The leaves are falling and the temperatures are dropping. The big kids are back at school, but for you and your toddler, this is the end of long summer days at the park and taking walks, and the beginning of cold weather, indoor activities. Here are four ideas for indoor activities you can do with your toddler that will keep you sane, your toddler happy, and the television off!
Arts and Crafts
Arts and crafts are a great (although somewhat messy!) way to keep little ones busy. A great and affordable way to do this is a stash a bin or box in the kitchen or playroom. Start it off with some construction paper, glue, crayons, and yarn, and then add to it as you find things around the house. Kids can make art projects out of newspaper, egg cartons, shoeboxes…you name it. A great thing about arts and crafts is that it can be structured or a free for all. If you have the time, you can look up some sample age-appropriate crafts online, and work with your child to make something. Or, simply open the box, give them some materials, and step back. You might be surprised by the creativity (and mess!) that results.
Hide and Seek
Hide and seek is a great game to play with little ones. They can practice their counting, and never seem to tire of the surprise of finding you, or being found. Don’t be surprised, though, if your little one hides in the same spot every time! Encourage them to change hiding places, or to hide in a different room of the house each time.
Little ones love to build. Break out the blocks, legos, whatever you’ve got, and start building. Build castles, towns, train stations…anything their imagination comes up with. You can practice role-paying different characters and encourage creative play in your child. You can also build forts with a few kitchen chairs and blankets. Your little one will think you’re a genius!
Little ones love the kitchen! Baking and cooking are great ways to pass the time, and teach your child about nutrition, time, counting, and measuring. Simple recipes, such as banana bread, easy cakes, and cookies are usually good choices.
So parent, don’t despair that the calendar pages are turning and the winter is coming. Those long cold days can be daunting, but they call also be full of fun if you try some of these ideas.