Pin-the-tail is best played in a front or back yard. Pin-the-tail is best played in a front or back yard.
Life Wellbeing Coronavirus lockdown games: Easy ways to keep kids entertained at home and burn energy Updated:

Coronavirus lockdown games: Easy ways to keep kids entertained at home and burn energy

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In this strange new reality in which we find ourselves, many parents are wondering how to burn their kids’ seemingly endless energy while largely being confined to the home.

Here are some simple ideas to squeeze every last morsel of energy out of the kids using what you already have around the home.

Obstacle course

Gather whatever items you can find; cushions, chairs, boxes, stuffed animals and even small tables.

Create a course for the kids to navigate, being conscious to create obstacles to climb, go under, wind around, crawl through and jump.

Gather whatever items you can find, even small tables. Photo: Alice Zsembery

Kids may love to add to this to create ‘the lava’ they cannot touch, or the ‘lion’ (i.e. a stuffed toy) they must avoid.

To ensure they burn maximum energy from this challenge, be sure to time them around the course and encourage them to better their score with each round.


10 plastic cups and a soft ball are all you need for hallway bowling. Photo: Alice Zsembery

Simply find 10 plastic cups and a soft ball to set up a ten-pin bowling alley in the hallway.

As a bonus, you can create a scoring chart to encourage mathematical and language skills at the same time.

Sock fight

It’s as simple as it sounds.

Give each child a bucket and encourage them to collect socks around the home, being sure to roll them into a ball.

Then, standing a few metres apart, each child must throw all of their socks into the other person’s bucket.

If they miss, run and grab the ball, go back to your spot and try again.


This game is best suited in a front or back yard.

Each player tucks a tea towel into the back of their pants, letting it hang out like a tail.

When the game starts, each player must try and grab another person’s ‘tail’ without losing their own.

The aim of the game is to be the last person standing with a tail.

Balloon games

Balloon games can be adapted to suit older and younger kids. Photo: Alice Zsembery

The way this is conducted will depend on the age bracket.

For younger kids, simply batting the balloon over their head and trying to keep it off the ground is enough.

For older kids, try the following:

  • Hang a balloon from a doorway just out of reach and get your child to jump to touch it as many times as they can
  • Play balloon tennis with some wooden spoons (or fly swats)
  • Undertake an obstacle course with the balloon between their legs. If they drop it, they must return to the start and try again.

Finally, with any game that you play, remember that a simple way to maximise the energy from the game is to encourage a small challenge in between.

For example, after you collect the ball from balling, be sure to run around the lounge room three times on your return.

Alice is the author of Real Kids, Real Play. It provides more than 150 activities for pre-schoolers and early primary students to do at home using typical household items. You can follow her on Facebook and Instagram