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Indoor Winter Entertainment
January 12, 2011 6:01 am | by

Months ago, when we first asked for topics you wanted us to discuss in our Real Mom Talk series indoor winter entertainment was one of the requested topics. Your winters may be long or short, depending on where you live. Regardless of geography or weather, there are occasions where you may be stuck indoors for longer than you (or your children) like. During pregnancy through the toddler and preschool stages, it seems indoor days are more frequent than at other stages of life.

Here are a few of my favorite indoor activities that don’t require anything more than a quick search around your house and a little time investment.
Blanket forts – An all time favorite game full of imagination. Create a “fort” for you and your little one to play in together by using a piece or two of furniture and some large fabric you have around the house (blankets, tablecloths, sleeping bags, etc.). Don’t forget to drag your favorite toys under the tent to play!
Dance party – Turn up some music and dance your rainy day blues away. Invent new dance moves, burn some energy and improve your mood in just a few minutes.
Food painting – No need to get too fancy for this one. Grab some colorful items from your fridge or pantry and drop a few spoonfuls on the highchair or a tray to let your little one fingerpaint with. Some food suggestions: ketchup, yogurt, pureed baby foods, etc. Keep in mind, this is safe for children who are eating regular foods. Be sure to read labels carefully if your little one is still learning foods.
Rice play – This is for one is for older toddlers. Fill a container with dry, uncooked rice and let your little one dig, scoop, shovel and pour sandbox-style. I learned this one from a librarian when my oldest child was nearly two years old, which leads me to my last recommendation.
Library field trip – the library is a great resource year round. Many parents don’t realize how many resources the library has for little ones. Many have story times specifically geared towards 1 and 2 year olds. In addition to great books, libraries also have videos, audio books, games and puzzles available for checkout. The library is a great get away and change of scenery for the whole family, don’t forget to pick up a book for yourself!
Most of my favorite indoor activity suggestions came from other parents who had been there, done that. So to finish out, I’ve included a few of my favorite responses from yesterday’s snow day post to share.

Emily from Texas said,

“We love making “edible snowflakes” from tortillas (warmed briefly to make pliable, folded into 1/4s and then cut like a paper snowflake), brush them with cooking oil, sprinkle with powdered sugar and toast in the toaster for a few minutes until crunchy.”

Jess said,

“We like to pull out the play doh and make fun creatures. Board games(a thing of the past with so many video games now) is one of our favorite things to do. Candy Land is my three years olds favorite right now. He refers to it as the pretty game. :O) “

April said,

“Love making s’mores and reading classics like Little House on the Prarie or Hans Brinker and the Silver Skates. It is isn’t raining to hard I love going to the Nelson Atkins art gallery. Kids love the Egyptian exhibit.”
Crystal said,
“Our new favorite activity is having a “beach party”. We crank up the fire place and put on our swim suits, have a picnic in the living room, and eat ice cream. No better way to beat the long Montana winter blues than, pretending it’s not happening. 🙂 “

Megan in Florida said,

“Favorite activities for us are board games, reading books to our little ones and telling stories. It’s always fun to hear what a 5 year old can come up with! Best part? They don’t require power :)”

How do you keep busy indoors during the long winter days? What tips have you received from other moms that have now become your favorites? Share your indoor entertainment tips with us.

About the Author

Heather is mom to four, born within 40 months (single, twins, single). She writes transparently about her chaotic household to encourage others through the twists and turns of parenting.



  • JLo said...
    January 14, 2011 at 11:56 am

    We have a lot of craft supplies at home so we’ll just whip out the paint or the play-dough or something. And there’s always cookie decorating as a last resort – luckily she never really manages to eat them all!

  • Mrs. Haid said...
    January 12, 2011 at 2:24 pm

    I brought in some snow today. I put it in his baby bath tub, and my 1.5 year old used whisks, scoops, and a potato masher to explore it. It was not that messy at all! I just used a beach towel and changed him into new fleece jammies (because everyone needs jammies for a snow day!).

    I think next time, we’ll use a cookie sheet and some of his small cars to play with snow!

  • Sarah Watson said...
    January 12, 2011 at 12:22 pm

    a box from a large appliance is worth a whole winter’s fun: cut a door to make a house, paint it to make it pretty, stand up in it to make a rocket ship.

  • Hana Joy said...
    January 12, 2011 at 12:20 pm

    I have a “in progress” list of activities 100 Indoor Activities for Babies and Preschoolers on my blog. Check it out and add to the list please!

  • Loni said...
    January 12, 2011 at 10:57 am

    we have an enclosed mini trampoline to burn some energy. After the kids are tired of that we “play” in the kitchen making something of the sweet variety. When the sweets are done, we dig out our favorite books and read.