By Beta Dad | Last Updated: August 18th, 2017
Searching for indoor activities for kids?
You’re on the right blog!
Go grab a coffee and settle in, I’m about to inspire you and get those creative juices flowing.
Toddlers are little bundles of energy. They never stop going. We know that, right?
From the time their feet hit the floor in the morning until their head hits the pillow at night, they are constantly doing.
While it’s fairly easy to come up with ideas to occupy your toddler outdoors, it’s another story when it comes to the inevitable RAINY DAY.
There are going to be times when you just can’t be out and about, and it helps to have a few ideas on hand for just such an occasion.
These activities increase eye-hand coordination and cognitive skills as well as attention span.
I have spent many years of my life entertaining toddlers, and I can tell you, there are a few tried and true activities that never fail.
THE INDOOR SANDBOX
Don’t let the name fool you, I would never bring sand into my house, but my children have spent countless hours playing in our indoor sandbox.
I like to use a shallow bin about two feet by three feet and four to six inches deep with a lid.
This size allows it to be stored under a bed or sofa when not in use.
I then fill this bin with white rice and add a few fun toys like cups, funnels, plastic spoons, and small items to hide and dig up again in the “sand.”
I also place a shower curtain liner under the bin for easy cleanup of flyaway pieces of rice.
Just gather the corners of the shower curtain liner up and dump the rice back into the sandbox.
MASKING TAPE RACETRACK
My older boys love to make the track for our toddlers.
Just take a roll of masking tape and peel long sections off.
Then stick one side of the “road” on the floor first and then go back and put another piece parallel to it forming the track.
Then the little ones can use various cars to drive around between the pieces of tape.
They usually cover the entire floor of one room.
Don’t worry; the tape peels off nicely.
WATER BOTTLE BOWLING
This activity works with full water bottles or your empty ones, too.
I like to invest in a good foam ball or a Nerf ball because they are safer for indoor use.
Teach your child to line up the water bottles in a triangle shape and stand back and roll the ball at them to knock them down.
Their favorite part of this activity is usually setting the bottles back up.
Kids are funny that way. You can use bottles of various kinds and sizes for added challenge.
This activity is not only a great way to entertain a bored toddler but a great way to put all of that junk mail to use.
Just line up any empty food boxes to be the mailboxes.
Then give your toddler a bag of junk mail or opened letters that you are going to discard anyway.
Tell them that they are the mailman and they need to fill the mailboxes with letters for all of the people.
After they fill them, just empty the boxes and start again.
This is a great way to begin to introduce different neighborhood people and careers to your toddler.
PAINTING WITH FOOD
Toddlers love activities that revolve around food.
Give your toddler a piece of bread or a tortilla on a plate and a small child’s paintbrush.
All around the bread, place small piles of foods that have a smooth consistency.
We use ketchup, jam, peanut butter, yogurt, applesauce, and hummus for a variety of colors.
After your child “paints” their blank canvas of bread or tortilla, they can devour their masterpiece.
Kids love playing with play dough, but when it’s edible play dough, it just takes fun to a new level.
They can mold it and shape it and then eat it.
Here’s our favorite recipe for edible playdough. Just mix it all together and have fun.
If it’s too sticky, you can add more powdered milk.
1/3 cup honey
1/2 cup peanut butter
1/2 cup powdered milk
This activity can be extended to include lots of imagination and learning time.
Give your child plastic cookie cutters to cut shapes with or show them letters to try to shape their play dough into.
Here are some other edible play dough recipes
Toddlers need lots of activities to help improve their coordination and learning to throw a ball can be frustrating to toddlers.
This game helps them learn to aim and throw without even knowing it.
Give your child some old newspapers or papers that you would throw away and tell them to wad the paper up into balls.
They enjoy this part of the game almost as much as the game itself.
Place an empty basket in the middle of the floor.
Then, place your toddler a few feet away and tell them to try to throw the paper balls into the basket.
They’ll love the aspect of this fun sport, competing as a family is great fun.
Kids love to blow bubbles in their milk at the dinner table, but moms hate the mess everywhere.
This activity is sure to satisfy both mom and toddler.
Place a shower curtain liner on the floor.
In the middle of it, place a pot or pan. In the bottom of the pot, pour a couple of inches of bubble solution or water with dish soap in it.
Give your toddler a straw and tell them to blow bubbles in the solution.
It will fill the entire pan with bubbles and eventually overflow.
Just remind them to blow and not to suck on the straw.
Keeping your toddler busy when you can’t go outdoors to run around really can be simple.
With just a few items and some thought, your little one will stay busy all afternoon.
Remember, if all else fails, just grab your raincoat and boots and head on out to puddle jump.
If there’s one thing no toddler can resist, it’s a puddle.