Now that football season is gone, my boys can always use extra “fun” things to keep them active. Enjoy the following guest post, my boys especially liked the “Human Beat Box.”
Hello! It’s Matt from Team Building Activities for Kids Central. With many of us slogging through the winter months and spending a lot of time inside, we’ve been thinking about how to pass the time and spend some quality time with the kids. So we put together some of our favorite winter and indoor games for families—hope you enjoy!
Game 1: The “What Is That?” Sensory Game. This is a great indoor game for families, and works great for kids 2 to 10 or so. This one takes a little prep, but it’s an interesting game that keeps participants interested.
How to Play: Parents or instructors set up different bowls full of items that have specific tactile qualities. The aim of the activity is to have participants figure out different objects by closing their eyes and using their sense of smell and feel to figure out what the object is. Some excellent items include peeled grapes, raquet balls, sunflower seeds, jacks, Ritz crackers, cooked beans… you name it!
You can place objects in a large bowl with a cloth or piece of paper over it so that students don’t ruin the surprise. If players are bending the rules a little bit, you can include a blindfold at each bowl. And, if your children have sensory issues, they may not like the game, so that’s something to keep in mind. But for most students, the activity poses a new way to experience some items that are otherwise very common.
Bonus Tip: Usually, the parent/teacher/instructor/moderator chooses the activities, and kids guess the items in bowls. For a neat switcheroo, let the kids choose items to put in the bowls. Kids can have a lot of fun trying to stump their parents!
Game 2: Human Beat Box. This is a super-fun game, and it can get pretty loud! Another great game for families, this one is excellent for kids age 5 or 6 all the way through their teen years. Teenagers may really try to look like they’re not enjoying themselves, but usually enjoy the game a ton!
How to Play: Participants use their hands and feet to create different rhythms that rise and fall the longer the game goes on. Start by simply clapping a “one / two / three / four” beat, and after a few measures, point to the first child, who will perform the first “drum solo.” S/he will execute a solo as intricate or as simple as he wants. After a few measures, point to the next child, who will perform the next solo.
Bonus Tip: You can vary the game by adding props. Objects such as a coffee can full of marbles produce a really neat sound, but you can get as creative as you want: you can snap rubber bands to create a neat “twang” sound; you can use wooden spoons and drum on an empty box; you can even scrape even scrape the wooden spoon along a tabletop to create an interesting sound. Finding new ways to make sounds for the ga me can be an activity in itself!
Extra Bonus Tip: If you’re interested in learning more about rhythm games, you can check out iactivelearning.com.
Game 3: Old School Dance Party! This one is pretty simple, but often overlooked when people are trying to think of activities for kids. But if you think about it, it’s the perfect activity—there’s no equipment necessary, nothing to buy, and the activity is incredible exercise!
Just like “Human Beat Box,” you can get pretty creative—you can go on YouTube and search for disco moves, breakdancing spins, silly dance moves… again, it’s as silly or as serious as you want to make it!
Bonus Tip: To make the game into an educational experience, you can learn about dance in different cultures. Dance has incredible significance to different ethnic groups around the world, involved different rituals, clothes, and rites, and it can be a pretty incredible way to teach kids about the world they live in.
Wrap-Up: The winter months can drag on, and parents and kids alike can feel a little cooped up. Hopefully the activities above will bring some joy to your indoor adventures!