Being from Minnesota, I am used to encountering sub-zero temperatures for days upon weeks upon months in a row. I proudly called myself a Minnesotan because I embraced the cold weather and enjoyed a good snuggle-fest by the fire.
Then I had a toddler. Being a stay-at-home mom is one thing in the spring, summer and fall, where we can run outside and burn off energy as needed. But Minnesota winters seriously stretch my creative mom brain, and I often find myself reaching for new ideas to keep my two-year-old busy.
Save this list of 7 fantastic indoor activities for a rainy (or, in my case, snowy) day. You will not regret keeping this list handy, and your toddlers will stay busy!
- Cardboard Box Creations. Do you have cardboard boxes sitting around your house? Perhaps a box for diapers or wipes? This is a fantastic way to encourage creativity in your toddler. You can either give them a box and let them go at it, or you can help them create a guitar, airplane, train, or kitchen. These recycled box toys are hours of fun both making and playing with them!
- Busy Bags. These are great for at-home or on-the-go. When your toddler seems out of constructive ideas and begins tossing blocks against the wall, whip out a busy bag. The fact that these are something new will entertain your kiddo for quite a while. Since these are small, you can have an entire box of busy bags to keep your sweet kiddo entertained.
- Sensory Boxes. Your toddler learns through all senses. A sensory box can be as elaborate or simple as you want. In fact, during a snow blizzard, I sometimes bring a bin of snow inside and let my toddler explore the cold white powder with shovels, spoons and cups. If you’ve got a box (or bowl), some dry rice or pasta, and a spoon, you’ve got enough materials to create one of these magic boxes!
- Art projects. I tape a used disposable table cloth on the kitchen floor, strip down my toddler to his diaper, and let him enjoy art. This list of art projects gives you an idea of how you can create something out of anything you have on-hand at home. Your toddler will get messy, but it’s easy to plop him in the bath! Speaking of baths…
- Bath Time Activities. Baths are not just for getting clean! The best part about bath play is that clean-up is a breeze. My son enjoys bathtime play so much that I need to add more warm water to his bath every so often. Make bath time more fun with colored ice, homemade bath paint, and colored bubble bath.
- Toilet Paper Tube Crafts. I love these crafts because we all have access to empty toilet paper tubes. It’s easy to stock up on these (especially with a potty training toddler in the house!) From monsters and sculptures, to ramps and shape games, these recyclable supplies create hours of fun for your toddler.
- Balloon Games. Balloons are another item we seem to have in large supply at our house. When I feel I’ve tapped all my toddler play ideas, I blow up some balloons and have some fun with the kids. Of course, as always, be sure to watch your toddlers with balloons, as they are dangerous when ingested.