20 Indoor Toys to Keep Kids From Going Stir-Crazy This Winter

Megan Zander | Oct 22, 2018 Big Kid
20 Indoor Toys to Keep Kids From Going Stir-Crazy This Winter
Image: Amazon

indoor active toys for kids

We love a lot of things about winter -- the twinkling holiday lights, wearing fuzzy socks to bed, how the cookie jar always seems to magically be full of sweet treats and that even though eggnog tastes like liquid frosting, it's still acceptable as a dinner beverage. But snowball fights and Santa Claus aside, winter can also be really dull.

Sure, a snow day or two stuck inside watching movies and eating as many snacks as possible is practically a winter tradition. But weekend after weekend being cooped up inside because it's too cold to go out and play can make any child want to start climbing the walls out of boredom. Kids have a ton of energy, and they crave active indoor toys to burn through it, things they can play with no matter what the weather outside is doing.

Sure, bundling up and heading out for some fresh air is always an option. But every mom knows the struggle of rummaging through the attic to find everyone hats and gloves only to have the kids come back inside having spent less time out there then it took to actually get them dressed. Add some melty snow all over the hallway and wet clothes that need to be washed into the mix, and it's mom who's getting a workout instead of the kids.

And sure, heading to an indoor playground or the local mall soft play spot are also options. But indoor play spaces can be crowded (not to mention super pricey!). And all it takes it one obviously sick toddler using the slide as a tissue to realize that staying home would have been the better call.

We rounded up affordable indoor toys that will help kids get their wiggles out and burn through all that extra energy without having to leave the house. No more walking into kid-designed obstacle courses featuring a swing from the curtains. These toys will keep kids moving (while keeping the house intact) until it's finally warm enough to play outside again.

  • Indoor Stair Slide


    Stircrazy kids can't resist sliding down the stairs on their bottoms. Rather than nag them to stop and worry over them getting hurt, why not roll with it? This indoor stairs slide will instantly make you the coolest mom or grandma ever

    SLIDEWHIZZER stairs slide ($90, Amazon )

  • The Floor Is Lava Game


    Spare the couch cushion from getting trampled on and give the kids this game that comes with "lava" pieces they can use to try to cross the room without touching the floor. 

    The Floor Is Lava ($20, Amazon)

  • Monkey Balance Board


    Encourage little ones to get their wiggles out with this pint-sized balance board that will help develop balance and gross motor skills. 

    Monkey Balance Board ($13, Target)

  • Indoor Scavenger Hunt


    This picture-based scavenger hunt game means the kids can play on their own without help from mom or dad. Let them run around the house gathering items while sitting back and being the "judge."

    Scavenger Hunt ($18, Amazon)

  • PonyCycle


    This battery-free stuffed horse lets kids use their own coordination and strength to actually "ride" around the room. Who needs to ride the carousel at the mall when there's one of these at home to play with?

    PonyCycle ($219 and up, Amazon)

  • Musical Hop Skipper


    Sometimes, kids just need to jump. But whipping one of dad's ties around on the floor while a sibling tries to hop over it isn't always a great idea. This musical hopping toy can be adjusted so siblings can jump at different heights and changes speed to keep things exciting. 

    KidSource Musical Skip Hopper ($40, Amazon)

  • Marvel I Can Do That! Game


    In this hands-on game, kids (and parents) complete physical challenges to train like superheroes and defeat the Green Goblin. Pushups are so much fun when holding Captain American's shield. 

    Marvel I Can Do That! Game ($14, Amazon)

  • Think & Learn Smart Cycle


    This interactive bike lets kids build brain cells while burning extra energy. The cycle works with an included learning app for skills like letter recognition and phonics to keep things from getting boring. Or they can try the "racing" mode works which works in real time -- the faster they pedal, the faster the screen moves.

    Think & Learn Smart Cycle ($85, Target)

  • Indoor Ball Pit and Tunnel Maze


    For those who've got the basement space to spare, an indoor ball pit and tunnel maze will keep kids from bouncing off the walls this winter. Three separate ball areas mean siblings can get some space from each other. There's even a basketball hoop. (It's normal to want to "test" this after the kids go to bed, right?)

    Indoor Ball Pit and Tunnel Maze ($45, Amazon)

  • Adjustable Putting Green


    Let kids practice their hand-eye coordination on this in-home putting green. When they start to sink a hole in one on the regular, adjust the green to add a slope for a fun, new challenge. 

    Adjustable Putting Green ($70, HearthSong)

  • Move Your Body Cards


    Kids who can't get enough Simon Says will love these Move Your Body Cards. Tons of active options let them use their imaginations while getting up and getting active. It's a great game for when parents want to play but are busy feeding the baby or folding clothes. Just flip a card, call out the instructions and watch them do their thing. 

    Move Your Body Cards ($23, Amazon)

  • Indoor Trampoline


    Got a little bunny who can't stop jumping on the couch? Channel that energy into someplace safer, like this mini trampoline complete with padded handle.

    3' Trampoline ($44, Amazon)

  • Hookey Ring Toss Game


    Safer than a real dart board, this fun ring toss game will get the whole family up off the couch on a chilly winter's afternoon. 

    Hookey Ring Toss Game ($30, Amazon)

  • Light Up Hover Soccer Disk


    There's finally the way for kids to play ball in the house without putting a hole through a wall. This light up hover disk glides along the floor, so there's no ricocheting off a table lamp. Rubber bumpers help soften the blow for any accidental bumps against the furniture. 

    Light Up Hover Soccer Disk ($18, Amazon)

  • Jump!Leap!Crazy Feet! Activity Carpet


    This indoor carpet gives kids lots of options for working out some pent-up energy. Follow the feet from one end to the other while racing a friend, or use the rug for an at home mini long jump competition. 

    Jump!Leap!Crazy Feet! Activity Carpet ($70, HearthSong)

  • Klutz: Air Blast Cannon


    Offering a one-two punch of STEM and active play, kids can build their own air-powered cannon. It even comes with targets to hit, so the poor cat can nap in peace.

    Klutz: Air Blast Cannon ($25, Scholastic)

  • Ribbon Ninja


    This indoor combination of Capture the Flag and Tag lets kids sneak around each other to try to snatch three ribbons from their teammates. So much better than yelling, "No more wrestling!" all Saturday long.

    Ribbon Ninja ($20, HearthSong)

  • The Wiggle Box


    A great way to redirect kids who have lost themselves to the sillies, or just a fun game for an afternoon inside, this box is full of 80 active ideas to focus kids' energy. Do one or two to get them back to a calmer state, or challenge the family to finish the whole box in one sitting. 

    The Wiggle Box ($20, Amazon)

  • Indoor Rock Climbing Wall


    With the help of some tools and maybe a call to Grandpa, a study bedroom or basement wall can become the kids' own in home rock gym for hours of safe and active fun.

    Indoor Rock Climbing Wall Holds And Hardware ($28, Amazon)

  • Fitness Dice


    Kids will love rolling these giant dice and following their active instructions so much they won't even realize that they're getting a great workout while playing. 

    Fitness Dice ($14, Amazon)

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