Indoor games need not just be board games or card games. Neither do they have to be dull and boring! Here, we have listed out a few indoor games and activities that are fun and engaging for children of all ages.
1. Musical Chairs
Best for: Group playdates, birthday parties and holiday get-togethers
Number of players: At least four, but more will up the fun
Where to play: A space large enough to accommodate a few chairs and ample room for kids to move around safely
What you need: Sturdy kid-size chairs (one fewer than the number of players), music, and an “MC”.
How to play: Arrange the chairs in one straight line, two rows back-to-back, or a circle with the seats facing outward. Players stand single file, about a foot away from the setup. A parent or an older sibling starts the music with a plan to stop it at random moments. When the music stops, each player claims a seat. The player left standing is out. One chair is removed, and the next round begins.
Game is over when: One child is left standing—well, sitting—in the remaining chair
Variation: Use pillows or cushions on the floor if you do not have enough chairs.
Best for: All ages
Number of players: One or more
Where to play: An open, obstacle-free area
What you will need: Music and a “DJ”
How to play: The DJ starts the tunes while everyone dances, all moves count. When the music stops, kids freeze and hold the position until the music starts again. Encourage kids to strike a unique pose and reward all efforts. Or play the traditional way: kids who cannot hold the pose are out.
Game is over when: Fatigue takes over or only one dancer is left
Variation: Instead of asking players to freeze, give them 10 seconds to get into a position called out by the DJ, such as stand on one foot, in a star shape or on the floor on all fours.
Best for: Four to six year olds
Number of players: Two or more
Where to play: In a house or an apartment
How to play: Designate a spot as “home” and choose a player to be the seeker. The seeker closes his eyes and counts to ten while the other children hide. (You may want to establish some rules beforehand, noting off-limit locations and no climbing on furniture or beds.) Once the seeker is done counting, he can start searching for the other players. Kids try to make it back to home base without being found or tagged. Tagged kids are out.
Game is over when: Only one player is left hiding. That child becomes the seeker in the next round.
Variation: If your house or apartment lacks space, have one kid “hide the thimble” or another small object instead and encourage other players to find it.
4. Hallway Bowling
Best for: Coordinated four to six years old
Number of players: One or more
Where to play: Long, unobstructed hallways
How to play: Raid the recycling bin for six medium to large water bottles. Add enough water to give them some weight and set them up at the end of the hallway—three in the back row, two in the middle row and one in the front. Invite bowlers to stand at the other end of the hall with a basketball in hand. Each player bowls twice (except those who get a strike on the first round!). Each pin knocked over is worth one point.
Game is over when: Each child bowls ten rounds. Highest score wins.
Variation: Slip glow sticks into water bottles and turn out the lights for some glow-in-the-dark fun.
Best for: Squabbling sibs and calling dibs
Number of players: Two
Where to play: Anywhere they like
How to play: Kids stand face-to-face and shape one hand into a fist. At the count of three, the players simultaneously make one of three gestures: a rock (fist closed); paper (open hand, palm down), or scissors (index and middle fingers extended, palm down).
Game is over when: One player overpowers the other: Rock smashes scissors, scissors cut paper, and paper covers rock. Both players used the same gesture? Do it again.
Variation: Two out of three rounds determines the winner.