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I know, I know. It’s January. You’re thinking about Marie Kondo-ing your home, not adding more toys to it. I’m in my seventh year of SAHM-hood, though, and if you’re anything like me, your kids will be starting to drive you crazy pretty soon (if they haven’t already).
My boys are constantly moving: wrestling, running, jumping, or climbing. This isn’t so bad in mild, dry weather when we can ride bikes, head to the playground, or play a game of kickball. On the yucky days, though, having no way to expend their extra energy makes them (and their mom) really irritable.
Over the years, we’ve invested in some toys that have helped to get the wiggles out and make long winter days, grey rainy days, or swelteringly hot summer days spent inside a little more bearable.
If you’re looking for the best indoor toys for active kids, here are 20 toys to consider adding to your collection, divided by age:
Indoor Toys for Active Kids: Babies:
Merry Muscles Bouncer (ages 3 months+)
I LOVED this bouncer. Until each of my kids were about a year old, they spent tons of time in it every day (even falling asleep in it sometimes). I liked that it had a design that supported my babies’ heads properly, put them in the proper position to bounce on their feet rather than their tiptoes, and could be used as early as 3 months of age. Most importantly, it kept the boys safely and happily in one place when I needed to put them down.
We were in a small apartment when the boys were young, so it was great to have the ability to hang the Bouncer in the doorway when we were using it and take it down when we weren’t. It goes in and out of stock on Amazon, but more information on current ordering procedures can be found on the company website.
Roadacc Play Tent Pop up Tunnel (ages 7 months+)
We’ve had tent pieces similar to these for six years or so. They fold easily to store under our couch. When the kids were smaller, crawling between the sections helped to tire them out. Now, the set is still used for building forts and pretend play. Don’t buy the optional ball pit balls, though. Those things get EVERYWHERE.
ECR4 Kids Soft Zone (ages 9 months-3 years)
When my boys were infants, they both loved climbing on things that were soft and squishy, and these pieces can be configured in lots of interesting ways.
Indoor Toys for Active Kids: Toddlers:
Melissa and Doug Monster Bowling (ages 2+)
We have had these little guys in the house for about five years. In addition to being a bowling ball and pins, they’ve also been characters in games of pretend and stuffed animals to snuggle.
Kids love slides, and this one is great because it can be used indoors or outdoors and folded up when not in use.
Little Tykes Jump ‘n’ Slide Bouncer (ages 2-8)
Our friends with this indoor bounce house are the most popular people in the neighborhood, and their kids always have an outlet when they’re stuck inside and stir crazy.
Playskool Giraffalaff Sit ‘n’ Spin (ages 18 months+)
Spinning is great for our little ones’ bodies and brains. Until the kids were about four years old, the Sit ‘n’ Spin was a great alternative to “spinning around in a circle until you fall down” which still happens in our house. All. The. Time.
Pewi Ybike (ages 9 months to 3 years)
I passed this along to another family when my kids were four and six years old and the boys cried. See, even though the manufacturer said kids were too big for it at three, both my boys still fought over who could ride it around the house. The design is really neat—kids can hold onto the Pewi Ybike to help learn to walk and then use it as a ride on toy later.
It moves easily across carpet and safely across hard floors. The construction was still solid after years of boy use. Most highly recommended.
Step 2 All-Star Sports Climber (ages 2-6)
This is a basketball hoop, soccer goal, climbing ladder, football toss, and slide in one, all in a relatively compact frame and suitable for indoor or outdoor use. What’s not to like?
Indoor Toys for Active Kids: Preschoolers:
Melissa and Doug Hop and Count Hopscotch Game (ages 3-7)
This skid-proof rug provides a safe way to play hopscotch (and practice color-recognition, number-recognition, and counting skills) when you can’t go outside.
Flying Turtle Sit-Skate Scooter (ages 36 months to 12 years)
We used these at a homeschool gym the boys attended and they loved them. I have been tempted to get a couple for the house, especially since the manufacturer says they can be used by kids as old as 12!
Magic Moves (ages 3 +)
We pull this little guy out all the time. It’s rare that I encounter such an affordable toy with such longevity. I like to use it as an arrival game for my homeschool music classes to help the kids get their wiggles out. Players are encouraged to “sneak like a fox” “run like a cheetah” or any one of 90 different prompts.
My kids love throwing things at each other. It’s nice to have something with which they can do it safely and not wreck my house.
Kid O Moluk Bilibo Toy (ages 2-7)
As a grown up, you might not understand why these are fun. I will tell you that ours come out all the time. They are stepping stones, helmets, boats, spinners—the list goes on and on.
The plastic is super-sturdy, and they are still going strong after years of use. Opportunities for active, imaginative play are endless with these.
My youngest is always climbing rock walls whenever we go to a place that has them. I’m getting awfully sick of him climbing all over the furniture at home, so I am definitely contemplating these.
Kidoozie Foam Pogo Jumper (ages 3-10)
Our downstairs neighbor might be plotting our demise, but the boys enjoy using this foam pogo jumper when they’re totally stir crazy. It doesn’t mark the floors and the kids love its subtle squeak.
Ancheer Mini Trampoline with Adjustable Handle for Two Kids (ages 3+)
I’ve never been able to make room for a trampoline, but we love visiting friends who have this one, which allows two kids to jump at once while holding onto a bar for safety.
Waliki Toys Hopper Ball (ages 3-6)
Our homeschool gym has these hopper balls, and all of the kids love using them for racing.
Dunk it Darts (ages 4+)
How cool is this? Our basketball hoop is an over-the-door type that is only available at “vintage” prices now, but if you have the floor space, this is a great alternative/upgrade. My kids love throwing darts, although I’d much prefer they play this rather than the steel-tipped-put-your-eye-out-kind in the garage with my husband. An adjustable game like this can grow with the kids for years.
CUKU Kids Hover Soccer Ball and 2 Goals (ages 3+)
This set comes with everything you need to play indoor soccer, including a small inflatable ball (with air pump) and two goals. The star of this show, though is an electronic “hover” ball that lights up and floats across tile/hardwood/carpet and recharges via USB. This will be one of those indoor toys that mom and dad end up playing with, too.
Bonobo Gym (ages 3-12)
How cool is the Bonobo Gym? It has multiple options for climbing and swinging, it installs in a doorway without drilling any holes, and it can support weight up to 300 pounds! This one is definitely on my Amazon Wish List.
There you have it: 20 toys which should help your active kids burn off some energy indoors.