Top Non-Traditional Indoor Sports Kids Should Try During Winter

Don’t let the lack of school funding or cold winter months, steal your child’s ability to play sports. Here’s our list of the top indoor sports kids should try!

by Kimberly Pangaro | Kimberly is a proud mom of four daughters, devoted wife, and the owner of Atomic Mommy – a media company dedicated to empowering parents. When she’s not running her company or momming all day, she’s writing about family life. She’s been featured in Parents magazine and Voyage Savannah magazine. You can follow her on Instagram and Twitter @atomic_mommy.

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Ever winter season, many school districts offer few, if any, sports options for children. Whether it’s due to budget costs or lack of staff, having no winter sports for your kids often means your children losing out on team work, great fun, and more opportunities to hone their skills.

Thankfully, there are many private facilities that now offer children alternative options to playing sports during the brutally cold winter months. Luckily, all you need to do to find these options is do a quick Google search for sports facilities or check the local town hall activities board for some great ideas on where your kids can play these sports. So, without further delay, here’s a quick guide on the top indoor sports your kids should try during the winter months.​​​​​​​

1. Volleyball

Volleyball might not seem like an indoor winter sport, but it’s a great way to keep your children’s sports skills from being stunted. While most schools have a volleyball net for small yard, they may not be allowed to be used for non-school sanctioned sport. Therefore, it would be smart for you and your friends and family to locate group programs outside of the school district.

2. Badminton

Badminton may be one of the more obvious sports you can do indoors, and while it seems like less of a sport and more like a fun kids’ game, that doesn’t mean it shouldn’t be considered. If you have a a friend who likes coaching, they may be interested in creating a school club where kids get to play this sport indoors, in their school gym.

3. Soccer

Image Credit: Jarmoluk from Pixabay.

When you think of playing soccer, you think of a large outdoor field. But, there are ways to turn this massively popular sport into a smaller, indoor version, one that can be done inside private facilities. And if you’re feeling brave, you can even try to do this in your house.

4. Tennis/Racquetball

Tennis and racquetball are unique in their abilities to be played indoors. And thankfully, there are many tennis and racquetball clubs across the country with the ability to allow for play indoors. Not only are these two great indoor sports, but they’re notorious for building up sports careers and even bring in possible scholarships to colleges.

5. Flag Football

Many parents these days, are opting out of the hardcore, tackle-heavy game of football. And for good reason, since tackle football is seriously linked to brain injuries. But kids don’t view their health the way parents do, and for that reason, they often still want to play football. The good news is that there is another way your child can play football without risking their health. And that’s through playing flag football.

6. Gaming

Gaming requires physical and mental capabilities that most people are not aware of. On the physical side, a gamer often uses certain chair positions that engages their core while also promoting dexterity and hand-to-eye coordination. While gaming, the gamer engages in using critical thinking, strategy development, and stress-reducing techniques to make sure each choice made in the game is the choice that leads to victory. Most parents do not see gaming as a sport, but for gamers, it truly is. And since this is an indoor sport to gamers, it only makes sense to try and find local groups or classes or clubs that will help your children grow socially while doing what they love. Plus, it can be done during the winter months.

7. Boxing

Boxing is a great sport that will work a child’s muscles as well as mental fortitude. It is both challenging and physical. The great part is that it can be done all year long, indoors and outdoors. There are may boxing gyms that you can choose for your child to join, but if you can’t seem to find any, you can also check your local fitness centers as they may offer boxing. Alternatively, you can opt to use YouTube to train your child in your home while they box against a kids’ heavy bag.

8. Figure Skating

Often considered an elegant and intellectual sport, figure skating is extremely competitive as well as physically taxing on the body. Both boys and girls are capable of attempting a go at this sport, and if they take the training seriously, can often lead to competing in local, national, and even international competitions. As their skills excel, they may even be given the opportunity to compete for the Olympics. The best part is that you don’t need to live in a cold, wintry location to skate on a lake. There are many ice rinks with competitive training and teams across the globe. Just Google it!

9. Roller Hockey

game of roller hockey
Photo by Ruben Ascensao on

Some kids are great on ice, while others, simply prefer to stay on concrete. So even if your kid wants to play hockey but is afraid to ice skate, roller hockey is a fantastic alternative. The sport promotes team work, strategy building, critical thinking, and core muscle work. And because it can be played indoors, it’s a great way to keep active during those cold winter months. Roller hockey isn’t always offered as a local town sport, but if you do a bit of research, you can find a local team for your child to join. Of course, there’s also the option of forming your very own team!

10. Karate

Discipline, focus, mind and body unity, as well as confidence are all key rewards that Karate teaches children. For the children who don’t love the traditional sports models, Karate is also a great option to try. Because there are so many Karate dojo’s on a global scale, finding one that fits with your child’s personality, shouldn’t be too difficult.

11. Gymnastics

Another amazing workout for your children that can be done indoors and practiced on a competitive level, is gymnastics. Gymnastics builds on the fundamental movements of the body and also teaches children to push passed their own physical limitations. It builds confidence and strength while also developing resilience. For this reason, gymnastics made the list of indoor sports your kids should try during the winter.

12. Obstacle Courses

Whether it’s a tough mudder, a color run, or a ninja course, obstacle courses are fantastic fun! Unfortunately, not many obstacle course organizers have figured out how to develop these courses indoors. For the ones who have, they provide children an amazing ability to test their limits unlike anything they’ve ever done before. Google will be your best friend when trying to find one of these, but if you do your research well, you will be able to find some indoor obstacle courses in places like gymnastics buildings and fitness centers.

The Takeaway

There are so many more non-traditional sports that your kids can do indoors during the winter months. Hopefully, the ones we mentioned above are a great starting point to discuss with your children. And with a bit of luck and preparation, you’ll be able to get your kids to enjoy the cold winter months with a sport they’ll fall in love with!

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