Giggles’ Favorite Ways of Staying Active While Indoors!
Playing outdoors is great, but, let’s face it, rainy days are inevitable. Don’t be taken off guard by mother nature, or just the lack of motivation to dress in anything but your PJs for the day and never leave the house! There are so many indoor activities that we love, but we have gathered our favorites to help you in staying active while indoors.
Being inside doesn’t mean that you have to crowd around the tv! Our favorite indoor activities range from crafts to games, to sensory play. There are many activities that all enjoy while visiting Giggles, and we want to share them with you!
Let’s start with SCAVENGER HUNT. Generally, we organize our objects to hide, count them, and then pick one volunteer to hide them. We give the volunteer a set amount of time, while the other participants close their eyes and help us count! This is such an easy way to have kids practice many helpful skills, for example, counting, taking turns, and seeking skills.
Now, being indoors can start to make you a little stir crazy, so they say, and possibly crazy enough to tackle the mess they call SLIME. It is a messy activity, that most are dreaming of the days when the fad ends, but rest assured, this is a great sensory activity! So, try your best to look past any annoyances of random goo everywhere, and think about all of the fun that there is to be had while enemy number one entertains them for an extended period of time.
Sensory play is something that we go nuts for, and try to incorporate as often as possible. Our RICE TABLE is something that we love to bring out on occasion for everyone to participate in. With this easy and relatively cheap activity, it is so easy to incorporate any and all toys that your littles may have on hand. From dinosaurs to farm animals to tea party accessories, we have seen it all in our plastic tub! One hack that we do strongly recommend is to have a large blanket underneath the tub, so when you are finished with the activity, then you can potentially connect the corners of the blanket and dump the escaped rice into the trash can, making for a very easy clean-up!
At the mention of arts and crafts, most may be a little deterred.. But, don’t shy away so fast! There are many options that are very simple to setup, and keep your littles engaged for an extended period of time. One simple activity that we enjoy is STAMPS. With an ink pad and some cute stamp shapes, kids can create their own artwork so easily. When they are finished, you simply just need to put away your tools!
Being indoors doesn’t mean that you have to be completely inactive. With the right amount of space, FOURSQUARE is another favorite of ours that keeps kids entertained and engaged with one another for quite awhile. Recommended for school-age children, this game is great for building social skills such as compromise, group cooperation, and problem-solving. When playing indoors, you do want to use a smaller ball and make sure that the square is drawn out in a reasonably sized area with plenty of room to move around.
Organized games are not always necessary. Sometimes, you just have to let your imagination completely take over your space, and realize that THE FLOOR IS LAVA! Whatever you do, don’t step onto the bare floor! You will lose a limb, be banished to some strange never-mentioned-before-corner, and may only ever regain that limb by having a “water block” thrown at you. Get lost with your littles trying to escape the flowing river of lava using couch cushions, chairs, anything that keeps your feet off of the bare floor! The length of this activity depends on how long your littles stay interested. We have seen it develop into a different game entirely simply by taking a certain “lava-road” path, and we have seen it crash and burn, quite literally, when the kids lose interest. Nonetheless, we are sure that the more that you are interested and engaged, the more that your littles will be!
“Pick a color, any color, and try to tag me before I reach something that matches!” How any good game of COLOR TAG begins! This rendition of Tag is great for indoors, because, if played correctly, there is very minimal running. In a color-filled space, the designated tagger must name a color that must be found, and touched by the time that they count to five. If a participant is unable to complete the request, then they will most likely be tagged “it” next. Kids are free to get creative with this game, as they can get pretty precise with their requests, such as requiring that you touch blue with your left hand, or your right foot, etc.. everyone tends to be engaged and giggling by the end of it all!
For those that prefer to be crafty while indoors, another favorite of ours is TOY PAINTING. And, no we do not mean grabbing a toy and giving it a paint job. What we enjoy is taking objects that are generally seen as play items and giving everyone a new perspective on ways to use them! Similar to stamps, you can easily use a toy car, or a lego as a paintbrush! Dip the toy into the paint, and on paper allow them to create a toy masterpiece! This activity is a messy one, so patience is required, but other than that it is a fun activity that will leave your family with some very distinct art pieces.
A classic school-aged game is DEAR MR. JUDGE. It is recommended to have at least three or more participants when playing this game, and lots of silly disguised voices on hand, as well! A designated “Mr. Judge” will stand off to a corner of the room, while another participant is randomly chosen to sneak up and give their best “good morning, Mr. Judge”, in their most disguised voice. After they return to their seat, then the judge does his best to name who it was. This game is silly, and will entertain the kids as they try their best to trick one another into thinking it was anybody but them who had spoken to them!
A sensory activity that is great for creating, as well as developing fine motor skills, is PLAYDOUGH. Whether you make your own or purchase a pack of assorted colors from the store, this is a great activity for all ages. Kids love the squish effect that Playdough has, and the ability to create whatever their hearts desire. It is a very calming activity and will leave you free to join in on the play time, or work on your own activity while they are engaged.
We hope that you all enjoy these favorite indoor activities of ours, and will remember them the next time that you are indoors for the day! What are some of your favorite indoor activities? We are always open to new ideas to try in our centers, and would love to hear any new ideas to keep our Gigglers staying active while indoors!