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. Have you ever considered indoor ball games? Indoor ball play ideas are a great way of helping them burn off a little energy indoors!
Now I know what you're thinking.... "Ball games for kids to play indoors? No Way!" As a matter of 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 to use indoors is the ping pong ball. It is light weight so it won't break anything (use common sense, please), yet it still has 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 other specialists in indoor play. Most of the choices work for kids of all ages, including toddlers and preschoolers. (This post contains affiliate links)
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. You can cut openings in a large box, label them with point values and start a competition!
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.
Use a homemade catapult for target practice. You can make a simple catapult with a plastic spoon or by gluing a bottle cap to a piece of cardboard and balancing it on a paper roll. We originally used pom poms as ammunition, but the boys have switched over to -- you guessed it -- ping pong balls.
Set up a group of large boxes for a ball toss. Vary the size and height of the boxes for extra fun. Use balled up socks for extra safety.
Indoor paddle play. Make paddles out of paper plates and paint sticks or rulers. Use balloons or ping pong balls.
Set up a snowball launcher like this one. (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)
Supply list for ball toss games:
- Painter's tape (We use this all.the.time.)
- Paper cups (I love to have tons of these on hand)
- Paper plates
- Paint sticks
- Cardboard boxes
- Ping pong balls (orange ones are easy to find!)
Table Top Indoor Ball Games:
Ping pong ball battle. The kids invented this indoor ball game on their own. 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 so 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)
Supply list for table top ball games:
Indoor Ball Games on the Floor
For a super easy ball game on the floor, turn a box upside down, cut little windows along the bottom of one edge and roll balls through the openings. Assign point values to each opening and practice your math skills!
Set up a tape shape on the floor with some painter's tape for some directed bouncing. This is so easy, but you would be surprised at how entertaining it is.
Mama Smiles has instructions for how to play marbles, French style.
Play pool with golf balls and pencils; it can also be played on the table (via All for the Boys)
Race ping pong balls along a floor maze by blowing through a straw. Genius. (via Frugal Fun for Boys)
Set up a court for Indoor Foot Volleyball. Be sure to clear the area!
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 indoor bowling in action at Powerful Mothering.
Supply list for floor ball games:
- Ping pong balls
- Painter's tape (Did I mention we use this all.the.time.)
- Containers from the recycle bin
- Cardboard boxes
- Golf balls
I hope this list of indoor ball games encourages you to let your kids burn off some energy indoors with a little rowdy ball play. It's okay, it really is! However, if you still remain convinced that fun indoor ball games are not for you, there are plenty of low key ideas on our giant list of indoor activities.