I felt the need to write something to try to help the moms out there coping with having the kiddos at home since the coronavirus has everyone cooped up indoors. Have them put their electronic gadgets away. Time to relieve their boredom and possibly yours too.
Everything needed for all games can be readily found in your home. No need to go to the store, the shelves are empty anyway.
These games are good for a wide range of age groups and can be easily modified if needed. There are some that will need at least two kids, or you will have to play. Let’s be honest though, playing with your kids is NEVER a bad thing.
Keeping Them Active
- Tossing Games. Have them throw pennies into a cup or bowl, small stuffed animals into a hamper or rolled up socks into a laundry basket. Steadily increase the length between them and the goal.
- Little bit of a variation on a tossing game, but give each child a cup and have them take turns throwing a small soft object to each other. The goal being they are to catch it in the cup. I’m thinking you could use cat toys, small erasers, tiny toys or ping pong balls, if you have them.
- Movement Chain. First person creates a move, say jump forward. The next person has to jump forward then come up with their own move. Play continues where each one adds a new move after performing all the old moves. Player is out when they forget a move.
- Mirror Mirror. Facing each other, one player is the leader and the other one has to mimic every move they make. After a while, switch and let the one copying become the leader.
- Obstacle Course. Create a course for them to run. Have them leap over couch cushions, crawl under tables, do various exercises, etc. Make it super active if you need to wear them out.
- Fake Figure Skating. If you have an area with a hardwood or tiled floor big enough for them to move around in, then place a dryer sheet under each of their feet and let them skate away.
- Parachute. Grab a blanket and throw a bunch of stuffed animals on top. Have each person grab a corner of the blanket and rapidly start moving their arms up and down. The object is to bounce everything off the blanket.
- Grab a couple of dice out of some board games and create an action for each number combination. Make them super silly, like try to lick the tip of your nose or hop life a frog. Have them take turns rolling the dice and doing the action that matches the number.
- Dance Party. Free up some space, turn up the music and let them get their groove on. Make it more fun by cutting off the music at intervals and telling them they have to freeze in whatever position they were in.
- ABC Game. If they are old enough for it to keep their attention, you can have them play a traditional ABC game where you pick a category and they take turns coming up with an answer for each letter. Make the categories interesting. (One of my family’s favorites is Scented Candle Names). Or give them a basket and have them go through the house and find an item for each letter. You can modify it to just have them find something with each letter of their name, if 26 items seems too much.
- Paper Airplanes. Have them create paper airplanes and then lay out a pillowcase or have them aim for a particular target. Encourage them to make adjustments to their plane to make it fly more accurately.
- Gather together several items that make a unique noise. Think comb, pen, books, dishes, toys, etc.) Have your kids close their eyes, or get a blindfold if they can’t be trusted, then have them guess what is making the sound.
Let’s Get Creative
- Show Time. Charades can be fun, but strive to get them fully using their imagination. Give them a theme or prompt and tell them they have till a certain time to come up with a skit. Make sure to film the performance!
- Fashion Show. Kids love to play in their parents’ closets. Allow them to go through your closet (including jewelry) and have them come up with a look. You can even give them prompts, like create a fancy outfit or a silly outfit. Make it part of the game that they help you clean up the closet afterwards.
- Crab Walk. Teach kids how to crab walk (walk on hands and feet but facing up to the ceiling). Then have them race to a finish line. Make it harder by having them balance an object on their stomachs.
- Potato Sack Race. Use pillow cases, designate the start and finish and tell them to get hopping..
- Red Light, Green Light. Give this game a little bit of a twist by introducing new colors and actions. Yellow could mean they have to crawl. Blue could mean to hop, and purple could mean interpretive dance!
On The Hunt
- Scavenger Hunt. Create a list of items for the kids to find within the house or you can give them a theme (like animals) and have them find as many items as possible that fit the theme in a specific amount of time.
- Lego Hunt. Pick ten legos of each color. Lay out a piece of paper for each color. (If you have colored paper, you could use the actual color, if not just write the name of the color on a piece of paper). Hide all the legos in a room, then have the kids hunt for them and place them on the appropriate color. Tell them there are ten of each, so they can count and know if they are missing any pieces.
- Hide and Seek. There is the traditional game, which can still be fun to play, or hide a particular item somewhere in the house and tell them to go find it. Maybe the winner gets to pick the next movie or what’s for dinner.
Have to admit, now that I’ve compiled all these, I kinda want to do some of them, but my kid is 21 years old. Maybe the cat and dog will play with me.