With the wintery weather and rainy days, playdates for the young ones are moved indoors.
Here’s a selection of quiet and active indoor games for kids of 3+ years old to play, which will keep them busy without too much mess! Ideal for children’ play dates!
It is not easy to keep our little one indoors without letting them be too active! Why not offer them some games, which are safe for kids as well as for the house and help them get their energy go out?
1. Home Fun Run
Even though you are limited from going outside and your kids are bursting with energy, why not let them do a fun run….at home? Build a minor obstacle course, like crawl under the table, walk along the “thin bridge” of a Skipping Rope and time your kids as they jump from A to B in order to avoid the “Lava”! You can track their time on your phone and record it in a diary to see the progress they are making for this activity! Speaking of smartphones, there are already tons of built-in features that you can use as separate games!
Use your smartphone to track the time or if your child is old enough pass them this responsibility as a referee!
2. Bowling Indoors
Kids are full of energy! There are still active games appropriate to play at home that help develop their gross motor skills…and quite safe for your house too!
Put some empty plastic water bottles or anything of a similar height and weight on the floor in the shape of a triangle and give your child a medium size ball to knock them over with. When was the last time you went to bowling, Mummy? How about you give yourself an energy boost too and test some competitive skills!
3. Flight Time!
Making a tent indoors is timeless activity for kids to do. Why not to make a plane or a train this time? It’s the same idea as the normal tent-making but this time with more room for role playing – a pilot, a steward, a tourist … the list can go as far as their imagination takes them! All aboard!
4. Paper Football
If your children want more active games to play or you want to wear them out before bedtime, why not suggest for them to play a new style of football or basketball with…. paper balls.
Have a look in your recycling bins or save old newspapers and leaflets to make paper balls. Now, offer your children to throw them one by one into the box – any container will do. It can be on the floor or on a sofa – an imitation of real basketball. Or you can put out a chair and pretend it’s a football game! So, come on! Let’s get this ball to score! The key is being creative to use home stuff as props: you can use toilet rolls and play golf into the same chair – hole in one!
5. Golf Indoors
One more active yet safe game for an indoor environment. Yes! It’s a Home Golf game!
Give your little one a spare toilet roll or a longer size kitchen roll. Make a few paper balls out of the recycling paper if you do not have small size rubber balls and here we go! It is so competitive trying to push the ball made of toilet roll into the hole. You could help them aim for a space under the chair, an empty box turned on its side, a space below the sofa – or generally any space with some limitations around the sides. To make it more like role play which will help their imagination and memory – grab some clothes similar to golfing, like caps and jumpers and let them get into it!
6. Target Practice
Time to tidy up the room?
Children love throwing things, so why not turn throwing into a sport? Put 5 to 10 soft toys around the room, and take turns with children to try and throw them into a cardboard box. Count your score, saying: ‘One toy’s in the box! Two toys in the box! Well done, Johnny!’ and do this until all the toys are in the box. Everyone’s involvement in tiding up the toys is guaranteed! It may take some extra time than doing it on your own, but remember you are helping to develop their skills at the same time and who knows, add it into the weekly routine and by the time they’re teenagers they may just be used to the exercise.
You could turn this into a mini exercise for yourself, by doing some deep squats as you throw or pick up the toys!
7. Spy Game
Hide some toys somewhere in the house; some toys can be hidden in the bathroom, some – in the kitchen. Of course all those toys are spies. That’s why they should be hidden so that no one can find them…
Invite the kids to find those ‘spies’ giving them instructions like 5 steps to the left, on the second shelf in the cupboard, extend your arms, open the dresser door and find the spy. Or if your child finds it easier just comment (Warm or Cold) depending on how close or far the toy is.
For older children you can use the “keys” to make it more intriguing to find the toy by following the keys. Have older children? Open the built-in compass on your phone as ask them to use that to direct them to the toys!
8. Measuring Sizes
9. House Map
Encourage your kids to draw a map of your home with key elements like bedroom or kitchen table, then hide some toys and mark them on a map, like treasure. Tell your kids, they are pirates for a day and they need to help you seek the treasure. Ahoy Matey! They can measure the distances on the map by steps or your can give them a soft tape measure.
10. Fruit Barbeque
Time to settle the kids down? And a chance for some healthy snacks before bed, too if the kids are still hungry.
These simple arrangements of fruits on stick are a great hit with children making them far more exciting for snack time. Follow our Pinterest board for more ideas for baking with kids!
11. Crafts Cards
If you’ve got plenty of festive cards then use the moments when the kids are indoors to re-cycle the cards in a beneficial way for all of you!
Let the children cut off elements of the card illustrations themselves if they’re interested in this activity, then take a big piece of paper and let them stick the elements onto it the way they want, using glue or just sellotape. The more elements the kids cut off the cars, the longer they’ll be engaged with this activity.
Easy, fun and so beneficial for developing your child’s fine motor skills. Ta-da!
12. Making Hand Shadow Puppies
As the days are lighter & shorter in winter playing shadows is an intriguing game when all the family is around.
Here are the ideas on our Pinterest board we’ve picked up for you to teach your children the shadow shapes and let them explore their hands and fingers whilst developing their fine motor skills at the same time!
13. Body Painting
Simple activity of body painting can help to calm down your children after highly energetic activities.
Face painting involves another person so they can draw on the each others’ face, so if you have more than one child, relax and put your feet up at least for 5 minutes whist your kids do the drawing themselves. Maybe, if you ever wanted a secret tattoo yourself, you can let your child use their talents for the day!
Why not help your toddler or older child attention and memory skills by telling them to look around the house for patterns and shapes for inspiration of what to draw!
14. Edible or Not?
An exciting, competitive and educational game to play indoors.
Hypothetical game of guessing objects attributes! Choose one topic to categorise the objects depending whether they have this feature or not for example – is it edible or not? Use the ball or any smaller object to catch and pass back and forth depending if the object in question has that attribute. If it doesn’t – refuse to catch it! Let’s say – is the object edible or not? Is it flying or not? Is it staying or moving? An animal or a bird? Solid or liquid? Alive or not? Natural or made by people?
When was the last time you played this good old game? Few more goes and you’ll be playing the 10 questions game soon with children!
We hope you enjoyed our Playdate Games for 3year olds+! If you have children of different ages, these games are adaptable just replace bigger items with softer ones and be more suggestive with your early learners!