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25 Indoor Activities to Keep Your Toddler Occupied This Winter

Jell-O Excavation at TinkerLab

When cold weather sets in, we spend more and more time indoors. Sure, we aim to get outside for at least a bit each day—maybe for a walk or for some snow play if there’s some new snow, but for the most part we’re in the house. My indoor standbys are reading stories, baking, and getting out the art supplies. Those are all great ways to spend time together indoors, but in preparation for this winter, I’ve been compiling a longer list of ideas to do with my toddler. Some of these I’ve done in the past with my older daughter when she was younger; most I found around the web.

Now I feel prepared. Bring on the winter!

25 indoor activities to try with toddlers:

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  • Make a Face Magnetic Tin 1 of 25
    Make a Face Magnetic Tin
    Kids can have fun mixing and matching magnetic noses, eyes, and mouths for funny faces.
    On a girl and a glue gun
  • Color Scavenger Hunt 2 of 25
    Color Scavenger Hunt
    Send your little ones off on an easy scavenger hunt around the house that helps them learn their colors.
    On The Artful Parent
  • Play with Water Beads 3 of 25
    Play with Water Beads
    Let your toddlers explore and play with these beautiful, expanding water beads.
    On TinkerLab
  • Hallway Hopscotch 4 of 25
    Hallway Hopscotch
    Use masking tape to make your own hallway hopscotch and let the kiddos burn off some excess energy.
    On The Artful Parent
  • Ice Cube Boats 5 of 25
    Ice Cube Boats
    These tiny ice cube boats skate along in a shallow bath for indoor water fun.
    On El hada de papel
  • Bathtub Puffy Paint 6 of 25
    Bathtub Puffy Paint
    Put your toddler in the bathtub and let her play with this homemade puffy paint. All you need is soap, food coloring (or liquid watercolors), and water.
    On Chalk in My Pocket
  • Make Cloud Blots 7 of 25
    Make Cloud Blots
    Try this paint blot art activity, inspired by the children's book, It Looked Like Spilt Milk and have fun deciding what your blots look like.
    On A Mom with a Lesson Plan
  • Jell-O Excavation 8 of 25
    Jell-O Excavation
    How fun would this be for a toddler?! Find and excavate toy animals from a Jell-O mold.
    On TinkerLab
  • DIY Paint with Water Pages 9 of 25
    DIY Paint with Water Pages
    Draw with watercolor pencils then paint over with water and a paintbrush. Easy peasy.
    On Frugal Family Fun
  • Prepare for Play Dates 10 of 25
    Prepare for Play Dates
    Ideas for preparing for an indoor play date.
    On Childhood 101
  • Try an Easy Science Experiment 11 of 25
    Try an Easy Science Experiment
    All you need is some milk, food coloring, and liquid dish soap for this beautiful toddler-friendly science experiment.
    On The Artful Parent
  • Clothespin Wreath 12 of 25
    Clothespin Wreath
    Your toddler will be practicing fine motor skills while making this nifty clothespin wreath.
    On A Childhood List
  • Walk the Balance Beam 13 of 25
    Walk the Balance Beam
    Encourage balance and coordination with a low indoor balance beam. This post has several ideas for practicing gross motor skills indoors.
    On No Time for Flash Cards
  • Make (and Play with) Playdough 14 of 25
    Make (and Play with) Playdough
    Even little kids can help measure and mix to make their own playdough. This candy cane version has glitter and peppermint essential oils for an extra sensory experience.
    On The Artful Parent
  • Build Indoor Forts 15 of 25
    Build Indoor Forts
    Turn newspapers from the recycle bin into indoor play structures!
    On Frugal Family Fun
  • Paint with Water 16 of 25
    Paint with Water
    Need a low- to no-mess art activity? Let your toddler paint with water on a chalkboard.
    On The Artful Parent
  • Erupt a Volcano 17 of 25
    Erupt a Volcano
    Create an impromptu kid-sized volcano and erupt it on the kitchen table.
    On The Artful Parent
  • Make Your Own Cloud Dough 18 of 25
    Make Your Own Cloud Dough
    Try this super easy recipe for cloud dough that will keep your tots entertained for a good, long time.
    On TinkerLab
  • Play Grocery Store 19 of 25
    Play Grocery Store
    Encourage pretend play by helping your kiddos set up a grocery store using a mix of real and pretend foods.
    On No Time for Flash Cards
  • Q-Tip Pointillism 20 of 25
    Q-Tip Pointillism
    Set out Q-tips, paint, and paper for this easy pointillism activity that toddlers can do.
    On The Artful Parent
  • DIY Playscape Table 21 of 25
    DIY Playscape Table
    This cars and trucks table was created with some paints and an inexpensive coffee table. I especially love the off ramp for zooming cars down to the floor!
    On Honest to Nod
  • Color Mixing for Tots 22 of 25
    Color Mixing for Tots
    A rainbow-in-a-bag color mixing project that is great fun for little ones.
    On The Artful Parent
  • Cardboard Dollhouse 23 of 25
    Cardboard Dollhouse
    This cardboard dollhouse couldn't be simpler to construct, and kids can paint it themselves.
    On El hada de papel via ohdeedoh
  • Contact Paper Suncatchers 24 of 25
    Contact Paper Suncatchers
    There are so many things you can stick to contact paper to make easy toddler suncatchers: tissue paper, ribbons, confetti, yarn, bits of nature...
    On The Artful Parent
  • Blow Fish Toy 25 of 25
    Blow Fish Toy
    Make this super simple blow fish toy out of paper, string, and a straw. Make two and have a race!
    On made by joel

 

Read more of Jean’s writing at The Artful Parent.
And don’t miss a post! Follow Jean on Twitter and Facebook!

 

How about cooking with your toddler? You can make mini fruit gelatin molds together.

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