Top 6 Activities to Do When Stuck Indoors With Kids
Being stuck inside can make people cranky and bored, especially kids and teens. While everyone should get outside as often as they can, some days inside is the only option. For those days, you and your whole family can stave off boredom with some of these active and interactive indoor activities.
Children and teens may not initially be interested in their family history, but all it takes is one off-the-wall anecdote about an elder family member to perk up their ears. Genealogy is a journey of discovering every aspect of your identity and cultural background. Learning about your family’s heritage not only gives children a connection to the past, but it can also guide their future. You can dig into the past by using one of many online ancestry databases or by calling and interviewing elderly family members, asking for photographs to help build a family tree.
What better way to make sure you don’t lose out on exercise when cooped up indoors than by learning to dance? You can create a functional dance studio right in your own living room. Use free dance videos online or on TV to learn a variety of styles—cha cha, belly dance, hip hop, step dancing and more. Learning them together can help build their confidence, but also make them more able to laugh at their mistakes. Practicing new dance moves gets everyone a little cardio boost without the rigidity of a structured workout.
Being stuck indoors can have as much of a toll on the mind as it does the body. Luckily, yoga can help with both. You can follow along with qualified teachers who share free videos on YouTube, many of whom offer kids’ yoga practices, too. Yoga is a moving meditation, so while you think you are just gently putting your body into a pose, you are actually tricking your mind into staying focused on the present moment. Studies have shown this to be a really effective way of managing stress, anxiety and depression.
Playing team building games—one where the mission makes people work together to win as opposed to against one another—can help your family become better listeners, empathizers and supporters. Try out limited communication games like Cahoots and The Mind to improve your children’s listening and critical thinking skills. Get your technology involved, too. Families can have endless fun with Hey Robot, a word game that challenges your smart speakers.
If your kids are used to playing outside after school and on weekends, the early sunset and freezing temperatures might be tough to adapt to. Fortunately, there are hundreds of high-energy exercise videos designed just to get kids moving and laughing. You can follow children exercise channels on YouTube or purchase a few videos that encourage dancing, jumping and playing that you can join in on.
Bring the outside inside by occupying your kids with an indoor gardening project. Whether it’s plants and flowers or herbs and vegetables, gardening inside can be as simple or as complicated as you want. For parents whose kids are studying more at home, partnering an indoor garden with biology and chemistry coursework can help show them exactly how some of these abstract concepts play out in the world.
While any and all of these suggestions could be fun, it’s important you first look to your kids’ own interests. Expand upon those in creative ways to get everyone up and engaged while stuck inside. Not only will time fly more quickly, but you will learn more about your kids—who they are and what makes them tick—when you get active inside together.