It is the middle of winter here in the North Country. For parents of toddlers, it is a time of year when you probably want to be outside with the kids enjoying the snow as much as possible. However, you may find yourself indoors most of the time because little kids can only really be outdoors for a little while before they get cold.
You may also have noticed that toddlers’ energy levels do not have any regard to the seasons or the weather. Your active toddler has just as much energy in the middle of winter as he did last summer. When outdoor play time is limited because of the cold, it is important to figure out ways for your toddler to safely enjoy some active play time indoors.
We are lucky to have a fairly long expanse of floor space where Dylan can run back and forth. This same space doubles as a “soccer field”, where we kick a beach ball back and forth or play catch with another soft ball. These things are fun, but kids like variety. Today, I went looking for some ideas for active indoor play ideas that we can add into our repertoire for some much needed variety.
One fun idea is the impromptu “dance party”. Cranking up your tot’s favorite tunes and bopping around the living room is sure to put a smile on his face, and yours too. Another idea is to make a game of tossing a ball or small stuffed animal into a variety of different containers from different places in the room. You can use plastic cups to set up a “bowling alley” and teach your toddler how to roll a ball into the “pins” to knock them over. Rolling a ball is an acquired skill, believe it or not, and you may be surprised at just how much time it takes your toddler to understand that rolling a ball is actually a “thing that people do” just as much as throwing the ball is.
If you have floors that won’t get sticky and some colored or masking tape, mark out some hopscotch – type games and give them a try. Charades, yoga, building blanket forts, and turning cardboard boxes into pretend vehicles are also fun ideas to try. When it’s cold outside, it is time to get creative and find fun, new ways to work active play into your day. What are your favorite active indoor play activities?