Indoor Activities For Toddlers: How To Keep Your Little One Busy

indoor activities for toddlers-images of toddlers enjoying a puzzle, pretend play and a blanket fort
Keeping Your Little One Busy With Indoor Activities For Toddlers

Spring has sprung, and while we hope that means the snow is gone for good, we know that there will still be days we need rainy day activities for kids. So let’s break out the boredom busters and get busy with indoor activities for toddlers.

What makes Great Indoor Play For Toddlers?

We like to look for fun indoor activities that are easy to set up, use things found around the house, and keeps your toddler’s attention for more than a minute! Many of the following activities are very versatile and perfect for both indoor or outdoor play.

Indoor Physical Activities For Toddlers

Try one of these indoor activities for high-energy toddlers.

discovery building sets-play-icon-symbol Bean Bag Toss

Use easily made or purchased bean bags and toss them into laundry baskets, recycled cardboard boxes, small wastebasket, or other containers for fun stuff to do with toddlers and the whole family.

discovery building sets-play-icon-symbol Indoor Scavenger Hunt For Toddlers or Treasure Hunt

Create a simple list of items to look for around your home. For example, focus on a theme like finding all the red things or specific items like flowers. This can also be incorporated into a holiday like Easter and hide plastic eggs with treats. For a fun twist, give your toddler a flashlight to go treasure hunting.

indoor physical activities for toddlers-young girl playing hide and seek under a table
Play Physical Games Like Hide And Seek

discovery building sets-play-icon-symbol Parachute (blanket or sheet) Play

This activity helps shake out the sillies and is great for gross motor development. They can shake the parachute fast or slow, put a ball or a stuffed animal in the middle, and bounce it around. For added enjoyment, let your child sit in the middle while you bounce the ball or shake the parachute.

discovery building sets-play-icon-symbol Play Physical Games

You know the classic childhood games you used to play? For example, “Follow The Leader,” “Simon Says,” “Ring Around the Rosie,” “Red Light, Green Light,” or “Hide And Seek” may be played indoors or out.

Looking for more ways of keeping toddlers busy indoors? Try one of these 25+ Gross Motor Activities.

Indoor Sports For Toddlers

Many outdoor sports may be adapted for indoor play. Set up one of these for some fun indoor activities for busy toddlers.

discovery building sets-play-icon-symbol Indoor Bowling

Stack or set up recycled plastic water bottles, plastic cups, or empty boxes for a quick and easy bowling game. For a more detailed approach, you can create bowling lanes with painter’s tape.

discovery building sets-play-icon-symbol Balloon Badminton Or Volleyball

Blow up some balloons, then bounce them back and forth over a net (create a line on the floor with painter’s tape.) You can also use a timer to see how long they can keep the balloons off the ground.

discovery building sets-play-icon-symbol Indoor Mini Golf

Build a course using empty toilet paper rolls, boxes, and blocks. Build it according to your child’s abilities, including tunnels, walls, and obstacles to bounce the ball off. Then let your little one try pushing a ball (ping pong balls work great) through the course with an empty paper towel roll.

discovery building sets-play-icon-symbol Indoor Basketball

All you need is a waste paper basket or bin (laundry basket) and some balls for your toddler. If you do not have any balls that you can use to “shoot” baskets, then just roll up sheets of newspaper into balls. Let them try shooting baskets from different lengths. Have them see how many baskets they can make in a timed period.

Rainy Day Crafts For Toddlers

Keep on hand an art box that holds washable markers, paint sticks, crayons, reuseable stickers, glue, lots of paper, added bling like buttons, craft sticks, feathers, pom poms, googly eyes, and pipe cleaners for impromptu indoor crafts for kids. 

discovery building sets-play-icon-symbol Build Cardboard Box Creations

Do you have leftover shipping boxes and wondering what to do with them? Let your toddler use them to create houses, roads, cities, zoos, parks, trains, planes, ramps, or boats. Add toy people, animals, and cars for your toddler to get busy playing.

rainy day crafts for toddlers-toddler boy playing in his cardboard creation plane
Use Cardboard Boxes To Create Planes, Trains and Automobiles

discovery building sets-play-icon-symbol Create A Mural

Let your toddler choose a theme, such as under the sea, outer space, or someplace completely imaginary. Then roll out a large piece of white paper, add washable markers, crayons, paint sticks, and other art supplies you have around.

discovery building sets-play-icon-symbol Make A Lifesize Portrait

Trace your toddler’s outline on a large sheet of paper. Then let them create and decorate their own self-portrait.

discovery building sets-play-icon-symbol Make And Play With Playdough

discovery building sets-play-icon-symbol Cook Or Bake With Your Toddler

Children love to help in the kitchen. Invite them to help you make their snack or bake some cookies. Keep activities age-appropriate, like stirring the batter or cutting out the cookies.

discovery building sets-play-icon-symbol Seasonal Themed Crafts

Toddlers enjoy simple crafts, so why not gather up some supplies and let your toddler get engrossed in the season. For Spring, think Easter, Passover, Earth Day, May Day, Cinco de Mayo, Mother’s Day, or Father’s Day.

Fine motor activities, by their very nature, make great inside activities for toddlers. Check out this post on 25+ Fun and Helpful Fine Motor Activities.

Musical Activities

Music brings a level of joy that not only kids love but adults too. So, turn on some music and enjoy these indoor activities for toddlers.

indoor activities for toddlers-musical activities-young toddler girl and father enjoying a dance party
Father-Daughter Dance Party

discovery building sets-play-icon-symbol Dance Party

This is one of our favorite activities that requires no prep! Just put on some music and let the moves begin. For a really special treat, add some glow sticks or homemade musical instruments.

discovery building sets-play-icon-symbol Musical Chairs

This is a classic and so easily incorporated with things to do indoors with toddlers.

Block Activities

Blocks offer some of the best indoor activities for toddlers. We have sampled just a few below. Want to see more, have a look at this post on Simple Block Activities For Toddlers

blocks activities-young toddler girl playing with blocks, cars and other toys in a playroom
Simple Block Activities For Toddlers And Preschoolers

discovery building sets-play-icon-symbol Obstacle Course With Giant Building Blocks

Create an obstacle course with giant building blocks and other items found around the house. Use things like chairs, pillows, hula hoops, or cones for added fun. 

discovery building sets-play-icon-symbol Wooden Building Blocks Tower Competitions

Wooden building blocks are a household classic. Use your blocks to engage in fun block tower competitions. Try to build the tallest, the most creative, or the one that uses the most blocks. Use a timer and see who can make the tallest tower before the timer goes off. 

discovery building sets-play-icon-symbol Playing With Magnets

Playing with magnets or magnetic building toys are fun things to do with toddlers. Enjoy these 8 Fun Activities For Toddlers.

playing with magnets-toddler girl playing with magnetic building toys
Playing With Magnets: 8 Fun Activities For Toddlers

discovery building sets-play-icon-symbol Edible Engineering Activities

What toddler doesn’t enjoy playing with their food?  Set up a workspace with some round food items like grapes, marshmallows, or seasonal gummy candy with some dry spaghetti noodles or toothpicks and let them build away. Take a look here for more Easy STEM Activities For Toddlers.

Imaginative Play

Pretend play or imaginative play is one of the best indoor activities for toddlers. You can light up their world with the following indoor play ideas. Fortunately, there is no “right way” for dramatic play to take shape; just let your toddler take the lead.

imaginative play-toddler girl engaged in pretend play with her bear
Imaginative Play, Helps Your Toddler Practices Caring And Empathy.

discovery building sets-play-icon-symbol Indoor Camping

Do you have a small tent you could set up in your family room or your toddlers’ bedroom? If not, you could use the fort you created above and go pretend camping. Get out a sleeping bag, make smores (in the oven or fireplace), and tell stories around the “campfire.”

discovery building sets-play-icon-symbol Indoor Picnic

Another simple but easy way to make your toddlers day! Spread out a blanket and let them have a special “picnic” lunch or snack.

discovery building sets-play-icon-symbol Build A Fort

Nothing makes for more fun than a secret fort. Help your toddler build their own special hideout with a table and sheet or blanket placed over the top. So simple but so memorable!

indoor things to do with a toddler-mother and toddler playing under a blanket fort
Enjoying A Memorable Blanket Fort

Try a few of these other imaginative play ideas for your toddler.

discovery building sets-play-icon-symbol Bakery, Coffee, Pizza or Ice Cream Shop

Kids love pretending to make and eat their favorite foods. Use the cookies you baked earlier, make some “coffee,” and set up shop. Let them use different colored playdough and build ice cream cones. Cut up some cardboard circles for pizzas and let them decorate with “toppings.”

discovery building sets-play-icon-symbol Grocery Store

Create a grocery store using items from the pantry. Or let them make their own groceries out of empty boxes. You can also create a grocery list and have them shop for the items to bake cookies.

Let them choose, but what about a Doctor, Veterinarian, or Dentist’s Office?

How about other community places like the Dad’s Office, Library, Hair Salon, Post Office, or School?

pretend play-young toddler girl pretending to be a superhero

Maybe they would like to pretend to be a pirate, fairy, princess, superhero, astronaut, mermaid, or animal?

Whatever strikes their fancy, help them find a few household items to start the imagination and creativity.

Quiet Activities For Toddlers

So you have had a busy morning, and now you are looking for some quiet indoor activities for toddlers. Here are the ones we use regularly.

discovery building sets-play-icon-symbol Sensory Bin Ideas For Toddlers

Important Safety Note: If your toddler still puts things into their mouth, please do not attempt this activity. Should you choose to engage in this activity, please supervise your toddler the entire time to ensure that nothing ends up in your toddler’s mouth, as it could pose a choking hazard.

These are wonderful activities to keep on hand for both indoor and outdoor play. You can make the bins in various themes and bring them out just when you need them most! Sensory bins can be messy, so cover the play area with an inexpensive shower curtain liner or old table cloth. When finished, just pick up the corners and pour any spills back into the bin.

  • Try collecting toddler-safe items from around the house all in one color. Like a red building block, a red spatula, and a red ball. Then encourage play and exploration.
  • Fill one with cotton balls, spoons, and cups, then let them create a white wonderland.
  • Fill with dried beans, pasta, rice, oats, or cereal. Add a variety of spoons, cups, and kitchen tools, then let your toddler play.
  • This one requires pre-planning. Prepare ice cubes and pour them into the bin with some water, spoons, and bowls to make “soup.” You could also freeze little surprises into the cubes so when they melt, the container has some fun toys to enjoy.

discovery building sets-play-icon-symbol Puzzles, Board, or Card Games

Keep on hand a few special puzzles or games that you only bring out for those much-needed breaks. Spend quality time together, winding down before nap or bedtime.

quiet activities for toddlers-toddler girl playing with a puzzle
Simple Language Activities

discovery building sets-play-icon-symbol Reading and Storytelling

These are one of our favorite easy indoor activities for toddlers. We love to read stories, and even more fun is creating our own. Let your toddler choose the subject, for example, dolphins. Then you start; after a few sentences, ask your toddler what happens next? Continue building by using questions to prompt your toddler.

Looking for additional activities that support language development? Explore these Simple Language Activities

Indoor Water Activities For Toddlers

Water is always so soothing for toddlers and can occupy them for quite some time. Fill the bathtub or a large sensory tub (remember the shower curtain liner underneath), and the possibilities become endless.

  • Include some bubbles and let them wash their “toys.”
  • Drop-in some containers for pouring activities.
  • Add water-safe blocks and see what they build.
  • Tape pool noodles to the wall and let them pour water through.

When stuck inside all day or even for days on end, it can be challenging with a busy toddler. Use one or more of these inside activities for toddlers to keep them happy and occupied.

inside activities for toddlers-mother and daughter enjoying a tea party with stuffed animal friends
Enjoying A Cup Of Tea With Mommy And Friends

So, which of these fun things to do indoors with toddlers will you try today?

 

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