With the cold and wet weather I’ve been on a mission to find indoor ways to keep my kids active, develop their gross motor skills and let’s face it..preserve my sanity by letting them burn off energy before bed.
Don’t get me wrong I love going for walks and getting fresh air (see my posts on my Wildlife Scrapbook and how fresh air can help when Managing Routines.. ) but there have been a few days recently when I’ve needed to find some indoor alternatives too.
And as much as I enjoy craft activities (see my kids craft ideas here) sometimes the kids need and WANT to be running around!
Here are my 7 favourite ideas:
- Stepping Stones– using books or cushions/pieces of paper (if books are too slippy) we make stepping stones from the sofa to the chair. The kids then have to go on a mission across the ‘lake’ (aka the rug) from the mainland (aka the sofa) to visit the island (aka the chair) This has genuinely occupied both my 3 and 1 year old for a good half an hour! We’ve also upped our game and had music playing and told them to get to the island before the music stops, we’ve also introduced ‘crocodiles’ into the lake (aka me!)
- Obstacle Courses– taking into account their physical capabilities (and safety) we’ve made some great obstacle courses in the lounge to help them burn off some energy. Usually using cushions they have to crawl under, cones to go round etc.
- Den Building– Most kids LOVE dens and whilst playing in a den isn’t a very active activity, making them certainly is! It also requires other skills such as problem solving and communication.
- ‘Toddler Boot Camp‘ – not quite a boot camp (no press ups or crunches- fear not!), but just a little keep fit class. My kids love this. We put music on and ask them to follow our instructions like ‘stretch up to the sky’, ‘touch your toes’ and ‘jump’.
- Dancing– perhaps the easiest one, just play music and dance. Even better if you can play action songs that they know like ‘wind the bobbin up’ and ‘wheels on the bus’. We’ve been using our Amazon Echo for this (affiliate link)
- Hide and Seek – There’s nothing as funny as watching young children learn hide and seek! They hide in the same places and find it unbelievably funny when they are found. Great game for practising counting and taking turns too.
- Treasure Hunts– requires a little bit more preparation than the others, but as a result can keep them entertained for longer. Hide the ‘treasure’ either in one place or even better several treasures and clues around the house.
What active indoor activities do you do with your kids to help develop gross motor skills? Write in the comments below!