6 Games to Get the Kids Up and Moving Indoors

6 games to get kids up and moving2

When I was working in the schools, I sometimes got pretty bored working at the table with my students. Let’s be honest..how many of us love to be sitting on one place for long periods of time having to use a LOT of brain power?

Not me….and not my students. And my own children are the same way.

So it is pretty common for me to incorporate games that get us up and moving in our speech sessions. I have found that most kids thrive in these activities that got them moving and grooving, while also helping to increase motivation and attention. Translation: More fun and more progress!

Not only are these games great to use in speech therapy sessions, they are great to use in the home as well! Whether you use these educationally or just for FUN on a rainy day, here are some fun ways to get kids up and moving indoors!

Bowling

IPlay Bowling Set from Amazon

IPlay Bowling Set from Amazon

There are many kids of bowling pins you can use, including making your own! I have a set similar to the one pictured above that I use in my sessions. Here are some tips for bowling in the speech room or for home speech practice:

  • Use some painters tape and mark the places on the ground where the pins go, as well as marking the place the kids are to stand. This will help with quicker transitions from student to student.
  • I often will make each child say their articulation words so many times (usually between 25-50) before they take a turn. If they are working on another goal, I will have them practice the skill so many times before their turn.
  • If you have kids that have a hard time standing up to wait turns, I have lined up chairs in a row for the kids to “sit in line” rather than stand.
  • If you have a whole group working on the same words (or you are a parent working at home with your child) you can actually tape the target words to the bowling pins and then have the child say each word so many times when they are knocked down.

Check out These Variations

Toddler Approved shared a letter matching activity. You can totally do a variation of this with speech goals.

toddler approved bowling

Looking for something SUPER simple? Here is a simple one from Loving My Nest where they bowled using water bottles! SIMPLE!!

  loving my nest bowling

Ring Toss

Gamenamics Sponge Bugs Kids Ring Toss from Amazon

Gamenamics Sponge Bugs Kids Ring Toss from Amazon

I got an inexpensive set (Gamenamics Sponge Bugs Kids Ring Toss, pictured above) a few years ago and it is always a hit! This game can be a little tricky for little ones (like preschoolers) or children with motor impairments but generally my students have always loved playing these. I typically have the children practice they goals and then take a turn. Like in bowling, I sometimes have to have them “sit” in a line rather than stand depending on children’s needs in the group. I use this in private practice ALL THE TIME as well!

Check Out these Variations

3 Dinosaurs has a great post on DIY ring toss games! Simple and EASY!!

3 dinos olympicringtoss

Hopscotch

Hopscotch Playmat Foam Interlocking Puzzle Floor Mat from Amazon

Hopscotch Playmat Foam Interlocking Puzzle Floor Mat from Amazon

I have foam hopscotch set similar to the one pictured above. Like the other games, I usually have the children say their targets so-many-times before taking a turn. I have also had them throw a bean bag on the numbers and have to say their target that many times multiplied by 3 (so if they landed on 2, 2×3=6 times). It really depends on the group, ages, etc. 

Check out These variations

I LOVE this one by Jackie of Happy Hooligans. A simple DIY cardboard set that you can easily store away.

Happy Hooligans indoor-cardboard-hopscotch

Another super simple DIY hopscotch set from Rockabye Butterfly

Rockabye Butterfly Hopscotch

Here is another idea from Train Up a Child Learn as we Go: Use painters tape to make a hopscotch pad on your floor!

train up a child hop

Bean Bag Toss

Melissa and doug bean bag

This is one I used to use all the time with my students when I was in the schools. I bought an inexpensive set at Ross I think, but I have seen the Melissa & Doug Verdie Chameleon Beanbag Toss pictured above and it is pretty cool and not too expensive.

Check out These Variations

Looking for something even cooler? First, check out these adorable and SIMPLE DIY bead bad catch/toss game from The Imagination Tree!

Imagination Tree Bean Bag Game

Here is a really cool Colorful Tee Bean Bag Toss from Crystals Tiny Treasures…I love this one! I’d add #s to it and whatever # they land on they have to say their word/target that many time or maybe display their goal (like fluency or language concepts) for that many seconds. You can also have them work then play purely for fun.

Crystals Tossing-a-bean-bag-

Make your own bean bad toss from a cardboard box like What do We do All Day

What di we do all day toss

Balloon Tennis/Racquetball/Volleyball

Here is another one I have used a LOT in my sessions! Grab a simple balloon and have your students keep it up in the air as they practice their speech! I usually have them say a target word/phrase or what-have-you every time they smack the ball up. If they say it wrong, they have to stop and say it 10 times correctly. I know this one isn’t new…how do you use these types of games in your sessions?

Check out These Variations

Click on the image below to see the fun Toddler Approved had with some balloon tennis. SUPER SIMPLE!!

  toddler approved balloon tennis

Basketball

Little Tykes Basketball Hoop from Amazon

Little Tykes Basketball Hoop from Amazon

Another game that can be fun to get the kids moving is basketball. When I was working in the schools I had a basketball hoop similar to the one pictured above in my room that hung on the back of a door so we could get up and play anytime the kids were fidgety (like rainy days!)

Check out these variations

You don’t need a “real” ball and hoop to play basketball though! A trash can and some newspaper balls can work just as well just like Hands on: as we grow shares!

Hands on as we grow basketball

If you are a parent of a child in speech, these ideas may work great for you to practice speech and language at home in a FUN way! So now I want to know, how do YOU get kids up and moving indoors? I’d love some new ideas!

Disclaimer: This post may contain affiliate links.

About Katie

Katie is a pediatric speech-language pathologist and mama to three littles under the age of 5. She is passionate about educating others about speech and language development while inspiring and empowering parents and professionals with the knowledge and hope they need to help the children in their lives find their voices. You can follow her on Facebook, Pinterest and Twitter.

Comments

  1. I’ve just been exploring your site more and finding lots of great ideas – thanks so much for sharing such beautiful games and activities and advice to help our children :-)

  2. Larissa Treloar says:

    Thanks for the ideas! I use an indoor swing, scooter board, and arm bike for kids with sensory needs to take breaks or as a reinforcer. I’ve found that movement increases attention to the task!

  3. Just pinned this. Great ideas! Can’t wait to do the balloon tennis.
    Alli recently posted..8 No Nagging Ways to Teach Kids Healthy HabitsMy Profile

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