Long before we were all officially stuck at home together, we each experienced days on end with over-active kids who were itching to get outside. Now that we’re virtually housebound 24/7, the cabin fever is REAL and the kiddos are bouncing off the walls. Your best solution? Find some active games for kids to keep the family movin’. Maybe you need indoor toys for active toddlers that also keep them contained, or you’re hoping that active toys for older kids will limit screen time, to some degree? In any case, keeping your kiddos on their toes (literally) doesn’t just keep them occupied, it helps burn pent-up energy and excess stress.
From outdoor activities to do in the driveway to indoor toys that are suitable for rainy days, these high-rated boredom busters will help keep everyone sane and active at home. And when it’s finally time to settle down, by all means, a Disney+ subscription will save your freakin’ life (and inspire some memorable movie nights, too!).
Best Active Toys for Toddlers
Stuck inside? Turn any room into a play zone that could rival a Chuck E. Cheese. Only, this one is much safer— and of course, there are less germs to worry about. While older kids can certainly have fun in Hide N Side’s tunnel/tent/ball pit hybrid, this play set is especially spacious for little ones, who can crawl and toddle about while still being contained. There’s even a ball hoop, a target panel to catch velcro “dart balls” (included), and another cornhole-like panel to toss balls through.
“Assembly was a total breeze,” says one reviewer. “This thing is a hit! It has taken a heck of a beating over the past few months and no damage.”
Note: This set DOES NOT include plastic ball pit balls, so make sure to pick them up separately (400-600 are recommended).
The silly creatures in this Melissa & Doug Monster Bowling Game are anything but scary monsters! The plush pins are weighted for easy standing and feature furry, expressive characters that your tyke will love knocking over. Not only will this fun bowling game keep your youngster up and about, it helps with coordination and aim, too. And don’t worry — the soft “bowling ball” is not only safe, it’s indoor-friendly.
Customers comment on the detail and quality of this set, saying that the bright colors and textures intrigue their young kiddos. One mentions that the pins “stay up well on carpet,” and another says the set travels with her grandson, since “they are the perfect size to fit in the cup holders of his car seat.”
This set comes with a convenient carrying case so you can easily store it, move it room to room, or even take it on the porch or on the road!
Will the sound of randomly-plunked keys drive you nutty? Maybe. But is it as distracting as the sound of bored whining or your child breaking something that was *supposed* to be out of reach? Definitely not.
Vimpro’s giant keyboard mat takes a page straight out of Big and provides musical entertainment for even the youngest maestros. Step on the keys and they’ll hear the tones of different instruments, plus different modes allow for demos, recording, and more. The material is durable and non-toxic, and customers say that it’s stain-resistant, too. “Definitely a winner for a busy baby!” one buyer says. Another adds, “Clear sound, easy to use. Cleans very well (already spilled on it the first day!).”
And now, the questions you’re really asking: Yes, the volume is adjustable and yes it rolls up for storage.
When it comes to multi-tasking toddler toys, VTech’s highly-rated activity center/walker definitely delivers. With interactive options galore, your genius-in-training will spend hours learning shapes, colors, and animals, listening to music, watching lights, “answering” the pretend phone, and so much more!
Babies as young as 9 months old can play with the activity panel while sitting. Once they’re on two feet, a walker attachment with wheels allows them to stand and toddle around with extra support (and portable entertainment!).
With nearly 13,000 ratings — 87% of them positive — you’ll likely get your money’s worth from this versatile gadget. “Easy to set up, very sturdy, my son was walking within the week of getting this, and now at 13 months he still loves it,” says a reviewer. “The wheels have two speeds of resistance for stability. The selling point for me was that the interactive part separates from the walker so it’s portable for sitting at a table to play or in the car.”
Parents of bouncy toddlers, your dream toy has arrived! The smarTrike activity center doubles as a mini trampoline with a removable support bar and a ball pit for hours of active play. (It comes with 100 balls, and you can always buy some more if need be). And when nap time rolls around, this set can be folded for easy storage, whether you’re indoors or out.
Great for kids from 10 months to 5 years or older, buyers are impressed with this set’s versatility, quality, and ability to keep their little ones occupied. “This is a lifesaver when it’s too cold for the kids to leave the apartment or if I’m sick and don’t feel up to a walk,” one reviewer reports. “They’ll burn all their energy out on this thing without leaving the room.”
Best Active Toys for Bigger Kids
If your kids keep pretending the floor is lava or they’re driving you nuts parkour-ing around the house, have them create an obstacle course with Playzone-Fit Stepping Stones instead of your furniture. Great for adventurers ages 3 and up, the two large and three small “stones” are sturdy enough to withstand hopping and jumping from kids (and adults!) up to 175 pounds. Rubber grippers on the bottom prevent slippage so they stay in place on soft and hard surfaces (including outdoors).
“My kids LOVE these,” one buyer writes. “I have been wanting to get something like these for awhile, but most are so expensive, so I decided to give these a try since the price was right and I am so glad I did. We have used them on carpet or wood flooring and they stay in place great on both surfaces, no slipping or sliding. They also don’t tip over while climbing on, either.”
A ball that’s made to be played with indoors so it won’t cause damage? Sign us up! The award-winning Ollyball is durable, lightweight, and totally toss-able. It’s made of crinkly material that’s virtually tear-proof, plus the patented KrunchCOR construction means it can bounce off of windows, televisions, glass display cases, and yes, peoples’ faces without consequence. And when it’s time for a play break, the outer shell can be colored with markers or crayons.
“Best thing I have ever bought for my son!” one reviewer raves. “We always love playing catch with balloons or small balls but this way I feel so much better knowing it won’t break things. Plus, we get to spend time together coloring it.”
The whole family will enjoy bopping this airy ball around the house, especially on days when you’re stuck inside.
Keep your kiddos off the couch as they learn and practice some new yoyo tricks. MAGICYOYO ’s modern version of the old school toy, plus added accessories, will have them feeling like pros (even if they’re beginners). Sure, they may have to turn to YouTube for tutorials, but learning yoyo tricks takes some serious skill, so their brains and bodies will still be moving.
“This was a gift to my daughter who became fascinated by yoyos,” says a reviewer. “We wanted to get her something durable and attractive, something that would actually function. This is a charming set, with bonus accessories and even a bag for the toy.”
With included colored strings, a glove, and a bag for safe keeping, reviewers say they’re impressed with the quality and value of this set.
Cabin fever setting in? Flybar’s bouncy Foam Pogo Jumper is the ideal toy for kids who are feeling pent-up! This best-selling pogo is made with a durable foam base that squeaks with each hop, plus the foam-covered handles are easy to grip. Lightweight and easy to store, it can be used indoors on a dreary day (if you’re feeling brave) since the foam won’t damage floors.
The Foam Pogo is suitable for ages 3 and up, and it’s much safer than a traditional pogo stick — especially if wearing a helmet always turns into a battle. “A fun indoor/outdoor toy, which enables an active child to burn off some energy,” one reviewer notes. “My grandson received it for Christmas and despite all the other presents he received, this one he played with most on Christmas day.” Another reports, “No trips to the ER. Win/win.”
Finding an indoor-safe frisbee is impossible, you say? Not when you have a MayaFlya! These crocheted discs are wonderfully colorful and so soft that (yes!) you can even use them inside. Choose from different color and size options for the best fit to keep your family movin’, rain or shine. Bonus: This thing has over 50 uses and can be used in at least 20 different games.
“This is such a fun toy we’ve been loving,” says one reviewer. “It’s soft so nobody gets hurt and can be used indoors and outdoors. There’s even a water one for pool/sprinkler time. It’s great for all ages and gets the kids running (seriously, I’ve been throwing it off the porch to get my daughter moving!).”
For even more crocheted fun, get the Boredom Relief Kit that includes two different-sized discs, a bocce set, and a YippiYappa (basket toss game), too!
Love by these mom-approved active toys? Browse our favorite toys for more inspiration!