The 8 Best Indoor Toys & Games for Active Play in 2021

They'll wear themselves out

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Our Top Picks

Best Overall: National Geographic Balance Stepping Stones at Amazon

"Kids can create obstacle courses, time how long it takes them, or simply improve their balance with these stepping stones."

Best for Toddlers: Kiddey Kids Play Tent at Amazon

"Kids as young as two years old can hop in and out of this tent for imaginative play, or even turn it into a ball pit."

Best Sports Toy: Melissa & Doug Dilly Dally Turtle Target Game at Amazon

"It's ideal for developing hand-eye coordination, getting out some energy, and just general target practice."

Best for Multiple Kids: Obuby Kids Construction Fort Building Kit at Amazon

"Creative kids can gather their siblings or their buddies to work together to build all kinds of imaginative creations."

Best for Big Kids: Exploding Kittens LLC Throw Throw Burrito at Amazon

"Older kids can spend their day tossing toy burritos at their opponents, having fun while learning problem solving."

Best Quiet Toy: Melissa & Doug Hopscotch Rug at Amazon

"Ideal for parents in need of some quiet, little ones can stay entertained by playing hopscotch with this colorful rug."

Best for Pretend Play: Endless Games The Floor is Lava Game at Amazon

"Your kid will definitely be burning their energy with this classic game, which comes with colored felt squares."

Best Splurge: Radio Flyer Blaze Interactive Riding Horse at Amazon

"This splurge-worthy pick features sound effects that are triggered by bouncing speed, walking, trotting, or galloping."

For parents of energetic kids, there is nothing more defeating than a forecast full of rain or cold temperatures because that means there won’t be any outdoor play. That’s why it’s helpful to have a few indoor toys and games on hand that will let them blow off some steam without destroying the house in the meantime. Packing a rainy day full of fun toys and activities will help them release some energy in a way that is just as fun as being outdoors.

Whether they’re big kids, toddlers, or somewhere in between, here are some of the best active toys and games they can play inside.

Best Overall: National Geographic Balance Stepping Stones

National Geographic Balance Stepping Stones

Courtesy of Amazon

Kids can create obstacle courses, time how long it takes them to get across, or simply work on their balance with these stepping stones. They’re made from a lightweight soft material for kids 3 years old and up and come in packs of either five or ten. Each stone is designed at an angle so kids have to pay close attention when they’re stepping on them, and they can be played with indoors as well as outside.

Best for Toddlers: Kiddey Kids Play Tent

For some imaginative indoor play, kids as young as 2 years old can hop in and out of this 37 x 39 x 37-inch tent. Equipped with two see-through mesh windows and a front entry ‘door’ that can be rolled and tied up to stay open, they will feel like they have a cool clubhouse. While the tent doesn’t come with a set of plastic balls, you can purchase some and turn it into a ball pit for even more active play.

Best Sports Toy: Melissa & Doug Dilly Dally Turtle Target Game

Great for developing hand-eye coordination, getting out some energy, and just general target practice, this game has kids between 3 and 6 years old toss bean bags at a velcro board covered with numbers. Perfect to encourage your little ones to play together, the game can be played by one or two kids. If you choose to keep score, you can also use the toy as an opportunity to teach some basic math (either highest or lowest score wins).

Best for Multiple Kids: Obuby Kids Construction Fort Building Kit

Creative kids as young as 5 years old can work together to build all kinds of imaginative things using this connection set. There are several balls that are covered in holes where building sticks fit into at various angles to then continue to connect with other pieces to build rocket ships, playhouses, tunnels, or whatever they can dream up. These sets are available with either 85 or 120 pieces. 

Best for Big Kids: Exploding Kittens LLC Throw Throw Burrito

Who doesn’t want to spend their day tossing toy burritos at each other in a dodgeball-like manner? The game has kids trying to collect cards while also trying to dodge burritos being thrown at them by their opponents. It involves strategy, problem-solving, and most of all, energy! This 2 to 6 player game is best for kids 7 years old and up. 

Best Quiet Toy: Melissa & Doug Hopscotch Rug

One good way to burn off some energy? Hopscotch! This rug has the classic game colorfully laid out and numbered 1 to 10. It has a non-slip back so it can be safely played with on uncarpeted floors and it also comes with beanbags to play the classic game. The rug measures 78.5 x 26.5 inches, is machine washable, and best for kids between 3 and 7 years old. 

Best for Pretend Play: Endless Games The Floor is Lava Game

Remember pretending the floor was lava when you were a kid? Now that concept is an actual game for kids 5 years old and up. The game comes with colored felt squares that are tossed all over the floor and players spin a wheel to determine which color square they have to jump to next, without touching the lava (floor) surrounding them. All that jumping and lava avoidance will definitely burn off some of your kid’s energy. 

Best Splurge: Radio Flyer Blaze Interactive Riding Horse

If you’re at the point where you would pay just about anything to help your kid get their energy out, splurge on this riding horse. The horse is made for kids between 2 and 6 years old under 60 pounds. The horse is attached to the framing with large springs that allows the rider to bounce as fast or slow as they want. Your little one will love the sound effects that are triggered by bouncing speed, walking, trotting, or galloping, or when it’s being ‘fed’ the play carrot. It also comes with a comb so kids can feel like they’re really taking care of it. 

Final Verdict

The truth is, if you have an energetic kid, any toy that will help tire them out is a good one, so any of these will do. But, if you’re looking for the best of the best, you can’t go wrong with the National Geographic Balance Stepping Stones, or the Throw Throw Burrito.

Why Trust Verywell Family

Ashley Ziegler is a staff and freelance writer who covers lifestyle, home, parenting, and commerce content for a variety of platforms. She’s a mom to 1-year-old and 4-year-old daughters and an aunt to 3 nieces and 2 nephews ranging from 5 to 11 years old. In addition to regularly scouring the internet to find the best things for herself, Ashley spends multiple hours a week researching, comparing, and writing about products specifically for kids and families.

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