Photo credit: Ashley Summers Photography
It’s colder than Antarctica in Chicago today; you better believe the kiddos and I are cooped up in jammies and robes all day. Whether you and your kids are feeling stir crazy in the icy winter months or don’t want to brave the rain, snow, or summer heat, it’s best to have an arsenal of fun indoor activities for kids.
Check out these mom and kid-approved activities for when you’re stuck up inside with your toddlers or preschool kiddos.
Marshmallow tinker toys
All you need is a bag of thin pretzel sticks and marshmallows to build a tee pee, house, or other fun, puffy creations. Simply show your child how to poke the marshmallow on the end of the pretzel to start creating masterpieces – feel free to bring in toy figurines to join in the fun.
Tee pee playtime
Adventure awaits as imaginations run free during tee pee playtime. My girls use their teepee as a reading nook, for puppet shows, and endless pretend play – we often have lions, dinosaurs, or lava running wild in our basement, our teepee offering the only protection from the dangers.
Be sure to throw in some comfy pillows and blankets to make it super cozy.
Indoor Activities for Kids
Make easy-peasy pizzas with your kids by giving them full reign of their own pie; buy pizza dough to let their (clean) hands knead for you and make fun shapes, like a heart or Minnie Mouse (talk about the original play dough!). Put various toppings in plastic bowls to let them make a delicious masterpiece.
Homemade Play Dough
Check out how to make this two ingredient play dough – spoiler alert – you already have the ingredients in your house!
Homemade Greeting Cards
I keep a miscellaneous craft box from random trips to the Dollar Store where I pick up supplies like glue, glue sticks, stickers, pom pom, googly eyes, pipe cleaners, and construction paper. Bust out your craft box and make homemade greeting cards for your family or friends – have your child dictate what she wants to say in the card, write it out, then let her decorate and send it in the mail (or hand deliver if you can).
Preschool activity sheets
Since my daughter is used to (and loves) the structure of school, we’re recreating her school setting by playing class. Google “preschool or toddler activity sheets,” print them off, and hold classroom at your house.
Check out this easy DIY Moon Sand recipe – only 2 ingredients!
Kitchen Sensory Boxes
All you need is some kitchen supplies/ingredients, bowls or Tupperware, and an optional blindfold for these fun kitchen sensory boxes. Fill different bowls with interesting textures, like cooked noodles, peeled grapes (I love this one!), dry rice, a sponge, etc. Have your kids close their eyes or blindfold them, letting only their little hands explore the boxes and guess their contents.
Indoor Beach party
There’s nothing that can change my kids’ negative moods like a good old fashioned bath. Extend bath time and frame it as a full-blown indoor beach party to spice it up. Barbies, toy figurines, trucks and cars are encouraged to attend. Let your child wear her bathing suit and sunglasses to make it feel more authentic.
You know all those broken crayon bits you have at the bottom of your crayon box? You can make them new again – oil up a muffin tin and put the bits of crayons in there. Put in a warm oven to melt, then cool and enjoy your unique multicolored crayon creation.
Easy clean finger paint
I always have finger paint on hand, but I don’t always offer it as a play option because while my 3-year-old is great with it, my one-year-old would make too big of a mess. The solution? Put them in the tub with finger paint!
As my mom always used to say, only boring people are bored, and you’re not boring – encourage your kids to try new activities with these fun and easy to implement indoor play ideas.
What are your favorite indoor activities? Share them with me so we can learn from each other!