on winter break until after the New Year, you can keep the party to just your family or invite another family to join in. It’s also a great excuse to use those matching family pajamas one more time…

Winter Pajama Party Decor Ideas

Delaying taking down the Christmas decorations? Use your decorative string lights to create a wintery ambiance.

Continue reading

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