Let’s Get Moving! {15 Indoor Active Games for Kids + Where to Find More!}

Let’s Get Moving! {15 Indoor Active Games for Kids + Where to Find More!}

Sometimes you just need to get up and get moving! Here are some great active indoor games that you can use in your children’s program or with your own kids!  All games were taken from the book Celebration Games: Physical Activities for Every MonthI also googled around to try and find some matching posts so you could see some pictures along with the ideas.  Hope it helps you in your family and ministry!

Any Time Games

TAIL TAG: Give each student a strip of cloth (approx 12″) to tuck into their waistband or belt loop.  Let kids run around the gym trying to grab other tails while also trying to keep their own.  Designate a safety zone so kids can tuck newly acquired tails into their waistband with ease.

Cone Memory Relay Race: Laminate a variety of clip art pictures, one type for each team member along with some extras. For example, if you have four teams of five kids, you’ll need five trees, five cats, five dogs, five fish, and some extras.   Hide the pictures under cones, buckets, or plastic bowls across the gym.   When you yell “go!”, the first kid from each team must rush to find their assigned clip art.  Remind them to replace each cone after they have looked under it so no clip art pictures are exposed.  After a team member has found their assigned clip art, they run back to tag the next team member and the game continues!

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Photo Credit: The Dabbling Speechie

Holiday Theme Games

  • Thanksgiving Fatten the Turkey Game: Students pretend beanbags are food and throw them into the turkey’s mouth
  • Thanksgiving Spelling Game: Students must throw beanbags at a posterboard which says  “Thanks”.   Beanbags must hit each letter in correct spelling order.
  • St. Patrick Day Shamrock Score: Make a poster with shamrocks on it along with a score written on each shamrock.  Student throw bean bag overhand to hit a shamrock.  Add up their score after three throws.

A Few More Ideas

While I was googling around, I found a few more games to add to the list.  These ideas were taken from Best Children’s Games, ProTeacher, Frugal Mom, LiveStrong, The Source (youth ministry), Salt and Light Retreat Manual, and Boy Scout Trail.

CUP CATCH: This is a fun and easy game to play and it improves the childrens’ catching skills. Give each child a plastic or paper cup to use as a mitt. Then you make a small ball of crushed aluminum foil. Then you line the children up in a circle and they have to pass around the ball using the cups to both toss and catch the ball. No hands allowed! If you have a large group, you can use two balls at the same time.

FOUR CORNERS: Designate each corner of the room with a number. One kid puts his head down (no peeking) and the rest quickly and silently walk to one of the 4 corners while the kid counts to 10. At the count of ten, he/she calls out one of the 4 numbers, and anyone standing in that corner sits down. Repeat until there’s one kid left. As the numbers dwindle, thee may be a corner with no kids. Stress that once the kid counting gets to 9, they’d better be in a corner!! No dashing at the count of 8 or 9!! The last kid up gets to be the next counter.

PASS THE CHICKEN! In this game, nobody wants to hold the rubber chicken — the game’s only prop! To begin the game, all students sit in a circle. Select one person to be It. That person holds the rubber chicken. The teacher or a “caller” says to the person holding the chicken, “Name five presidents of the United States”( for example). Pass the chicken!” As soon as the caller says, “Pass the chicken,” the person holding the chicken passes it to the right. Students quickly pass the chicken around the circle. If it returns to the original holder before he or she can name five presidents of the United States, the holder is still It. Otherwise, the person holding the chicken when It finishes listing five presidents is the new It. You should prepare the topic cards for this game in advance. Topics can relate to your lesson or be general information topics.

TRIBBLE HUNT GAME: Begin by crumpling 100 to 200 pieces of paper and hiding them all over the large playing area.  Also hide a balloon.  Hide the balloon (King Tribble) especially well.  Tell kids, “Last night, the tribbles invaded. They are all over the place and will continue to replicate unless we capture them all. We especially need to find and capture the King Tribble. Give pairs of kids a bag and have them hunt for tribbles. The patrol that collects the most by the end of play time, wins. An extra reward for whoever brings in the King Tribble.

SPAGHETTI STRETCH GAME: Give each team a box of long spaghetti noodles.  On “go”, the first team member lays a spaghetti noodle down, touching the starting line.  He passes the boxes to the next team mate who takes out a noodle, laying it end to end with the first noodle.  He runs back to the starting line, passes the box onto the next team mate and the game continues.  With each box pass, students must run further to lay noodles end to end.  The first to have their string of noodles cross the finish line win.

SMUGGLERS: Divide into two teams – the Smugglers and the Coast Guard.
Give a small  jewel or trinket one member of the Smugglers. The Smugglers go to one end of the play area while the Coast Guard go to the other. The smugglers can move the jewel from kid to kid as often as they like. The jewel must only be held in a hand, not concealed any other way. The Coast Guard chase the Smugglers trying to tag them. When a smuggler is tagged, he must immediately stop and show both open hands. He must then sit and wait for the round to end. When the smuggler with the jewel is tagged, a new round is started with teams switching sides.

BALLOON CATCH: This game is played similar to SPUD.  Give each child a name tag with a number written on it.  Have the person who has #1 start with the balloon.  They throw the balloon in the air and call out a number.  The child with that number must catch the balloon before it touches the ground.  Repeat.

SOCK WARS: For this game you will need 10 to 20 socks rolled up into balls. Divide the room into two equal halves, and place the socks on the line in the middle. Divide all the kids into two equal teams. When the game starts, the object of the game is to get as many socks onto the other teams side of the room before time is up. Set a timer for a 60 seconds to time the game-play. Team members must stay on their side of the room and toss the socks over to the other sides. A team member cannot hold onto a sock for more than 10 seconds before having to throw it. To make things more interesting, add in beach balls of varying sizes with the socks.

BALLOON DEFENSE: Buy two different colored balloons, 25 to 50 of each for two teams of play. Choose colors according to the closest holiday or anything relevant (opposing school colors if you’re in a small town).
Form two teams. Each team must defend its treasure (a pile of balloons) while attempting to steal or destroy the other team’s treasure. Use one color of balloons for one team, and another color for the other team. Designate a time period (five to 10 minutes) to play the game. When the time ends, each team’s unpopped balloons count 100 points each. Stolen, unpopped balloons count 200 points each.  Depending on your team, this can be either played as a Capture the Flag style game, or just all out full contact. Have fun with this game, and make it your own!

BODY PART MUSICAL CHAIRS: Have everyone form a big circle of chairs with the chairs facing outward. Remove one chair. Have music ready. When the music starts everyone must walk around the chairs (again it’s fun if you make them jog). When the music stops, a caller yells out a body part. Then everyone races to touch that body part to a chair, one person per chair only. If they touch a chair before the body part is called, they are out. The one person who doesn’t get a chair is also out. To speed it up, you can remove more chairs. We usually start out simple – nose, hair, left elbow, etc. but towards the end we get more complicated – your bare feet, someone else’s left hand (they must grab one of the people who are already out). The object is to be the last one left.


Eight Great

 Ultimate Camp Resources (games, crafts, activities)

Playworks The Play Book

Salt and Light Retreat Manual (Mixers, Small Group Games, Skits and more!)

PDF Full of Indoor Recess Games for Kids grade K-6

30 Indoor Active Activities for Kids 

Indoor Youth Group Games

Indoor Games for Youth Groups

Great Group Games (for 20+ people)

Bonus: 10 Active Indoor Games and Biblical Tie-Ins

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