Indoor Active Games for Preschool

Preschoolers love to move, which is why parks, beaches and backyards are a perfect setting for their play. But sometimes weather and other circumstances make indoor games the order of the day. These activities feature common household items and quick set-ups and are tailor-made for busy hands and feet.

  1. Catch a Lion by the Tail

    • This clever twist on the popular game “Duck, Duck, Goose” works best with larger groups of children. One child is the Lion and tucks a homemade tail made from yellow fabric into the back of his pants. The other children sit on the floor in a circle. The Lion walks around the circle and touches each child on the head, saying “lion” each time.

      When he’s ready to run, the Lion says “hyena” as he touches a head. The person who is tagged jumps up and chases the lion around the circle, trying to pull his tail off before he makes it back to the spot the Hyena left open.

    Balloon Volleyball or Table Tennis

    • For volleyball, outline a court on the floor with yarn and use some low ottomans as a net. Blow up some large round balloons. Divide the children into two teams and let them bat the balloons back and forth over the “net” without the balloons hitting the ground.

      For table tennis, use smaller balloons and tape the yarn across the middle of a kitchen or dining room table. Let the children use fans made out of construction paper to blow the balloons back and forth to score points.

    Fruit Bowling

    • This indoor activity works best using a long hallway as a makeshift bowling alley. Set up six foam cups at one end, and supply the kids with a bowl of favorite round fruits: Huge grapefruits or melons are perfect, but apples, oranges and pomegranates are sometimes easier for little hands to hold. Kids love rolling the fruit to try to knock down the cups as much as they love running down to the end of the hall to set the cups up again.

    Letters and Numbers

    • This active game offers a preschool educational bonus and is sure to get kids giggling. Have children form letters and numbers using their bodies. They can start from any position--upright, sitting or on the floor--bending and stretching as needed. Two or more can work together to create larger letters.

      For extra fun, play this game in a darkened room with a large flashlight behind the children so they can observe their shadows on the wall.

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