When you see that storm rolling in and the park and playground are out of the question, you and your energetic kid need some indoor activities just for toddlers. Staying at home doesn’t mean being bored! The indoors can be just as fun as exploring the wide world for young children. Here are some favorite activities for a growing child.
Rainy days or snow days can make us just want to snuggle. If you and your darling want to cuddle up, try some of these at-home toddler activities.
- Read together. Make a stop at the library or your local bookstore and grab some picture books. Settle in for storytime.
- Movie marathon. Ready to introduce your kid to Disney or other classic stories? Tuck into your couch with some snacks.
- Family flashbacks. Dust off an old photo album or pull out their baby book. Telling family stories may seem over their head, but this is great for language development and having multiple family touchpoints throughout their life.
- Build a blanket fort. This classic activity awakens the imagination. Create an outdoor world indoors. What is the fort for? How can you decorate it?
- Indoor pool party. Just too hot or humid to pop to the beach today? Inflate a kiddie pool and fill it with blue or teal tissue paper. Set up some beach chairs and some fruit juice and have a great time.
- Go on tour. Many museums and zoos have virtual tours now. Broaden your child’s world and keep them learning.
- Do a puzzle. A jigsaw puzzle with their favorite animal or a new landscape can be a good way to spend some time together inside.
- Extra toy bathtime. Hop in the bath with some fun animal toys and get them and your child clean. You can even imitate the animal sounds!
- Indoor gardening. Spread out the newspaper. Then collect some pots, seeds, and soil. This can be a long-term activity for your toddler and adds beauty to your home.
If your kid has a fiery spirit, you can up the stakes for them with these DIY indoor activities and games. Whether it’s too hot outside or too cold, work out some of that energy.
- Balloon hockey or tennis. Blow up some standard balloons and start batting them around with your toddler. You can also create goals or set up a mini net. Keep score or don’t! It’s all fun and games here.
- DIY Bowling. You can use empty soda or water bottles. Or even paper towel tubes. Find a soft ball and see if either of you gets a strike. A great free toddler activity!
- Dance party. Dancing doesn’t have to be competitive, but you can make a game of it. See who can come up with the best moves.
- Ramp races. Set up a ramp using a backing sheet or strong piece of cardboard against your couch or a stack of books. Your toddler can roll round blocks or cars down it.
- Balance tape. Use colorful or patterned tape to create paths around your home. See if your little one can stay balanced and steady. This is a great gross motor skills activity.
- Build the tallest tower. A great activity for multiple kids is to set them up with blocks and see who can build the tallest tower. From set up to them tumbling down, there’s sure to be some smiles and laughs.
- Cotton ball race. Tape a start line and finish line on the floor. Use a squeeze bottle or your mouths to blow the cotton across the floor.
- Pom pom push. Make a container and poke a few holes and see how long it takes your kiddo to fill up the container with little pom poms. This is a good motor skills activity. Using a clear container that the two of you decorate can make the activity seasonal too. A jack o lantern for Halloween, an Easter Bunny, or a sunflower.
Break out the art box and let’s get creative. There are many craft projects a toddler can do indoors. It helps with motor skills. And you’ll get a keepsake for the scrapbook!
- Paper snowflakes. A traditional winter activity. Grab some paper and have your toddler help you fold. You can handle the cutting with a good pair of safety scissors. Then both of you can decorate with glitter and crayons and markers. You can hang them in your window for some wintery fun.
- Draw, paint, color. Pulling out the art box and some construction paper and let them go wild. You can try finger-paining too!
- Clay time. Whether it’s playdough or cloud clay, working with clay helps your child develop motor skills and sensory awareness. Don’t forget to take photos of their creations.
- Make jewelry. There are quite a few toddler-safe jewelry activities. An easy DIY one is to get big beads and use a shoelace to make a necklace.
- Geometric art. Whether you use crayon and paper or make shapes with household objects, this is a great way to teach your child the different shapes.
- Spider web door. Throw up some clear or colored tape across a doorway. You and your child can throw objects like pom poms or pipe cleaners and see what sticks.
- Stained glass window. Using colored tissue paper and tape or water, you can turn any window in your home into a stained glass masterpiece.
- Make a 3D rainbow. Using objects, blocks, or scrunched up paper, have your child make a rainbow. It’s a great way to reinforce the colors.
Growing bodies need fuel. Use this time indoors for fun food-related toddler activities. Tasty snacks, sensory play, and science experiments can all be found in your home kitchen.
- Decorate cupcakes. You’ll want to keep your child away from the oven itself, but having them help mix ingredients and then frost the cupcakes can be a fun (and messy) family activity.
- Hot cocoa taste test. Who doesn’t love hot chocolate on a winter day? You can use mini teacups and have the whole family get in on choosing their favorite. Marshmallows are essential too.
- Scoop and transfer. This is another great activity for developing motor skills. Set your child up with a couple containers and a scoop. They can bring rice, ice, or even dried beans from one container to another.
- Magic potions. As children watch us cook, sometimes they begin to imitate our actions. Have some bottles full of colored liquids of different textures and let them squeeze and create their own magic. You can even add science lessons into this activity as they get older. Maybe lay down a liner. Things can get sticky!
- Your little sous chef. Engage your child in your meal prep all year round. They can count ingredients, tear lettuce or herbs, or help you measure ingredients and pour.
- Snow ice cream. A great activity for winter. You can make snow ice cream with many flavorings. Of course, be aware of pollutants that may be in your area.
- Rice squish. Cook and cool some rice and add rice to several small bowls. Use food coloring to create clay and let your kid squeeze and combine.
Now that you have an entire repertoire of indoor activities for your toddler, the next step on your parenting journey is finding a competent, caring sitter to share the load. Find a local child care professional with Sittercity.