Don't let bad weather or other barriers to outdoor play keep your kids slumped on the sofa. Try one of these active, indoor toys designed to get children moving, learning, and laughing. These toys are best for kids ages 3 to 8.
I Can Do That Games
Spread out the oversize alphabet mat, spin the Thing 1 and Thing 2 Tornado Tube, and get stretchy! The tube deals out letter-to-body-part tasks, challenging kids to put their hand on the letter P, and their foot on the letter G, and their nose on the letter A, and so on. Think Twister, with an ABC-learning twist.
This game is less about getting your boogie on (as the name might imply) and more about balance, flexibility, and coordination. Kids must hold the plastic "amazing egg" and perform moves directed by the cute monkey on a series of playing cards. But if they tip or drop the egg, they'll wake the giggly baby bird inside!
Diggin Active, Inc.
Kids can challenge their balance and improve their coordination and reflexes with three different electronic games, each with multiple levels. Choose from Memory Match, Speed Play, and Freestyle.
These motion-activated tutus inspire little ones to dance the day away. Flip the switch, and music plays whenever your child dances; flip it off when you want to hear your own soundtrack instead. Skirts are designed for kids ages 3 to 6, but elastic waists allow them to fit many shapes and sizes. Look for different styles and tunes, from Swan Lake (pictured) to the Hokey Pokey.
I Can Do That! Games
This cute game encourages players to play a quick round of hide-and-seek during the course of play--an unexpectedly active twist to a normally sedentary activity. Kids can also use the walkie-talkie and animal masks that come with the game for pretend play apart from the board.
Build soccer skills off-season with this sporty toy recommended for ages 4 and up. The "ball" has a flat side designed to slide across the floor into the special, low-profile goal (included). Since the ball is easier to control, kids can practice dribbling and shooting skills with more success.
I Can Do That Games
This innovative game brings a classic book to life in an active new way. It's not your typical roll the dice, move your pawn board game. It requires some simple reading, but no batteries. The activity is all kid-powered. This game is recommended for kids ages 4 to 8.
How low can you go—without knocking the giggly Giraffalaff down? This battery-operated game requires only two players (but more can join in). Spin the dial to try one of the six limbo styles: classic, crabwalk, crawl, giraffe walk, forward, or backward.
Creative Toy Shop
While this game doesn't get kids up and moving, it does reinforce messages about healthy eating and physical activity. Game play is simple to learn and might spark some great conversations around your table.
Keep things hopping in your home with a kid-sized trampoline--perfect for preventing that bouncing-off-the-walls feeling! Always enforce a one-jumper-only rule to keep kids safer, and encourage them to hold onto the handle too.
Melissa & Doug
This indoor bowling set is fun, funky, and furry! Set up the pins for a game that's not only active, but also quiet
—well, except for the giggles. Suitable for ages 2 and up, and comes in a sturdy zippered bag.
Melissa & Doug
No chalk required for this charming game of hopscotch from Melissa & Doug's Sunny Patch line. Lay out the sturdy, interlocking foam pieces on the floor instead. The set also includes two markers, game instructions, and a carrying case. What kinds of courses can you create?