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How to have indoor fun with your toddler this winter

Updated on August 22, 2016

Brrr it’s cold outside. We’ve all had to welcome the chilly winter days that keep us cooped up in the house among tight quarters with our kids. They want to play but you’ve run out of ideas and steam trying to figure out how to keep them entertained. Don’t feel helpless; we all suffer from the same exhaustion. Here are a few tips and resources on indoor fun to help you get through the next few months.

1. The computer is an outlet for indoor fun and learning. There are numerous ABC games that don’t require a lot of keyboard mechanics for infants and toddlers. Try sesamestreet.org or fisherprice.com, click games and activities/ABC zoo game. In addition, other sites like youtube.com provide learning opportunities for any subject with your super vision. For instance, watch volcanoes, fire trucks, or the rodeo.

2. Visit Fisher-price.com. Click play and development on the toolbar, there you’ll find the appropriate age for your child. About half way down the page is the play and learn family activities guide. In addition to explaining what your child is presently learning, the site lists ideas, games, and activities you can play together. Be prepared with pen and paper, it’s a real life saver.

3. Your friends and family are another resource because they all have what your kids like…toys. My best gal pal and I swap a few toys every once in a while to keep things fresh. After a few weeks we swap back. Do the same swap with books. Just remember you choose the toys that stay or go.

4. Wishing for warmer weather is another fun way to brighten up indoor play. My family and I regularly have picnic lunches on a blanket in the living room. All the food is prepared ahead of time and we eat under umbrellas talking about fun in the sun. If you use tea sets or pitchers with water, kids will sit on the blanket and practice pouring.

5. Pre-school children love to learn. Try hiding foam letters or numbers around the room. They have sticky backs, so have the child place them on a piece of construction paper as they’re found. Focus on one letter a day by hiding up to ten of the same letter and talking about its shape and sound. The exercise can be repeated with numbers. The foam supplies are available at craft stores.

6. Baking is not everyone’s forte. But, kids love bowls, mixing, and being with you in the kitchen. There are limitless possibilities to cut preparation time in half and get to the fun part –decorating. Ready to cook dough cookies are delicious, especially paired with a can of creamy frosting and sprinkles. If you like to bake, sugar cookie cut-outs aren’t just for Christmas. Make cookie memories any day of the year. Cupcakes and rice krispy treats put a smile on everyone’s face. Or for a twist, use Fruity Pebbles cereal instead of the traditional rice cereal. If you have a child size table and chair set, using it in the kitchen can be safer than having kids stretching over the counter.

7. Creative arts and crafts are always popular. Together, color lunch sacs to look like puppets and place them on your hands for a chat. Start a conversation with your puppets like what you ate for breakfast. They will think it’s a crack up.

8. Imagination is the best creative tool to use anywhere. Get a sheet and pull the kids around the house on it, pretending it’s a pirate ship or magic carpet. Make believe you’re a frog and leap from pillow to pillow.

9. If you need a quick game to get them laughing, play a few rounds of ‘Ring around the Rosie’s’ or ‘Motorboat.’

Now take a breather and sip a hot cup of coffee, because you’re prepared for a long winter.

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    • Kate Spenser profile image

      Kate Spenser 

      7 years ago from Austin, TX

      These are some great ideas! They could also be very helpful to those who live in really warm places in the summer - I know during Texas summers it's great to have plenty of indoor activities on hand for the days it is just too hot to go outside.

    • rwelton profile image

      rwelton 

      7 years ago from Sacramento CA

      Ischow - good tips. I have 4 kids and indoor fun was always s challenge in bad weather. I found that a large cardboard box, marker pens, measuring and wooden spoons, clothes pins and stickers lasted for hours and for 'no' money.

      rlw

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