Let’s bounce! Or climb or spin…anything to get in some physical activities if you’ve got active kids stuck indoors, right?
We love outside play, but what do you do when going outside won’t work? You need physical activities to keep kids happy while cooped up inside – especially with an active preschooler or busy toddler, having a few indoor active toys around can make a big difference in everyone’s sanity.
Here’s a list of our very favorite indoor play equipment for active kids. These are the best active toys for burning energy with bouncing, spinning, and movement indoors. This post includes affiliate links to these products.
The Best Indoor Active Toys
Indoor Toys for Active Toddlers:
Toddlers are becoming more adventurous and ready to try out their new mobility skills. The following toys make this possible even when you’re stuck indoors.
Ride on Toys for Toddlers:
An indoor ride-on toy that carries things! What I love about this Radio Flyer Ride On Toy is the storage compartment beneath the seat. Toddlers adore transporting things from place to place, and this toy gives them lots to do – fill up the compartment, ride it into the next room, unload…fill it up again. Great way to use that toddler energy.
Another good choice for toddler ride-on toys that can be used inside are the Wheely Bug toys from Prince Lionheart. These rolling toys go in all directions giving little legs an opportunity to develop gross motor control, they’re cute (they actually even have a hedgehog!), and they have both large and small sizes, so if you have a kid growing fast you can choose the larger size so it will last longer.
Depending on the space in your house, you may be able to bring a toddler balance bike indoors. Our house isn’t very big, but if the wheels were clean sometimes, they could ride back and forth from the front door to the kitchen.
We loved our Strider. It lasted through all of the kids and helped them gain balance and confidence, making bike riding much easier when they got older.
You can now even get a Strider with a removable rocking base making this toy last even longer; one-year-olds can use their strider as a rocking toy before they’re big enough to begin riding on it.
Jumping and Bouncing Toys for Toddlers
Bouncing on a trampoline is a wonderful way to burn off energy for high energy toddlers, and one of the only trampolines I found that is sized for the tiniest bouncers is this one from Galt. It is good for kids ages 1-3 years.
These things are awesome – one of the toys in our house that’s gotten ongoing play for years. We’ve got two ponies, and all of the kids from toddler up to age 8 have played with them. Rody Ponies are super strong bouncing toys, and fun for many ages. They’re super durable and last for years. Aside from their bouncing capabilities, they’ve been central to countless pretend scenarios.
Indoor Climbing Toys and Balance Toys for Toddlers:
Babies and toddlers can climb, crawl, and stack these big foam blocks. They invite movement and stacking to create structures that can be played on. If one set is a hit, you can also add different shapes or a tunnel.
Stepping and Balance Stones – the Gonge Hilltops are a set of five “stones” that can be used to make an obstacle course. They promote balance and coordination as kids step from one to the other, and they can be stacked to store. This is a long-lasting toy because it can be used from toddlers on up to teens.
This is simple and classic childhood fun and great gross motor play for toddlers. Climb up, slide down. Or add a challenge – climb up with your teddy bear and have it slide down! Lots of room for cause and effect experimentation. The Little Tikes Slide is foldable as well, in case you want to store it away when it’s not in use.
Get kids bending, crawling, and moving with a tunnel and ball pit. This one is affordable and has very high reviews. I love that it also has a tent that offers its own long-term pretend-play value. Do note that you’ll have to buy the play-pit balls separately.
- You can find a list of our favorite active toddler board games here.
- You can find ideas of active-play games siblings can play with toddlers here.
Indoor Toys for Preschoolers on the Move:
Jumping and Bouncing Toys
When I was a kid, my brother and I had a Hop 66 for years – that’s a size better for big kids, but it turns out they make these fun hopping balls in smaller sizes as well, perfect for preschoolers. Since it’s so long-lasting and is along the line of hopping ride-on toys.
Great indoor play equipment for days when your child seems to have an endless need to crash around the house. Get that kid bouncing instead! Jumping on a trampoline is also a fun physical way to practice spelling or math facts for older kids, so if you get a quality one, a trampoline can really be a lasting toy investment.
Rocking and Balance Toys
After finding my three-year-old spinning on the floor in a mixing bowl, I knew we needed a couple of these toys instead. Bilibos are one of the best indoor active toys because they’re so versatile. They’re very durable and encourage spinning, rocking, toy carrying, and pretend play. Ours have been used in the bath, in the fort outside and even as step stools.
The ALEX Monkey Balance Board is sized well for little kids but has a high weight capacity if older siblings want to try it out. Balancing on it offers a physical challenge and strengthens core muscles.
Swings and Indoor Gyms
Our indoor swing is one of the best investments we’ve made for happy kids. It makes for a cozy snuggling spot, a relaxing swinging place, and one of the fastest spinning apparatuses I’ve ever seen. I take this out only in winter and hang it in the kids’ room. One of my sons loves to swing as it’s calming to him (when he was a baby, he’d actually fall asleep in the swings at the park), so this is a big hit.
If you can find a corner to make a climbing space, this could be a really fun addition to a playroom or kids’ room. In researching these, I also found this Swedish “Wall Playground,” which is both pretty and a unique climbing toy and indoor playground that doesn’t take up a ton of space.
Active Games and Activities
Yoga with Kids – You can try checking out a Kids Yoga DVD from your local library or try streaming one (Netflix has some yoga for kids videos, as does Amazon Video), or use cards like these Yoga Pretzel Cards for ideas.
Make Couch Forts. Couches are not furniture (you thought they were?). From obstacle courses made with the cushions to the endless forts, my poor couches get A LOT of use as kid entertainment. This kind of rainy day activity and pretend play lets your child stretch their imagination.
Some kids are calmed by spinning, even if this is not the case for your child, the coordination and strength required to make themselves spin can be a great indoor physical activity. Our Sit – N – Spin stays interesting because I usually keep it in the closet and just take it down occasionally (the trick to keeping any toy entertaining it seems.)
Kids ages 5 and up – Toys to keep big kids active when they’re inside
Naturally, some of the toys listed above for preschoolers will be good for big kids as well, so do take a look at those, but here are some indoor toys good for active kids over age 5.
The Teeter Popper toy from Fat Brain Toys helps with increased stability and strength. It has suction cups that make a neat pop-pop-pop sound as kids rock and wobble. Or try the Diggin Wobble Deck for a game to go along with the balancing.
Indoor Climbing and Gym Equipment for Big Kids
A Doorway “Gym”
This doorway play equipment is a very fun way to let kids climb and swing (which are great physical activities for their bodies and brains). You can try just a simple bar where they can reach up to try doing a pull-up, or get something like this Gorilla Gym Kids with Indoor Swing, Plastic Rings, Trapeze Bar, Climbing Ladder, and Swinging Rope.
This deceptively simple piece of play equipment is so much fun. Show your kids how to do somersaults! Practice handstands, or even let them impress you with their cartwheels. A mat makes this a much less nerve-wracking play idea.
This play dome offers your child a good space to climb, hang, and swing. At a little over 5 and a half feet, you will also find that it is the perfect size for a playroom, and it won’t overwhelm the space. It is easy to assemble, sturdy and durable, and still remains lightweight. It can safely hold up to 264 pounds and is the perfect toy for more than one child.
The Lil Monkey Dome Climber is made from plastic materials that offer safety and flexibility. For even more fun and imagination, you can throw a sheet over it, and your kids can have their own tent or clubhouse!
Movement Games and Activities for Bigger Kids
This toy comes with three beanbags and a storage bag along with an 88-page instructional book with clear instructions on how to juggle. Juggling for the Complete Klutz is recommended for kids 8 years old and up and will definitely help improve their hand-eye coordination while teaching them a new trick to show off to their friends and family.
This is a classic board game that gets kids moving. They can bend and twist and laugh and get their sillies out playing it. The game comes complete with a vinyl twister mat, a fully assembled spinner, and instructions. Twister is a fun game for all ages and has been since the 60s! There are four rows of big, brightly colored circles on the mat.
Each row has a different color (either red, yellow, blue, or green). The spinner is divided into different sections, including right foot, left foot, right hand, and left hand. The player spins and follows the instructions on the spinner.
For another fun activity that the whole family can enjoy, we recommend the Fitivities Exercise Game. It is the perfect way to get your kids up and moving instead of spending too much time in front of the TV. It is a good game for players ages six and up. They can play by themselves or let their parents join in on the fun.
It is suitable for both indoor and outdoor play, and the game can last between 10 and 30 minutes. It includes durable game pieces so you can play over and over again. It has also received several awards, including the Mothers Choice Award, PTPA, Dr. Toy, and was Creative Child Mag’s – Game of the Year.
If you have a game system, why not get kids moving while they play? Just Dance 2020 is the newest in the line and is bringing you exciting new content! It is more personalized than it has ever been and has an enhanced recommendation system. To play this game, you do not need to have any additional accessories. You can use your smartphone in combination with the Just Dance Controller app.
This version of the game is for Playstation 4 consoles and is considered the #1 Music Video Game Franchise of All Time. Not only does it entertain, but it is also a good way to encourage physical activity and exercise indoors.
The Importance of Active Play for Children
While you may just be looking for fun activities your child can do indoors when the weather isn’t cooperating and to help combat cabin fever, there are many other reasons active play is important to your child and their growth.
Some of the bigger benefits of active play for children include strengthening their bones, muscles, and even the brain as they begin to establish these different connections. Having a physically active lifestyle, especially at this young age, will help them develop better and healthier habits that will improve their physical and mental well-being.
Physical activity is also a good way to manage a child’s weight and possibly reduce any health problems. In addition, it will also work to build their self-esteem and confidence.
In addition, active play helps to develop language and reasoning skills and encourages your child’s development as they play and interact with others while also encouraging autonomous thinking and problem-solving. If they have problems focusing and concentrating, active play is a way to help with this and improve behavior.
Finally, it is a great way to encourage children and develop their verbal skills, judgment, reasoning, creativity, motor skills, and hand-eye coordination.
Do you have any favorite indoor active play toys? I would love to know about more ways to get in physical activity on days when we’re not outside as much.
Find more fun for kids here:
- Delight List for your 4-6 Year Old (All the fun you don’t want to miss at this age).
- The Best Board Games for Toddlers through Grade Schoolers
- Preschooler Games the Whole Family Will Love to Play
- Ready to get outside with those tots? Find our list of the best snow boots for toddlers here so you can go burn off some energy in the cold!