A Place to Grow Learning Blog

  • 7 Indoor Activities You Can Do with Your Toddlers

    Posted by on February 10, 2016

    7 Indoor Activities You Can Do with Your Toddlers

    Winter weather often means having to stay indoors for extended periods of time. And for parents of small children, that quickly translates into a panic of dealing with cabin fever. But, there is hope for weary New England parents trying to keep their little ones active and entertained. A Place to Grow offers inventive suggestions that can keep toddlers engaged and entertained for hours on end.

    1)      Establish the “Imagi Nation” – Children are naturally creative, and what better way to pass the time than to let their imagination flourish. Tape large pieces of paper to the floor, and using colored pencils, crayons, and stickers, encourage them to draw their own surroundings. Help design a toddler town with streets and buildings, friends and neighbors. With this inspired art project you can glimpse your area through their eyes. And, take the two-dimensional neighborhood up a notch with toy cars and figurines to bring their imaginative world to life.

    2)      Sensory Play – Whip up hours of fun with simple ingredients from your own pantry. Sensory tables are toddler magnets, and you can create your own with ease. Using an empty large, shallow bin (under-the-bed storage is ideal), add small amounts of cornmeal, oatmeal, and rice.  Introduce funnels, sifters, and even small toy cars and you have the perfect recipe for educational and engaging play.

    3)      Toddler Tunes – It’s no secret that children love music. And they and are not shy about getting their groove on. From jumping to dancing, toddlers are proud to show off their moves, so why not host a living room dance party? Pump up the volume on popular toddler tunes, start your own game of freeze dance, and add some scarves and costumes to help them strut their stuff.  With the quick addition of a few pots and pans, toddlers can channel their inner musician and make their own music creating a symphony of indoor fun.

    4)      Water Play – Who says it’s just for summer? Indoor water play is a sure fire way to cure the winter blues. Turn a shallow container into an instant splash park. Fill a bin with as little as 2 inches of water; add funnels, sponges and pouring cups and watch toddlers dive right in. Add food coloring or some bubbly soap and their eyes will light up with delight. Break out the swimwear for more themed fun. From washing baby dolls to popping colored bubbles in the air, we say water play – any day.

    5)      Get Your Motor Running – Indoor play is a perfect time to build up a child’s gross motor skills (and burn hyper toddler energy at the same time). Play ball. Use tied socks filled with beans, beach balls and balloons to work on hand/eye coordination. Build an obstacle course through different rooms and let your toddler climb over, under and through to the other side. Use thick tape to make a straight line on the floor for a balance challenge – walking, tip toeing, crawling and jumping across as steady as they can. Whether they burn off steam bounding on pillows, crawl through blanket tunnels, or try to keep balloons from touching the ground, improving motor skills is as easy as occupying a toddler on a winter’s day.

    6)      Snowed In – While children may be itching to go outside during a snowfall, there are ways to sample the season in the warmth of your home. Simply bring the outdoors in. During or after a snowfall, place a handful of snow in a container. Break out the mittens and with little hands protected from the cold, let the fun begin. Using spoons and plastic cups toddlers will enjoy running their fingers through the snow, scooping it up with the spoons and packing it in the cups. A winter wonderland awaits in your own home.

    7)      Dream Big, Build Bigger –- From forts to clubhouses, it’s simple to turn any room into a small child’s personal play space. Use blankets and pillows to help them set up tents and forts. Introduce shoe boxes or large cartons and behold, these make-shift blocks turn into a toddler’s own architectural masterpiece. Whether they build it low or stack it high, your little one will want to take pride in their creation and take up residency in these structures.

    A Place to Grow encourages teachers to embrace indoor activities such as these in their classrooms. We develop programs that are instructive and enjoyable for young children. For toddlers, learning comes in different forms but typically through inventive play.  We seek out productive outlets for children that help them express their creativity and that fosters essential development skills to help them grow.