This is a sponsored post.
Although we don’t live in a climate that guarantees we’ll be stuck indoors all winter, there are definitely more days than not that it’s too cold to venture outside – especially with new baby Claire! It can be challenging to think of new games and activities for a busy toddler. So I thought I’d share the details of my favorite standbys (and an awesome monthly subscription service called Kiwi Crate), and then you guys can give me some suggestions, too. Maybe we’ll end up with an amazing list of games and crafts for our little ones to do this winter!
Idea #1: Kiwi Crate Deliveries
I just got to test out a Kiwi Crate delivery, and I already know I’m going to sign up for a subscription. I may get a yearly box for my best friend’s kiddo, too – it would be a wonderful holiday present and way more fun than a toy that she’d get bored with in a month!
Basically, it’s a monthly subscription service that provides all the materials for a creative, educational series of age-appropriate crafts and games (the boxes are targeted towards 3 – 4 year olds, 4 – 8 year olds, 9 – 14 year olds, and 9 – 16 year olds). The subscription includes free shipping and can be shipped to US and Canadian locations. Each month, there is a different theme – this month’s 3 – 4 year old box was colors!
The box included materials for three suggested activities – watercolor paint, crayons, colored screens, a color block for a color-seeking game, string and paper triangles to make into a banner, and more.
The paint was, in particular, a huge hit with Henry, who at 2.5 is juuuust getting into the idea of using a paintbrush. He had SO much fun testing the crafts, which will provide hours of activity. I LOVE the idea of getting an organized box sent to my house – it’s instant fun! It’s aweeeesome that I don’t have to plan and shop for new ways for Henry to learn and play; it just shows up at my door. With a newborn in the house, this is going to be more valuable than ever.
Kiwi Crate plans start at $16.95 a month (and you can do a “sibling ad-on” options so the boxes are “no fight”). If you want to try Kiwi Crate out for yourself (or as a gift – what an awesome present for a kiddo!), click HERE and use the code HTP60 to get 60% off your first crate!! You can see examples of popular past Kiwi Crates right here – it’s a really cool concept!
Idea #2: Bathtub Painting
This is especially great if your toddler is a bit young, as normal fingerpainting can get messy fast. I simply put a diapered Henry in the bathtub and hand him some paint – sometimes, it’s real fingerpaint, and sometimes, as in the photo above, it’s actually ketchup! Mustard works, too. I love this activity because it’s totally messy fun but very, very easy to clean up.
Idea #3: Help You Cook
While you can let your toddler ‘help’ you with a lot of baking and cooking, so much of it has to be very closely supervised (like measuring and dumping flour and sugar for cookies). But I’ve found a few cooking activities that don’t require me to be on top of him through the whole process – which is nice because I can multitask washing the dishes or cooking the main part of the meal. He loves to: 1) cut a peeled banana into slices with a butter knife and 2) take pre-chopped potatoes, broccoli, carrots, or other roasting veggie and dip each into a bowl of oil and then place the piece onto a cooking sheet. Also – he’s more willing to eat the vegetables he ‘cooked’ himself.
Click through for 5 more fun ideas!
Idea #4: Sweep Into a Square
I got this idea from all my Montessori reading – basically, the activity teaches self-reliance (i.e. cleaning). But really – I think Henry likes it because it seems like a sport. I mark off a square tile with painter’s tape and crumble up some papers, and he uses a kid-sized broom or his plastic vacuum to push the trash into the square.
Idea #5: Organize Blocks in New Ways
Building towers is cool, but we like to play with our blocks in other ways, too. He’s getting pretty good at sorting by color, and we’re working on sorting by shape, which is definitely harder.
Idea #6: Lacing Games
I just blogged about finding these wooden lacing beads in the $1 section of Target. They are really fun to mess around with (we made the dogs necklaces!) but also encourage dexterity. The strings are too hard for him right now, so we use pipe cleaners. I also bought him some lacing/tracing wooden animals (you run a shoelace around a wooden shape) for Christmas – I hope he likes them! I think they’ll be a good car toy once he figures them out.
Idea #7: Cotton Ball Drop
Henry is a bit too old for this now, but it was a huuuuge hit when he was younger (I re-created the activity because it’s hard to explain without a photo!). I’d use painter’s tape to put cardboard tubes of different shapes on the wall, and then he’d drop cotton balls down the top. I think he enjoyed seeing it disappear and then reappear on the floor over and over again.
Idea #8: Water Sorting
And last, but not least, Henry LOVES water sorting at the kitchen counters. This is a “game” that I bust out when I need to cook uninterrupted. It can be messy, but there’s not a ton of water, so it isn’t too bad. The key is putting a towel under the bowls. He shifts water from one bowl to the next with cups. He also uses a syringe to suck up the water and move it from bowl to cup. Inevitably, he ends up drinking a LOT of the water – so it’s also a good way to get him to hydrate!
What’s your favorite indoor toddler activity?
This post is sponsored by Kiwi Crate. Thanks for reading sponsored content – I try to make it engaging and fun, and I always appreciate your interest, as this is how I help support my (growing!) family.