Whether it is in the middle of the winter or during a rainy summer day, I find that it is important to have indoor games for kids on hand to do with my little ones. Like many other parents, my wife and I feel like we are fighting a losing battle against technology. It isn’t that we are against our kids having “screen time”, but obviously we like to limit it as much as possible and have clear rules and guidelines in place for it.
When I was a kid, we spent most of our time outside running around the neighborhood. As my kids get older and this is a more safe and appropriate thing to do, I am constantly shooing them out the door. But when the weather doesn’t cooperate, I don’t want to just stick an iPad in their hands. Here are a couple of the things I have found that we really love to do as a family indoors. So here are my top five favorite indoor games for kids.
Indoor Games For Kids #1: “The Army Man Game”
I actually used to play this with my brother when I was my son’s age. It was one of my favorite thing to do and now my son can’t get enough of it either. It is pretty easy to set up and play and you can make the rules however is best for you. My son and I both have armies that we prepare on opposite sides of the hall. Mainly use those cheap plastic army men that stand up by themselves. You can fortify if you would like. Jonah has some plastic “bunkers” and some tanks and helicopter, etc.. Once each side is set up, we usually use a small, rubber baseball to take turns knocking each other’s army over. Again, you make the rules to be whatever you want them to be. A tank needs to be hit twice before it is out. Ricochets are legal or illegal, etc… Make sure you use a ball that is a little larger or the game will take forever. We use a soft rubber baseball. Another variation of this that Jonah loves is to use a Nerf gun to knock over the opposing army. This is a blast. Whoever knocks out the other army first, wins! This is probably one of our favorite indoor games for kids.
Indoor Games For Kids #2: Stratego
One of the best games to play with kids is just some classic board games. My son loves to play chess and is honestly pretty amazing at it. I can’t beat him anymore. I have also rediscovered another game from my childhood: Stratego. This game is a lot like chess but a little simpler to understand for young ones. I have gotten my son addicted to this game now as well. My 5-year-old daughter still loves to play the classics, like Chutes and Ladders and Candyland. But I suspect she will be growing out of those soon as well.
Indoor Games For Kids #3: The Silly Joke Game
Q: What do you call cheese that isn’t yours:
A: Nacho Cheese!
We love this game in our family. Maybe you have seen some videos on Facebook or other social media sites of two people telling each other silly jokes to see if they can make the other one laugh. It is very easy to find a list of silly (age appropriate!) jokes online. Yes, I know this is using tech but it is for a greater purpose. I find that humor, puns and irony are great things for a child’s intellect. It is great to see them work out why the joke is funny. This game is very good for the brain and is an incredible amount of fun.
Indoor Games For Kids #4: Nerf Gun Wars!
Like many families with small boys, we have an arsenal of Nerf guns in our home. We have a ton of fun chasing each other around. Some ideas to make this even more fun is play hide and go seek, except with Nerf guns. Or, you can set up targets and devise a scoring system. Nerf guns nowadays are a whole lot cooler than they were when I was kid!
Indoor Games For Kids #5: Read a Book.
My final indoor games for kids isn’t a game at all. It is…. reading! Yep. That’s right. I said it. But seriously, we take reading in our family very seriously. I’m sure you can find some other lists like this out there on the internet and no one is brave enough to just ask their kids to sit still for a while and read a book. Reading is something that we take pretty seriously in our family. We haven’t done everything perfectly as parents but one thing we got right is to instill a passion for reading with our children. This is incredibly important to us. Both of our kids are into reading (my son more than my daughter). There is nothing better than making a cup of hot chocolate or coffee and all of us lounging around together reading a book. You can all read the same book aloud or read your own books. It doesn’t matter. Even if you don’t consider your kids readers, you would be surprised about how well they would do in a structured reading environment like this.
We don’t let the weather stop us from having fun in this house. There are way more than these five things that we love to do indoors. These are just some of our favorites. Next time the weather gives your kids the indoor blues, just use your imagination to spend some quality family time together.
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