Written by Ane Ayerbe
INDOOR ACTIVITIES FOR FAMILIES AND FRIENDS
It’s cold outside, the thought of outdoor entertainment may require some negotiating with yourself, a family member or friends. I suggest indoor games – good for all ages and for two or more people. And the best part? Everything you need is right in your home and you probably haven’t even thought about it. Here are just three suggestions:
1. SENSORY SORTING GAME:
(2 or more players are recommended)
This game trains the mind to focus on touch and not sight, sound, or smell. It helps with developing one’s ability to identify surfaces and objects. It’s a great way to teach kids 2 – 8 years old how to use and or improve their brain’s touch sensory. Here’s how you play. You will need a box; a shoebox is always a good choice. Cut a hole in the top, big enough to fit one hand through the hole, but small enough so that another person can’t see what’s inside.
Next, without anyone seeing, place an item in the box and close it. Use items appropriate for the ages of the persons playing. Have each player take turns sticking their hand into the box while his/her eye is close. Each person should guess what the item is, using the description of how the surface feels (e.g. smooth, rough…), what is the shape of the object (e.g. long, square, etc…), and temperature (hot, cold…). Questions are encouraged and clues can be offered as needed.
2. THE SOCK GAMES:
(1 or more players are recommended)
SOCK BASKETBALL: You will need several pairs of socks rolled individually into balls and a box/wastebasket/ any container wide enough to score with the sock. Next, decide where you will play? Players can be as young as 2 years old to play this game. Pick an area where there are no breakables or remove anything that is breakable (also be aware of sharp objects. e.g a hall or corridor). This game can get rough as the excitement to score climbs. To play each person shoots the ball (aka sock) into the basket (aka container), and if they score they take a step back. The one to score from the furthest distance wins. (1 player or more can play)
3. INDOOR OBSTACLE COURSE:
(2 more players recommended)
This is one game that can be played depending on the age and skill level of the courses you create; obstacle courses can be fun games to play with kindergarten-aged children through to adults. Here are some ideas for you to put together, you can add your own creativity and course order:
• Allow only jumping/crawling/ skipping/dancing from one area of the course to another.
• Put down couch cushions and jump from one to the next or over the cushions.
• Make a tunnel by draping a sheet over the couch. The players will crawl through it or under sheets hung over two chairs. Small children can crawl under the chairs.
• Perform various exercises like 20 jumping jacks or 10 frog hops to the next obstacle.
• Toss sock snowballs from the game into a laundry basket.
• Place stuffed animals and try to get past them without being in line with them.
• Crawl under tables. The most important thing about each game is to have fun. Put away the electronic games and spend some good old-fashioned quality time with your family or friends of all ages. It helps to keep everyone active and gives you the best medicine for the winter blues, laughter.
4. SOCK HOCKEY:
(3 or more players are recommended)
You will need the same things to play this game – at least three socks per person and a goal (this can be a laundry basket, trash can, storage box, etc.). Once again remove all sharp and breakable items. Your hand is the hockey stick and no helmets are needed. One person acts as goalie and stands in front of the goal, while other players are divided into two teams attempting to toss their sock into the goal. The team that gets most socks in the goal wins. Unlike regular hockey, there is only one goal. If you have space big enough for two goals, you can position them opposite each other as far apart as possible.