We have two weeks off for the holidays, and of course, it is cold and rainy outside. The need for fun indoor activities for toddlers is quickly becoming a lifeline around here!
Crafts, toys and tv time are awesome, but some of the best ways to bust boredom is to get moving! But if you really want some cute coloring pages for your toddler, check out these printable Easter activity pages.
Apart from just keeping the kids entertained, studies have found that being physically active can help improve cognitive abilities and academic behavior in toddlers.
Now that doesn’t mean we have to fill our days with grand plans of epic indoor adventures, but having a running list of easy ideas makes those days where it feels like 5pm, but it’s really only 9:30am, a little easier.
So whether your little one is stuck indoors on a rainy day or you are drawing a blank, try some of these physical activities out!
Fun + Easy Indoor Activities for Toddlers to Burn Energy
Sure, you can’t have a solid ball ramming into every object in the living room, but you can definitely put a fully blown balloon to use!
My girls love balloons and will chase and play with them for longer than most of their toys.
Some of our favorite ways to play is to kick, hit or bump the balloon to the other person. Charlie like to see how fancy she can get by doing different moves or hitting it with different body parts and then giving it a name.
You can create a “net” with pillows or a blanket on the floor and play balloon volleyball seated too.
Setting up an obstacle course using pillows, toys, and other random items in your home is super easy, and lots of fun with too!
Set up a line of toys to step over or around, stack of cushions for your little one to climb over and have an empty cardboard box for him to climb into or through- the possibilities for fun with this one are endless!
Let your child design the course as well, and have them be the leader (so you do it the right way of course!)
Hide & Seek
Playing hide and seek with your toddler is another fun way to get him/her engaged in a bit of physical activity while indoors.
At first, keep it simple with your arm or leg visible, and aid them by clearing your throat or making an obvious noise to help you find you.
My oldest started loving Hide & Seek when she was two-years-old, and she used to choose whichever spot I chose as her next spot.
I made it a game so she would have to climb onto or under things when possible to get her moving even more! She caught on to how I would pretend to not see her fairly quickly, but instead of getting mad now she just pretends not to see me too sometimes!
Stretching & Exercises
Stretching and exercising can be a super fun physical activity for your toddler if you make it fun like anything else. Plus, it is a great way to build healthy habits for a lifetime.
Do them with your toddler, and make it a little fun by playing some upbeat music in the background.
You can take turns showing off exercises and be sure to encourage and do whatever they demonstrate (no matter how silly it is) to help them continue to enjoy it and grow in their confidence.
Remember, the goal isn’t perfect form, it is just getting moving and gaining awareness about their bodies.
Scavenger hunts are super interesting and a fun way to keep toddlers engaged and active. There are many different ways you can approach the game.
Try hiding some toys or items in various places around the house and offer your little one clues to find them. You can also take it up a notch by creating puzzles centered around the clues for older toddlers.
Or try giving your child a basket and ask them to find and collect a certain number of things in different categories around the house. This could be little toys, items of a certain color or shape, or something with certain characteristics (like soft, can wear, etc).
Looking for a pre-made scavenger hunt? We received this one for Christmas and the cards are really great! There are scavenger hunts for indoors, outdoors and for road trips.
Who says yoga is just for adults? Mindfulness and learning to calm and listen to the body is so important for kids too. I teach yoga to all my students, even the kindergartners, and Charlie loves trying new moves as well.
You can also get your toddler to try a little yoga- simple poses and breathing exercises are a great way to get started.
This early exposure to yoga can actually benefit them a lot on the physical as well as emotional level. Deep breathing is a good way to help a child work through tantrums or when they feel upset, just ask Daniel Tiger!
Take turns trying to balance different items on your heads or other parts of the body.
Studies have found how practicing balancing can help improve cognitive skills and boost your toddler’s awareness about his/her body.
While books might seem like a good place to start, they are actually pretty slippery and heavy for kids.
Start with other items that are easily shaped, such as a beanbag or deflated ball, or even a piece of clothing, to provide success opportunities before attempting more difficult items. You can even use the balloons from the earlier games!
Remember how fun it was to play Twister as a kid? Now imagine watching your child giggle in delight while toppling over! Twister is a fun way to get moving and see if all that stretching is making you more flexible.
You don’t need to purchase the game though if on a budget. A shower curtain from the dollar store and some paint, markers or construction paper works just fine as well. Forget the spinner and take turns calling things out!
This activity is great for crossing the mid-line, improving eye-hand and eye-foot coordination, and working on balance and color recognition.
This is my daughter’s favorite! Take all of the pillows in the room, including back couch cushions or other soft items, and pile them up next to the couch.
Younger toddlers can climb over and all throughout the pile, while older or more daredevil little ones can jump from the couch to the pile.
My daughter thinks having a rallying cry is a necessity while jumping, but that part is optional :).
One of my favorite ways to encourage gross motor development in infants and young children is to set up a tunnel. They provide tons of entertainment for kids, especially if they have a sibling they can chase!
Try rolling different objects through the tunnel, placing items inside for your toddler to play with, or making a game out of blocking an exit and racing to the other side.
We love our collapsible tunnel from IKEA, but any tunnel off Amazon works just fine.
Intricate crafts, hands-on sensory experience, and fun cooking projects are great to do at home, but sometimes you just need a few easy to implement on the spur of the moment.
Next time your kids are showing signs of toys fatigue or are stuck inside due to weather, try playing ones of these super simple indoor activities!