How to Entertain Your Littles Indoors & Keep Your Sanity

Whether it’s winter weather or sickness keeping you quarantined, I think we can all agree that when you’re stuck at home and inside, the days feel exponentially longer. We’re not homebodies; we get super stir crazy without planned activities (not to mention that the fighting goes through the ROOF). I’ve also realized that it’s suuuuper easy to fall into the trap of “movie day!” a few too many days in a row. So, I’ve had to put my Pinterest-hat on a lot lately. Lucky for you, I’ve compiled a few of our most favorite ways to pass the time.

Mama AND toddler approved (yup– these keep BOTH my kids entertained)

In no particular order… 

  • Dry erase boards and markers
  • Pretend birthday parties

Complete with pretend cakes (and of course, the song), presents (aka toys in a pile that we pretend to unwrap), and party games (like hide and seek and freeze tag!).

  • Hop in the tub!

I have to say, daytime baths have become a regular thing these days. If it’s a must-have as part of your nighttime routine, who’s stopping you from hopping in mid-day simply to play!? You can still bath later to get washed up. Plus, it give us more time together in the evenings if bath time is out of the way.

First learned about this around Halloween time, but we use this all year long! Use balls of paper or cotton balls for an awesome indoor game!

sticky web

  • Indoor relay race/obstacle course

Use pillows, blankets, large books (just us? Ahah), jump ropes, cones, and whatever else your kiddo can come up with to create indoor obstacle courses! We clear out the coffee table and use the entire living room for this one.

  • The “floor is lava” game

Am I the only one who played this as a kid? We used to use the above mentioned obstacle course idea, but M likes to simply shout “THE FLOOR IS LAVA IN 3, 2, 1” and everyone has to race to find safety with both feet off the ground. Simple and surprisingly entertaining!

Cheap and simple racing track you can make

  • Indoor car/toy wash

Combine this one with the tub time, or switch it up. We lay out beach towels on the kitchen floor, fill up big Tupperware containers or bins with clean and soapy water, and go to town!

Holy throw back! I didn’t even know these still existed until I randomly stumbled upon some on Amazon. They’re adorable and will keep the kiddos entertained for a solid hour.

This might be my favorite on the whooooole list because it’s SO versatile. You can set it up yourself or let your kiddo(s) help (awesome for incorporating teamwork and STEM into your project). You can keep it simple or make it complex. You can use tweezers/tongs for the pom poms or your hands. Sort by colors or just work on fine motor skills. LOVE LOVE LOVE this!

  • Dance party!

The louder and sillier, the better. Disney Junior has a great Spotify playlist!

  • Board Games

Our current favorites are Connect 4, Go Fish!, Banagrams (we use it to identify letters and spell SIMPLE words together), UNO, and Memory games.

  • Art Time!

Bust out the art supplies! Honestly, this is our go-to. Paint, color, and use stickers to fill the afternoon (and many, many sheets of paper, cardboard, or coloring books). You can find giant rolls of paper on Amazon (this one is our favorite) or at Walmart. This is great for taping up on a wall or laying out on the kitchen floor.

bathtub paint

  • Cardboard box decorating

If you’re like us, you get too many amazon boxes a week to count. Put them to use! Color them. Paint them. Decorate them with stickers. The bigger boxes? Hop right inside to contain little ones while they color!

cotton ball races

  • Creative stamp playdoh

Use whatever you have around the house to create an awesome sensory experience with playdoh! We like to grab wooden blocks, little figurines, alphabet magnets from the fridge, and cookie cutters. Super bonus: make your own playdough!

playdough
Image from Buggy and Buddy

Pro tips:

buy a bunch of cheap table clothes (hello Dollar Store!) for easy craft protection and clean-up

instead of tossing those old t-shirts, turn them into art smocks

C H I L L  O U T about messes. This one is clearly the hardest, but I promise, once your littles learn the rules and routines of craft time you’ll be golden.

*All image credit goes to the corresponding links. Props to those awesome mamas!

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