Mom I’m BORED! | Indoor Activities For Active Toddlers | By Lauren Cop

Well, it’s the heart of winter – even if it doesn’t quite feel like it – and that means lots of indoor time! If you are like me, I feel so guilty about the amount of screen time my children get during these months. Over the past few weeks, I have been attempting to come up with other regular, easy, and cheap activities to keep my children entertained. Yes, of course we can do outings to the Children’s Museum, local library, or Kroc Center – but when your children are sick or you have a small budget this may not be a realistic option. Listed below are my quick go-to’s for activities to occupy and entertain my children.

Indoor Picnic/Tea Party – This is my children’s current favorite activity. Basically, we lay a sheet on the ground and eat together on the floor. The only rule is you may not get off of the sheet while you are eating. It is surprising how well my children did with this rule! Then you pop the sheet in the washing machine and your clean-up is basically done. You can also make this activity a little more elaborate and turn it into a Tea Party. Here were the steps we took for the party which were completed without complaint.

  1. Clean up the house for your guests.
  2. Make invitations for the ‘friends’ your children want to invite.
  3. Make the food – together of course!
  4. Put on your fancy clothes.
  5. Collect their friends and arrange their seating.
  6. Enjoy your meal.
  7. Clean up.

It’s pretty simple, lots of fun, and you get some cleaning done in the process!

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{ Tea Party, Photo by Lauren Cop }

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{ Indoor Picnic, Photo by Lauren Cop }

Arts and Crafts – Of course this is another easy go-to for most households. You can even consider painting in the bathtub for quick clean up! Color plain paper, magazines, or coloring books with different utensils. Use stickers, Play-Doh, or even string necklaces. There are tons of options on Pinterest for different activities – don’t be afraid to look! 🙂

Puzzles – Yes, of course there are puzzles but you can use them in a slightly different way in order to make them more interesting. I like to play hide and seek with the pieces. I hide them around the room and send the kids on a hunt. Not only do they have to find the pieces, but they also have to put the puzzle together. I also will mix the pieces of multiple puzzles together and have the children try to match them to the right puzzle. Again these are ‘just’ puzzles, but putting them together in a slightly different fashion can renew the excitement of the game.

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Stuffed Animal/Baby Care – Some kids already do this, but others need encouragement. You can have the kids feed, read, sing, and put their friends down for a nap. You can also bathe them as well. Just give them a small bowl with a little water, sponge, and towel and then they can clean their friends. My children will sit and clean their friends for hours and it is just adorable!

Video with Activity – I know I said I try to avoid screen time and am ashamed at how much I do rely on the screen during these months – however, I do think you can use screen time appropriately. Lately, I have been associating movies or TV shows with an activity. It can be as simple as asking questions during the video “What color is that? What is that character feeling? What will happen next? etc…” You can also build a fort and watch the film from under cover. My current favorite thing to do is for the kids to complete a craft during screen time. For instance, we made our own ‘sea’ while watching Finding Nemo. We colored coral and sea creatures. Then, we taped them to the ocean. The craft doesn’t have to be elaborate, but it will help engage your children in more than just the screen.

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{ Under The Sea Project, Photo by Lauren Cop }

Cooking – If you have read my previous posts on food and cooking you know how important I think that teaching food preparation is for children. But here are my quick go-to recipes for the children to help me with:

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{Making cupcakes with E L (Aunt Lauren), photo by LAC James}

These are fun, easy, and slightly messy! Everything a child could hope for. 🙂

Pompom Shooter – I saw this on Pinterest and thought it looked like such fun. My 2-year-old was able to do it on her own and my 1-year-old need some help – but it was tons of fun. I even set up targets for the girls to work on their aim. We sat and did this for almost an hour!

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Dance Party – Music is extremely important to my family. We listen, sing, and dance to it non-stop! Sometimes we have a dance party. I try to choose songs they are familiar with – from their shows or ones with simple lyrics. Then we dress up, grab some ‘instruments’ (even just pots and pans will work), and turn up the tunes! We will dance and be silly until we all collapse in exhaustion. The children have even started their own dance parties when they hear certain songs. It is just too adorable!

Books – Again, this is an easy go-to, but don’t be afraid to mix it up! We sometimes play ‘I Spy’, read the book backwards, or even ask questions while you are reading. Read under a blanket with a flashlight or change the ending. Anything to mix up regular readings of the stories will keep your kids on their toes and further engage their imagination and creativity.

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Dress Up – My children love to dress up and play pretend – so why not join them? Let them put on your clothes, Halloween costumes, and even regular dress up clothes and play pretend. You can be police officers, doctors, princesses, or even animals. Let your imagination run wild and be a child again. You won’t regret it and your children will be forever grateful of these memories.

If none of the above strike your fancy here are some of my top lists from Pinterest.

Top Pinterest Lists

So to review, being indoors doesn’t mean you have to be bored and do the same old mundane activities. We re-invent the regular activities or create something new! Be creative and don’t be afraid to get silly and messy. The winter is barren, but your children’s lives don’t need to be. Keep those dreaded words ‘Mom I’m Bored’ at bay this winter and before you know it Spring will be here!

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Lauren Cop is a SAHM (Stay At Home Mom) of Irish Twins by day and coaches Volleyball and Track in her “me time”. A Clemson fanatic, alumni and general sports enthusiast. She loves reading, gardening, food, and traveling. Follow her Twitter, Instagram, and Pinterest.

The Olive Shoe | Paperie & Design | Celebrating Creativity and Creatively Celebrating is designed and run by Laure {LAC} James © 2015 LAC James All Rights Reserved.

Lauren {LAC} James is a Sr. Designer of Product Graphics for an international manufacturing company by day and a creativity crusader, designer, planner extraordinaire, artist and blogger in her “free” time. Follow her and The Olive Shoe on Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest or Instagram! Please subscribe to receive emails, of course, come back and visit again soon!

Please visit the online art gallery {Art by LAC} and Etsy Shop too!

Other Posts by Lauren Cop:

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