Best Indoor Play Equipment for Active Kids
You know your child has ADHD when you find them spinning like crazy in your home office chair, running circles through the kitchen while you cook, or jumping off every piece of furniture you own. *Sigh* If you have a high energy child, rainy days and cold weather can really make it tough! Fortunately, our adventures with autism and ADHD have helped me to discover the best indoor play equipment for active kids!
Indoor play equipment for small spaces
It’s pretty easy to find indoor play equipment for small spaces, if you know what to look for! Many items can be folded or stored between uses, but there are also many great ideas here that just don’t take up much space in the first place!
1) Rocking horse
When I was growing up, we had spring horses like the Rockin’ Rider. This thing was seriously the best! But younger toddlers can go with a rocking horse, or a rocking llama, if that’s their thing! And yes, there are rocking unicorns too, for that little princess in your life. Your bases are covered! Let your kiddo rock while watching Little Einsteins, to help burn some of that excess energy!
We have a tiny indoor folding slide that is perfect for toddlers. My boys still use it regularly, and they can get pretty creative with it at times! You can easily store it in a closet or a corner when not in use.
3) Stationary bike
We don’t have a stationary bike simply because my boys still have not figured out how to pedal. My 4 year old is finally starting to get the hang of it, but he’s still got a ways to go. This is a super way to keep your toddlers active though. And feel free to move it in front of the television so they can pedal while they watch a movie!
4) Mini trampoline
This is an essential! My 3 year old is so bouncy, I should have named him Tigger! The mini trampoline currently sold at Walmart has been updated to a folding version for easy storage, which is awesome! There’s another really cool mini trampoline that converts into a ball pit! What a great idea!
5) Jump rope
Need I say more? There are so many fun ways to use a jump rope, and storage obviously isn’t an issue!
6) Pull up bar
This is a great option for small spaces, because you can even install it in a doorway! There’s also a pull up bar combo that comes with trapeze bar and gymnastics rings, which can keep your kiddos busy and active for a long time!
7) Pod swing
How did we ever survive without our pod swing?! My boys don’t go a day without using it! It’s small and can fit into tiny spaces, and usually comes with ceiling mounting hardware. My little guy spins and spins endlessly in this swing!
8) Hula hoop
I never had the coordination to master the hula hoop as a child, and you’re certainly not going to find me trying as an adult! But hula hoops are a great way to entertain active kids inside the house.
9) Scooter board
A scooter board is a great tool for improving balance, coordination, and the vestibular system. It’s compact and easy to store, which makes it perfect for small spaces!
10) Stepping stones
These are so much fun! You can make an obstacle course with them, if you throw in some pool noodles as balance beams. Stepping stones provide sensory input while helping your child burn energy!
11) Climbing rocks
If your kid loves to climb, you can turn any wall in your house into a climbing wall! Put some of these colorful and heavy duty climbing rocks in the hallway, or in a closet, and let them have at it! Just be sure to throw a crash pad or an exercise mat down just in case! 😉
Indoor play equipment for big spaces
Our basement has been converted into a big sensory and play room. If you have the space, use it! You don’t need an entire finished basement, but if you have a decent little plot somewhere in your house, I’ve got some awesome indoor play equipment picked out for your kids!
1) Ball pit
Come on, don’t you remember the days when McDonald’s actually had ball pits in their Play Places? So. Much. Fun!!! Of course, as a mom, all I can think now is: SO. MUCH. FILTH!!! It’s a good thing they decided to retire those! But we have our own ball pit at home, and the boys love it! (So do their friends, lol!)
The first ball pit combo I purchased was for my older son’s first birthday, and he absolutely loved it (once he got over his anxiety of the attached tunnel)! It’s super cheap and easy to set up – just use caution when opening the packages, because they tend to pop out! It’s pictured below, and we actually still have it, more than 3 years later!
You can also get some phthalate-free plastic balls and dump them into a giant box or kiddie pool.
2) Kids weight bench
Yes, you read that right! There’s actually a weight bench designed for children, and this is a super way to burn off some of that energy! Besides, this is a perfect heavy work activity for autistic kids!
3) Tents & tunnels
Need I say more? The ball pit I just mentioned come with a tunnel and a tent, which is really cool. But you can also just buy (or make!) a tent or tunnel by itself. Toddlers can have so much fun crawling through a tunnel 1000 times in a row, or taking turns hiding in a tent, or playing pretend.
4) Crash pad
There are so many different kids of crash pads out there, and you can even make your own. Whether you buy one or make one, it will come in handy, and help your kids get the sensory input they need while indoors. Yogibo is our favorite, mainly because it doubles as a couch and is amazingly comfortable to lounge on as well. I’m all about multipurpose! There are plenty of other good brands though, so read some reviews and decide which one is best for you. Crash pads are pretty essential!
5) Kids treadmill
Yes, you read that right. There are actually tiny treadmills designed for children, with safety features and all! If your kid is always running or walking in circles, this would be the perfect solution!
6) Punching bag
You could go with a classic punching bag, or an inflatable punching tower. Either way, your kids can burn plenty of energy with these! My boys even carried the concept over to the Christmas inflatables this year, lol! They didn’t punch them, but they would use them for target practice with balls, which is another great idea for the inflatable punching tower! Your welcome!
7) Spider web swing
This swing itself doesn’t take up much space, but you’ll want a fairly large space to put it in, in case your kiddos get crazy with it! My boys spin a lot in their pod swing, but they like to really swing in the spider web swing. The other perk to this one is that they can both fit comfortably on it at the same time.
8) Balance beam
As a child, I spent so much time playing on a balance beam. It’s a great way to get vestibular input, improve coordination and balance, and practice gymnastics skills. And your kiddos can do it comfortably inside!
If you have a little space to spare, you could get an indoor slide combo, to keep your children active. The Step 2 Sports Climber has a basketball hoop and a football target on the sides on the slide, and my boys love it! They can slide and practice shooting hoops at the same time!
Save the best for last, eh? This has been one of the best investments ever! It was just over $110 on Amazon, and it has been worth every penny! My boys love using their climber daily. It also doubles as a tent or fort, if you add a sheet. Clearly, my kids have already found plenty of other creative uses too! It is designed for outdoor use, but works perfectly indoors as well. You can read plenty of positive reviews from other customers who have used it inside as well.
What indoor play equipment have you tried?
I’m always curious to hear about other people’s experiences with products! If you have other ideas, please let me know in the comments! If not, share your feelings about the ones you’ve tried, because your opinions help other parents make good choices on purchases!