10 Games to Play Inside That Get Kids Moving

Jan 30, 2017

Whether the weather is too cold or too rainy outside, these 10 easy indoor gross motor activities for kids are the perfect way to blow off excess energy. The best part is that all of these activities use items from around the house, making them simple enough to do when you need an activity like right now. Or like five minutes ago.

And if you have multiple children, then this activities are perfect for encouraging teamwork and a little healthy competition too!

1. Bedsheet Parachute

I remember loving parachutes as a kid and my kids certainly love parachutes too! You can quickly make a DIY parachute using a bedsheet. So grab a twin-sized or even smaller (like a crib or toddler bed sized) bedsheet for this easy gross motor idea!

Get the kids (or even you!) to hold onto the end of the bedsheet and work together to try and shake a small stuffed animal or ball off of the parachute!

Two kids holding a bed sheet and tossing a stuffie with it.

2. Balloon Sports

Balloons are always a go to for us when I need to get the kids moving and blowing off excess energy! You can play volleyball, basketball, soccer, and tennis with just a simple balloon.

3. Balloon Waddling Races

For this activity, you just need one balloon. You could blow up multiple balloons if you'd like to have your kids race against each other at the same time. Otherwise, you could just time each child with a stopwatch or let the kids work on their social skills by taking turns.

To play, simply hold the balloon between your knees and waddle from point A to point B without dropping the balloon. Waddle just like a penguin, which is what my five-year old literally did!

A child waddling with a balloon between his knees.

Don't have a balloon on hand? Try it with a small ball instead!

4. Obstacle Course

Another favorite way to blow off energy indoors is with an obstacle course. We use tunnels, gym mats, mini trampoline, chairs, couch cushions, and really anything else that we have on hand. So use whatever you have and make it into an obstacle course to get the kids moving!

You'll Also Love: Indoor Boredom Buster — Make Your Own Balloon Cannon

5. Animal Walk Races

When my kids need a body break at home, we like to do animal walks. Think crab walks, bear walks, or even the wheelbarrow walk (okay, I know it's not an animal, but you get the point). All of these animal walks are great for providing calming deep pressure to joints in addition to burning off energy!

6. Cardboard Box Hurdles

For this activity, all you need are a variety of cardboard boxes that the kids can jump over. Set up a row of boxes to hurdle over and let them jump, hop, or skip over the boxes. So inexpensive, but totally fun!

A child jumping over a series of cardboard boxes.

7. Couch Cushion or Pillow Jumping

Pull out all of your decorative pillows and couch cushions for this easy gross motor jumping activity! Set up a path of cushions and pillows and tell your kids that the floor is lava. They have to jump from cushion to cushion without falling into the lava! Such a classic activity!

8. One Leg Balancing

We have balance cushions at home for both of my boys. We use them mostly as a substitute for buying balance stools to sit on. However, we also like to use them for simple balance activities like this one. If you don't have a balance cushion, then just use a small pillow instead.

Encourage your kids to try balancing on one leg while standing on the balance cushion. It's harder than your kids will think it is! Try timing your kids to see who can balance the longest.

Standing on a balance cushion, a child tries to balance on one leg.

9. Stuffed Animal Throw

Grab a laundry basket (a large bucket or cardboard box can be used as an alternative if your laundry basket is currently overflowing with laundry waiting to be folded) and your kids' favorite stuffed animals. Then have them throw their beloved stuffies into the laundry basket. Keep score if you want or encourage your kids to back up each time they make a successful toss.

10. Laundry Basket Push

This simple gross motor activity is a great heavy work activity for kids and can be calming for many kids because of the sensory input that it provides. Simply fill a laundry basket up with toys or books or even a small toddler and have your child push it across the room. The heavier it is, obviously, the hard it is for them to push. So if the basket is too heavy, then encourage your kids to work together to push it. Nothing like sneaking in a little social skills learning like teamwork!



Article Author Dyan Robson
Dyan Robson

Read more from Dyan here.

Married to her high school sweetheart, Dyan is mom to two boys, J and K, who also teaches piano out of her home. On her blog And Next Comes L, Dyan shares her story of raising a child with hyperlexia, hypernumeracy and autism, amongst a variety of sensory activities for kids. You can find out more about their story on Facebook, Pinterest, Twitter, Instagram and Google+.


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