Author Topic: Indoor activity ideas for those cold winter days  (Read 3434 times)

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Offline Erin M

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Indoor activity ideas for those cold winter days
« on: March 24, 2015, 23:51:28 pm »
Here is a list of ideas taken from posts for what to do with your little ones on those awful days when it's too cold (or even too hot!) to get outside and play:
  • mini trampoline - bounce away, with or without music
  • indoor bowling - make your own with a ball and empty soda bottles
  • make an obstacle course in the living room with pillows, laundry basket, etc.  stuff they have to climb over, crawl through, etc.
  • putting on a music video and getting some instruments and dancing and singing
  • take them to the store -- even if you have nothing to buy, kids can run free where there's lots of space
  • Hide and Go seek, Mums turn, LO's turn. Then take turns hiding a favorite toy around the house and go running around looking for him.
  • Jumping course- use computer mouse pads-cheap ones from IKEA and put them down on the floor and jump form pad to pad.  Then we jump over things, like small plastic bowls or cushions.
  • Hopscotch-Use masking tape on the kitchen floor and put numbers in each box and practice jumping/hopping and saying the numbers - you can use a big flat rubber plug stopper from the sink and let LO throw it on the numbers too.
  • Balloons-Keep up, kicking, chasing etc...
  • Beach balls and foam Frisbees-throwing and catching etc...
  • Bubbles-Gymboree bubbles are the best and great for indoors, not sticky or a mess and safe for furniture. Try to catch bubbles on various body parts, of course tummy and tongue are big hits.(they are non toxic and sweet to taste) - give LO plastic cups to try and catch the bubbles or a ladle or a spoon to catch them.
  • Building Forts - pile couch cushions, pillows, towels etc...and make a fort, knock it down, go in it etc...
  • Animals - pretend to be different animals and walk and make the sounds like them.
  • Bed Sheet Tug of War-you can let LO win and pretend to go flying forward and always fall down for a good laugh on the bed or something
  • Gymnastics- Wheelbarrow walks, handstands with feet on the couch and hands on the floor, somersaults etc..all with parent help of course.
  • Stomach Wheel rides-use a small wooden dolly (type for moving small furniture pieces) or one a little wheeled scooter boards - LO can lay on his stomach and "swim" around the floor pumping with arms and feet
  • Towel or Blanket rides- give LO a short ride as he sits on a towel or blanket and then leave him to do it with his stuffed animals all around the floor.
  • Bath-I let LO go "swimming" in the bath and play. You can take out his regular toys and bring in things like strainers, ladles, kitchen stuff to play with.
  • I stick animals,numbers ,letters e.t.c in one area of the house ( fridge ) and stand the other end and LO has to run to the fridge and get whichever picture parent asks for and run back and stick it on the radiator - great way to encourage speech development as well!
  • stickers - give LO a sheet of stickers and let them stick them on parent's shirt, pants, or on designated areas - by making yourself a moving target, both you and the kids get some exercise
  • turn off all the lights and give LOs flash lights and let them run around the house like crazy
  • Hullabaloo by Cranium
  • Find all the balls in the house and throw them in this laundry basket, try to beat the timer, etc.
  • visit the library
  • blow up swimming pool filled with balls = ball pit
  • spoon and egg game  -  walk across the room with a spoon   and  hope your plastic egg doesn't fall  off.
  • tunnels
  • tents
  • Mother, May I?, Red Light Green Light, and Simon Says
  • parade - use flags, instruments, etc
  • MATTRESS!!!!!!!!! Bring your big or little (cot size) mattress(preferably inner spring) into the living area jump on it -  jump off the couches and drive onto the mattress (extra energy exerted from climbing onto couch!)
  • push two couches almost together and put a mattress over the top and drap blankets down to make doors - it makes a great tunnel that LOs can push toys through
  • Well cooked and cooled long spaghetti to play with
  • A bowl on a towel and little jugs or bath toys
  • A collection of toilet rolls and paper towel rolls to blow through and roll small balls down (supervised!)
  • Small jars with different things in them to shake
  • A large towel and a large bowl of uncooked rice and small cups to scoop it with
  • Emptying a bottom kitchen drawer and filling it with 'surprise' things such as a packet of pasta or measuring spoons
  • Pegs and the indoor clothes horse - cover the bottom rungs in pegs for LO to pull off
  • Plain yoghurt on high chair with tiny drops of food colouring dotted over - as LO moves his hands through it colour appears and he can draw with it
  • A bowl of coloured water and little bowls of plain water
  • Cooked peas on a mirror on the floor
  • A box of metal objects and a box of wooden objects (found around the house!) to explore
  • 'we are a toddler band' marching through the house singing and playing instruments (DS tends to run so gets more exercise), we finish each verse at the music box and swap instruments so the next verse is different
  • As above but 'grand old duke of York' and get our knees up as high as possible whilst marching
  • catch tig, running from living room to kitchen, often a bit of rough housing involved with the tig too
  • carrying bottles of mineral water from the kitchen to the living room and putting in a designated 'area', then carrying them back (toddlers love to carry and test their strength!)
  • walking (or running) the line.  I put a long masking tape line on the floor from the living room through the hall into the kitchen and made it into a big spiral on the kitchen floor
  • long distance shape sorting - mark out several big shapes of masking tape on the kitchen floor.  In the living room I provided a big box of plastic cookie cutters of various shapes.  DS has to run to the living room to find the shape I've called out then run back and place it in the correct corresponding area.  Then call out another shape and so on.  This can also be done for colour sorting, stick down A4 or bigger pieces of coloured paper to mark out the areas then provide the same cookie cutters or other toys for placing.  The idea is to put the box at a distance from the sorting area so there is lots of to and fro.
  • balancing. DS climbs up on my knees and balances, it's a reasonably calm activity but takes a lot of energy (and here results in some rolling around and rough housing too which is always good to tire him out)
  • a square of fabric pinned onto arm-sleeves to make a super hero cape and race one another around the house pretending to fly
  • Human sized board game
    I made a set of 12 numbered cards with 1-6 having also a square drawn on and marked with dots like dice.  Each card had a sticker as a clue what the instruction was plus an instruction, eg a frog, and "do 10 frog jumps and make the sound of a frog"; a dog "crawl on all fours, wag your tail and bark like a dog"; jump around like a monkey; fly like a butterfly; do 5 star jumps and sing a song about a star etc. Then set the cards out in a trail from the kitchen to the living room, as an assault course climbing over chairs etc. I used a little masking tape to keep the cards in place whilst we played.  We took turns to roll the dice, and take our move physically (jumping through the numbers up to the number on the dice), DS had to do all the instructions no matter whose turn it was!
    We played both with 1 dice and with 2 and for this session we began at zero for each turn rather than counting on and trying to get to a 'finish' so there was no competition,  no winner or loser, no one had to stand on a card to mark their place and it was easier to focus on the physical activity.  For older kids a longer course with more cards and a start and finish might be worth including
  • snowball fights with loofahs
  • pile the sofa cushions up and make a slide. We also put the cot mattress on the bottom of the stairs to slide down on

Many thanks to the posters on this thread (Physical Activity (To Tire Out) When Cold/Dark Outside - Ideas?) who originally contributed all of these amazing ideas!

Feel free to add more ideas by replying to this post!
« Last Edit: March 24, 2015, 23:53:29 pm by Erin M »