Indoor Games for 2-6 Year-Old Kids

We all experience times where the weather or health demands we be inside with our children. Boredom can set in quickly and you can end up feeling like you’re going to lose your mind. Be prepared with some easy indoor activities that can actually help develop your child’s skills while also entertaining all of you. With a bit of advance planning, you can pull one or more of these games out and break up the monotony of a dreary day.

Hot Lava

Deep-down parents cringe at the thought of this game but it is a great game for developing planning/logic skills and large motor skills. Before you play, clear the room of anything you cannot bear to lose! The basic premise is that the floor in whatever room you’re playing in is made of hot lava. Players have to figure out how to get across the room without touching the floor. Kids can climb across furniture, use pillows, blankets or clothing to cover the floor. They can even use each other. Most kids will figure out variations of their own and can play for long stretches of time. (Parents: Tell kids this is a “sometimes” game and that everyone has to help clean up at the end.)

Bean Bags

The value of bean bags is often underestimated. With some bean bags and a roll of duct tape, you can create several games quickly and cheaply. Lay out a tic-tac-toe board on the floor with the tape and give each kid his own color bean bags to play. Alternatively, make a square target shape with tape and have kids toss the bean bags to see who can get closest to the center. Put a tape divider through the middle of a room and split kids into two teams. Each team has an empty laundry basket that that they must defend from the other team’s bean bags. Whichever team lands the most bean bags in their opponent’s laundry basket wins!

Make Goop

This is a fun science experiment and a good way to entertain kids in the bath tub. Put the kids in the tub. Give each child a small plastic mixing bowl. Sprinkle about 1 cup of corn starch into each bowl and have the kids gradually add water. The resulting mixture is fascinating and fun to play with. As an added bonus, it washes easily down the drain!

Bubble Fort

Make a fort using a floor fan and a fitted sheet. Anchor the bottom of each of the sheet’s corners and slide a floor fan under and turn it on high. The sheet will puff up and provide a fort that will entertain your children for a long time. Let them bring pillows, books and snacks in with them. If you have a big group, fit several sheets together with clothespins and use another fan to make an extra big fort.

Other Options

Let the kids play Hide and Seek. You be the “hider” by hiding a stuffed animal while they cover their eyes. Play a reverse version of Hide and Seek, called Sardines by telling the kids that once they find the stuffed animal, they have to hide quietly with him until everyone has found the hiding spot. Using a large sheet of paper, play “Create.” Each person draws one line or shape on the page building on what the last person did until you have some kind of crazy picture.

Use your imagination! Think back to your own childhood. Teach your kids old games like “Telephone,” “Hot Potato,” and “Musical Chairs.” Bad weather might keep you inside, but it should not stop you from having a good time.

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