Dear Crissy

Fun activities for toddlers?

It seems like winter will never end, and finding activities for toddlers indoors can be a challenge. While Evan is starting to enjoy a little TV, I certainly don’t want to make a habit of turning to Nick Jr. too often for our entertainment. After becoming bored with our go to toddler activities, I decided to do a little searching for some new ideas for creative play. Do you have any suggestions for fun, indoor play activities for toddlers?

A Few Fun Activities for Toddlers from

Evan’s favorite things to do right now are play with Hotwheels, oh, and play with Hotwheels. My husband bought him a track the other day, but Evan would still really rather just scoot the cars around and crash them into each other. Not that I don’t love sitting on the floor with him to play with Hotwheels, I do, but we are in serious need of some variety!

Oh, and we’re back to the status quo, folks. :)

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  1. The Lazy Mama — February 17, 2011 @ 12:27 pm (#)

    I’m limiting tv time too even computer or iPad – I don’t want him exposed too early.
    My kid loves these:
    – hide and seek using the blankets or sheets
    – story time
    – massages – yeah! I never thought it possible but it makes him sit nice and tightly when I offer him massages
    – bath time
    – toy clean up – Would you believe? Ha!


  2. RookieMom Whitney — February 17, 2011 @ 12:29 pm (#)

    Hi Crissy,

    I’ve never commented before! But this topic is right up my alley. “Potching” is one of my favorite indoor activities for toddlers. At the risk of self-promoting, details are on my site:


    • Lisa Brown — February 17th, 2011 @ 12:43 pm

      This sounds great! I’m giving it a try tonight!

    • Crissy — February 17th, 2011 @ 12:45 pm

      You know, my son would have SO much fun doing this. Thanks Whitney!

  3. Lisa Brown — February 17, 2011 @ 12:38 pm (#)

    I’m with ya, girl! I think “WWDD” – “What Would his Daycare Do?” So now, instead of so much Nick Jr, we…
    1. Sing/dance to some toddler tunes we picked up at the library
    2. Color
    3. Play with play-doh
    4. Read books! Dora The Explorer goes over very well, especially when I use my Dora voice!

    And, one I’ll try once Phoenix starts talking more…
    5. Parrot – you turn on the tv for a few seconds, then mute it, and have your son mimic what was just said, like a parrot. (This idea is from the novel Room by Emma Donoghue. It’s about a mother & her son who, well, had to come up with was to pass time.)


    • Crissy — February 17th, 2011 @ 12:47 pm

      Lisa these are cute ideas, thanks!

  4. Nichol — February 17, 2011 @ 1:00 pm (#)

    I miss the days of sitting on the floor pushing cars back and forth. We did this for hours! Toddlers love finger painting with pudding(gets tons of boxes for underneath or do it on garbarge bags, dancing, hiding a favorite toy and he finds it, like hide n seek with a toy, filling a small tote with rice and toys, I could on and on!


    • Crissy — February 17th, 2011 @ 3:26 pm

      Finger painting with pudding!

      • Nichol — February 17th, 2011 @ 3:33 pm

        Yes! You can dye vanilla pudding with food coloring:) It’s fun and edible;)

  5. Lisa from Life with Lisa — February 17, 2011 @ 1:13 pm (#)

    I think finger painting would be fun! :)


    • Crissy — February 17th, 2011 @ 3:27 pm

      We haven’t done that yet, we need to !

      • Tiffany — February 18th, 2011 @ 6:15 pm

        We did this about 2 weeks ago (I got the idea from Parents magazine, I think), and while I don’t normally enjoy “messy eater” pictures, I have to say, this made the BEST pictures and my little girls simply couldn’t believe her good fortune at getting to paint with something edible! It’s a must!

  6. Aprile Mazey — February 17, 2011 @ 1:37 pm (#)

    I entertain my 2 year old daughter with stickers. She loves them and puts them everywhere. The reusable stickers now a days are easy to remove from walls and clothing so don’t do any damage…thank goodness. Other than I play sesame street songs on my laptop and she sings and dances to that for a while.


    • Crissy — February 17th, 2011 @ 3:27 pm

      Stickers is such a good idea. Even always gets them when we go to the doctor’s office, but I haven’t bought any yet. Thanks Aprile :)

  7. Heather — February 17, 2011 @ 2:55 pm (#)

    I have a set of plastic measuring cups and bowls I get out when I bake, and the kids “help.” Paints are fun, I paper the floor in the kitchen and let the kids go nuts! Just make sure they are non toxic and washable, I even let them kick at them and splash paint all over and make gorgeous little foot prints.

    If you get tile, felt, glue spray, and sealer, you can make the best coasters and trivets with baby footprints on them. You just place a foot print, let it dry, (you may need to do it again for color) and then seal it, and place a felt square on the back with the glue, you have the best grandparent gift in the history of the world.


    • Crissy — February 17th, 2011 @ 3:28 pm

      Thank you for these great ideas Heather!

  8. Andrea (Lil-Kid-Things) — February 17, 2011 @ 2:59 pm (#)

    Oscar loves putting stickers on things. He can’t peel them off the page himself yet, but I hand them to him and he sticks them on the page. He is also starting to enjoy coloring but that has taken some time. Towers are also a huge hit. Build em big, crash em loud. :-)


    • Crissy — February 17th, 2011 @ 3:28 pm

      Aww, that is sweet, and stickers are on my list!

  9. Nanette ~ AMomBlog — February 17, 2011 @ 3:38 pm (#)

    That’s pretty much what we do too. Play with HotWheels cars. :)


  10. Lisa @ Crazy Adventures in Parenting — February 17, 2011 @ 4:32 pm (#)

    My toddlers love to draw, ride bikes, color, paint. They’re also my little helpers around the house. My son loves those wooden trains, calls them “choo choos” and builds their easy-to-build tracks around the house. My daughter is a girly-girl and does hair in “pretties” and such.


  11. Roxanne — February 17, 2011 @ 7:49 pm (#)

    My sister in law gave us a sensory bin for Christmas. Its basically a big shallow rubbermaid bin that you can put things like flour, corn starch, oatmeal and other edible things in. The idea is to let the child explore different textures and stuff. You can add water and food coloring to make it extra special. I’ll admit it makes a bit of a mess but if you keep everything in the bin then at least its somewhat contained. I did a blog about the first time I let my daughter play with the stuff if you’re interested in seeing pictures of the bin and the items included.


  12. Gena Morris — February 17, 2011 @ 9:06 pm (#)

    Get some beans! Load them up in a small tub (with a lid) and start pouring and playing! Without the mess of water, they can learn all sorts of things from this little activity!


  13. Samantha — February 17, 2011 @ 9:07 pm (#)

    Hi Crissy,

    Thanks for this post – I haven’t tried Hot Wheels with my twin boys yet but I will definitely do so. Anything that will keep them occupied!

    I find that some of the things that my boys like are the “old school” stuff = crayons, colouring, dump trucks, etc. One trick that I picked up from their daycare is putting simple items in a bucket and letting them enjoy the sensory experience, e.g. snow, sand, stuff like that. Oh, and giving them anything from the kitchen, like pots and pans seems to work as well!


  14. The Blogtessa — February 17, 2011 @ 11:28 pm (#)

    My toddler gets a total giggle-fit out of hide-and-seek. I know it’s not much of a novel idea, but she loves it and at least it gets me up and moving and off the couch!


  15. youth ministry — February 28, 2011 @ 5:20 am (#)

    This really solved my problem, thank you!


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