Planning fun indoor activities can be the difference between an afternoon with a ticking clock and one filled with laughter. Masking tape, balloons and a little planning are all you need for these indoor games.

Winter days mean more indoor activities for kids, and even new holiday toys lose their luster during a long afternoon. If indoor games make you think of a drawn-out game of Candy Land, think again. With a roll of masking tape and a bag of balloons, you can turn your home into a playground.

Masking tape games

masking tapeMasking tape uses a low-strength adhesive, making it ideal for fun indoor activities. When pulled up in a timely fashion — at the end of the day is best — floor surfaces from carpet to hardwood won't be harmed.

  • Make tracks for toy cars and trucks. Wind roads through your home to keep the kids spread out, asking them where the road should go next.
  • Play hopscotch. When kids begin to master the board, have them try it backwards!
  • Help future gymnasts practice by taping down a balance beam and encouraging them to walk across in different ways — heel-to-toe, hopping on one foot and walking on tiptoes all build gross motor skills. Have older kids try different walks with books balanced on their heads or doing forward and backward rolls.

Balloon fun

balloonsBlowing up plain balloons provides a new set of instant toys for fun indoor activities. If you have small children, be certain to clean up any popped balloon pieces as the plastic is a choking hazard.

  • Have kids try to pass the balloon to each other without letting it touch the ground. Add more balloons as they play and see how many they can keep in the air at once. Complicate things and add giggles by specifying body parts for the balloon touching — use hands, then feet and then heads.
  • Blow up an entire package — you don't have to fill them completely — and help younger children practice their colors by sorting the balloons into different piles. If they're particularly restless, spread out the piles, so blue goes in the kitchen, red on the living room couch and yellow in the closest bedroom.

Combine your tools

Walk the masking tape balance beam with a balloon balanced on a spoon, roll a balloon along your masking tape road without using hands or play indoor balloon volleyball with a masking tape net.

Masking tape and balloons are such simple household items, but using them in creative ways means countless indoor activities for kids.

More about playing at home

Activities for warmer weather
Strengthening sibling relationships
Learning life skills through play