Hyped-up kids on a rainy day or dark evening? Here’s a few super-easy activities to get out lots of energy and have fun–which require NO EQUIPMENT.
I started offering “physical challenges” for my boys when this happens. Sometimes I offer the choice of outdoor play or physical challenges. One boy actually really likes the physical challenges because I think he’s started to recognize that his body needs to move.
Bed Flying. If you have a big enough bed (king or maybe queen), kids can do a flying leap crossways and try different arm positions. If your kids are like mine, they’ll love it and spend quite a bit of time jumping.
Pillow Hurdles. Grab all the pillows, towels, and blankets in the house. Clear a runway and start a pile with one pillow. Each kid has to jump over the pile both ways. Add a pillow and repeat. (Starting with just one adds more easy laps and fun!)
Math-ercise (Math-exercise). You give a simple math problem and that’s how many they need to do of a certain activity. Could be jumping jacks, sit ups, push ups, mountain climbers, lunges, running in place. Bonus that it reinforces quick math facts. Example: “Do 5×2 jumping jacks. Now do 18 minus 10 situps. Hold a wall sit for 11×2 seconds.”
Coin-ercise (coin exercise). You need a small bag of coins. The kid picks the activity and you randomly draw a coin. The value is how many they do. Example: “Jumping jacks? A quarter.” (Twenty-five jumping jacks) “Sit up? Penny.”
Laundry Dash. In a central room, sort laundry into piles (tshirts, pants, socks, etc). The task is to grab one pile, dash to their room and put it where it belongs, and dash back. We try for ten seconds because the distance in our house (living room to kid bedroom) works for that.
Bonus: Skip-it! These classic toys are awesome for high-energy activity on its own. I also did the coin-ercise with the skip-it for a fun twist. (The ones I’ve found light up, which is a cool extra.)