Monday, December 16, 2013

Indoor Activities for Toddlers

Christmas is only a little more than a week away and the days have been short and chilly.
One of the things we've been grappling with is how to entertain our outdoor-loving kid.

Calvin will literally pound on the front door crying because he just wants to go outside, but when it's below freezing and completely dark at 4:00 what do we do with him?

I have small list of fun ideas we've been utilizing but I'd LOVE to hear your ideas too!

Crayons and a Big Box:

Never underestimate the power of a box.
I mentioned this one earlier in the month but we've been playing with this one for 4 weeks now!
I just filled an old formula container (with a lid!) with crayons let him loose.

Foam Blocks:

We got these Foam Wonder Blocks for Calvin for this birthday.
They are the BEST!
My brother and I had these same one when we were younger and we played with them for YEARS.
They're a dense foam, so they don't make noise and they're soft enough if he throws them at anything (or anyone) there's no damage.
He loves to knock down towers we build for him and has even starting to stack them up himself.
The other night we put him in a hamper and covered him in blocks and he thought it was hilarious!
If you have kids under the age of 6, you need these in your home.

A Balloon:

This green balloon has survived since Calvin's Birthday Party.
That was almost 3 MONTHS ago!
He loves this thing. He throws it, kicks it and chases it around.
He laughs hysterically when we bop him on the head with it.
It's good for at least 10 minutes of entertainment a day.

Extra Long Baths:

With the cold dry weather we're down to a bath every other night for the kiddo.
It's much gentler on his skin.
So when we give him a bath, we make sure he has lots of time to play.
I'm going to let you in on a little secret:
The best bath toy on the face of the Earth is....

A syringe!
You know you have a couple floating around, left over from an empty bottle of baby tylenol.
Give it to them in the bath and be AMAZED.
He laughs so hard when we squirt him with it, and he'll spend 5 straight minutes taking it apart and putting it back together.
I went out to a bachelorette party a few weeks ago and stole a gigantic one that they (They, not me) used for jello-shots at one of the bars. 
Calvin loves, loves, loves it.
I know... Mom of the year.

Mall Play Area

We try to get Calvin out of the house at least once a day.
Even when it's cold, if it's still sunny we'll get bundled up and go for a quick walk.
But when the weather sucks and we have nothing else to do, we head to the mall.
The play area is completely padded and FREE!
So Mama grabs a latte and I let him loose.
I've figured out that about 2:30 is the best time to go because moms with kids in school have to go pick them up, so there tends to be a smaller crowd.
We have 2 malls that have these areas but honestly, I'll only take him to one of them. It's nice and bright and I know they keep it clean. I also definitely make sure to wipe those mitts off with a baby wipe after he's done playing.

Children's Science Museum:

OK. We haven't done this one yet.
We're waiting on a fun play date.
Our city has a wonderful Science Center for kids called Mobius, and I'm dying to take Calvin there.
We will be going for a fun afternoon soon.

In an effort to keep this post from becoming a novel, I'm going to stop there.
Let me know what you do with your kids to keep from going stir-crazy!
I love new ideas.

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