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.
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.
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.