Keeping kids physically active is important for a healthy lifestyle. Running and playing outdoors is an excellent way to promote exercise. However, if the weather is not ideal, there are indoor gym games for kids that are just as fun as those played outside. These games just take a bit more of an imagination.
Wombat Ball is similar to baseball but designed for indoor gym play. It uses a wrapped up towel and volleyball instead of a wooden bat and ball. You will need one wombat--a beach towel, rolled in the shape of a cone and taped together with athletic tape--volleyball, one orange safety cone and five bases. Place the safety cone in the area where the batter box is or at the beginning of the batting line. The batter must hold the wombat with both hands and may not bunt. The batter gets four pitches to hit a fair ball and is considered “out” if he throws the bat more than five bat lengths away from home base. The runner may not slide into base or lead off base before the ball is hit and is “out” if hit by the batted ball while running bases. The runner is allowed one base on any thrown ball that goes out of play. The team playing defense may not stand on top of a base to force an out, block a runner when not possessing the ball or throw the ball at a runner to get an out, but instead must tag the runner on all unforced plays. After three outs or after scoring five runs, the teams switch positions. Only five runs per inning is permitted, unless a team is behind by more than five runs, then they can score as many runs as needed to get ahead by one. This keeps the game much more interesting and fun.
Voyage Across the Ocean
This game is best played with a larger group of kids. Divide the kids into groups of five or six. You will need two square gym mats, measuring 5 by 5 feet for each group of kids. The idea of this game is to tell the kids that they are on a desert island and need to cross the ocean, which is the gym floor, on two rafts (the gym mats) to get to the other island that has food and water waiting for them. The kids need to figure out how to do this without any group members touching the water (gym floor). This is accomplished by having all team members stand on one mat while carefully pushing the other mat in front and then everyone stepping onto that mat. Of course, do not tell the kids how to do this, the fun is watching them struggle and try to figure out just how to accomplish the task.
Man From Mars
This game is fun and gives kids lots of exercise. All kids but one stand in a line at one end of the gym. One kid stands in the middle of the gym as the Man from Mars. The other kids chant, "Man from Mars, Man from Mars, will you take us to the stars?" The child who is the Man from Mars answers with a specific detail like, "Only if you have black on your shirt." Those with black on their shirts get to run to the other end of the gym. The Man from Mars then says, "Go,” and the rest of the kids run towards the other end of the gym while trying to avoid being caught by the Man from Mars. Anyone caught then helps the Man from Mars catch kids in the next round.