Need to keep your toddler busy at home? Here are some of our favourite creative home activities which Eric loves. Keep A Toddler Busy At Home: 11 Creative & Easy Activities Ideas For Indoors Play
I’d be lying if I said all we did was days out, all the time. Obviously, this blog is for days out and inspiring you to go outside with your family… which is my passion. But realistically, we all have days where you stay inside! Staying indoors during winter can be cozy and activities with your toddler are loads of fun! These activities can help you get ideas for ways to keep your toddler busy at home.
Keep A Toddler Busy At Home: 11 Creative & Easy Activities Ideas For Indoors Play
1. Get messy with paints
Eric has just got into painting, but just passing him a brush and some paint doesn’t cut it. He just gets bored within seconds, so instead we play with different materials with the paint to get messy and create a masterpiece! One very easy material to use is a Q-tip (cotton buds) to draw around on the page. In addition, we use anything we have laying around… pennies, buttons, stickers, scrap pieces of paper, even an old tooth brush! I recommend a paint tray like the flower one we have so you can play with a variety of colours at once.
2. Paint with hands & feet
I found an old roll of Christmas wrapping paper, and it worked a treat to lay it out over the rug and let Eric go crazy with the paint and his feet. He loved “paddling” in a paint tray and then stamping it all over the paper. It created some interesting prints and was super fun for him. Hand prints are easy to do and you can try to teach them how to draw easy shapes line circles and wriggly lines. We had so much fun I couldn’t get a photo of Eric without him moving around, but this is something we will definitely be doing more of!
3. Get sticking with stickers!
Don’t underestimate the fun you can have with stickers. We get the stickers out to stick on toys, walls, on paper, windows, everything! There are so many different types of stickers you can buy EVERYWHERE! I found these alphabet stickers the other day and they’re perfect for learning letters and talking about words, whilst having fun with them. Eric’s favourite thing to do with stickers is to stick them all over his toys. You could try and get tiny stickers so that they fit even on the smallest of toys; this is great to get them busy as it takes a lot of concentration!
4. Indoor sand play
We have this little table we use for sand play and it’s so handy, we use it a lot. It’s actually a brick storage thing; it came with blocks inside and a tray to build on the top, but thought it was perfect for playing with sand and water in. If you had a garden, this would be great to experiment with a little mud kitchen or fairy garden, too. We play with this indoors and fill it with coloured sand (I just found this from B&M). Bucket and spades come in handy with this, but get out the pots and pans from the cupboards too as these add to the fun. I like to hide toy animals in there and motivate him to dig them out. He loves this.
5. Paint print with toys on a blanket
Eric likes to play on the sofa with his toys. So to make this a little more exciting, we got an old bed sheet, covered the sofa with it and let him go crazy with paints and toys. He had so much fun, I did this again but with a blanket. The old white bed sheet was much more effective as you could see the patterns he was making, but the blanket still worked. I just got out an old paint tray, a few toys and left him to it. He loved dipping his toys inside the paint and driving them along the sofa making a mess. It was easy to clean up, just remove the blanket/sheet from the sofa and run the toys under a tap.
6. Pretend to bake and cook without a play kitchen
We are thinking of getting Eric a play kitchen for his 2nd birthday, but until then we have to make do. He is really interested in cooking and the kitchen in general, so something I like to do is get out some old bits of food, kitchen utensils, pots and pans and ask him to cook something. In this photo, I just used rice, flour and old cereal. He played with his toys in the food mixture and pretended they were eating it! In addition I added in some other utensils like pots and pans, empty shakers, cups and an ice cube tray. This kept it quiet for a while!
7. Toy organisation
The storage drawers in this photo are from B&M and they’re so great for toy organisation, which is an activity Eric enjoys! We get out these containers and empty them into a pile then organise them into piles… either by colour, type of toy, brand of toy, name, whatever really; you can just make it up! Eric usually gets inspired to play with his toys more when we sit and “organise” them.
Top Tip: Rotating toys is something I really recommend on doing especially if your child has lots of toys but seems bored regardless. Eric used to have all his toys just in the corner of the room and didn’t play with most of them. We separated his toys into 2 boxes and one storage corner. The 2 boxes are put away and only come out on rare occasions, he enjoys it when we get a box out because he’s usually forgot about it so he thinks he has loads of new toys to play with. With his “permanent” toy stash (the ones in the storage shelves) I like to try and rotate them every month or so by replacing the toys in there with ones from the toy boxes which are put away.
8. Set up some train tracks
These tracks are from IKEA and are one of Eric’s favourite toys to play with. We have a variety of tracks, ones from charity shops to Thomas and Friends ones; but he always comes back to these wooden set. Train tracks are something, I assumed, he wouldn’t be into for a few more ideas but I was proven wrong. They’re so fun to play with and versatile, too, he doesn’t play with the whole track at once; sometimes just a few pieces occupies him for ages.
9. Washing toys in a bowl
A favourite in our house! Washing toys is something that keeps Eric busy for aaaaages, and it’s so simple to do, too! I like to lay out a blanket so it doesn’t get too slippy as we have laminate flooring, then just leave him to it. Washing cars, trains and animals seems to be the biggest hit.
10. Have fun with book related activities
Books are usually read at bed time here, so there’s no real interest during the day as that’s what they associated with! But, Eric really enjoys books in the day which are more activity-based and fun… for example, search and find books, lift the flap, board books which make music and recently, we got these flash cards. Flash cards are so fun and a really fantastic way of learning words, too. We got these all from the same book shop, but any good book store will sell these.
11. Slide fun, especially with water!
Slides and toys definitely get played with for a while here and can keep Eric busy, but throw in some water, and he’s in heaven! I recently got this hot wheelz slide, but you can make slides at home with pieces of wood, stacks of books, sofa cushions or DIY drainpipe slide. This hot wheelz slide is well loved, already and Eric loves to play with it for ages. I just place a bowl of water under the slide so the toys land in there. Wheeeee!
What does your toddler love playing with at home?
I hope you enjoyed this, it’s a little bit different to my usual posts as it’s all about playing inside… but of course we aren’t out every-single-day, so here’s what we love to play with inside. I hope it gives you some ideas if you’re bored of doing the same old stuff.