As the temperatures drop and the days get shorter, you might be looking for new ways to entertain your child. Outdoor play can be extremely fun and engaging, but there are sure to be winter days when you want to keep them inside and warm.
Finding activities for toddlers can be particularly challenging. They are at a fun age where they are exploring, discovering and learning so much. Keep reading to learn more about six indoor activities you can try with your toddler this winter.
1. Build a Winter Fort
One indoor activity you can do with your child is to build a fort. Explore toddler clothes to find the perfect pair of pajamas and have a cozy pajama fort-building party. Get in on the fun and make sure you’re in some comfy PJs, too. After seeing you hop into your pajamas, your child may be even more excited to get into their own.
Whether you have a fort-building kit or are using your clothespins, rope, and pillows, this can be a fun way to help your child with their planning and building skills. Gather pillows, blankets, sheets, and other items that will help build a big fort with plenty of comforts. You can use your couch cushions for a nice place to lie inside the fort. Watch movies, read a book, or sit and chat with your little one inside the fort.
2. Create a Sensory Bin
Sensory bins are great playthings for children. They promote hands-on, tactile play that engages the senses and allows them to explore. Think about how to create your own winter-themed sensory bin this winter.
There are a few different ways you can harness the winter theme. First, think about your snow. This could be a recipe for homemade snow, marshmallows, cotton balls, white sand, or pulled-apart cotton. Then, think about what you can add to the snow for your child to discover. Snowmen, snowflakes, reindeer, and penguins are all fun options. You can also toss in items you already have at home, like blue glass stones, holiday-themed items, and small figurines.
Don’t forget to add some tools to the project, too. Large plastic tweezers, tongs, ladles, and sandbox shovels are all options that can help with their motor skills and make exploration more fun.
3. Act Out Their Favorite Movies
Children often have favorite movies or television shows they like to watch over and over again. Take a peek in your child’s closet and dresser, and see if you have any toddler boy clothes or toddler girl clothes that will help them dress up as their favorite characters.
Encourage them to act alongside the movie as it plays in the background, or pull out the book version and talk it through with them. This can be a good way to get their eyes off the screen, spark their imagination, and get them up and moving around the house. Don’t be afraid to get silly with loud singing and dramatic gestures so that they feel confident fully expressing themselves and getting into character.
4. Go Skiing With Figurines
Skiing and snowboarding are staples in the winter, and they’re activities you can mimic with your child and their toys. Grab some small princesses, animals, or other figurines and outfit them with skis or a snowboard. Tongue depressors and popsicle sticks are great options to easily tape onto their feet.
Next, you’ll want to build the ski slope. Make it as large or as small as you want, creating a slanted ramp against a raised object for the perfect downward slide. Position the characters at the top of the slope and slide them down. You can even do some ski races to see who gets to the bottom quickest.
5. Paint With Ice
Winter is all about snow and ice, so why not try to incorporate that into indoor playtime? Prep for this activity by making some painting popsicles. Take an ice cube or popsicle tray and fill it with finger paint or another kid-safe paint. Then, position the popsicle stick (you might need to wait until they start to freeze if you don’t have a popsicle kit).
Once the cubes are frozen, you can take them out. They will be your child’s paintbrushes. Grab a thick sheet of paper or cardboard, and allow them to color the blank canvas with the cube. As it melts, they will see their colorful creation come to life.
Don’t forget to dress your child in craft-friendly clothing. Having plenty of simple pants, T-shirts, and sweatshirts can give you some peace of mind when they’re partaking in some messy crafts.
6. Build Marshmallow Castles
Taking everyday household objects and turning them into toys can be very exciting for children as they engage their imagination and find new ways to use different items. One activity that can foster this is building marshmallow castles.
Grab a bag of marshmallows, some graham crackers or other food products to use as building materials. Then, have your child build an igloo, a winter castle, or another structure. They may even want to bring in a stuffed animal or other toys to go into their building or knock it over.
Toddlers often have a lot of energy, and it may be challenging to keep your little one entertained all winter long. Planning with a list of potential indoor winter activities can help save you some stress and hassle. It may also come in handy because you can allow your child to help pick what activity they want to do. Use these ideas to create a fun play environment for your child and as inspiration to come up with even more great winter activities.