When you and your toddlers are confined to the house, you might think there's only so much you can do to keep them entertained (the demanding bunch!). We guess you might even be resorting to the iPad or the TV to keep them quiet for a while but look no further...
We have compiled the ultimate list of toddler-friendly games and activities to keep him busy for hours. Make your toys go ice skating on an ice tray, set up an indoor bowling alley with plastic bottles, or create interactive games like 'the listening game' to help him develop his sensory awareness and have fun in the process!
Fun indoor games for toddlers:
At first, the idea of colouring on sandpaper might come across as a bizarre activity for toddlers! But in fact, it serves a variety of purposes. Firstly, toddlers will be drawn to the feeling of this new texture and intrigued by using it. But more importantly, it's a great acitivity because more force must be used to get a crayon to colour on such a rough texture. This will encourage your little one to properly grasp the crayon in the correct way, as he'll want to see the colour come up on the sandpaper. By contrast, when using a regular piece of paper, crayons glide and draw pretty easily, so toddlers often don't learn to hold them the right way. You probably won't end up framing these sandpaper masterpieces, as it's more of a process activity, but the benefits will be great and it's a creative way to kill some time!
1) Colouring on sandpaper
Get creative when it comes to building. Whether it's colourful block towers, popsicle stick cities or indoor forts made out of pillows and sheets - there are so many ways you can get creative with your toddler and build something she can be proud of! Building is sure to keep her occupied for a good while as she'll want to finish her creation and add the finishing touches to make it's as convincing as can be.
Whack on some of your kids’ (or your own!) favourite tunes and turn up the volume. Then ask them to dance around the room until the music stops. When it does, they have to freeze into a statue in whatever position they find themselves in, even if they have to hop on one leg! Little ones love this game. If either you or your partner play an instrument - get a guitar or piano involved instead of the radio.
3) Musical statues
This simple game is a great one for little ones and will help their sensory development by encouraging them to engage all five senses. To play the listening game, gather up several miscellaneous items and show them to the children. Then take them away, ask your tots to cover their eyes and use only their ears to listen to which object you might be picking up. If it's a spoon, bang it against a glass so they can hear the sound of the metal, or if it's a comb, run your fingers through it. Be creative and have fun!
4. The listening game
Hide and seek is an absolutely timeless game that will never get old. Take turns being the hider/seeker and see how many small spaces you can squash yourself into so he has to really scour the house. Feel free to cheep little sounds now and then to give him a clue if he's really stuck!
5) Hide and seek
To make your toys go ice skating, you will need the following: a shallow tray, some water, small toys/figurines and some foam shapes. All you do is fill the tray with water, popping in foam shapes cut into snowflakes, place it in the freezer overnight, and the whole thing comes out as a fully fledged toy-sized ice rink! Show your toddler how the water has solidified overnight and get her to go out ice skating with her toys. This requires minimal effort and is both resourceful and imaginative.
6) Ice skating for toys
Who doesn't love a good old-fashioned treasure hunt? Although this requires more preparation, it really does pay off as it can keep your tots entertained for hours, as they scour the house looking for clues. Start off easy (under the kitchen chair), and get gradually harder (in his snack box or on a low bookshelf) so he really has to think hard and go on a house expedition. Tip - leave a juice carton/mini healthy snack with some of the clues to make sure he's drinking/eating along the way - these little treats will act as treasure to find! As for what goes in the final 'treasure chest', that's up to you. You might go for his favourite sweet treat, a toy gold medal or maybe just...a hug from mummy?
7) Treasure hunt
This is a great way to re-use old plastic bottles you've got lying around the house, and will be a super fun game for you and your tots, as you teach them how to bowl! Line up between 6-10 water bottles at the end of your living room, place a line of duct tape along the ground indicating the starting line, and get bowling. We would use a medium-sized, indoor soft ball for this. Tip - if the bottles are falling over of their own accord, just fill them with water to stabilise them.
8) Indoor bowling