This month, we have touched on healthy outdoor activities and keeping kids healthy during the summer. As a logical follow up, this article will focus on healthy indoor activities for kids and families.
While summer vacation brings to mind images of children running around and playing outside, the fact is that sometimes the weather is simply too sunny and hot for children to spend too much time outdoors. This does not mean that your kids have free reign to park themselves in front of their computers or TVs, lazing about and playing videogames and watching movies all day. There are plenty of indoor activities that can be healthy for both kids’ bodies and minds.
Indoor Activities to Burn Energy
For the first aspect – activities that are healthy for kids’ bodies – the key is to get the children involved in activities that help them burn off excess energy. They may not have the open space and outdoor environments to run around, but there are several activities that can still get young children moving about and active.
- Dance parties: Nothing burns energy quite like jumping around and dancing like no one’s watching. As a game variant, turn it into “freeze dance” by yelling “freeze” at various times to see who can stop the most quickly.
- Scavenger hunt: Make up a list of clues to various objects around the house, and give each child a copy of the list. Make it a contest to see who can find the most items, or who can locate and identify each item on the list the fastest.
- Fun exercises: Non-standard exercises, like yoga, crabwalks, or handstands, can be a fun way to get kids to exercise. Other exercises can work in a competitive manner, like how many jumping jacks can be performed in a set time, or how long everyone can jump rope.
- Tickle tag: A variant of the “tag” game, only whoever gets caught by the person who is “it” gets tickled for ten seconds before they become the new “it.”
- Pillow fight: Grab some pillows, find an open area, and let the pillow war commence. This activity is fun, burns off energy, and lets everyone bleed off any aggression in a safer manner.
- Juggling: Learn how to juggle together with the kids. Start with pieces of tissue, then work your way up to balls, then transition to different juggling patterns. It can be a fun and eye-catching skill for everyone.
- Balloons: Bouncing balloons, balloon volleyball, or balloon “keep-up” are all great ways to get children to be active indoors. Better yet, unlike many other toy balls, like soccer balls or basketballs, balloons are soft enough not to knock things over on impact, making them relatively safe for indoor play.
- Simon says: Be “Simon,” and your instructions become a good way to manage everyone’s activities while playing a game.
- Charades: Another fun group game, pantomiming can be both energy-burning and spark creativity.
Indoor Activities to Spark Creativity
Studies have shown that children tend to lose some of their knowledge and mental sharpness over the long summer holiday. A good way to prevent that is to stimulate their brains by encouraging problem-solving and creativity. There are many indoor activities that are safe and healthy for children’s minds.
- Toys: Building toys such as Legos are a particularly great way to engage children’s creative side. Whether using toys to make buildings, vehicles, animals, or anything else, planning and constructing something is mentally stimulating and fun.
- Books: Reading is both educational and entertaining; it is a good way to improve your children’s reading ability, reading comprehension, vocabulary, and imagination.
- Boardgames: Entertaining, competitive, cooperative, and educational, boardgames are a terrific way to have fun indoors while also developing critical thinking and strategic skills.
- Art & Crafts: Drawing, painting, sculpting, or any other types of arts and crafts allow kids to enjoy themselves while giving them free reign to flex their creativity.
- Writing: Whether through poetry, journals, or stories, creative writing can help children better translate their imagination and thoughts into words, improving their ability to communicate in a fun way.
- Puzzles: Jigsaw puzzles, word puzzles, and brain teasers can be engaging and intellectually stimulating. Just make sure to use ones appropriate for your children’s level, so that you can provide a challenge without falling into frustration.
- Science experiments: Everyday science experiments that can be fun and educational include baking soda volcanoes, clouds in a jar, or potato-powered lightbulbs.
With these tips, you can hopefully plan some fun activities for your kids when it’s not feasible to play outside in the summer. Just remember that regardless of what you end up doing, take some breaks to eat some healthy snacks (fruits or vegetables are always a good choice) and, of course, to stay hydrated with cleaner, healthier drinking water.
- “101 Fun Things To Do With Your Kids This Summer – Best Indoor Activities For Kids.” Buzzing Bubs. Las accessed June 16, 2021. https://buzzingbubs.com/articles/summer-vacations
- “87 Energy-Busting Indoor Games & Activities for Kids (Because Cabin Fever Is No Joke).” What Moms Love. Last accessed June 16, 2021. https://whatmomslove.com/kids/active-indoor-games-activities-for-kids-to-burn-energy/
- Brunelli, Laureen. “The 9 Best Indoor and Outdoor Summer Activities for Kids.” Verywell Family. May 12, 2020. https://www.verywellfamily.com/everyday-summer-activities-for-kids-3542309
- Fader, Anna. “25 Exercise Games and Indoor Activities to Get Kids Moving.” Mommy Poppins. February 5, 2018. https://mommypoppins.com/newyorkcitykids/25-exercise-games-indoor-activities-for-kids
- Lascala, Marisa. “22 Amazing Indoor Activities for Kids' Rainy-Day Fun.” Good Housekeeping. March 13, 2020. https://www.goodhousekeeping.com/life/parenting/g31445865/indoor-activities-for-kids/