Whether it’s raining outside or you have a roomful of bored kids, indoor games for kids can keep everyone entertained. The following games require very few supplies and can be scaled up or down according to your group size. Feel free to make them simpler for younger kids or harder for older ones.
Top 7 Indoor Games for Kids
The Shepard and the Sheep
This is a classic rainy Sunday School game, but you can adapt it for just about any location and group of kids; it’s just an easy indoor game for kids of ages. You only need a small stuffed animal or another object to be the “sheep”. Designate one child to be the hider and another child to the shepherd. All of the other children are singers.
With the shepherd out of the room (or facing the wall so they can’t see), have the hider hide the sheep somewhere in the room. You might want to direct this a bit if you have children of mixed ages or abilities. Make sure all the kids know where the sheep are, then have the shepherd come into the room.
As the shepherd looks for the sheep, the children should start singing. As the shepherd gets closer to the sheep, the children get louder. The children sing softly if the shepherd is far from the sheep.
If you have a group where all the kids are clamouring for jobs, assign someone else the task of picking the next song. After the shepherd finds the sheep, they become the new hider, and the old hider gets to pick the next shepherd. Play continues until everyone has had a turn at all of the jobs.
This is one of many great indoor group games for kids. It’s easy to adjust for groups of over 100 kids. Have all the children join hands in a circle, then help them form a square. Each side of the square is a team. Then go down each side and assign a number to each kid. Please make sure the kids remember their numbers. Place a ball in the middle of the square.
Randomly call out two sides and several numbers. Kids who have their side and number called out lean back so that their hands and feet touch the floor (they should look like a crab). These kids then crab walk towards the ball, not the floor, and attempt to kick it over the opposing team’s side. The kids who successfully kick the ball over get the point for their team.
Mix up the order in that numbers and sides are called out. To make the game easier, don’t call out sides and allow all four teams to play at once (the kids would only need to kick the ball out of the square to win a point). Who can turn this game into a learning game by calling out math facts and making the kids solve the problem to determine who called their number?
Have kids form two lines, then give the leader of each line a balloon. The object is to pass the balloon from one player to another without using their hands. Popping the balloon means that their line has to start over. This can be a great game if you need a few minutes to fill.
If the idea of balloon popping doesn’t sound fun, replace the balloon with a tennis ball, beach ball, or any other hard-to-hold object.
This game is best for groups between six and fourteen players, but it has been played with dozens of people in the same knot. With kids, however, it’s usually a better idea to limit the size of the group by the player’s age. For example, a ten-year-old group should have about ten kids in a circle.
Have the kids stand in a circle and hold hands to get ready. Then have all the kids lift their right hands and place them in the middle of the circle. Tell them to grab the hand of anyone they are not standing next to.
Have the kids work together to solve the problem. The first goal is to form a straight line without letting go of anyone’s hand. Once they’re in a line, you can make it more challenging by repeating the above procedure, but have them repeat the hand grab with their left hands. Each child should hold the hands of two different people. The goal of the second game is to form an untangled circle.
Be careful that kids don’t get frustrated and start to pull or yank on each other. Smaller circles make the game easier. For an added challenge, have the kids play this game with the rule that no one can speak.
This is a good game for older kids and teenagers. Grab a ball of yarn or string, and have everyone sit in a circle. The person holding the yarn starts by beginning to tell a story. Limit the person to no more than six sentences.
At the end of their time, the storyteller throws the yarn to another person in the circle while holding the end. That person then adds to the story, limiting him or herself to six sentences. Play continues until the yarn or string runs out.
This is one of the easy indoor games for kids, but it tends to work best with kids old enough to understand how to tell a story. It might also be a good idea to monitor the game to ensure everything being said is appropriate and not picking on anyone.
This is one of the classic indoor group games for kids, but it can be a good activity if you’re looking for something that everyone knows how to play. If you forgot the rules, pick one child to be “Simon”. The other children would stand and face Simon. Simon issues command to the kids, such as “Simon says stand on one foot”.
As long as the command begins with “Simon says,” the kids should do it. Commands that do not start with “Simon says” should not be followed. Any child who messes this up is out of the game. The game ends when only one child is left. If the kids want to play again, this child becomes the new “Simon”.
Green Glass Door
This is more of a riddle than a children’s game, but it can capture the attention of a small or large group of kids. Gather the kids together and tell them you have a riddle for them. You know of a green glass door that only certain things can go behind it. They have to tell you some things that can go behind the door. Give them a few clues, such as:
“A school can go behind the green glass door, but a student cannot.”
“Danny can go behind the green glass door, but Dan can’t.”
“Grass can go behind the green glass door, but flowers can’t.”
“A puppy can go behind the green glass door, but a dog can’t.”
Keep giving clues, using objects you see around you and the kids’ names. Please ensure the kids understand that when they figure it out, they have to tell you three things that can go behind the green glass door. They’re not allowed to tell anyone the secret once they figure it out, but they can help you give more clues.
By the way, if you haven’t figured it out yet, only items with a repeating letter in their name can go behind the green glass door. For this reason, this tends to be a game that is best to play with kids who know how to spell.