Little people: we love 'em to bits, but they can also be an absolute handful – especially when we're stuck indoors. Here's how to deal...
Remember the circuit breaker? Being stuck indoors with kids was a huge challenge, but with toddlers? Well, that’s a whole new level. We were waving the white flag before we’d even begun! Don’t get us wrong, we love our little mini-mes to the moon and back, but let’s be real – they can be VERY tricky to please at the best of times. If, like us, you are struggling for ways to entertain your over-excited terrible two at home, then look no further – we give you our rundown of HoneyKids-approved (and easy prep) indoor toddler activities. We can’t promise you’ll be able to put your feet up with a coffee, but hopefully it will buy you a few minutes to at least put the kettle on, or even better make it to the toilet on your own (ha, just kidding, that will never happen). So, without further ado, here are our tried-and-tested indoor toddler activities to do at home…
The best activities for toddlers at home
Water play (pouring station)
Whose toddler doesn’t love pouring? Old toys get a whole new lease of life in water, let us tell you. And add a jug into the mix and you’ve got the stuff of toddler dreams. Best done outside if you have the space, or be prepared with towels if you opt for indoors (we talk from experience on this one).
Shapes and colours
We love toddler activities that are easy peasy AND educational. Simply place a few different coloured pieces of paper on the floor, and have your little ones sort their toys based on colour. An easy toddler-pleaser! You could also sort items around the home by shape as well to keep the good times going!
Sensory box galore
Ah, the famous sensory box. Don’t be put off by the fancy name. All you really need is a plastic container and an assortment of objects and voila, your very own sensory box. Our favourite things to chuck into the mix are rice, pompoms and a toy digger or two. See this post for loads of inspiration for this easiest of toddler activities.
Getting crafty… with ‘rubbish’
Before you place that panic order with your local online toy store, it’s worth having a look around the house for stuff you already have. You’d be amazed at what you can cobble together for a sure-fire toddler hit. Let’s not forget the humble cardboard box. From doll beds to car garages, the possibilities are endless!
Even better, if you need to justify that glass (or two) of wine, we’ve got it covered. Turns out wine corks are perfect for a whole host of artsy toddler activities and crafts. From makeshift paint brushes (they’re the perfect size for toddler hands), through to making your very own cork-bodied butterfly. Now where’s that corkscrew…
Make your own play dough
Flour was the equivalent of gold dust at the height of the circuit breaker – we blame the bread-baking trend! Now that we’re semi- back to normal, hopefully you’ve got some spare. If so, then play dough is so simple to make and perfect for toddlers. Check out this easy recipe for the perfect homemade option. We’ve also got some great tutorials for DIY slime!
Snacks, snacks, and more snacks
A mantra here at HoneyKids? Snacks = life. We’ve been known at times to bribe our little tykes to stay put in the stroller! Yep, those all-important snacks are essential when our little ones need a little (or a lot) of persuasion. Our favourites? Bananas, rice cakes, and goldfish biscuits! Having porridge for breakfast? Don’t bin the leftovers – instead, mix it with some fruit (bananas and blueberries are our go-to) and whack it in the oven for the perfect flapjack-style snack. Even the fussiest of fussy eaters can’t say no.
Screen time is ok
Love it for the calm it brings, hate it for the guilt. Although we agree toddler TV all day isn’t the best idea (as tempting as that is at times), screen time is absolutely fine – and pretty essential at times! So, let’s stop with the guilt trip. Whether it’s Peppa Pig, Dora the Explorer or Little Baby Bum (all approved by our young ‘uns), screen time is sometimes exactly the toddler activity we need to get lifemin done.
Exercise (indoors only, of course!)
Our biggest challenge with the lockdown (although we actually miss parts of it!)? Tiring our tiny tots out by letting them run wild at the park. Thank goodness the parks are reopened! If you’ve got a Duracell bunny on your hands like us, then have a look at these exercises for inspiration to get your mini athlete working up a sweat indoors. Want to exercise together at home? We’ve put Cosmic Yoga to the test and it went down a storm with even the most reluctant of participants (we’re looking at you, Daddy).
(Mess-free) painting and pat mats
Hear the words ‘paint’ and ‘toddler’ and break out in a cold sweat? Us too. But your little Michelangelo’s masterpiece needn’t end with total house redecoration, we promise. Try putting some blobs of paint on a piece of paper and then placing it in a Ziploc bag. Close it and stick the bag on a table surface ready for your toddler to prod and smear away to their heart’s content, without the mess. It even makes a great crafty gift for the grandparents (see here) – winner! No paint? Make your own with a bit of imagination, yogurt and food colouring. We also love a good pat mat (you can totally make one with poster paint) – check out our video here of how to make one!
Dens and nooks!
Dens never get old – they’re the perfect old-school activity and we approve! Get a sheet out and some chairs and create the perfect camping spot for your little ones. Add in some of their favourite cuddly friends for the perfect hideout. Large cardboard boxes also come in handy yet again for the cosiest of kid-sized nooks.
Top image: Glen Carrie