It’s virus quarantine day 957 (at least that’s what it feels like). You’ve watched Frozen 2 more times than you can count and you have taken to calling your children Elsa and Sven. The air is crisp so you’re still stuck inside, extracurriculars have been canceled and you are really starting to miss your kids’ regular dose of physical activity (shout out to my P.E. teacher husband and how valuable everyone is now realizing his job is). You’re dying to turn off those screens and have your kids engage in some form of exercise that doesn’t include a mouse or game controller.
OK moms and dads, its time to get creative and host an indoor Olympics! All of the events I am about to describe can be done inside and are sure to get your children off their butts for at least a few minutes. So bust out the leotards and tennis shoes and as Alexa to play the national anthem!
Blow up some leftover balloons and grab a couple of fly-swatters. If you don’t have fly-swatters, secure a stick to a paper plate. Have your older kids try to hit the balloon back-and-forth between each other or have your little ones try to keep the balloon from touching the ground.
Now is the perfect time to teach your kids about balance by instructing them to stand or jump on one foot. If you are fortunate enough to have a balance beam, instruct them to walk forward, backward and on their tippy-toes. See how many forward rolls they can do in a row before getting too dizzy, attempt cartwheels and see who can invent the craziest jump.
A lot of us have a plastic basketball hoop in our homes which is perfect for the indoor Olympics. Dig out your basketball and have your kids shoot hoops from across the room. See who can make the most baskets in a row, or play a game of HORSE.
Laundry Basket Ball Toss
Line up 4-5 laundry baskets and able each with a specific number of points) 10, 20, 50, 100, etc. The closes basket should be worth the lowest amount of points, and the furthest basket worth the most. Mark a line on the ground about 5-10 ft. from the first basket; this will be your throwing line. Grab a handful of small balls and have your kids stand behind the throwing line and toss the balls into the basket. Tally up accumulated points based on which basket their balls land in! (Sorry folks, no photo of this one in action as all of my laundry baskets are currently in use…maybe I will get around to putting clothes away sometime during this quarantine).
Let your kids get creative with this one by turning an entire room (or several) into a giant obstacle course. Not only does this let your kids run around, but it also teaches them how to follow instructions. Incorporate climbing over and under things, jumping from one item to another, swerving between things and more. Depending on the age of your children; make the course as difficult or easy as you wish! Secure some toilet paper between two chairs for a make-shift finish line.
Paper Plate Ring Toss
This is another one you can involve your kids with the setup. Grab the following supplies:
- 6pPaper plates
- Cardboard paper towel roll insert
Cut a large circle in the middle of 5 of the paper plates to form “rings”. Have the rings off to your kids for coloring with markers. While they are busy coloring the rings, themselves and your table, you can create the ring toss “pole”. Cut a small hole in the remaining paper plate; about the diameter of the paper towel roll. Insert the cardboard paper towel roll into the hole on the paper plate (plate should be facing down for sturdiness) to get it to stand upright. You can tape the bottom of the roll to the plate if that helps. Now you are ready for a friendly game of paper plate ring toss – take turns trying to toss the rings onto the poll!
How low can you go? A simple yet classic game that can also be played inside. You will need two people to hold the stick (this could be a broom or a yardstick) and then continue to lower the stick to see how flexible the contestant is.
Q-tip Blow Darts
All you need are plastic cups (like Solo cups), straws and Q-tips! Challenge your kids to build structures using the cups; like a pyramid, tower, etc. Once they have finished building, place a Q-tip into the straw and instruct them to blow the Q-tip out of the straw and at the cup structure. See how many cups they can knock down with each blow!
Water Bottle Bowling
Setup 10 empty water bottles in the same “V” shape you see pins at regular bowling allies. Then dig out a ball (you could even use a cantaloupe!) and roll it down the “alley” into the pins!
These are just a handful of the games you can play during your Indoor Olympics event. While I prefer to not keep score because of how young my children are, that is totally up to you and your family! Make this activity even more fun by creating “medals” with cardboard, ribbon, and paint, and you could even make a podium with different sized boxes.
Have any other indoor Olympics ideas?! Comment below!