Creative Ways to Make It Through the Winter With a Toddler

December 4, 2013

If you have young children, spring, summer and winter are probably your favorite times of year because it’s easy to get the kids outside and let them burn off all that extra energy. Unfortunately when winter rolls around, it’s not so easy to entertain toddlers, and every day seems to drag on for an eternity.

We created a fun list of ways you can entertain your toddler indoors this winter (or during any rainy day):

  1. Don’t discard that kiddie pool just yet—it’s not just for the summer. Bring in a small kiddie pool during the winter, and fill it with things like dried beans and rice and let your little ones have a blast. It’s a great sensory activity that’ll keep even the wildest toddler entertained.
  2. Create an obstacle course. You can find some great ideas for these online, and it’s easier to find creative ways to use the space within your house that will work best. Indoor obstacle courses are great because they let your little one have a little physical and mental exercise.
  3. Investigate a few free apps specifically for toddlers. There are a lot of great mobile apps that are geared toward teaching toddlers everything from counting to colors, and they can fill a lot of free time easily and inexpensively.
  4. Never underestimate the power of a cardboard box. Collect a few of your old boxes and let your kids go to town—they can be used for everything from making a rocket ship to building a fort. Boxes are better than a lot of modern toys because they allow little ones to really use and stretch their imaginations, versus having all of the creativity already done for them.
  5. If you’re brave enough to venture outdoors and it’s snowing, try some snow painting. All you need is a little food coloring and your toddler can go to town and have a blast. While you’re outside, go ahead and gather a few things that can be used for crafts later, like pine cones and evergreen boughs. It’s never too early (or late) to start making festive holiday decorations and keepsakes that you can treasure for years to come.
  6. Make homemade hot cocoa. Nothing says winter like delicious hot cocoa, and if you find a great homemade recipe your little one can join you in making it. You can also make individual packets that make great holiday gifts for teachers and friends.
  7. Make memorable videos. Videos can either be staged, or just a free-for-all of your toddler singing and dancing to his favorite song. Let him watch them back when they’re finished—this is a great way to entertain young children and also get you some great memories at the same time.
  8. Have your toddler help you organize things around the house. Most parents don’t even realize it, but toddlers love to feel like they’re actively helping, so pick a closet or drawer every week and let your toddler help you clean it out. You’ll get lots done, and your toddler will learn skills like sorting and following directions.