Indoor Activities to Keep Your Toddler Busy
Winter is the hardest season for me since my soul belongs to the summer and I’m not much of a home body. It feels like the longest winter ever since, we've been trapped indoors not just because of the frigid temperatures, but because of the scary flu infested, indoor baby gym situations we're trying to stay clear of.
I must admit, it's hard work trying keeping a one and four year old engaged indoors without plopping them in front of the TV for hours, so here are a few things we do to keep the happiness flowing on these never ending winter days right in time for mid-Winter recess for all you NYC mamas and papas.
One of our favorite family activities to do indoors is painting. Lukas has always loved to paint and Lily wants to be just like her brother so she likes to get right in there and follow his lead. I love that it’s an activity that we all can do together. Their artwork is so sweet we always hang it in the house on the fridge or in a frame or use them for birthday cards for the next kids birthday party we attend. Here’s a list of supplies to jumpstart your very own (apartment friendly) art studio.
A sure way to get some fun in and tire the little ones out a bit is to crank up the music and get some silly dancing in! All of our dance party playlists start with “Move it, Move it” from The Madagascar movie soundtrack. As soon as they hear “I like to move it, move it” they know what time it is! They freeze what they are doing, turn to me with wide eyes, then jump up with loud giggles and start to dance!
Call a friend, break out the games (legos are always a sure bet) and let them play.
Snacks on hand is a playdate must along with a bottle of vino for parents who like a little sippy sip!
As you can see, Lukas is CRAAAAAZY about bowling on our Wii game system. He’s so good, he’s hits more strikes than us! We play as a whole family for about about two rounds, then I'm usually all bowled out. Luke typically plays another round by himself while Lily holds the other remote and pretend she’s playing along with him which gives me a nice slice of alone time.
Mini Sous Chef
Get out the step stool and invite your kiddos into the kitchen to give you a hand.
The kitchen can be a dangerous place, so I make sure to invite them in for prep only and talk to them about kitchen safety.
To get them involved, I give them a series of tasks to do. For example, I would probably ask lukas to count the potatoes, hand them to Lily, have her place them in a bowl and then give the potatoes a “bath” together. They usually end up splashing water all over the place by the time they’re done, so be prepared for a little mess. After I peel and boil the potatoes, they help me mash them in a bowl. They enjoy helping out which usually leads to more eating at dinner time.
This kid safe knife was given to Lukas as a birthday gift and he loves to use it any chance he gets. His favorite thing to chop is his own strawberries with it.
Some other kitchen fun ideas include, making personal pizzas & baking cookies.
Netflix N Chill
Make a snack, snuggle up with blanket and watch a movie or binge a few episodes of your kiddos favorite shows.
Document the Day
Dig in your stash of old gadgets and find an old camera that you don’t care too much about anymore. Hand it over to your child and let them take portraits of everyone in the house and of their toys throughout the day. Upload after dinner and have them talk you through their work. You’ll be surprised to see what they capture from their unique point of view!
Here's a kid camera made by Vtech. Lukas loves to use this one as well but prefers to use my old cameras...
Photos by - Lukas at 3 years old - feb '16
You will be surprised how much time you can get from giving your kids a blown up ballon to play with. My kids love to tap it up in the air back and forth. I'm always intrigued by how long it can keep them occupied and excited. Not to mention it's such a cheap indoor activity comingin at under $1! ✳︎Please supervise your kiddos with the balloon. If it pops, the rubber remains can become a choking hazard.
Floor & Board games
Of course, you can count on these classics for hours of family fun. I try to add new games and puzzles every 6 weeks or so to keep things fresh.
Monopoly Junior - Classic
Hungry Hippo - Brings me back to my childhood, I think I like this game more than the kids
Puzzles - this is our favorite puzzle to do together right now.
Wooden Building Blocks are great for kids of different ages to play together
Magna Tiles - Lukas loves to make rocket ships and other cool structures with these tiles while Lily loves to knock them down!
Legos - Classic winner for all ages
Train sets - This is a good starter set and makes for a great "hand me down" since these things last forever!
Magic Tracks - Lukas and Lily both LOVE playing with this set.
PlayDough Playsets - Lily's Favorite One and it's under $10.00! Yes!
The Soggy Doggy - The newest game in our rotation but it sure is a winner! It's so much fun for the whole family, including little Lily and it got LOTS of giggles!
Hope this inspires some happy hibernating!