Hi, I’m Brandi!
I blog over at Crunchy Creamy Mama (www.crunchycreamymama.com) regularly writing about healthy eating and living, with a dash of healthy failures thrown in for fun. Today I’m very thankful to have the opportunity to guest post here!
My family is very fortunate to live in Southern California where the weather is generally nice enough to be outside. However, winter colds still seem to find us and require us to stay inside, and in December it can be dark outside as early as 4:30 PM, so we need to have plenty of indoor activities to keep the kids occupied. (I do realize you may not be feeling sorry for me that we have to be inside by 4:30 PM, especially if you live an area where you get three feet of snow. Please stay with me.)
Here are some favorite indoor activities for the little ones:
- Play with water!For my littlest one, I put some water in a baking dish he can’t lift and put him on top of a towel or blanket on the tile floor. He loves to splash his hands in the water. I give him plastic measuring cups, spoons, utensils, and ice cubes to play around with in the water.
Make sure this activity is always supervised since it involves children around water.
Older kids may not be as interested in playing with a small dish of water like the little ones, so you might want a different water activity. Pull out identical glasses and fill them with varying amounts of water. Give your child a spoon to hit the glasses (gently) and hear the various pitches. Let you kids experiment with what happens to the sound when they change the amount of water in the glasses.
- Have a raceI think we all have at least one (or 10) ride-ons, or push toys around our house. This activity gets the kids interested in those toys again! Recently I was telling a friend about how my kids are bored with their ride on toys in our house, and she gave me the suggestion of letting the kids race them. Well, it sounded like a terrible idea at first, my kids racing around the house? No thanks. She explained she actually makes a race track around her house with painter’s tape (the blue stuff that comes off easily.)
So my boys don’t actually race either other drag race style, and the baby pushes his walker in any direction no matter where the blue tape leads. The toddler though really enjoys having a race track in the house, and his little brother does his best to keep up. Bless his heart.
- Make music
A great activity for kids of all ages! Pull out some pots, pans, bowls, whisks, spoons, and spatulas out and let the kids make some music! After awhile your sanity may start to wane, you can either: 1) put on some noise cancelling headphones, b) or move on to a quiet activity.
- CookI love to cook, and my toddler loves to help. If you don’t have the same passion about cooking, this may not be your thing. We started cooking together when he was about 18 months old and he still asks to “make sumfing mom” almost every day, a year later. When I was beginning to cook with him, we mostly made baked goods that could easily be measured, dumped, stirred and baked.
For him, I used one of our bar stools as a table. I measured the ingredients in a plastic cup and then let him dump everything into the bowl. One of our favorites to make is muffins and then we freeze the muffins to be reheated quickly for breakfast—dual purpose activity!
- DanceFamily dance time is an absolute favorite in our house, even the baby dances! We started dance parties when our oldest wasn’t even a year old and we noticed he danced like a mad man to “Happy” by Pharrell. Didn’t every one though? Turn on some kid-friendly, up tempo music and dance around the living room like crazy. We have a fun disco light and pretend microphones to add to the dance party, but these are not necessities. I always wonder what our neighbors think we’re up to when the dance parties start…
- Make a choo choo trainYes, I could have written “Make a train” above, but my son calls them choo choo trains, so I call them choo choo trains. This activity could be difficult based on the size of your chairs and your kids. It works well with my little kids and my counter height chairs.
With the kitchen chairs lined up, each child gets underneath a chair with one as the conductor in the lead chair driving the train. Underneath our chairs we scoot around with everyone following the conductor. Then we alternate who gets to be the train conductor driving us around the kitchen.
Sometimes we all need new ideas when we’ve been inside for too long. I hope I’ve given you some new inspiration!
What is your favorite indoor activity for little kids? 🙂
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