Indoor Fun to Beat the Summer Heat

While the summer time usually means spending plenty of time in the sun, there rainy days, high heat indexes, and ozone alerts can all necessitate spending a little time indoors. Parents who are weary of letting the television or X-box be their child’s sole source of entertainment can never have enough ideas about creative ways to stoke their child’s imagination, while keeping them moving and engaged. With that in mind, here are a few ideas for parents on indoor activities to entertain their kids.

Indoor Olympics

While the Winter Olympics may only happened once every four years, you can stage your own indoor Olympics any day where the weather looks frightful by using items found around the house. Pull a few plastic bottles out of the recycling, and set them up in a triangle in the kitchen to create your own miniature bowling ally. Use a soft plastic ball, and take turns with your children to see how many pins you can knock down with one roll.

For your next event, tie a pie of string between two chairs set a few feet apart. Blow up a balloon, and play a game of impromptu volleyball as you hit the balloon back and forth over the net while sitting on the floor. Finally, remove the lid from an old two-gallon jug of milk and set two water bottles a part on the other side of the kitchen. While sitting down, try to see who can slide the cap through the goal in your own miniature game of soccer.

Jumping Through Hoops

Clear some space out of the garage or remove any breakable objects from the living room for some hula-hoop fun. Hula hopping makes a great way for kids to exercise different parts of the body by hooping around their arms, legs, or waists. Lay the hoops on the floor in different patterns so your kids can jump from one hoop to another. When down in the garage, you also plays games such as tossing hoops over stationary items, or trying to see can roll their hoop the farthest.

Bounce Away

To answer the age-old question of how many ways you can bounce a ball, make some room in the garage where your kids can bounce a ball. Start them off by asking them to dribble the ball as close to their body as possible, and then as far away from their body. You can also see how slowly they can dribble and how fast. If you have a group of children, see if they can’t bounce the balls in sync with each other.

Dance the Day Away

When the days turn gloomy outside, dance up a storm inside. Have everybody takes turns making up their own dance moves. Teach your kids a line dance. Put on music and play that game “statues” where everybody has to freeze like a statue whenever the music stops.

On Your Mark

There are a number of fun and playful races you can engage your kids with that can help improve strength and coordination, include:

Wheelbarrow race: Have your kids walk on their hands while a partner steers them by holding onto their legs.

Beanbag race: A walk-race usually done in teams that requires players to move across the room with a beanbag tucked under their chin. Once a child reaches her partner, they must successfully make a “handoff” of the beanbag without the use of their hands.

Timothy Lemke is a freelance writer. To read more of his work, visit the website of Dr. Richard Dietrich, a Portland dentist.

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