Toddlers are great fun, but sometimes it can be hard to find things to keep them busy. Especially as the weather gets colder and the days get shorter. Here is an ebook with all 35 Toddler Indoor Activity ideas. Each activity has pictures, material lists, easy-to-follow instructions, and tips from me. Right now the book is FREE but it won’t be free forever. Keep reading for some more tips and a few bonus activities that didn’t make it into the book.
I’m not going to say I’m lazy, but I’m really into the low-maintenance life. If something looks too complicated, I’ll just put it off or ignore it until it absolutely has to get done. Cleaning my bathtub has been on my to-do list for an embarrassingly long time because of this. So when I look at all of the toddler play activities on Pinterest, they seem so complicated and time-intensive. That means my toddler ends up in front of the television instead of doing something else because it was easy.
I collected 35 easy toddler indoor activities with minimal setup. I say minimal setup because some of them are as simple as handing a couple of random household items to your little one. Others require a little forethought or specific supplies, but I feel like they are not too overwhelming or involved. A few are more hands-on but just pick and choose what is good for you.
Use What You Have
Most of the supplies for these toddler indoor activities are things you already have around the house like containers, measuring cups, and masking tape. Other specialized things that bring an added dimension but are extremely cheap are contact paper, watercolors, and food coloring. The majority of the materials I got for a dollar or two at Walmart or at Dollar Tree.
Don’t feel like you need to break the bank and buy everything all at once. For a while, I just did one fun activity a week and bought the supplies for that particular activity. The great thing about the majority of these play ideas is you can reuse the supplies. Since I’m already talking about supplies, let me share a few secrets with you about craft sticks, pom poms, and the beauty of generics.
Supply Tip #1: Colored Craft Sticks
First, don’t buy the pre-colored craft sticks. I thought it would be fun for my toddler to play with craft sticks (aka popsicle sticks) in all different colors. Then we could do color sorting activities without coloring them with a marker or something. Guys, this was a terrible idea. Toddlers still put things in their mouths. As soon as one of the craft sticks got wet, the color instantly ran. Which makes for very colorful hands and mouths, but the best part is the dye doesn’t come off.
We’ve tried water, soap and water, and baby wipes. The only thing that works is letting it slowly come off throughout the day as I wash her hands and mouth. Otherwise, you’ll be at the sink for 10 plus minutes. Which isn’t fun for either of you.
Supply Tip #2: Glitter Pom-poms
Second, buy pom-poms with glitter filaments. When I went to the store to purchase pom-poms, my mind was set on the traditional colors and plain balls. Instead, they only had the shimmer or glitter pom-poms. I decided to buy them anyway because I really wanted to do the pom-pom drop activity.
Turns out they were perfect! Remember how I said that toddlers still put things in their mouths? Well, because of the glitter or shimmer filaments, the pom-poms have a weird texture. The first thing my little one did when I pulled them out was put one of the small swallowable ones right in her mouth. Of course, I lunged to try and swipe it before she swallowed it. Before I could get my finger in her mouth, her face scrunched up, and she spat the pom-pom out. She hasn’t tried it since. So I’m going to call it a win.
The only thing I can attribute her reaction to is the filaments. Just be careful with them because they can be pulled out. I recommend adult supervision when introducing a new craft material like pom-poms to keep your little one safe.
Supply Tip #3: Generics!!
The third tip for getting materials is to buy the generic brand. Your toddler could care less about whether it is name brand or not, but your wallet will thank you. Kids are already expensive enough between diapers and clothes they grow out of too fast. So save yourself some money and buy the cheap stuff.
I’ve found everything at either Dollar Tree or Walmart. Obviously, get the best deal you can find. Also, remember that your little one doesn’t need the large packs. I got the 75 pack of pom-poms and 100 pack of craft sticks, and they have lasted me for over a year. One thing I do buy in bulk is construction paper because I feel like we go through at least one sheet a day at our house between projects, artwork, and whatever else we can think to use it for.
Download Your Toddler Indoor Activities Ebook
Here is the complete list of toddler indoor activities! Well, actually, it’s a free ebook for a limited time. It contains colored photos of each activity, a list of materials, and easy-to-follow directions. Plus, I share all of my tips with you along the way. Click here to download your copy.
After finishing the ebook I realized that I left out two of my easiest go-to activities for entertaining toddlers indoors. Moms, each of you is doing so much, and sometimes it is hard to remember the simple things when you are overwhelmed and have a screaming toddler at your feet. So here are two simple things that we overlook and sometimes forget that can keep toddlers busy and happy.
The first is coloring. Give your toddler a piece of paper and something to draw with. At our house, we have a few rules about coloring time. Mainly we only color on paper, and we only color at the table. So I try to always strap my toddler into her chair before breaking out the heavily guarded crayons.
The second is bath time. Guess what? You don’t even have to wash your toddler! Just strip them down and let them play in the water. I’ve heard a saying that when your baby, or toddler, is going a little crazy and you don’t know what to do with them, take them outside or put them in water. Since it’s getting colder, I think our weekly park time will turn into bath time.
Until Next Time
If you haven’t downloaded it yet, don’t forget to get your free copy of 35 Toddler Indoor Play Activities and share it with your friends! Another parent resource I have is a post all about how to read to your little ones and help them learn to love reading.
I want to create more resources to help make your life easier. Do you need fast and easy dinner recipes? Do you want to see the books my toddler actually reads? Or what about everything I want to buy for every first-time mom?? Let me know in the comments below or on social media!