30 Indoor Activities For Kids To Burn Energy

Cynthia Lawrence
May 05, 2024 By Cynthia Lawrence
Originally Published on Jul 07, 2020
Edited by Anusuya Mukherjee
Fact-checked by Joan Agie
energy burning activities

If your children are suffering from cabin fever, there's always the option of giving them a dose of indoor fun to release pent-up energy. For those unable to play outdoors or during those rainy days, there are plenty of fun indoor activities for kids to burn energy and fight the boredom!

Not only will it help with their muscle development, gross motor skills and keep them healthy, but it will also be good for their minds. Here are some inspiring ideas of indoor play, games and activities that will keep them moving.

1. Shape Up With Tape

craft activities

It's amazing what you can do with a roll of tape! Creative tape games are great for gross motor skills and generally getting kids moving.

Simply use any tape you have to create shapes, letters and numbers on the floor. Have your child stand on a line of their choice and give them instructions, such as, 'hop like a frog to the D' or 'bear crawl to the square'.

2. Indoor Sports

You can adapt some of your kids' outdoor games, such as bowling and mini-golf to be more indoor-friendly. For football games, you can bring in the outdoor nets and create goal posts using two cones or objects and a chair. Simply score by getting the ball through the legs.

3. Throw A Dance Party

Who doesn’t love a party? Kids love games to music and it’s a great way to burn energy with a dance-off! Freeze dance or musical statues is a popular game of the last one standing. During a dance-off, the music will suddenly stop and everyone must freeze on the spot. If anyone moves an inch, then they’re out.

4. Balloon Games

balloon games

Kids love balloons and it’s another way to increase those motor skills. The classic game for younger kids is to hit the balloon up in the air, without letting it touch the ground each time. Older kids can do balloon volleyball or simply hitting it back and forth to each other whilst keeping score.

5. Adventure Time

Fun imaginative play can keep your child active and their mind occupied. Go on a ‘bear hunt’ by hiding a bear or their favourite stuffed toy around the house, and have your child go on a hunt for it.

6. Exercise Videos

While kids may find the idea of exercise boring, there is plenty of fun, kid-friendly YouTube videos they can burn energy to. From GoNoodle, who hosts a range of routines to Just Dance Kids that have dance routines from the Wii U games.

It features popular music and dance routines, which is also a great way for the entire family to get involved!

7. Activity Dice

Sometimes keeping it simple are the best games! Create an activity cube which could have a 'get-up-and-move' task written on each side. These movements could include sit-ups, star jumps, planks or any other activity. After rolling the cube, kids can see which activity they have to perform and for how long.

8. Fancy Dress Fashion Show!

fashion show kids

Kids love dressing up glam or role play, so why not host a fashion show? Create a long runway out of tape or line up chairs on either side. You can play their favourite music as they are modelling their outfits down the catwalk, and feeling like the star that they are!

9. Charades

Make games exciting by throwing in some drama! Most kids love role play and pretending to be someone or something else. Movement charades is a great outlet for both active and imaginative learning. They have to act out a character, such as their favourite superhero or animal while the other players have to guess who they are.

10. Dance Routines

If your child is theatrical or loves dancing along with their favourite pop star, ask them to create a one-minute dance routine. Then after they’ve ‘rehearsed’ a few times, they can perform their dance routine in front of the family.

This will challenge their creative thinking, as well as burning energy. Need more inspiration? Check out our DIY disco blog!

11. Simon Says

This simple game of Simon Says is always a favourite, and can easily be modified to be more active. Just think of any physical motions that they can do, like animal movements or exercise routines. That way, they can keep fit and have fun at the same time!

12. Twist It Up!

If you fancy a good old stretch, a game of twister will stretch your child’s every limb. Don’t worry if you don’t have the game, you can easily make your own version by using tape to create circles across the floor.

13. Relax With Yoga

lockdown tips and advice

Kids yoga is great for the body and mind. Cosmic Kids Yoga is an online channel with plenty of fun, interactive routines that will build on your child’s balance and overall confidence. Namaste indoors!

14. Enjoy The Show

Children love to be entertained, so why not let them be the entertainers? Invite them to invent their own play or show based on the prompts that you give them. Ideas can include a sport, favourite activity or Circus Show, which will put them through the juggling test!

15. Quick 5 Minute Blast

Exercise doesn’t have to be long and boring for kids. Fit Factor Kids Exercise is a fun online channel that has short exercise routines. A favourite is this five minute exercise workout led by a teenage girl who demonstrates animal movements.

16. Superhero Lego Dice

Kids love pretending to be their favourite superhero! Life Over C’s have their own printable Lego dice. Simply print, stick on the sides of the dice. At each roll, they will either be soaring in the air like Superman or running as quick as Flash.

17. Bubble Party

energy burning activities for kids

While it can be messy, you can still have lots of fun blowing them onto a wipe-proof floor or surface. A fun way of keeping your kids active is to blow bubbles through a wand and challenge them to pop them before they land on the ground.

This will encourage much jumping and diving, to make them break a sweat.

18. Wheelbarrow Puzzle Walk!

It’s a modified version of the wheelbarrow race, but the only difference is your child has to complete a puzzle! Originally an idea from Stir The Wonder, just simply set up a wooden puzzle board and scatter the pieces around a room.

They have to bring each piece back and fit into the board until they complete it. Great for upper body strengthening!

19. Reverse Limbo

The limbo is great for flexibility but rather having kids go under it, they have to go over it! Improvise with a skipping rope, crepe paper or exercise band and have two people hold each end.

Start it by being on the ground and have your kids jump over it. After each try, raise the rope an inch or two and see how high they can jump!

20. Movement Chain

You’ll need at least two players. The idea is the first person performs any movement, and the next person has to follow.

This could be as simple as jumping five times or holding a pose for ten seconds. The second person then has to add another movement and create a chain sequence. The person who forgets a sequence is out!

21. Indoor Mini-Golf

Simply tape some plastic cups to the ground (lying on their side), or create your own tunnels with cardboard for the ‘holes’. Don’t worry if you haven’t got mini-golf putters as you can also use long rolls of wrapping paper, umbrellas or hockey sticks for putters.

22. Indoor Sports Day

energy burning sports

This summer, why not hold a fun Sports Day indoors? The egg 'n’ spoon race simply needs a spoon and any small round object (if you’re not brave enough to use a real egg!). And your child can hop about in the ‘sack race’ in a pillowcase!

23. Figure 'Skating'

Clear sufficient floor space in the room for a ‘rink’ and pretend to glide using creative materials. These can range from dryer sheets that provide decent glide without scratching any floors. Or you can use old tissue boxes that children can put on their feet through the opening, and glide safely.

Note: Please use caution and make sure children are supervised during this activity.

24. Obstacle Maze

Get busy with crepe paper and tape to create the ultimate maze in a hallway for kids to navigate through. You can even consult our indoor obstacle course guide for extra ideas!

25. Flashlight Scavenger Hunt

Hunting in the dark can be just as exciting for kids! Simply hide various items in a room, close the blinds or turn off the lights. Then arm your children with a torch to search in the dark to look for the hidden items.

26. Puzzle Piece Hunt

indoor fun to release pent up energy

This is a brilliant game for younger kids, created by No Time For Flash Cards. The idea is to hide all the pieces of a puzzle and have your child search for each one and returning them to the board as they go along. Ideal for getting their minds as well as their bodies active!

27. Target Practice!

Simply set up some ‘targets’ for the kids to knock down, like empty water bottles, containers or other objects. Then have your kids try and knock them over with a softball, object or better still, Nerf gun!

28. Ping Pong Catch

This is simple to create with two plastic cups and a few ping pong balls. If you don’t have any, use small objects light to throw. Have your kids toss the ball back and forth, and try and use their cup to catch it.

29. Balloon Race

This is brilliant for younger kids who love balloons. Simply set up a race track or ‘course’, and your child has to blow a balloon all the way to the finish line. This will force your child to get their upper body moving as they crawl their way to victory!

30. Potato Drop Race

The Potato Drop is another favourite (via Parenting) and is guaranteed fun! Simply grab a potato and have each participant place it between their knees.

and race to the finish line. The idea is to race to the finish line and drop it into a bucket or bowl. If they drop the potato or touch it along the way, they have to go back to the beginning!

What are some easy indoor activities that don't require a lot of space? 

Some easy indoor activities that don't require much space include dance parties, obstacle courses, indoor hopscotch, yoga, and jumping jacks.

How can I keep my kids active indoors during bad weather?

Create a designated play area, set up an indoor obstacle course, organize a scavenger hunt, play active video games, or engage in fun workout routines together.

What are some indoor activities that promote both physical activity and learning?

Incorporate educational games like "Simon Says" with exercise commands, play "Red Light, Green Light" while practicing math facts, or create a dance routine to a song that teaches about a specific topic.

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Written by Cynthia Lawrence

Bachelor of Arts specializing in Media and Cultural Studies

Cynthia Lawrence picture

Cynthia LawrenceBachelor of Arts specializing in Media and Cultural Studies

A lifestyle journalist for national magazines, Cynthia resides in London with her son and husband. With an unhealthy obsession for homes and interiors, Cynthia takes inspiration from her fabulous family travels and exciting adventures. She has a Bachelor's degree in Media and Cultural Studies from Middlesex University.

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Fact-checked by Joan Agie

Bachelor of Science specializing in Human Anatomy

Joan Agie picture

Joan AgieBachelor of Science specializing in Human Anatomy

With 3+ years of research and content writing experience across several niches, especially on education, technology, and business topics. Joan holds a Bachelor’s degree in Human Anatomy from the Federal University of Technology, Akure, Nigeria, and has worked as a researcher and writer for organizations across Nigeria, the US, the UK, and Germany. Joan enjoys meditation, watching movies, and learning new languages in her free time.

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