Stuck for ideas of what to do when it’s pouring outside? Testosterone building to fever pitch in those little boys? Girls crawling up the walls? Time for some indoor physical exercise. There are lots of ways to burn off some energy inside the house. Most, like these ones, do need some space, so clear out the centre of a room and get moving. Here are some of our ideas:
Get the children involved in setting up an indoor obstacle course. Include household items to crawl under, climb over, jump around, hop along, run between and anything else you can think of. Have it ranging throughout the house or in a tight circuit in the one room. Use cushions, blankets, chairs, tables, broom handles – the list is endless. Cushion stepping-stones through the alligator infested river, commando crawl underneath a heavy blanket or quilt, mountaineer over cushion mountains, leap tall buildings in a single bound (Duplo?) or whatever else you can think of. Building it takes quite a while and is half the fun. Using the super spy pack-up method makes packing away part of the game.
Giant jumping heap
We collected every pillow, cushion and doona in the house and made a giant pile on top of two mattresses in the middle of the room. A stable step to leap off was the only other item needed from lots of jumping fun.
To avoid jumpers crashing into the previous person we had an entry point (the table) and an exit point (the other side of the room) with a running circuit between the two. Nobody was allowed to backtrack – everyone had to do the full circuit before waiting their turn from under the table again. Everyone going in one direction saves a lot of disasters!
Even 11-year-old boys think this kind of family game is cool!
Fly is a very old-fashioned game traditionally played outside with nothing but twigs. We used the hallway and our stuffed toys for an indoor version. The little kids didn’t quite get the concept and just ran up and down getting in the way but the older children figured it out fairly quickly.
How to play: Spread your teddies (chopsticks, ribbons, cushions or whatever) evenly down the hallway with enough space to step between each item. The first player has to run down the length of the obstacles, stepping only once between each item. If they are successful, they choose one item to remove – not the first or last one though. As more players successfully step only once between each toy and remove one item, the gaps begin to get larger and the game becomes more difficult. The winner is the last person who makes it through before it is no longer possible to do so.
Put some great music on the stereo and get down and boogie together. Play statues or musical bobs. Play a safe version of musical chairs using small beanbags or some other soft items scattered about the floor in place of the chairs. We have a CD with set actions that gets everyone moving and I have been told that there are some groovy kids dance videos on YouTube with actions to follow along with.
Half an hour to get those wiggles out will make for a much more peaceful time together and build family relationships while you are at it. For a few more ideas, see my Pinterest rainy day pinboard. Enjoy!