Curb cabin fever by planning an entire day of fun around these indoor activities or, even better, try to get your kids to help with household chores in the morning, then reward them with a few of these games in the afternoon. Relieve your friends and neighbors who are parents by inviting their kids over to participate—the more, the merrier with these activities.
Freeze!1 of 8
Dock the iPod, turn on Sirius or Pandora and blast your kids' favorite playlist/artist/station. Place the dock or radio in another room, or hide the remote to your musical device in your pocket so your kids can't see you touching buttons.
How to Play: Encourage the kids to dance until you turn off the music and shout: "Freeze!" When the music stops, the kids have to freeze and hold whatever position they were in. It's up to you how long you want to pause the tunes.
Indoor Hopscotch2 of 8
Instead of jumping on and off the couch or bed, have your kids hop on one leg on top of an indoor hopscotch course. Construct a quick homemade game by placing masking tape on any floor surface in nine connecting squares.
Build the Game: Boxes 1 to 3 should be constructed in a single line, one on top of the other. Boxes 4 and 5 should be placed side by side, followed by a single box (6), two additional boxes (7, 8) and the final box—home base (9). Pick an object, such as a golf or tennis ball, quarter or rock, to be the marker.
How to Play: Player 1 will try to throw the marker into box 1 without it touching the lines or bouncing out of the box. If successful, player 1 will hop, on one foot for single squares and two feet on side-by-side squares, the rest of the course while avoiding box 1. The player may rest on home base before hopping back. On the way back through the course, the player should pick up the marker in box 1. If the player lands within the lines of the course, hops with proper footing and doesn't fall, he or she should take another turn, starting by throwing the marker into box 2. When the first player is unsuccessful, the next player takes a turn. Players resume turns by throwing the marker on the last box played. The winner will be the first player to throw the marker on home base while completing the entire course without error.
Hide and Seek3 of 8
This playground classic can easily be converted to an indoor game, especially if kids are allowed free reign of closets, the garage or basement.
How to Play: One person, who is "it," covers his or her eyes and counts aloud (to 10 or 20) while the other players hide. When "it" finishes counting, he or she begins looking for the other players. The last hidden player to be found is the next "it."
Hot Potato4 of 8
This game provides more guaranteed laughs than a Pixar movie.
How to Play: Have the kids stand in a circle. Turn on some music and have the kids pass a potato, bean bag or ball around the circle as fast as they can. When the music stops, the player holding the hot potato has to leave the circle. The last player standing without the hot potato wins.
Crab Walk Challenge5 of 8
Have your kids walk like crabs: Move forward or backward with hands and feet on the floor, stomach facing up.
How to Play: First, set distance goals. Can your kids walk around the entire house like a crab? Can your kids walk up the stairs like a crab (this one should be reserved for older kids only, and should be supervised)?
Second, set pace goals. How fast can your kids scamper across the living room like a crab? Who can touch the door to the furthest bedroom first?
Third, set balance goals. Can your kids crab walk while balancing items, such as plastic bowls or cups, lightweight toys, empty boxes, on their tummies? How many items can the kids balance at one time?
Sock Toss6 of 8
Improve the kids' hand-eye coordination and aim with this quick-to-construct game of toss.
How to Play: Fill several pairs of tube or other tall old socks with two tennis or three lacrosse balls. Fold the tops of the socks over to ensure the balls don't come flying out when tossed. For the overachievers: Fill old socks or cut-up pillow cases with rice or dried beans and then sew the tops/sides shut to make multipurpose bean bags.
Place masking tape or a rolled-up towel on the floor as a line that the kids have to stand behind during the game. Place a laundry basket or empty trash can 10 feet away from the line and give the first player a chance to see how many socks he or she can toss into the basket in 30 seconds. When time is up, the next player gets a turn, and so on. When each player has taken a turn, move the basket 20 feet away, then 30, then 40, etc., going as far as you have room and the kids have interest. The player with the highest score at the end wins.
Swat the Balloon7 of 8
This game can get intense if your kids are super competitive, but it's also hilarious to watch the bambinos swat frantically at light-as-air balloons.
How to Play: Blow up a bunch of balloons—enough to halfway fill a room. Give each kid a fly swatter and assign each kid a color. Each player should focus on using the fly swatter to push all of the balloons of his or her color out of the room and into an adjoining room (from a bedroom to the hallway, for example). Kids can only move the balloons with the fly swatter; using hands or feet isn't allowed. The first player to move all balloons of his or her color out of the first room is the winner.