Even when it is hot outside, the kids still seem to have energy to burn while they are indoors. Of course, we don’t want them sitting in front of a screen all day, and staying out and going to places isn’t always feasible or affordable. So, this list of ideas is for the parent who stays at home and wants activities to keep their child happy, healthy and not bored (although kids being bored once in a while can lead to lots of discovery!)
We are early risers, so in the summer heat we often go to the splash pad early in the morning-between 8-11 am. A few splash pads do not open until 10am, but we will try to get out of the heat before 11 no matter where we go. Once it hits 6pm we sometimes wander back out of our house, but that leaves every day between 11-6 (7 whole hours) of finding something to do.
Exercise and moving the body activities
25 Exercise Games and Activities for Kids (from Mommypoppins.com)
- Headstands – Great for your core muscles and gets blood going to the brain.
- Jump Rope – If you have downstairs neighbors who complain, go in the hall or right outside your building. To make it more fun, pick up a book of jump-rope rhymes.
- Balloon Ball – There are endless ways to play with balloons indoors. Try to keep it off the ground or just play catch.
- Wheelbarrow, Crab and Bear-walk Races – These tough positions mean you get a real workout.
- Animal Races – Hop like a bunny or a frog, squat and waddle like a duck, etc.
- Obstacle Course – Create a furniture course in your apartment or take chalk and make a course outside.
- Follow the Leader – Add to the workout by doing energetic movements like jumping, stomping and squatting.
- Dance Party – Turn on the music and shake your groove thang.
- Freeze Dance – When the music stops, freeze in your pose and hold it until the music starts again.
- Scavenger Hunt – Write up clues and hide them around the apartment. Kids can race to find each clue for a small prize at the end.
- Jumping Jacks – Simple but good for coordination and they get your heart going. When my kids can’t sleep, I make them do 25 to tire them out.
- Silly Shakes – Just like the old Raffi song, shake your sillies out. If you do it long enough, you’ll probably end up in a pile of giggles.
- Bubble Wrap Attack – If you get bubble wrap in the mail, jump on it until it’s all popped.
- Clean-Up Race – Set a timer or put on a song and see who can right the room the fastest.
- Tickle Tag – Chase your children and when you catch them, it’s tickle time.
- Temper Tantrum – Have a fit for the fun of it. Flail, stomp and scream.
- Carnival – Set up carnival games like knock down the milk cans (we used Tupperware).
- Hallway Bowling – Fill up water bottles and use any ball you have.
- Hopscotch – Use chalk or tape to make a game on your floor or outside your building.
- Pillow Fight – No explanation needed.
- Sock Skating – If you have hard floors, put on socks and skate around. See if you can do spins or hockey stops, or who can slide the farthest. Make sure to move the furniture and watch for splinters.
- Bubble Bashing – Blow bubbles and let your child try to smash them.
- Wrestling – Put down a mat, or play on a rug or bed. See if your kids can wrestle you to the ground.
- Pushover Mom and Pop – Plant your feet and see if the kids can budge you. If you move your feet, they win. To make it easier for little kids, you can stand on one foot.
- Popcorn Pushups – Put a small bowl of popcorn on the floor. Lower yourself down and stick out your tongue to get a piece of popcorn with each thrust.
Sit down or quiet activities
1. “Slime” – Borax, glue, water and food color is all that is needed for this fun stuff
2. Homemade playdough – I prefer the homemade variety and the cooked recipe as it feels better on the hands (not as gritty) and you can store it in the fridge for up to 6 months. I store it in plastic peanut butter jars! get some plastic cookie cutters to go with it, and you are all set.
4. Water colors
5. Moon Sand– it smells super nice!
6. Shaving cream/food color painting
7. Train track races-put down masking tape on tile and race some cars!
8. Building forts
9. Play hair salon or doctor
10. Baking soda and vinegar play
11. Freeze gummy bears in ice cubes and extract them.
13. Scavenger hunt
14. Make popsicles
15. Make fruit smoothies
16. Flashcards ( I used to make a “paper bag monster” an my children would have to feed it the flashcards)
17. Make puppets
18. Make your own car wash for different toy cars.
19. Make a spider web out of masking tape in a doorway and throw pom poms at it.
20. Make a race track with toy noodles cut in half and roll balls down it (golf size or bouncy ball)
21. Build with popsicle Sticks!