3 high-energy games for kids who need to let off steam

by | Oct 6, 2019 | Kids Activities

Super sanity savers to get kids moving and thinking – plus free printable!

Sometimes, they have more energy than they know what to do with! I’ve never been able find the magic formula for the right amount of worn-out at the end of the day. Each day varies with as to how much mental stimulation and physical simulation they need. Some days are full of people and energy, and they’re still bouncing of the walls at the end of the day. So what do you do? Because kids with too much energy = over-silliness, boundary pushing, and yelling – at least in my house. The 5 year old will push and push the 7 year old, leading to the inevitable tears when the fighting starts. We’re lucky to have a big backyard, so going outside for a run around helps. But sometimes they need another level of distraction and to engage their brains a bit. Keep these fun, high-energy games on stand-by for when you need them!

Captain’s Coming


Captain’s Coming!

Any pirate themed game is going to be good. Captain’s Coming is a fantastic game for using up a whole lot of energy fast. It can go for as long as you like, and you (or the kids) can easily make up your own rules. It’s also brilliant for engaging their brains, as they need to be listening, recognising the instruction, and doing the correct action.

One person sits out and is the caller. Call out instructions at random, so no one knows what’s coming next.

Here’s some instructions to get you started, then add some of your own.

Bow – everyone runs to the front of the room.
Stern – everyone runs to the back of the room.
Starboard – everyone runs to the right.
Port – everyone runs to the left..
Captain’s coming – everyone stands tall and salute. Shout ‘Aye aye Captain!’
Captain’s wife – everyone curtseys.
Scrub the decks – mime scrubbing on hands and knees.
Climb the rigging – everyone pretends to climb a rope ladder.
Man the lifeboat – find a partner and hold both hands.
Sharks – lie on stomach with feet up.
Freeze – stop all actions when this is called.

Click here to download our free Captain’s Coming colourable game sheet. Have it on hand whenever you need it!

Climb the rigging!

Simon Says

Simon Says is the classic game of listening carefully and following instructions. Don’t make a mistake, or you’re out!
One person is ‘Simon’ and calls out instructions to the others.

Each instruction must begin with ‘Simon says….”
If it doesn’t, players must NOT follow the instruction. If they do, they’re out! Last one left is the winner, and becomes ‘Simon’ for the next game.

Be as silly as you like with the instructions, and really get them moving!

Simon says…
Rub your tummy and pat your head.
Hop up and down on one foot.
Keep spinning around.
Act like a monkey.
Walk around on your knees.

Freeze Dance

This one’s as easy as putting on some great dance music and letting them go wild! They’ll love it if you join in too.

Stop the music every so often. Everyone needs to freeze when the music stops. Have a good look – anyone who moves is out! Winner is the last one dancing.

Some great dance songs for kids are

  • Baby Shark
  • Gangnam Style
  • Men in Black
  • Ghostbusters
  • Chicken Dance
  • I like to move it

You can just evolve this game into a dance party if they still have energy afterwards! 

What songs do your kids love dancing to?