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Have you run out of ideas on how to keep your toddler entertained indoors? We have dug up 12 indoor activities for kids that would be perfect activities for toddlers and preschoolers.
If you need to keep your toddler engaged during the day, we have included fun ways they can learn, sensory play ideas, art ideas, and even some fun games to activate their imagination.
Preschool Bird Activity plus Learning
Not only does this include a craft but it is a great way to learn about nature and help your kids start recognising local birds while building a love for nature.
With this activity, your kids will make a pine cone bird feeder and read Birds by Jill McDonald that teaches about different birds. She also expertly included learning some sign language for different birds and other nature signs.
This is a great hands-on activity that you can put together then spend time together watching to see what birds show up to your bird feeder.
Painting Color Pages with Water Colors
While it is nice love breaking out some crayons or colored pencils and letting my toddlers color coloring pages, occasionally as a special treat using watercolors can be a fun way to color coloring pages.
We have this super cute pack of coloring pages about unicorns you can find in this post.
Our pro mom tips for letting toddlers use water paints are:
- Prewet the paint with a few drops of water,
- Use a heavy, shallow bowl for water instead of a cup or mug (It won’t tip so easy), and
- Print the coloring pages on card stock to keep them from ripping from too much water.
Because we only do this occasionally it will usually keep my toddlers busy for most of the morning.
Don’t forget to check out all the other colouring pages we have on the site too.
If you are looking to include some learning in your toddler’s play, then Team Cartwright has some great ideas on how to get your little train engineer to learn while playing with their trains.
Toddlers should do most of their learning through play and these cooperative play ideas that will introduce math and science.
Sensory play is a great way to keep your kids attention, but if your toddlers are like mine, they tend to want to eat the sensory activities I come up with.
This fun, messy sensory play is sure to cure your cabin fever. And if you time it right as they finish playing in the jello, you can give them a fun bath and put them down for their afternoon nap.
If you lay out a plastic shower curtain for them to play on, then you can just toss it in the washer when you are finished. It will be ready for the next time you play.
This fun homemade paint is a great way to keep your toddler entertained and it doubles as art and sensory activity.
This is a taste-safe paint so if your toddler is still exploring everything with their mouth this can be a great way to introduce them to paint without worrying about what they are putting in their mouth.
While it’s taste-safe, it doesn’t taste too good so they probably won’t eat it. I was skeptical about this but those gel food colors gave more vibrant colors than some of our regular finger paints!
Maybe messy play isn’t your thing. That’s totally fine. You don’t have to do those activities to give your child an art activity. Making these wind chimes is a great way to explore their creativity without making a big mess.
I also love these because it is a great way to build those fine motor skills that are going to help them with handwriting, cutting, and coloring later on. Strong fine motor skills can help your child make kindergarten easier in a few years.
This activity is better for 3 and 4-year-olds because stringing beads can be a little more difficult for little ones. But if you want to do this with your 18-month-old or two-year-old, you can assist them by holding the string or offering them pipe cleaners to use to string the beads on instead. The stiffness can lower the frustration levels.
Oobleck is a magical substance to toddlers. Do they know it’s a non-Newtonian fluid? Nope, what they know is that is so fun and mind-bending. Is it a solid? Is it a liquid?
I love watching kids playing with oobleck for the first time. And this rainbow oobleck is absolutely gorgeous. Give them some scoops, measuring spoons, and even let them run their toy cars and other hard toys through it.
I hate the smell of playdoh but this two-ingredient playdoh smells amazing and is edible, perfect for toddlers.
It really doesn’t take any time and I know what you are thinking, “Icing and powdered sugar? This has to be the stickiest stuff ever!” But it isn’t sticky at all once you are done combining them.
Not only does playdough help build kids’ imaginations but it also strengthens their little hands and helps them develop prewriting skills.
I know I share the flour paint, that was taste safe, but this edible finger paint is actually edible. It’s yummy.
You can use paper for your kids to paint on or they can just paint their high chair. When you’re done just rinse it off.
In our house, we call sensory boxes quiet boxes. This sensory box might be the exception. I have never heard of a quiet construction site.
If you have a little one who is into all those fascinating big yellow machines, this is the perfect way to give them a special place to play with all their construction toys. Don’t forget to add in some little shovels or measuring spoons to dig around with.
Games to play when you are too tired to entertain
If all those activities sound exhausting, I have a few games you can play with your kids without ever getting off the couch. I use these sometimes when I am dealing with a migraine or just had a rough night with the baby.
The trick to this game is the parent is the patient, lay back and while your little one checks your heartbeat, looks in your ears. You may have to open your mouth while they check your throat but it usually requires minimum movement. Warning: My toddlers love to give me nice sharp jabs with a block for a shot.
My kids can play this for hours. It’s my favorite game on a migraine day. While you lay down, they become ninjas who have to sneak in quiet, unheard, and unseen to a certain point in the room you are in. The trick to this is to pretend you don’t see them until they almost get to the checkpoint. Then call NINJA! They have to go back to the start. My kids quietly giggle the entire way to the checkpoint and when I catch them they erupt in laughter as they take themselves back to the start point.
We do have one other idea on the site for games to play when you just can’t summon the strength – how about this game focused on sleeping – that’s got to be a win-win, right? This is a variation on the Ninja theme – but involves a dragon!
Keeping your toddlers entertained sometimes takes more creativity than you can muster on your own. I hope some of these activities help you get through those days when you need to find indoor activities for your kids.
Do join our activity a day newsletter if you like these ideas won’t you?
And we do have loads of other ideas for indoor play on the site too:
Or try some a little further afield too:
Thanks as always for coming to see us.
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