Overwhelmed with cold weather and a stir-crazy toddler? We’ve been there, and it’s no fun. But before you grab the remote for some cartoons and mindless entertainment (and a break for you), there are plenty of other activities that will keep your toddler engaged and happy—and your sanity intact. No need for the television.
Here are 8 safe and fun activities to do with toddlers this season.
You know that saying, ‘there is no bad weather, only bad clothing’? This is true. Dress appropriately, and you and your toddler can enjoy the weather—no matter what. When you have to leave your comfy, cozy bedding behind, make sure you’re dressed in a way that won’t leave you shivering. Layer up, wear proper footwear and take a walk together. Fresh air always helps combat those winter blues. Pro tip: A baby diaper backpack will make traveling easy for you, even as your toddler gets moving.
Go on a Treasure Hunt
Turning any old walk into a treasure hunt is fun for both you and your toddler. Notice how the weather feels on your skin, talk about the clouds, see if you can find any birds or other wildlife. Your toddler will be happily engaged the entire time. If this is an especially long walk, bring the stroller (and a winter baby carrier cover, to keep your baby warm). Tired legs make for a grumpy little one, and who knows…maybe they’ll sneak in a stroller nap if you’re lucky.
Make a Nature Science Table
When you’re on your treasure hunt walk, collect these items you discover to bring home to a science table. Gather sticks, stones, leaves, icicles, or snow to bring indoors. Bringing these items to explore together is the beginning of sharing in science…and children are often fascinated by these everyday objects when brought inside to investigate.
This one can be done at home or at the bowling alley. If you’re at home, line up old plastic bottles and bunched up socks for ‘bowling balls’, to create an indoor bowling lane.
Have a Dance Party
Winter blues got you down? No better way to combat those Blahs than by cranking up the music and getting down. Just let go and have fun with this…follow your toddler’s lead, and enjoy the music together.
Build a Fort
Clear the living room and build a cozy winter hideaway. Layer blankets on the floor and dark sheets to create a cave. Use twinkle lights to create extra magic, and gather together to read books and cuddly stuffed animals. Forts are what childhood memories are made of…and there’s no better time to enjoy them than on cold winter days.
Create a Jumping Room
Do you have any old mattresses laying around? Put them together in one room to create an indoor jumping gym. Add music and throw some balls in, and you’ve got yourself a DIY indoor trampoline that’ll happily tire even the most enthusiastic toddler.
If you are lucky enough to live near snow, spend a few hours sliding. Bundle up and head to the nearest hill, and you’ll have hours of good old-fashioned fun. Follow up with hot chocolate and a cozy snuggle-fest to a movie, and you’ll have had the perfect winter day.