Most of us love a cozy snow day here and there. There’s nothing like skipping the commute to work and school, playing in the snow, and warming up afterwards with some cocoa and a little guilt-free screen time.
But the tune changes when a snow day becomes a snowy weekend (or longer). Cozy turns to boring, and moods get as stormy as the weather.
Not to mention the chaos that can ensue inside when your children don’t have a way to get out all that pent-up energy.
Fear not: The days of chasing your kids around the living room to catch tumbling lamps and flying toys are over.
Enjoy these indoor-friendly games to get you and your kids moving (and to help keep you sane, too!)
Indoor Games for Preschoolers
Preschool is an energy-packed stage of life, and for good reason. Kids at this age are learning fine and gross motor skills. Fine motor skills are small, precise motions like holding a pencil. Gross motor skills involve larger muscles and movements, like jumping and dancing.
You can see the excitement as they learn to do new physical feats, like throwing and catching a ball all by themselves.
While toddlers need around 60 minutes of play a day to stay healthy, preschoolers need twice as much.
Making sure preschoolers have the opportunity to stay active isn’t only good for their health, but it’s crucial to their development. Staying active helps them build upon skills needed to be healthy and safe.
It helps their bones stay strong and less prone to breaking and damage, builds their endurance so they can handle more activity without getting sick or distressed, and helps them focus better and pay attention to their surroundings.
If your preschooler has a case of ants in the pants, use these fun age-approved tricks to help them get out the wiggles.
Freeze dance is a preschool classic, and for good reason. You’ll be surprised how fast time will fly when you and your child are dancing and laughing together.
To play, all you need is some of your favorite music. Bust out your best moves to the song, and randomly pause it. Every time the music pauses, all players freeze in the position they’re in.
Encourage big movements, silly faces and other creative ways to make the “freeze” for more goofy fun.
Indoor Obstacle Course
There’s more fun to be had after you wrap up dancing and pause for a short hydration break. Now it’s time to challenge the mind and body with an indoor obstacle course.
Think of an indoor obstacle course as a DIY indoor playground. It should be fun, challenging, and safe. Building the obstacle course is almost as fun as crossing it!
Build the obstacle course together using things from around the house. Add a challenge to each “obstacle.”
Here are a few examples:
- Jumping in and out of a hula hoop
- Crawling under a row of chairs
- Balancing on a board
- Limbo under a rope tied to 2 items
An indoor obstacle course challenges the mind and body, and is a great way to build confidence!
Pro tip: If the roads are clear and safe, be sure to prepare by having the kiddos signed up for NinjaZone. NinjaZone is the ultimate indoor obstacle course that combines gymnastics and martial arts.
Indoor Games for Elementary Schoolers
While it might seem like your child’s energy levels should peak in preschool, as parents, we know that’s not always the case. Plus, when they were in preschool, you didn’t have soccer balls flying past your head.
Elementary schoolers need plenty of activity, too. In addition to 60 minutes a day of activity, kids within this age range should do intensive workouts like running, aerobics or gymnastics around 3 days a week.
Keep your elementary schooler engaged and moving with these easy to prepare activities.
Lip Sync Competition
Who doesn’t love acting like a rock star to the sound of your favorite song?
Elementary schoolers will love this performance competition where they get to play their favorite musician.
Put on their favorite song, give them a something to use as a pretend microphone, and watch their star quality shine!
Afterwards, it’s your turn. That’s right, all those years of car singing and karaoke have finally paid off.
Bonus points for incorporating other props like a broom for a guitar or a top hat to add character.
Free Play with Glow Balloons
Sometimes you just have to give kids something fun to play with and let their imagination run wild.
Free play is just as important to a child’s development as staying active. Creating a mixture of structured and free play helps children build upon the skills they’re learning, and just feel more balanced in general.
Glow balloons are a fast and fun way to give kids something other than their everyday toys to play with. All you need are glow sticks, balloons, and whatever else your kids dream up.
Simply crack a glow stick and slide it into a balloon, blow it up, tie it off, and let the kids do as they wish (as long as it’s safe for them and the house, of course).
If they need any encouragement, start them off with challenging them to keep the balloons in the air without allowing them to touch the ground. Chances are, new ideas will come to them from there.
Indoor Games for Preteens
Is it just me, or are preteens the new teenagers?
With the abundance of technology and social media, it can be tough to get preteens up and moving on a snowy day.
They seem too old for the games you used to play, so what now?
Encourage your preteen to get some activity in their day by choosing activities that are suitable for young adults and adults alike. That way, you’ll both have a challenge you can overcome together.
Your favorite activity could become theirs, too! Practice mindfulness together while aligning your bodies and minds with a relaxing yoga session.
Yoga is a mindfulness practice for all ages. And teaching your children mindfulness means helping them become more empathetic, focused and confident (and you, too!).
Some other perks to yoga include:
- Improving strength
- Improving sleep
- Improving independence
- Reducing stress and anxiety
Whether the sun is out, you can both benefit from the classic sun salute.
Try out some teen-oriented instructional video to help you stay on track and moving smoothly through a routine.
Let loose and bring out your inner children with a good ol’ game of broom hockey.
Just set up a net or some form of “goal” on each end of a hallway. You can use anything from a laundry bin turned on its side to simply marking a goal area with 2 objects. Divide in 2 teams, making sure everyone has a broom.
Using a tennis ball as a hockey puck and a broom as your stick, try to get the ball into the other team’s goal. The first team to 10 points wins!
With just a few things around the house and some imagination, you can turn a boring snow day into an active indoor play day. If that doesn’t earn you a pat on the back for being a super parent, I don’t know what does.
When your house (and you) need a break, Mountain Kids will be waiting.
We offer age-appropriate dance, gymnastics, and Ninja Zone classes with top-notch instructors, so you can relax knowing your kids are safe, active and learning a whole lot!