23 Exciting Indoor Games for 6 to 12 Year Olds

Keeping children entertained and engaged indoors can be a fun challenge, especially during times when going outside may not be an option.

Thankfully, there are numerous indoor games that can keep kids between the ages of 6 and 12 entertained, active, and excited.

Whether you’re hosting a playdate, planning a birthday party, or simply looking for some indoor fun, these Playful Indoor Games for 6 to 12 Year Olds are sure to captivate the imaginations of young children and keep them entertained for hours on end.

From classic board games to creative activities, there’s something for everyone to enjoy.

Scavenger Hunt:

Scavenger hunts are always a hit among children of all ages, and they can be easily adapted for indoor play. Create a list of items or clues for the kids to find throughout the house. You can even incorporate themes like a pirate treasure hunt or a nature-themed adventure. Hide the items or clues in various locations, such as under pillows, inside cabinets, or behind furniture. Encourage the children to work together or compete in teams to find all the items or solve the riddles. Not only will this game keep them engaged and entertained, but it also promotes problem-solving skills and teamwork.

DIY Mini Golf:

Turn your living room into a mini golf course and let the kids put their way to victory. Create obstacles using household items like books, cups, and pillows. Use paper cups or plastic containers as holes and designate different areas for each hole. Set up a starting point and guide the kids through the course, providing them with a scorecard to keep track of their strokes. This game not only provides a fun physical activity but also enhances hand-eye coordination and spatial awareness.

Related: 20 Best Letter E Activities for Preschoolers

Indoor Bowling:

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Transform your hallway or a designated space into an indoor bowling alley. Use empty plastic bottles or paper towel rolls as bowling pins and a soft ball as the bowling ball. Set up the pins in a triangle formation and let the kids take turns rolling the ball to knock them down. To make it more challenging, assign different point values to each pin and keep the score. This game improves coordination, and motor skills, and helps children practice counting.

Balloon Volleyball:

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Create a makeshift volleyball court using a string or tape to mark the boundaries, and use a balloon as the volleyball. Divide the kids into teams and let them volley the balloon back and forth over the “net.” Set rules like not allowing the balloon to touch the ground or limiting the number of touches per team. This game is a great way to get kids moving, improve their coordination, and foster a spirit of friendly competition.

Related: 20 Great Preschool Activities for November

Obstacle Course:

Design an indoor obstacle course using furniture, pillows, blankets, and other household items. Set up stations with different challenges, such as crawling under tables, jumping over cushions, and balancing on a tape line on the floor. Time each child as they navigate through the course, and encourage them to complete it as quickly as possible. You can even add a creative touch by incorporating themed challenges, like pretending to be superheroes or exploring a jungle. This activity promotes physical fitness, and problem-solving skills, and boosts their imagination.

Dance Party:

Clear out a space in the living room and turn up the music for an energetic dance party. Let the kids showcase their best dance moves, encourage them to freestyle, or even teach each other new dance steps. You can also introduce dance challenges or games like freeze dance, where they have to freeze in place when the music stops. Dancing not only promotes physical activity but also boosts creativity, rhythm, and self-expression.

Related: 100 Exciting Questions for First Day of School

Puzzles and Brain Teasers:

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Challenge the kids’ minds with puzzles and brain teasers. Set up a table with a variety of age-appropriate puzzles, such as jigsaw puzzles, crosswords, or Sudoku. You can also print out or create your own riddles and brainteasers for them to solve individually or in teams. This game stimulates critical thinking, problem-solving skills, and enhances their cognitive abilities.

Indoor Camping:

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Bring the camping experience indoors by setting up a cozy indoor campsite. Pitch a tent or build a fort using blankets and cushions. Create a camping atmosphere with ambient lighting and play camping-themed sounds. Encourage the kids to bring their sleeping bags, tell stories, play charades, or even have a pretend campfire with LED lights. This imaginative game fosters creativity, storytelling, and teamwork.

Related: 20 Delightful Letter D Activities for Preschool

Science Experiments:

Engage the kids in hands-on learning with simple and fun science experiments. Look up age-appropriate experiments online or choose from a science experiment kit. From creating slime and erupting volcanoes to making invisible ink or growing crystals, there are countless exciting experiments to choose from. Make sure to provide adult supervision and explain the scientific concepts behind each experiment. This activity encourages curiosity, problem-solving skills, and a love for science.

Indoor Olympics:

Organize an indoor Olympics where the kids can compete in various mini-games and challenges. Set up stations for activities like balloon relay races, hula hoop contests, cup stacking, and mini basketball shooting. Create medals or certificates for the winners to make it more rewarding. This game promotes friendly competition, sportsmanship, and physical fitness.

Indoor Charades:

Charades is a classic game that can be easily adapted for indoor play. Write down various actions, movies, animals, or objects on small pieces of paper and place them in a bowl or hat. Divide the kids into teams and take turns acting out the words or phrases without speaking, while their teammates try to guess what they are portraying. This game encourages creativity, communication skills, and teamwork.

Simon Says:

A game of Simon Says is always a hit among children. Designate one person as “Simon” who gives instructions to the rest of the group. The players must only follow the instructions if they are preceded by the phrase “Simon says.” If someone follows an instruction without “Simon says,” they are out. The last person remaining becomes the next “Simon.” This game enhances listening skills, concentration, and body coordination.

Artistic Masterpieces:

Unleash the creativity of the kids by organizing an artistic masterpiece activity. Provide them with art supplies such as paper, markers, crayons, and paints. You can give them specific themes or let them create whatever comes to their imagination. Encourage them to draw, paint, or craft their own unique artwork. Once they’re finished, display their masterpieces on a designated wall or create a gallery for everyone to admire. This activity promotes self-expression, imagination, and artistic skills.

Memory Game:

Test the kids’ memory skills with a classic memory game. Arrange a set of matching cards facedown on a table or floor. The players take turns flipping two cards at a time, trying to find pairs. If they match a pair, they keep it and continue playing. If the cards don’t match, they are turned back over, and it’s the next player’s turn. The player with the most pairs at the end of the game wins. This game sharpens memory, concentration, and cognitive abilities.

DIY Puppet Show:

Encourage the kids to create their own puppet show using handmade puppets. They can make puppets using socks, paper bags, or even finger puppets with craft materials. Provide them with a designated stage area, such as a table or behind a couch, and let them use their imagination to put on a show. You can even provide a small audience for added fun. This activity fosters creativity, storytelling skills, and public speaking abilities.

Indoor Basketball:

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Set up a mini basketball hoop indoors and let the kids practice their shooting skills. You can use a soft foam ball or a lightweight ball to ensure safety. Create different shooting challenges, such as shooting from different spots in the room or aiming for specific targets. You can also organize a friendly competition to see who can score the most baskets within a time limit. This game improves hand-eye coordination, and motor skills, and promotes physical activity.

DIY Board Games:

Let the kids unleash their creativity by designing their own board games. Provide them with art supplies, cardboard, dice, and game pieces. Encourage them to come up with unique game concepts, rules, and game boards. Once they’ve created their games, they can take turns playing each other’s creations. This activity nurtures imagination, critical thinking, and game design skills.

Balloon Tennis:

Transform your hallway or designated play area into a mini tennis court using balloons and makeshift racquets. Give each child a paper plate or a large wooden spoon as their racquet and use blown-up balloons as the tennis ball. Create boundaries and let them volley the balloon back and forth, trying to keep it from touching the ground. You can even set up a scoring system to add a competitive element. This game improves hand-eye coordination, and gross motor skills, and provides a fun way to stay active indoors.

Paper Airplane Contest:

Challenge the kids to a paper airplane contest and see whose creation can fly the farthest or perform the most tricks. Provide them with different types of paper, markers for decorating, and clear instructions on how to fold the airplanes. Have a designated launching area and measure the distance each airplane travels. You can also have categories for the best design, longest airtime, or most accurate landing. This game encourages creativity, fine motor skills, and an understanding of basic aerodynamics.

Hide and Seek:

Hide and Seek is a timeless game that can be played indoors. Establish boundaries for the game and designate one person as the seeker while the others hide. The seeker closes their eyes and counts to a specific number while the others find hiding spots. The seeker then tries to find the hidden players. You can establish rules like a time limit or specific hiding spots. This game promotes problem-solving, strategic thinking, and active play.

Rubina Numan

Rubina Numan, a seasoned Instructional Designer, is renowned for innovative, learner-centered experiences merging pedagogy with technology. With a BSc (IDT) from the University of Huddersfield , she holds over a decade of experience collaborating with diverse educational realms.

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