Indoor Toddler ActivitiesWe all want to spend time with our children, but when we finally take time out of our busy life sometimes we are at a loss as to what we should do. This page is dedicated to all the indoor toddler activities you can do with your child.
CraftsCrafts can make perfect indoor toddler activities. Be sure to see the list of crafts here at Idea Queen. We've made sure to include lots of crafts for any age, including toddlers!
Computer GamesThis idea is so large we had to make a new page for it. Be sure to see our whole page full of free online toddler games. Lots of suggestions here, and please feel free to submit your own!
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While some may not be able to grasp the concept, there's lots of bored games out there that any small child can play, which make perfect indoor toddler activities. Remember CandyLand? This one is simple and will keep a child busy for at least a little while. Monopoly is a great game for preschoolers or those just starting to learn about money or learning to read.
Other games have a focus on age ranges of 4 and below, which you kind find at just about any store.
Dinner for 2 / Tea Party
This game is so simple, and as long as the child is old enough to communicate you can keep them busy for hours. It does require some supplies, mostly toy food. Simply make a pretend dinner for the two of you, or for a group of close friends (teddy bears and baby dolls).
While these types of indoor toddler activities may seem more for girls, boys can join in the fun too. Have them do the cooking for just you and him, or let him pretend to be the waiter. It doesn't have to be a "tea party", and even if it was there's nothing wrong with boys joining in too!
Kids in the Kitchen
Your little ones are better cooks than you may have originally thought! It's easy to make almost any meal with your kids. Simply do the measuring for them, and let them mix in ingredients. Children are also great at making pizza, just make sure they don't eat all the topings!
If you are wanting to find more "kid friendly" foods, try searching for cookbooks made especially for kids. Although be warned, it still takes an older child to read the cookbooks. With little ones you'll still have to help them in the kitchen. Even still, cooking different foods can make for great indoor toddler activities.
A simple activity for kids, yet often forgotten about. It's never too early to read to your child, just as long as you do it on their time. Never turn down to the chance to read to them if they are interested. Do make sure the book is short enough to hold their interest. Too long and they may be looking for something else to do before the story is finished.
If you want to make it extra special, take a trip to your local library and let them pick out their own book!
Hide & Seek
Probably one of the oldest and simplest indoor toddler activities. My children absolutely love this game, and it's fun to see what hiding places they come up with. Don't be afraid to make this a family activity to do together. You may be too big to fit into some of those small spaces, although you don't want to make it too hard to be found anyway. ;)
Additional Indoor Toddler Activities & GamesThe following idea for indoor toddler activities was submitted by one of our visitors. This idea can also be used by older children as well. Ash suggests playing dress up. The possibilities are endless with this idea, and you can play a different game every time. Have special clothes to wear, or make things more interesting by allowing them to try on things from your closet. Laugh at how big they are, and be sure to take pictures!
Play Time Ideas - Play dough - Make it Special
Idea By Gayle Geisenheimer
Bringing out the play dough always brings a few smiles at my house. The play clay available in the stores comes in bright colors with fancy (and expensive) kits and tools. Try making homemade play dough. It's easy to prepare a few large batches. It works well for me because I usually have a "large batch" of kids in the yard too.
Gather these ingredients: Flour, Salt, Food Coloring, vegetable oil and Cream of Tartar
In a two quart saucepan add 1 cup of flour, 4 teaspoons of cream of tartar and 1 cup of salt. Mix dry ingredients together. Measure 2 cups of water (with two drops of the liquid food coloring of your choice added) Drop in two tablespoons of vegetable oil and stir to mix. Add the liquids slowly to the dry ingredients in the saucepan and stir till combined. Heat over medium heat stirring often until the dough begins to form, starts to pull away from the side of the pan, and becomes a bit dry. Remove from heat and place on counter or board. Knead until smooth and cool. Keep cooled dough in plastic containers or plastic bags to keep soft and "playable"
Now, forget the fancy plungers and character kits sold in the store. Use a shoe box or Plastic storage box to create a special kit your kits will love. Look through the kitchen drawers, you'll be sure to find some safe gadgets to inspire creative dough play. My kit contains two small rolling pins, some rounded plastic knives, spoons, melon ball gadgets and a collection of plastic lids and cookie cutters. Boys and girls love rolling out the dough and cutting out the different shapes, gingerbread boys and animal shapes. They use the melon ball utensil to form meatballs and cut strips of dough with the plastic knives. Search neighborhood yard sales for cookies cutters and plastic trays and such for your homemade fun dough collection. I also include Styrofoam meat trays (trays on which you get meats & produce at the market) I put my trays through the dishwasher to make certain they are germ free for the little ones. These trays make a great surface for each child to roll out his play dough and/ or collect and display the "cookies" and other goodies they make. Add some plastic candle holders or any cake decorating goodies you've saved over the years. Children enjoy adding these to their "pretend" cakes and pastries.
Most often I observed the kids using the old cupcake trays and cookie sheets to "bake" their creations in their imaginary ovens. Do you think only girls will like making cookies and play clay pies? You'll find the little guys are just as interested in pretend baking.
There are of course many things children will want to do with their play dough. You may want to try this with your mixture if your little one needs some help learning to cut with scissors, or needs to strengthen his/her hands. I was once caring for a young boy who, according to the Pre-K Teachers, had trouble cutting with scissors. The paper seemed to always slip out and he had a weakness in his hands. Cutting play dough is an excellent exercise for this problem. I rolled the dough into long robes and had the youngster use scissors to cut the clay into small pieces. The idea was a good one. The child's cutting improved; he gained some strength in his hands and most importantly, loved the activity! When I play with the children I find they enjoy rolling out the dough and making their own pizzas and meatballs. Hotdogs, tacos and cupcakes are next on the list of favorite things to make with the mixture. Give these ideas a chance at your house and invent some news ones too. I only use play dough at the table on the deck whenever weather permits. When my children were small, I learned quickly the mess it makes in carpeting. So that would be my only advice about limiting its use...otherwise the sky is the limit with home made dough. Children have great ideas for using the mix for creating a good time. Make a batch today.and let the fun begin!
Another great idea for indoor toddler activities submitted by one of our visitors:
Grocery Play Store
How about a Grocery Play Store for your little ones?
When I was a kid my mom collected the boxes in which the food came in.
Examples would be:
*dry soup boxes
*chocolate bars wrappers
For money we use monopoly money but maybe it would be better to use coins so the children can learn about counting changes at the same time. I'm sure they'll have a ball!
Submit Indoor Toddler Activities
Have ideas for indoor toddler activities you'd like to share? Submit them below! Email address is always kept private and only used to contact you with questions.
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