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Indoor activities for cold weather – how to keep kids active

Messy play doesn't have to be limited to outdoors. Here are some great activities for kids that can be done indoors.

When it's cold or raining, kids are often limited to playing indoors. This can sometimes mean they end up feeling under-stimulated or even bored. But your little ones can have as much fun indoors as they do outdoors with a few strategic games. Here are some activities for kids that can be done indoors and that will help your kids stay occupied:

Dance off

What better way to stay warm and entertained than to keep moving with a good old-fashioned dance-off? Get your kids excited by organising an event – teach them a few moves, put on some funky tunes, have a judging session and offer a prize for each of the kids that participate. Let the kids choose their favourite song to dance along to and if they know the words, encourage them to sing along too. This is fantastic for large motor skills development and for hand-eye coordination.

Don't forget to have loads of water or juice on hand to stay hydrated, and of course plenty of delicious snacks in case anyone gets a little peckish. By the end of the event, your kids will have expelled loads of pent up energy and everyone is sure to have a good night's sleep.

DIY Twister

Bring the classic game of twister in to the realm of messy play by using homemade washable paint that can easily be washed away. Paint the floor or lay paper to paint over a large section of the floor. Choose four colours and make a row of hand-sized circles in each colour. Use an A4 piece of paper and a split pin as your selector. Draw a circle and write instructions such as; right arm yellow or left foot red inside evenly sectioned portions of the circle - each section should contain a different instruction. Each child starts on a different side of the game.

Call out each selection and let your kids stretch and tumble their way through the game. This game is a hoot if your little ones enjoy a little bit of healthy competition but it's not too challenging for kids of various ages. 

Your little ones can also get involved in creating the board game which is a wonderful opportunity for a little bit of messy play.  And don't worry if you get chalk paint on your clothes – we have stain removal tips for just about any stain resulting from a hard day at play.

An indoor obstacle course or maze

The world is your oyster with a little bit of imagination and some household items. You can create an obstacle course in your house using chairs, tables, curtains, sheets, blankets and pillows along with arrows cut out from pieces of coloured paper. Show your children around the course and show them how to follow the arrows, then time each of their attempt to complete the course. This activity helps your little ones to expend pent up energy and encourages large motor development.

If you can collect a few empty boxes, you can also add a section of open-ended boxes in a maze or tunnel for your little ones to explore and climb through. If you have enough, you can create a whole section of maze tunnels out of boxes and sheets.

A sticky doorway

If your kids require emergency entertainment and you need a game in a hurry, then here is one you can rustle up in a heartbeat. While you set up the “spiderweb” get our kids to collect palm-sized items from around the house like bits of paper, small toys, flowers, leaves and even a sock or two. Over the middle of a doorway at eye-level place some sticky tape facing where you will be standing. Set different distances on the floor with markers such as a shoe and let your kids throw items against the spiderweb to get them to stick.

Offer points for each range – as the sticky area becomes more crowded, your little ones will find it harder to get their items to hold. It's also an excellent way to encourage critical thinking as they will have to pick things that are heavy enough to throw but light enough to stick. You can do multiple rounds of the game by merely redoing the sticky tape.

Messy play doesn’t have to be limited to the outdoors, your kids can have a great time in the house with these activities. Even indoors, every stain represents a moment or a memory, which is why we believe dirt is good and OMO is always here at the end of the day to help with dirty clothes. More washing tips and our laundry detergent options are just a click away.