When planning indoor activities and games for children ranging from age 6 to 12 years, it's important to choose activities that are both entertaining and appropriate and accessible for the entire age group. You also should have a variety of options available so that when one game gets boring, you can quickly introduce a new game to keep things fun and moving. Having a variety of games can help keep you prepared and ready for just about any size of group.
Fruit basket is an accessible game for most ages and requires nothing more than enough chairs or seats to fit all but one person who is playing the game. Pick four fruits--such as kiwi, apples, oranges or bananas--and assign a fruit to each kid. Have all players sit in their chairs in a circle, except for one who will be "it." The person who is "it" calls out the name of a fruit, and anyone who is assigned that fruit has to run and find a new chair, at least two chairs from their current position. The "it" person in the middle also must find a chair quickly. Whoever is left standing is now in the middle. At any time the person in the middle can say "fruit basket," which means everyone has to get up and find a new chair.
For this game you will need 10 to 20 socks rolled up into balls. Divide the room into two equal halves, and place the socks on the line in the middle. Divide all the kids into two equal teams. When the game starts, the object of the game is to get as many socks onto the other teams side of the room before time is up. Set a timer for a 60 seconds to time the game-play. Team members must stay on their side of the room and toss the socks over to the other sides. A team member cannot hold onto a sock for more than 10 seconds before having to throw it. To make things more interesting, add in beach balls of varying sizes with the socks.
For a more educational indoor game that is still fun for kids, try playing a homemade game of jeopardy. Create a jeopardy board using a large chalkboard or white board and make up fun and easy categories based off of the age group you are working with. Come up with a question for each price range in each category and write them down with the answers on a master game sheet. You or another adult can play the role of Alex Trebek. Split the kids into three teams of which each member of each team will take turns being in charge of the "buzzer". For buzzers, use three different noise makers, such as a kazoo, a whistle and a crank, so that you can better tell who buzzed first. Once buzzed, the team has 15 seconds--or more depending on the age group--to come up with the correct answer. The team with the most "money" at the end of the game wins.
Sardines gives a twist to the classic game of hide and seek. Instead of one person seeking and everyone else hiding, in sardines, one person hides and everyone else seeks. Once one of the seekers finds the person hiding, they must hide with that person. This continues until there is only one person left seeking, and everyone else is crammed together like sardines in the hiding place. The last person to find everyone else now becomes the new hider for the next round.