We are currently in the depths of winter, and although the Winter Solstice was a few days ago which means *technically* we’re on our way to summer and the warmer weather, we’ve still got plenty of rainy days ahead of us! And when you’ve got particularly active little ones, those days inside can draaaagggg.
So here are five simple play ideas you can try with your little ones to get them up and moving, and hopefully burn off a little of that energy when you’re next stuck inside!
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The Floor is Lava
Remember pretending that the floor was lava as you jumped from couch to couch when you were younger? Well, turns out you can buy the board game version these days! Samuel was gifted The Floor is Lava game last Christmas and it’s the *perfect* way to get him moving!
There’s a few different ways to play, but the most basic is that the coloured foam tiles that are spread around the room, then everyone takes turns using the spinner and jumping onto a tile of that colour! You can make it more physical by spreading the tiles further apart or you can remove each tile as it is landed on so your little ones need to do BIG jumps (aka use BIG energy!) to get to each tile!
And if you don’t have the game, you can easily DIY your own version at home by sticking coloured paper to the ground as the tiles, or sticking painters tape shapes over the floor for your little ones to jump on to – don’t feel like you need to rush out to buy it to make it work for your little ones!
An indoor obstacle course is another great way to burn off some energy when you’re stuck inside! Chairs and small tables are perfect for climbing over and under, cushions make great leap pads and wooden baby gyms with silks or scarves tied to the top are fun to crawl through!
My hot tip for getting the most out of your obstacle course is to make it one big loop so there’s never an end, and your little one can keep going, and going, and going!
Click here to see one of our indoor obstacle courses in action!
Hide and Seek (With a Difference!)
If your little ones love Hide and Seek, try these alternatives (with no sitting in cupboards from you required!!):
Peg Hide and Seek
Grab some pegs, peg them on random things around the house (a towel in the bathroom, your pillowcase, the curtains in the loungeroom..) and let your little ones find them!
Some tips we’ve learnt from playing so much last winter:
- Choose a set number of pegs to hide so you know when they’ve all been found (or don’t.. and let the kids search all afternoon! Ha!)
- Show your little ones how to peg them onto the bottom of their top once they’ve been found to keep track of them – and this helps strengthen their fine motor skills too!
- If you’ve got more than one cherub playing, assign everyone a different colour to find, so someone might have five blue pegs and someone else has five yellow pegs to find.
- And if you do have more than one child playing – try getting them to hide each other’s pegs which means time for YOU to eat your lunch in peace #ThankMeLater
See Peg Hide and Seek in action here!
Don’t have pegs? That’s okay, try a Name Hunt instead! Write your little one’s name in large letters on a piece of paper, then each letter on a different Post-It note. Hide the Post-It notes around the house, then let your little one find each letter and stick it on their name!
Don’t have Post-It notes on hand? Grab the letters from their name puzzle or stick painters tape to the edge of pieces of Duplo and write the letters on there!
If you’re little one isn’t quite up to recognising letters, try using shapes instead!
Learn more about the different ways you can do a Name Hunt here!
Teddy Hide and Seek
If you’re sitting there thinking all of these ideas might be a bit advanced for your little one, try playing Teddy Hide and Seek by hiding their favourite teddy around the house for them to find instead!
These three ideas all have the same theme – hiding something around the house for your little one to find. You can be as creative as you like with whatever you have at home! What will you hide for your little ones?
Roll an Action
Last year, Samuel was gifted these action dice from Kmart, and while I’m not sure if they’re still available, they would be really easy to make your own version using an empty tissue box, dice from a board game, or even just writing different actions on pieces of paper to pull out of a hat to get your little one’s body moving!
If all else fails, crank up the music and have a dance party with your little ones! We usually choose a Kidz Bop playlist on Spotify, but there are a million kid-friendly playlists to choose from. And the best part? You can’t possibly dance *and* be grumpy, so if you or your little ones are having a tricky day, this is the perfect way to get everyone laughing again.
And if you’re after some more play ideas to keep your little ones busy, make sure you get your FREE copy of my Spark Play ebook, delivered straight to your inbox! You’ll find 40+ simple ideas to kick start your little one’s play using things you’ve got at home, no shopping required! Click here to get your free copy!