8 Indoor Sports or Games for Kids

January 19, 2021 9:30:00 AM EST | USASF

We understand. It can be difficult to get kids moving.

Studies have shown that exercise and sports provide lifelong benefits for kids. Beyond the physical benefits of fitness and better health, exercise can help kids sleep better; they are happier and healthier, better able to handle emotional and physical challenges.

For parents, sometimes it’s easier to let them spend another day sitting on the couch watching TV, playing a video game or using a computer than pushing them to get outside and exercise. The battle to exercise isn’t always worth the trouble, especially on days when it’s rainy or cold, or it isn’t possible to do an outdoor activity.

Indoor sports and games are an option that can keep kids active all year round, even bad weather.

Staying Safe During Indoor Sports

Even when at home or playing inside, safety needs to be a priority. Here’s a quick list of tips you can use to stay safe when playing indoor activities.

  • Identify dangers early: Look for sharp corners, trip hazards or fragile furniture that may become the source of an injury before you start playing. Eliminate the hazard, move breakable or dangerous objects, and design the game or activity with the danger in mind.
  • Go over the rules: Before you start the game make sure to go over the rules and restrictions. Make safety a priority early to prevent problems before they happen.
  • Monitor and watch: Problems can quickly escalate especially when you’re playing in a confined space. Make sure a responsible adult is in charge and knows to step in if there is trouble.
  • Keep a first aid kit on hand: Bruises, bumps and scraped knees are all potential injuries when playing inside. Make sure you have some quick remedies on hand, including an antibiotic cream, band aids and an ice pack. Quick action can prevent long term problems.

As important as it is to have fun, it’s also important to stay safe. A little foresight can prevent problems.

8 Great Ideas for Indoor Sports for Kids

Not all of these are ideas for the home. Some are sport activities you can do all year long. We suggest finding a good year-round sport for children but also try out a few “in-the-home” activities, too.

A good mix will keep kids active all the time and set up good habits as they are growing up. Let’s look at a few activities for kids even when the weather is bad.


Many communities have an indoor pool that offers swimming lessons and open swim. This includes organizations like the YMCA. Indoor swimming is great exercise year round. Sign up for lessons and then stay for open swim afterwards.

Foam Sports

Products like Nerf can easily be converted into a sports activity that is safe for the home. Nerf guns are great for older kids and a soft ball and a laundry basket can be used as a basketball or soccer for a wicked game on your knees in the basement. Make sure to move anything breakable and set a few ground rules before you start.

Hide and Seek

Indoor hide and seek is fun for kids (and adults) of all ages and is a great way to make awesome memories. This is an excellent activity after a day spent cleaning the house where kids can find places to hide. Turn off many of the lights and play in the dark. A little pen light or the light on your phone can keep everyone safe. Afterward, make a snack of popcorn and hot chocolate


Many dance studios are open all year long. Dance is a fun sports activity that teaches both discipline and skill, and is a great way to build friendships any time of year. Even without a dance studio there are plenty of games you can play with dance. Turn on your favorite song and choreograph a dance to it or play a dance game.

Ping Pong and Table Sports

Ping pong and other table sports like table soccer are a great way to get kids off the couch and moving. They can promote hand eye coordination and can be easily transitioned into regular household events.


Like dance, gymnastics is a sport in which kids can participate year-round. Fitness and flexibility are key, and even if the gym is closed kids can learn the stretches and practice at home. Today, there are gyms that can accommodate kids of all experience, backgrounds and skill levels.

Exercise Challenges

On days when it is impossible to get out at all, even a little activity can help. Try doing in-home exercises like sit-ups, push-ups or spot jogging just to get moving. A hike in the house with a little imagination is another great activity for younger kids. Make it a challenge with a stop-watch or set goal to keep the kids interested in the activity.


In an age when everything feels like it is pushing us to go faster or do more, yoga is a good way to help kids slow down, stay active and learn mindfulness. You can find some great online videos that will walk you through yoga for kids. It also helps them learn stretching and low-impact exercises. You may get a few arguments the first time you suggest yoga, but with a little persistence almost any child will become a yoga convert.

Making the Most of Kids Time Inside

Don’t let the weather or the off-season keep kids from staying healthy.

Use these super simple ideas to stay happy and healthy all year long. We’ve covered just a few of the basics, but once you tried them, you’ll open up even more ideas for possibilities.

In the meantime, let us know your favorite indoor activities!