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Updated: April 8, 2013 3:15 PM | By Haley Overland

20 fun indoor games

Here are 20 indoor games that will keep kids (and you) happy and active — no TV or video games required


20 fun indoor games


Another yucky day, the kids are getting restless, and you're fresh out of ideas for things to do? You've come to the right place. Here are 20 fun and simple solutions for that cabin fever:

Pencil-and-paper games From Battleship to Sprouts, we’ve created a must-play list of pencil-and-paper games that beat TV any rainy day. Gather some pencils and paper and check out our best of pencil-and-paper games (on Today's Parent).

Building You don’t need a fancy building set for this. Popsicle stick cities, card towers, even buildings out of blocks, or forts out of boxes or pillows, will do just fine. If you want to get competitive, whoever builds the highest tower wins.

Magical Mama (or Papa) Be your kids’ very own Harry Houdini — without the locks, chains and water tanks, of course. Simply place a coin under one of three cups and shuffle the cups around. Then ask your children to guess which cup holds the coin. Sneaky parents can place the cups near the edge of a table and secretly drop the coin. Watch your tots’ eyes light up in amazement when they learn the coin is gone!

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Card games Card games are great for challenging young minds and creating hours of indoor fun. Grab a box of cards and check out our favourite traditional card games (on Today's Parent).

Puzzles Exercise those creative, cognitive and problem-solving muscles with a good puzzle. You can use a store-bought variety or have the kids make their own. Have your children draw a picture on a sturdy piece of cardboard or Bristol board. Then use a pencil to outline puzzle pieces directly on their drawing. Cut out the pieces with a good pair of scissors, mix them up and get solving.

Freeze! Choose some of your kids’ favourite tunes and turn up the volume. Ask them to dance until the music stops. When it does, they have to freeze in whatever position they find themselves in – even if they have one leg up. To make the game more challenging, ask the kids to freeze in specific poses: animals, shapes, letters or even yoga postures.

Board and family games For a comprehensive list of the best of family games from Nursery Rhyme Games and Candy Land to Clue, check out our handy list of top 20 family games.

Paper-bag skits This game is ideal for larger groups — a sleepover favourite. Divide the kids up into groups. Give each group a bag filled with props, such as a spoon, toy jewelry, a sock, ball or ribbon. Then give them 15 minutes to construct a skit around the props. This game is so much fun that it doesn’t have to be competitive. If the kids want, though, they can all vote on a winning skit.

Indoor hopscotch This schoolyard favourite is sure to be an indoor hit, too. Set up your hopscotch game on any floor surface. Masking tape will do perfectly to form the nine connecting squares. Boxes 1-3 will be placed in a single line, one on top of the other. The next two boxes (4, 5) will be placed side-by-side, followed by a single box (6), two more boxes (7, 8) and the final half-circle “home” base (9). Next, choose a marker, such as a coin, stone or beanbag. The first player will throw the marker into square 1 without letting it bounce or touch the lines. If successful, the player will then hop — one foot on single squares and two feet on side-by-side squares — avoiding square #1. The player may rest on “home” before hopping back. On the way back, he or she picks up the marker on square #1 and, if successful (lands within the lines, hops or jumps with proper footing, doesn’t fall), takes another turn and throws it into square #2. When the player is unsuccessful, the next player takes a turn. Players resume their turns by throwing the marker on the last box played. The winner is the first player to throw the marker home (#9), and smoothly complete the whole course.

DIY balance beam While you have your masking tape out, why not make your own balance beam? We all know how much kids love walking in straight lines every chance they get. Put on some music, and one at a time the kids can take their turn walking one-foot-over-the-other across the straight line of tape. Make the game more challenging by having the kids walk backwards or balance with one foot on the line.

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