Last winter around this time I was on a mission to get my boys out and about as much as possible. It was February, the heavy winter was upon us and I was determined to avoid cabin fever.
These are some of my favorite and simple outings for beating winter cabin fever.
This year- life is different. I am dropping off and picking up from school for the 3 year old. And I’m working from home- a job I always feel I’m behind on. It just seemed like we weren’t getting enough of our activities in. We still do our Pearachute classes- thank goodness! Who knows where we would be without them?!
My second son is 19 months and boy does that kid have energy! So when we don’t get out, he starts bouncing off the wall. But just because we aren’t going anywhere, doesn’t mean we can’t have fun still. And something beyond what our regular toys will provide.
Here it is. My top 20 toddler activities for beating cabin fever, while staying INDOORS.
- Throw a Dance Party- one of our favorite things. You can do different genres and try to show them different types of dances.
- Cardboard boxes- These can be transformed into lots of different things. My husband taped a few together and made a car ramp that is a huge hit with my boys!
- Colander and pipe cleaners- easy and works on fine motor skills through threading the pip cleaners in the holes. ( I also made a travel version with a spice bottle- and it’s been sooo amazing for planes and restaurant play)
- Sensory play- Shaving cream with or without some food coloring. Fill in a large bowl or tupperware or deep cookie sheet. *Can be messy, could be played with in the high chair or on tile/hardwood floor.
- Sensory play- make cloud dough. We did this for my son’s first birthday as well and it was a real hit. Our was made with flour though- we all know how flour looks on black clothing though so old shirts are good for this activity.
- Pom pom anything. We made a pom pom push in a container for travel play or you can use this paper towel roll method. They are great to have on hand!
- Crafts project- speaking of pom poms. You can stock up on all sorts of craft supplies at the dollar store. Have them on hand to paint, color, glue pom poms and create a masterpiece together.
- Water play– My 19 month old is obsessed with playing in the sink. Like he throws full on tantrums when I take him down. To continue his love of water- a water sensory bin does the trick.
- If you put some tupperware, cups, plastic spoons and other random containers together- it creates a perfect water play situation. My go to for all sensory play is an under the bed box. I just throw it under my son’s bed when not in use.
- Tape across a doorway- using painters’ tape, lay some strips across a doorway and throw newspapers or scrap paper to see if it’ll stick. I was so happy when I found this idea- my boys had a ball with it for a long time.
- Stickers- find a new fun place where the kids are allowed to put them- cardboard box or storage container. Or you can draw lines on a paper to place the stickers along the lines.
- Rice bin- pour a bag of rice into a bin and fill with small toys to hide or construction vehicles.
- Color sorting- can be done with popsicle sticks, pom poms, blocks and an ideal learning opportunity through play.
- Tape on the floor: Use masking or painters’ tape to create racetracks for hot wheels- have it go up furniture for extra adventure.
- Build forts– I just did this for the first time with my boys the other day! Don’t forget about the old fashioned fun- they do not get old.
- Bake something together- kids actually learn a lot when cooking and it’s a great bonding activity. *And of course- there might be cookies. Yum!
- Card drop- Cut a slit into an oatmeal container and use it to drop cards in. Busy Toddler has lots of genius ideas for indoor toddler play.
- Scissor practice- draw lines on a paper and have them practice cutting along them. Kids’ scissors of course!
- Stack a Tower- with plastic cups. Costco anyone?
- Do Yoga- you can stream some motivation on youtube or we found a channel on our Roku.
- Laundry Basket Skee Ball- this is such a cute idea. And we have two bags of ball pit balls. Even without the ramp, it would be fun to do a ball toss into the baskets.
Stay warm and stay sane! Winter inside with toddlers can be tough. But a little creativity with household supplies goes a long way. And if you are feeling adventurous, there are many free or cheap outings you could go on together.