As a stay-at-home mom I often try to get out of the house at least once a week to do some fun toddler activities. It is always nice to have a change of scenery but some days it just isn’t possible.
Staying at home is becoming more of our norm right now with nasty weather and the suggestion to quarantine during the Coronavirus outbreaks. What is a Momma to do all day with an active toddler?
I don’t plan to completely isolate ourselves in fear of the virus, especially after dealing with mom fear last year. But I do want to take the necessary precautions to keep others safe and be mindful of the ones around me.
However, I do realize we will probably be spending more time at home the next few weeks as our government puts more restrictions on social gatherings. With all that in mind I am beginning to prepare for how to best entertain Blake so that we don’t all go stir crazy.
I have quite a few activities that we do as a stay-at-home family that don’t require constantly being indoors.For those nasty rainy days I have found fun ways to make being inside enjoyable as well.
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Indoor Stay-at-Home Toddler Activities
Bath Time Painting
Blake LOVES spending time in the water but that is kinda difficult when it is cold outside and we don’t have a pool close by. So I have started letting him play in the bathtub. One of his favorite ways to play in his tub is with my homemade bath paint.
This activity can easily entertain him for around at least an hour…sometimes 2. Sometimes I run water for him to play in while painting and other times I simply place him in the tub.
Play Dough Creations
Blake doesn’t play with play dough too often so when he is able to play it is always a big treat. He loves mixing colors and tearing it into tiny, hard to clean pieces. I used to buy him play dough but now I choose to make it at home so that I can ensure it is edible (he likes to eat it and thinks it is delicious). Little Learning Club has an awesome recipe for edible play dough.
To make his play dough time easy to clean I usually use a place mat on the table or put him in the bathtub (seeing a pattern here?). I make it extra fun for him by allowing him to have kitchen utensils that he can use to cut the play dough with.
Toddler Activity Toy Centers
I have recently started the practice of toy rotation and setting up little toy center areas so that Blake can enjoy a variety of his toys at one time. Toy rotation has helped him have more imaginative play and longer play time.
I have a toy basket set up on our main level and in our basement room so that he has two options for toy playing. The toys are rotated every couple days to help keep him engaged in playing.
Helping with Chores
This activity may not be one every child will enjoy but it is one that I think every child should be introduced to at a young age. Blake LOVES to clean and I have used it to my advantage by making it a fun learning opportunity.
I have many chores that he helps with (a post to come soon) but his favorite his washing dishes. We have a bench that we put at the sink and let him use the sponge to “wash” the dishes while I get cleaning done.
Outdoor Stay-at-Home Toddler Activities
We live in a little mountain community that has several trails in the woods and a waterfall not too far from our house. I often take the kids on walks through the neighborhood to the waterfall so that we can get some fresh air and exercise.
Even if you don’t have hiking trails you can still take a little “hike” by simply walking around your neighborhood and exploring the nature you see. Pick up sticks, touch the grass and talk about how it grows, notice the wildlife and teach your toddler what type you see.
I’m pretty sure every toddler loves playing with bubbles. There are so many varieties and forms of blowing bubbles out there now that the possibilities are endless. Blake has a lawn mower that blows bubbles and he loves to go “mow” the grass.
We have a pond so fishing is very easy for us but even if you aren’t near a body of water you can still “fish”. Set up a kiddie pool, or bin with water and little fish cut out of sponges to float in the water. Use an actual kids rod or create your own. You can use any rod-like stick, tie some string/yarn to it with a paperclip tied to the end fashioned like a hook. Most toddlers can’t do too well hooking the fish but they will have fun trying and slapping the water.
Just like playing with bubbles I’m pretty sure every kid loves to play with chalk. Blake doesn’t stay entertained too long with this one (usually 30 minutes) but he still has a blast doing it.
Endless Toddler Activity Possibilities
There are tons of ideas that you could find for fun activities and games to play with your toddler while at home but these are our top ones. Of course letting them just have any free play time indoors our outdoors is always a win but sometimes you just have to turn on a screen too. If you are feeling overwhelmed and stir crazy it is ok to have screen time. Don’t beat yourself up and feel guilty. They will be fine!
I’m praying God uses this extra time at home to strengthen our families, give us needed rest and provide peace. Please let me know if I can pray for you or your loved ones during this season of panic and fear that is surrounding our nation.