When the weather is freezing — or rainy — or scorching and your kids are stuck inside they tend to get a little wild. At least mine do. Indoor ball games are certainly one way of helping them burn off a little energy.
Now I know what you’re thinking…. “Ball play in the house!” In fact, I’m pretty lenient about letting the boys engage in active activities indoors even though our apartment is tiny. I set a few ground rules (my #1 rule is no fighting) and make sure they’re not aiming at my expensive china.
Just joking. I don’t have any expensive china.
Our favorite ball is the ping pong ball. It is light weight so it won’t break anything (use common sense, please) yet they still have a high bounce factor. To get you through the winter I’m gathering up our favorite indoor ball games, as well as some I’ve gleaned from my kids’ activity blogging friends. Most of the choices work for kids of all ages, including toddlers and preschoolers.
Don’t forget, you can CLICK on any of the orange links below to find out more!
Indoor Ball Toss / Launch / Throw Games:
Set up a carnival style game using a large cardboard box.
Simple ball-cup toss. Set up a group of paper cups or plastic containers. If you like, wrap a long piece of duct tape around them to prevent them from falling over.
Set up a group of large boxes for a ball toss. I love how Little Bins for Little Hands did this on the stairs!
A snowball launcher (we’d use ping pong balls…) is a glorious thing. (via All for the Boys)
This sticky tape spider web game works perfectly with newspaper balls. (via hands on : as we grow)
This cup crash game doubles as a learning activity. Your kids will know their sight words in no time. (via Coffee Cups and Crayons)
Indoor paddle play. This is a classic idea I originally saw a few years ago at Toddler Approved. She used balloons, but my kids usually use ping pong balls.
Table Top Indoor Ball Games:
Ping pong ball battle. The kids made this one up themselves. Tape two cups on opposite ends of the table. Each player gets a ball and a straw. (Yours truly is of the opinion that a sturdy pencil would work better, but I was out voted – what do I know?) The object is to get your own ball into your cup while preventing the other player from doing the same. One word: chaos.
Paper football. My oldest son likes to toss around his plush football but my husband taught the boys how to play table top paper football and now they can’t get enough of it. (Instructions via Spoonful)
Indoor Ball Games on the Floor:
Turn a box upside down, cut little windows on one edge and roll balls through it. See it in action here: indoor ball game.
Set up a tape shape on the floor for some directed bouncing.
Mama Smiles has instructions for how to play marbles, French style.
Pool with golf balls and pencils can also be played on the table (via All for the Boys)
Race ping pong balls along a floor maze. Genius. (via Frugal Fun for Boys)
Indoor Foot Volleyball. Clear the area! (via Spoonful)
Counting croquet teaches math to the little ones. (via Toddler Approved)
Indoor bowling. Set up a tower up paper cups, yogurt containers, a variety of plastic containers headed for the recycling. TIP: the cups or containers don’t have to match or be in an exact formation for kids to have fun. Experiment! See this in action at Powerful Mothering.
I hope this list of choices encourages you to let your kids burn off some energy indoors with a little ball play. It’s okay, it really is! However, if you still remain convinced that indoor ball games are not for you, there are plenty of low key ideas on our giant list of indoor activities.
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