Colder weather and school breaks are here…and with them comes the strong possibility of kids stuck inside saying, “Mom I’m bored!”
Pinterest is full of elaborate games and activities to entertain kids…but sometimes I think our kids are missing out by not playing some of the classic games that have been around for years and years.
I’ve compiled a mix of classic games and classics with a twist that are perfect for indoor play. These games to play inside require very little to no prep. Once your kids know the rules you can spend your time getting things done (or reading a book).
My kids adore this game and it is made much easier by searching YouTube for “Hot Potato Music.” Someone amazing made a video with music that pauses intermittently so all you have to do is press play! When we play hot potato we use a bean bag or stuffed animal. Have all of the children sit in a circle and turn on the music. When the music is playing the potato is passed clockwise around the circle and when it stops whoever is holding the “potato” is out. Play continues until you have one winner (and then you can start over again!).
This is a twist on hide-and-go-seek. One player hides in a space big enough for ALL players to eventually fit in. The remaining players count and then head out at intervals of 10 to try and find player #1. Once someone finds the hidden player, they quietly hide WITH them. The last player to find everyone hidden together is IT for the next round.
This game is best played in a dark room. The person designated as IT is stationed next to the light switch and gets to turn the lights on and off. Music is a fun addition but isn’t absolutely necessary for this game. When the light is switched OFF everyone must dance, the crazier dancing the better! When the IT person turns on the lights you must immediately freeze in whatever position you are in. If IT sees you moving then you become IT and are in charge of the light switch for the next round.
Potato Sack Race
This race is done using pillowcases and is quite fun as long as you are on a surface with a rug! Everyone grabs a pillowcase and climbs inside, holding the edges up. Designate a start and finish line or location (race to mom’s room!) and the racers can only move forward by hopping in their bags. This is a regular race at our house each week as we race our sheets to the laundry room.
Dino Egg Steal
One person sits on a chair with their back facing the room. All of the other players sit on the floor. Place a small object (like a ball, beanbag or tiny stuffed animal) behind the chair. The person in the chair counts to 15 with their eyes closed. The other kids sneak forward to grab the “dino egg” without being heard then sit back in their spots. The person who has the egg hides it under their legs. Have the kids say, “Dino Dino who stole your egg.” Then the person in the chair turns around and gets 1 or 2 guesses of which child stole the egg. This is one of my kids’ favorite games to play inside!
Stuffed Animal Charades
This twist makes it super easy for the littles to participate in charades. Gather up all of stuffed animals in your house and line them up. Explain the rules that when it is your turn, you choose one of the stuffed animals (don’t pick it up or look at it though!) and act like the animal until someone guesses correctly who you are. For older kids, don’t let them make noises, for younger kids you can have them add in animal sounds. Once the animal has been acted out, remove the corresponding stuffed animal from the line.
We used to play this with my friend and her sisters all the time! With mom or dad’s permission, have everyone assemble in the kitchen with each person (minus one) holding a spoon and with their eyes shut (or blindfolded). The remaining person chooses a food or liquid from the kitchen and places a tiny amount in the spoons. On the count of three, everyone tastes what is on their spoon and guesses what they are eating. Make sure there are no allergies prior to playing this game!
This game is best done down a long hallway with doors. One person who is IT stands at the end of the hallway and the other players are on the opposite end. IT counts to 5 and the other players try and reach IT by moving stealthily down the hallway. When time is almost up they slip into the closest doorway. If IT can see any part of a person they call out WHO it is and WHERE they are (i.e. “Maya in the laundry room”). If they are correct that person is out. First person to reach IT wins.
Night at the Museum
This is a game based off the fun movie where all of the statues come alive at night. There is no winner or loser in this game, it is just plain fun. To play this game, one person is designated the museum keeper, and the other players are statues. Turn off the light so the room is dim but not too dark. The statues all freeze and the museum keeper walks around the room patrolling (adding in a flashlight is fun!). As he/she walks past, the statues try to change position without the keeper seeing.
I hope your kids have as much fun with these low-prep classic games to play inside as mine do! And I hope they play long enough that you get all of your laundry washed, dried AND put away. 😉