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10 From GEM: Easy, Indoor Activities For Preschoolers

Creative Commons/Shardayyy

Creative Commons/Shardayyy

10 From GEM:
Easy, Indoor Activities For Preschoolers

Hey, GEMs!  It’s the weekend again.  For a lot of us we have to figure out what to do with the little ones inside while we wait for the outside to heat up.  (Of course, I say that as the head GEM is off on sunny, Sweet Retreats.)  If you’ve spent even a few minutes with a preschooler you know they have lots of energy to burn. But playtime isn’t just about burning energy. This is precious learning time. It’s through play that they learn important social, emotional, and physical skills. Here are 10 quick and easy ways to keep your preschooler learning and entertained on those days when sub-zero wind chill factors have you trapped in the house.

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1. MAKE AN OBSTACLE COURSE

Creative Commons/Holtsman

Creative Commons/Holtsman

Preschoolers love to climb on furniture, so turn your living room into a play land by throwing couch cushions, bean bag chairs, and pillows on the floor.  Put sheets and blankets over tables and chairs to make tents. Have your preschooler do several rounds on the obstacle course. It’s fun for them and great exercise, too and  clean-up is a snap. Of course, it goes without saying, put away things that might break or hurt them and, unlike the kid in the picture, we don’t recommend jumping on the furniture!

Read more: Life Lessons: Maya Smith

2. HAVE A SNOWBALL FIGHT

Creative Commons/Turinboy

Creative Commons/Turinboy

No, you don’t have to go outside for this snowball fight. Just ball up lots of sheets of old newspaper and have at it. If you don’t feel comfortable with “fighting,” then have your preschooler aim at a target like a chair or a spot on the wall.

Read more: Top 10: Snow Day Survival Tips

3. CLEAN UP THE HOUSE

Creative Commons/Rethink Autism

Creative Commons/Rethink Autism

Kids between the ages of 3-6 are perfectly capable of learning and doing household chores. They may not be ready to wash dishes, but they can fold small laundry items like hand towels or sort socks, put away silverware, load plastic dishes in the dishwasher, wash windows, and make beds. This is the best time to get preschoolers started on housework because they almost always think it’s fun to do whatever mom is doing.

Read more: Ask Rene: Should Kids Help With The Housework

4. THINKING GAMES

Creative Commons/thekimchster

Creative Commons/thekimchster

Brain Quest is a curriculum-based question-and-answer game whose content reflects national and state standards. The question-and-answer challenges are the best. Although there are lots of questions, it’s very easy to stop whenever your preschooler needs a break and pick up where you left off. Check out the Write & Erase series that’s just for preschoolers to learn letters, numbers, shapes, colors, and phonics.

Read more: Single Mom Slice Of Life: Teaching Our Children How To Fall

5. ANIMAL CHARADES

Creative Commons/The Eggplant

Creative Commons/The Eggplant

Gather all your preschoolers stuffed animals and put them in an empty pillowcase. While you turn your head, have her pick out an animal and toss it to the side. She should act out the animal without using words or sounds.

Read more: Kid’s Questions: I’m Worried I’ll Get Teased About My Old Clothes!

6. INDOOR BASEBALL

Creative Commons/joeandjulee

Creative Commons/joeandjulee

You probably have rules against throwing things around the house, but make one exception for indoor baseball. All you need are paper balls (see #2) covered with foil to keep them together, paper towel rolls, and throw pillows that will serve as the bases.

Read more: Our Story Begins: But Dad, Just LISTEN!

7. PARADE

Creative Commons/Lyn Lomasi

Creative Commons/Lyn Lomasi

Who doesn’t love a parade? The revelry, the music, the costumes—it’s all enjoyable! Have a parade at your house and celebrate, well, anything that comes to mind. Dress up in funny clothes, wear makeup, and bang on pots and pans. Get the dog in on the fun, too!

Read more: Little Boy In A Girls Costume

8. MATH ACTIVITIES

Alexis Walker

Photo Credit: Alexis Walker

Your preschooler must know important skills like counting, sorting, and recognizing patterns. This is a wonderful group of math activities my daughter’s teacher encourages parents to do with their little ones. Head to the craft section of almost any store and pick up a container of soft, multicolored shapes. On ten small slips of paper, write out the numbers 1-10. Spread them out on a table or floor and play various games. You can do things like:

  • Place the objects in front of him and ask him to count each one and tell you how many there are.
  • Identify the numbers on the paper.
  • Sequence numerals by having him identify the number out of order and place it in order.
  • Count out three orange hearts or five red squares.

Read more: The Good Enough Mother Experiment: Living On Cash – The Results!

9. MUSIC MANIA

Creative Commons/drtomm2kc

Creative Commons/drtomm2kc

When kids listen to music, dance, or play an instrument, magical things are happening in their brains. Pathways are opening for creativity, math comprehension, and vocabulary building. So crank up the music and let your preschooler sing and dance, preferably until she gets tired.

Read more: Life Lessons: Kevin “Kato” Hammond (VIDEO)

10. MAKE A NO-SAND SANDBOX

Creative Commons/jbedwalt03

Creative Commons/jbedwalt03

Fill a large aluminum roasting pan or flat plastic container with rice and add little items like plastic teacups, spoons, funnels, toy cars—whatever your preschooler likes. Let him dig in.

Read more: Hey Mom.. How About You Just. Say. NO?

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What do you do with your preschoolers when you’re stuck inside? Help us out and share your ideas here!

More From GEM:

10 From GEM: Fun Indoor Activities For Babies And Toddlers

10 From GEM: Easy, Inexpensive Forced Family Fun

Life Lessons: Alexis Walker

picmonkey alexis

Alexis Trass Walker lives in Gary, Indiana, with her husband and four children. She is a stay at home mom and writer who loves all things chocolate. After years of shyness, she is a recovering wallflower who understands that a smile goes a long way. Read more about Alexis on her blog lilliebelle.org.

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