But Mom, It's to cold to go outside
Indoor games are for those bitterly cold winter days when the kids can’t go out and mom still has to get her housework done! You need some fun indoor activities to keep them busy.
No matter if it is just your one or two children, or if they have their friends over also, here are some ideas that will keep them all occupied.
Charades is a fun game for adults at parties, imagine how children do at it. The key is that they cannot speak, which will be difficult for kids. If you focus on a specific theme it will at least keep their thoughts in the right direction. Have a list of cards made up with the characters that you would like the kids to act out. It is fun to watch how creative children can be.
You will need to buy some grid paper or you can print this pre-made Battleship Grid. It has 100 squares, with 1 through 10 across the top rows of squares and A through J running vertically, so that you have A1 your first top left square. Each player will mark off their ships on their grid like this: battleships are 5 squares, cruisers are 3 squares, and two 2 square destroyers. These can be marked off either vertically or horizontally. Be sure that your opponent doesn’t see your grid. The play consists of each player calling out five torpedo shots at a time. Such as F7, J2, B5, D9. Your opponent has to mark those shots on his grid and report any hits, on which ships, without saying which squares they were, like one hit to the cruiser. A ship will sink only when all the squares are hit. The winner is the one who can sink all four of the opponent’s ships first.
Scrambled Word Game; Keeping the ages of the kids in mind, make a list of words that they would all be familiar with. Make it a list of approximately fifteen words. As you list them, scramble the letters, mix them up good. You could make half relatively easy and the remainder a little more difficult. Try and keep them all in the same category. They should be able to complete easily in about 15 minutes. Try this Scrambled Disney Names, Game
Alphabet Word Game
Build their vocabulary with this game. Depending on the age of the players, select a category. The first player starts with a word with in the category that starts with the letter A. The next player says a word that begins with the letter B, and so on until you make it through the alphabet.
This game is a favorite, where you do not need anything except a voice. If Simon says something, they have to do it. If a command is given without a “Simon Says”, they are not supposed to do it. The birthday person can be Simon in this fun game. It is a quick game that can fill up any small time slot where you need to keep the kids busy.
Matching Pairs is one of the fun indoor games that you can play with an ordinary deck of cards. Mix them up and lay them out in several rows face down. When someone makes a match they keep those cards and take another turn. As the game works down to fewer and fewer cards, the matches will happen more frequently.
A favorite anytime is pinning the (______) on the (_______). You can fill the blanks in with whatever goes with the theme of the party such as, the red nose on the clown, the trunk on the elephant, the Tiara on the princess, or whatever you come up with.
This indoor game is a favorite with many age groups, even children. The only items you need are chairs, lined up in a row, back to back. You will need one chair less than the number of kids playing. When the music starts the children walk around the chairs in a circle.
As soon as the music stops, each person sits on the chair that they are next to, the child that doesn’t have a chair is out of that round. Remove one chair and start your next round with the remaining players. This continues until you are down to two players and one chair, with one of them eventually being the winner.
Cotton Ball Relay Race
Form two teams and give each team some cotton balls, and a spatula. The object of the game is for each player to pick up a cotton ball with the spatula and proceed to a designated point and return to their team, while keeping the cotton ball on the spatula, with their other hand behind their back. If the cotton ball falls off during their turn, they need to start over. The first team to complete all of their players turns successfully, wins. For younger children, maybe a large serving spoon would work better than a spatula.
Dots to Boxes
This indoor game starts out slow but gains momentum as the page fills up. You will need a page of grid paper. You can make one on the computer real easy, but print out extras. You each take turns connecting a dot to dot each round, horizontal or vertical. The object is to complete a line that will be the fourth line to a box. All boxes that you close up with the fourth line will get you initial in it. The most initials when all the lines are closed up, is the winner. Print this Dots Game Sheet
This is a good game that fits all age groups. This game will require some work before the guests arrive. According to the ages, prepare a list of jumbled words. You can either have them all fit a specific category or totally random. Hand out the list to each person and set a time limit to arrive at a winner.
Prior to the party, put the name of a cartoon character on a sheet of paper, enough for each child in attendance. You can pin one of the names on the back of each child, be sure to tell all of them that they are not supposed to tell each other what their name is. Than to play the game, each child will try to learn their identity by asking questions of the other children. With each question asked, they will get closer to guessing who they are. Go until all children have had a chance to play.
Silence is Golden; When it becomes necessary for a few minutes of quiet time at the party, this game is it. Arrange the kids in a circle, all setting on a chair, so that they can all see each other. Set the time limit for the amount of “quite time” you want, and then the kids have to see who can set there without talking, giggling, laughing or leaving their chair. It’s not that easy for them, but it’s quiet momentarily for you.
Fill a container with pictures of different animals. The first person to be “it”, will take a picture out of the container and then imitate the actions or sounds of that animal until someone guesses what you are. The one who guessed correctly is “it” next.
Everyone has played spin the bottle before. Put a message in the bottle and gather the kids in a circle. Put the bottle in the middle and spin it. Whoever it stops at has to remove the message and do what it says. Message ideas; make the sound of an animal, stand on one foot, hug someone, rub your tummy and pat your head, walk around the circle twice.
You will need one large size cardboard box. On the largest side cut thre or four holes, or five depending on the size of the box. You might want to tape or staple a plastic bag under each hole. Then decide on a point to throw from and let the games begin. What the kids are throwing are their socks that they have balled up together and secured with a rubber band or “duct Tape”. The holes that you have cut on the top of the box to throw into, should be numbered, the smaller the hole, the bigger the point.
Oranges or Grapefruit, either will work as a bowling ball. You will also need ten empty towel rolls, or empty plastic pop bottles. Anything that will stand up and still be able to tip over when hit. Set the ten ‘pins’ up in the same way they are set in a bowling alley. Each player gets to bowl just like in real bowling, a second ball if the first isn’t a strike. You can make the game as many frames as you like, just add up the score to find the winner.
All you will need for this game is a piece of paper and a pencil. No rope required. Draw the gallows and place below it a lined space for each letter in the word you are thinking of, _ _ _ _ _ _ _. The other player has to start guessing letters one at a time to try and figure out the word.
_ _ _ _ _ _
With each letter guessed, you would either put it in a space if it is part of the word, or if not, draw a part of the body that will hang from the gallows. There are six misses allowed before the person is hanged. The seven parts to be drawn in are, head, neck, body, arm, arm, leg, leg.
Form two teams and get them into two lines. The object of this game is to pass a marble from one player to the next player, without dropping it, and without the use of your hands. You must pass the marble from plastic spoon to plastic spoon, from player one to the last player.
Place a piece of paper with a number on it inside of some balloons. Inflate them to about 4 inches diameter. Gather all of the kids together in a circle and put all of the balloons in the middle. Make a makeshift fishing pole with a double-stick ball of tape on the end of the line. Have the kids take turns fishing for the inflated balloons that are in the middle. The numbers on the papers in the balloons could correspond to prizes.
You will need a large piece of cardboard that you can draw a big circle on. Divide the circle like a pie, only smaller pieces. You’re trying to resemble a dart board for a kid’s game. The surface of this dart board facsimile should be a flannel or felt material. Take some ping pong balls and use the adhesive Velcro strips that you will tape around the ping pong balls. With those strips they should stick rather easily to the flannel ‘dart board’. You probably only need about six different pieces on the dart board and a circle in the center for a bulls-eye. Put a point value on each of the six pieces and the center and let the games begin.
Coloring and Puzzle books are both fun to do and educational too. The creativity begins to develop. Depending on the age of the child, you will see changes in their color choices, concentration, coordination, staying within the lines, and their pride in the finished piece of art.
Indoor activity toys that teach and they don’t plug in, wind up or need batteries. They just need imagination!
For the younger children: Big building blocks, play dishes and pantry items, puppets, an easel, construction toys like Lego, musical instruments.
For the older children: A doorway gym bar, a simple camera, musical instrument, Lego construction toys, microscope, variety of cars and trucks, sports equipment, trivia games, waterproof watch, box games such as Scrabble, Yahtzee and Uno.