Send Boredom Packing on a Budget (Part 2)

Want even more great ideas to get your kiddos up and moving in the great indoors? And even better, for nearly or completely free? Keep reading to find all of that and fun to boot!

Oh My Golly, Indoor Volley!

Remember the suspension rod mentioned in the activity above? That little item is a multi-tasking, mighty wonder when it comes to indoor active play opportunities. Hang it in a long hallway and throw a pillowcase over it length wise to create an instant “net.” A soft foam or stuffed ball can be used as a volleyball or simply tossed back and forth over the net for a new and novel game of catch. Does your child prefer to play solo? Then consider pitching practice instead. Use a long sturdy needle to thread a piece of yarn or string directly through the middle of foam ball, secure it at the bottom of the ball with a large knot or button, leaving a long piece of string at the other end. Tie the ball to the suspension rod, suspending it at a height that’s comfortable for your child. Arm him or her with an indoor-safe bat (a.k.a. empty paper towel or wrapping paper rod), stand back and let the hitting practice begin!

Fair Fun at Home

Any trip to the fair will usually reveal the same game in a variety of forms. Whether it’s tossing a dime into beautiful dishes and cups or throwing a ping-pong ball into a fishbowls, games that require tossing towards a target aren’t just fun. They’re a great way to practice hand-eye coordination. Fortunately, you can replicate this fantastic fair fun right in your own home with just a few items you likely already have. Begin by dragging out a variety of bowls and cups from your kitchen cupboards, and arrange them either all over a tabletop for older children or right on the floor for younger ones. The larger the variety of colors, heights and shapes the better. Then search for all your spare change or snag a few ping-pong balls for tossing. If you and your brood want to keep score, go for it. Otherwise, embrace the simple fun that ensues.

Dart board

Serve Up Some Fun

My mother-in-law spent beaucoup bucks on a plastic version of a game for my boys to enjoy while at her home. They admittedly loved the game and, not surprisingly, wanted to bring it home. I had a hunch, though, that we could play the very same game for absolutely free at our house whenever we liked. A quick trip to a kitchen drawer (for a few serving spoons) and to a bedroom drawer (for a few pair of rolled up socks) proved that I was right. Soon my boys were racing around the living room – well, okay, the entire downstairs – to find out who could balance their sock balls the longest and the farthest.

Hide ‘n Go Hunt

Who says the fun of hunting for hidden stuff has to be saved just for buried treasure or Easter eggs? Have the fun and get moving year round and regardless of the weather right inside your own home. Select items to stash such as stickers, a few coins or even just a favorite stuffed animal, and let the hide and go hunt fun begin. Grab a kitchen timer and encourage teamwork as you all work together to beat the clock or up the ante and the fun with a bit of friendly competition courtesy of a race to find it first. Older children may also enjoy creating treasure maps for each other to follow. Foster math skills and keep your kiddo moving by encouraging them to measure how many steps in each direction are needed to find the treasure and create a map to scale.

Photo credit: LAW

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Author Info

This post was written by Shannon M. Medisky. Shannon is an educator turned parent turned writer and focuses on sharing new and innovative ways to not just survive, but thrive on empty. Visit to learn more. Her newest book The Complete Idiot's Guide to Stretching Your Dollar is available in bookstores now.

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