While outdoor play and walks are amazing, they can sometimes be hard to come by during the fickle spring weather. Adults have the option for virtual workout classes and use of free weights, yoga flows, and other workout equipment, while kids seem to come up a bit short with organized ways to release energy indoors.
Below are five ideas of some indoor gross motor activities for your kids stuck at home.
Bring the outdoors in
If you have the option, try bringing roller blades or scooters indoors into unfinished basements or cleared out hallways. Be sure to wear helmets and any other protective equipment while trying this out.
For smaller ones, you can try to bring small slides, cozy coops, or tricycles indoors as well. Using sheets of paper or painters tape, you can try making a hopscotch or a four-square court (just watch out for any nearby breakables!).
Keep in mind these are all activities made for the outdoors, so be sure to scale it down for safety within the home.
Play indoor sports
There are plenty of indoor sports that can definitely work up a sweat! Try breaking out the ping pong table, and if you don’t have a table, you can use any table at home with a makeshift net in the middle and paddles/balls.
You can also try playing mini basketball or “hockey” on your shins. Look up “shinny hockey” for some online hockey sets, or you can definitely create your own hockey or mini basketball set-up. You’d be surprised at how well a laundry basket or cardboard box works as both a hoop or when laid on its side, a goal.
As the oldest sister of four brothers, I can confidently say that these three indoor sports can burn quite a lot of energy and keep those hyper kids busy for hours.
Create obstacle courses
There are plenty of household objects that can be used for obstacle courses throughout the house. Try incorporating stairs for climbing, pillows or cushions on the ground for crawling over, lines of tape on the floor for balance beams, and sheets of paper taped to the ground for stepping stones.
You can set up courses throughout the house and time your kiddos so they can work on improving their time. Or you can mix it up by pretending to be different animals on the obstacle course or by being silly or in slow-motion on a run through the course.
Have animal walk races
Animal walks are the ultimate gross motor activity. Bear walks, crab walks, penguin walks—the list goes on and on, and they all work different muscle groups. You can do races or relay races of different animal walks in the house. You can also incorporate these walks into otherwise sedentary games.
For example, if you’re playing Battleship or Candy Land, place the game pieces on a table a short distance away from the board. Then for each turn, your child can do an animal walk to get the next game piece (like the Candy Land card or the Battleship peg).
Encourage your child to come up with novel animal walks too. I’m sure their creativity will astound (and entertain) you.
Dance it out
Dancing is a great way to work off some energy. You can look up a lot of different choreographed dances on YouTube, or you can make up your own. If you have a gaming system at home, you can look into some of the game options or system features that include dancing.
Younger kids love options like “Freeze Dance” (which also works on following directions and exercising self-control) and whole-family dance parties. Hand out some streamers or pom-poms for some fancy ribbon dancing.
Here’s to staying active, healthy, and happy during this challenging time.