Active games allow preschool children to expend their energy even when they have to be indoors. These active indoor games work best with an open space, such as a gymnasium or an empty cafeteria. A preschool classroom is also an option, but there is more risk of injury. Move desks and other classroom structures to the side if possible to create more open space.
Letters and Numbers
This active indoor game incorporates educational components by asking the kids to get into the shape of a specified letter or number. Divide the kids into small groups of three or four kids. Each group needs enough floor space to lie down. Call out a specific letter or number. The kids lie down on the floor to create the letter or number. For example, if the letter “A” was called, two kids would lie down with their heads together and the rest of their bodies pointing out to create the point of the A. A third child lies between them to create the line. Emphasize both speed and accuracy.
Front to Front
The kids need partners for this active game. The kids put the specified part of the body together as you call them out. For example, if you call out “Front to front,” the kids put their bodies together with their fronts touching. Continue calling out different ways of touching, such as foot to foot, back to back, head to head and knee to knee. After every five to 10 connections, tell the kids to switch partners and continue calling out ways to connect.
The kids get a chance to use their imaginations and burn energy in a jungle-themed game, which works best in a gymnasium. The kids spread out so each child has enough space to perform the actions. Tell the kids to pretend they are animals in a jungle. Provide verbal instructions to describe the jungle scene and what actions they should perform. For example, you might tell them to pretend they are a monkey swinging from a vine, an elephant stomping through the brush, or a snake slithering along the ground. The kids act out the animal or action you describe.
Dancing works well for preschool kids because they get to burn off energy while expressing themselves creatively. Turn on high-energy music that gets the kids moving for five or 10 minutes. You can also turn it into a game of Freeze Dance by pausing the music occasionally. When the music stops, the kids freeze, holding their positions until the music starts again. This game works well as a transition activity, especially when the music gradually gets slower. The slowing music calms the kids down so they are ready for the next quiet activity.