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Best indoor activities for toddlers during winter

When temperatures fall during the cold winter months, it becomes tough to take little ones out to play.  But how can a mom keep her sanity when she’s stuck indoors facing toddler tantrums and random acts of household destruction? Here are a few indoor play ideas to keep your toddler busy during the winter months:

Sensory bins

Sensory bins are a great learning and development activity that appeal to your child’s senses in a fun way. They are visually, textually and audibly appealing and can even help your toddler with a variety of skills from fine motor to counting or matching. The key is to grab a few containers, bins, bottles or even sealed plastic bags and fill them with an array of objects around the house that your child can explore — you can pretty much use anything as long as it’s child-friendly. Try things like toys and food (balls, plastic dinos, blocks, uncooked pasta) or keep them seasonal (seashells, feathers, pretend snow). The possibilities are endless.

Building forts

It’s truly amazing the things you can create with a box, duct tape and scissors! Not only does it provide hours of entertainment but it’s always fun for your child to kick it once s/he’s had enough of it.

Pretend play

Pretend play is such a fun milestone to watch in your child. Whether your child begins to “feed” her/his stuffed animals “drive off” in his car or grab a wooden spoon and bowl to “prepare some food” it truly is an amazing developmental shift to witness. Pretend play is ideal for growing toddlers, so it’s important to provide them some small chunks of “alone time” (supervising them from a distance) to watch them at it.

Arts and crafts

Sometimes we are hesitant to have activities involving crayons and paints, as toddlers might either chew off the crayon tips or make a big mess with finger paint.  But then you have to keep introducing arts and crafts and try to see what they respond to best. If the little ones don’t get much use out of crayons try round tip washable markers, chalk or even stickers to get the little artist in them a chance to shine. Getting creative can get messy, but they are so important for learning and development. It can be made from simple things like paper plates or toilet paper rolls!

Books and music

Sometimes all you have to do is take the mundane to another level. Next time you break out the board books make sure you use all your quirkiest voices and skills to animate the characters and get your child into the story.  You’ll also want to pick short books that can hold their attention.

You can also pump up some music and have a little dance party right in your living room. Toddlers love jumping around and mimicking adults so it would be a great time to show them some moves. Just find some kid-friendly songs and rock out!