Active Play in a Homebased Setting

Active Play in a Homebased Setting

25 August 2014

Supporting active indoor play in a Homebased setting

Indoor play can sometimes be more sedentary than outdoor play, due to the resources that may be available, the layout of rooms and furniture, and the need for restful spaces.  However, during the winter months in particular, some children spend a lot of their time indoors and it is therefore essential to maximise opportunities for gross motor skill development both indoors and outdoors.

Clearing a suitably sized space indoors will provide you with opportunities to encourage active play in a Homebased setting.  Here are some great activity ideas:


  • Place couch cushions on the floor to make a jumping path in the living room.
  • In homes with one or two steps, position a plank on a step and invite children to crawl and walk along it.
  • Lay out blankets for the infants to practice rolling over or crawling.
  • Use carpet squares to encourage children to run, jump, dance or stretch on the spot.
  • Use foam balls, beach balls, and bean bags for active indoor play.  Children can toss these objects to each other or into baskets or at targets.
  • Scarves and streamers can be used to wave to rhythmic music.
  • Play the game “Musical Chairs”.
  • Use mats or cushions for tumbling, hopping, and dancing.
  • Use a fly swat to bat balloons either on your own or with a partner.
  • Create an obstacle course using sturdy furniture that can be crawled under or over.
  • Put on children’s action music and dance.
  • Play “Simon Says” and have children stand on one leg, jump up and down, turn around in a circle, etc.
  • Have two people hold the ends of a skipping rope along the floor, and wave it side-to-side to create a wave/snake effect.  Children can jump over this, creating a game.
  • Other opportunities for physical activity indoors can be included in daily routines, such as when putting away toys, washing the snack table and sweeping under the table.