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Indoor Games to keep mind sharp

Rainy day blues? Weather at the extremes? Need to stick to a budget and stay in? Whether you are looking for simple games for kids or full scale activities for groups, it’s easy to save the day, bust boredom and have fun with this list of screen-free indoor games for kids of all ages! What indoor games did your family love to play growing up, and what indoor games do you play now with your kids? Did you learn some great games for kids at school? Let us know in the comments so we can share them!

1. Pencil-and-paper games
From Battleship to Sprouts, we’ve created a must-play list of pencil-and-paper indoor games that beat TV any day. Gather some pencils and paper and check out our best of pencil-and-paper games.

2. Building
You don’t need a fancy building set for this. Popsicle stick cities, card towers, even buildings out of blocks, or indoor forts out of boxes or pillows, will do just fine. If you want to get competitive, whoever builds the highest tower wins.

3. Magical Mama (or Papa)
Be your kids’ very own Harry Houdini—without the locks, chains and water tanks, of course. Simply place a coin under one of three cups and shuffle the cups around. Then ask your children to guess which cup holds the coin. Sneaky parents can place the cups near the edge of a table and secretly drop the coin. Watch your tots’ eyes light up in amazement when they learn the coin is gone!

4. Card games
Card games are great for challenging young minds and creating hours of indoor fun. Grab a box of cards and check out our favourite traditional card games.

5. Puzzles
Exercise those creative, cognitive and problem-solving muscles with a good puzzle. You can use a store-bought variety or have the kids make their own. Have your children draw a picture on a sturdy piece of cardboard or Bristol board. Then use a pencil to outline puzzle pieces directly on their drawing. Cut out the pieces with a good pair of scissors, mix them up and get solving. Indoor games and craft in one fun activity!

6. Freeze!
Choose some of your kids’ favourite tunes and turn up the volume. Ask them to dance until the music stops. When it does, they have to freeze in whatever position they find themselves in – even if they have one leg up. To make the game more challenging, ask the kids to freeze in specific poses: animals, shapes, letters or even yoga postures. Toddlers in particular love this game.

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