Whether it’s raining, snowing or too hot, there is a time of year for all corners of the world that we search for things to do indoors with our kids. All that energy has to go somewhere, and if we can’t direct it then our furniture, walls, and sanity will suffer the consequences. Here’s a list of Roo and my favorite things to do indoors, plus some more ideas from some friends!
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I actually have to limit the number of books we read at bedtime. Roo could listen to me read all night. When I need to redirect her attention to something more quiet, reading is my go-to indoor activity. If my voice gets tired, I pull up an audiobook for her to listen to.
Often I’ll read a book that has something to do with an upcoming activity. Check out my post on books for kids to develop creativity to read before craft-time!
As a dance instructor, you would think this would be my favorite indoor activity. But sometimes it’s really hard to summon up the energy to get the party started; especially on a cold rainy day. Still, dance parties are a great way to burn up some energy and calories too. Using an active game consol like the Kinect to get started is really fun. Roo is too young, short, and uncoordinated to do well at the dance style games, but she has fun boogieing next to mommy.
Want more ideas to get active indoors? Check out this Post at happysciencemom!
It’s no secret that Roo and I love crafting. It’s the whole basis for this blog! Making crafts is a perfect thing to do indoors to make snow days pass quickly by. For some ideas, check out my pinterest where I have a whole kid crafts board divided into age groups, or read this post including our 15 favorite crafts from 2018!
Crafts can be a fun indoor activity for toddlers too. This post from Sweetie and Geek talks about how crafting with toddlers promotes fine motor skills and includes a perfect craft for a rainy day.
Toddler Specific Supplies:
I remember this as a favorite thing to do indoors when I was a kid. As an adult, I struggle getting around the noisiness of it all, but can stuff cotton in my ears if it means I get to see this smile.
Music to babies, toddlers, and preschoolers can be as simple as banging on pots and pans with spoons. Stretch a rubber band and have them strum it. Shakers are easy to make and a big hit with this age group.
Older kids can practice on a real instrument if you have one, or use a music game or app.
Here’s a post from Toot’s Mom Is Tired about a musical toy to teach your preschooler about music.
Baking is another favorite thing to do indoors in our house. Roo likes to dump, pour, scoop, and mix everything. I enjoy setting up my camera and having everything premeasured for her so she can do a cooking show for our Facebook followers. It’s adorable and I get way too much amusement out of it.
There is no way to bake sweets without tasting, so there’s the enevitable sugar rush and crash that comes as a side effect. If you are as strict about sweets as I am, you can try baking something like bread instead. Or let your kids experiment with their own recipes. Give them water, flour, and some levening agent and see what they come up with. It’s messy, but they will learn a lot about cause and effect and how the baking process works.
Of course, the best thing to bake is cookie. Here’s another post from Sweetie and Geek about learning with cookies!
I’ve bought Roo a teepee, a pop up tent, a tunnel, and a mosquito net curtain. But nothing tops an old fashioned pillow fort! (But they do make the occasional appearance in our forts and man are those forts impressive!)
This indoor activity can be as adult hands on as you want. Older kids especially love building (and tearing down) the forts themselves. Younger kids will need a little assistance first then start to get the idea. Once built the fort can be rebuilt, or they can bring toys or books inside and entertain themselves.
Sometimes our pillow forts turn into obstacle courses. Using the pillows and cushions as crash pads, Roo will have to climb, crawl, and jump over various obstacles. Also, you can use the whole house with a laser yarn hallway. Hang strings from the ceiling with tape and attach paper shapes or envelopes they have to jump for. Place painter’s tape on the floor for them to balance on. Use placemats for them to hop around like frogs on lilly pads.
You can hold contests with older kids to see how quickly they can get through the obstacle course. Or have siblings race one another through the course.
This is a a great thing to do indoors that burns up a lot of energy!
Another indoor activity that can go hand in hand with the pillow fort. After they are tired from the obstacle course and the pillow fort is rebuilt, bring a lap top inside the fort and have a movie night. Next, pop some popcorn and other snack, watch an adventure story movie and grab some snuggles while you’re there.
Make Up Stories
If you don’t like the idea of screen time, especially when we are trying to get the kids to bed soon, trying helping the kids make up their own stories. You can take turns telling stories. Or tell a silly story together by switch who’s turn it is one sentence at a time.
Sometimes your kids need more promting. Try adding some Story Stones to help promt their imagination. Click the link to see how to make them and how to use them for story telling aids.
This doesn’t sound nearly as fun, but a day stuck indoors can be the perfect excuse to get some cleaning done around the house. Have the kids help and make it fun. Give each of them a similar task like dusting a room, then see who can finish first. Next can it pass the mom test? Get kids involved with going through old clothes and toys to donate. Even babies and toddlers can help dust and clean the floors!
Need even more ideas? Here’s a great post from Toot’s Mom Is Tired about toddler indoor activities that have little to no prep!
Do you want to get out of the house even though it’s yucky outside? Digital Mom has some ideas for things to keep the kids entertained both indoors and out!
What’s your favorite way to pass a yucky day indoors?
Don’t forget one of the best things to do on a rainy or snowy day:
GET OUT AND PLAY IN IT!
Just dress appropriately and have towels and warm showers ready to go when the kids are done.