Fun indoor activities for toddlers and preschoolers (Part 4)

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Part 4! Again, these are activities that keep our home environment busy, happy and sometimes … messy! Not every idea may appeal to you or your kids, so take what you like and ditch the rest. Or have fun yourself, even if you don’t have kids!

31) Scrap construction.  Reuse bits of paper, cardboard, old fabrics, plastic, wood chips by putting them into a Scrap Box. Provide cellotape. My kids can spend ages building just about anything they fancy.

Lamb’s self-constructed “airplane”. Va va voommm!!! He will be 3 this Friday.

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Previous craft activities like finger painted toilet rolls can be reused.  Puppy and Lamb were hard at scrap work while I spring cleaned last week.
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32) Dominoes.  There’s always a thrill watching a line of dominoes fall. A great activity that builds coordination and concentration.

33) Bean bag games.  Provide a bucket and some small coloured bean bags. Ask your child to see how many he can throw into the bucket. Teach and practise throwing with right and left hands, then both hands together. Or play balancing games – practise walking a distance with a bean bag on her head.

34) Flashlight/digital camera.  A simple flashlight can keep kids occupied for sometime. When Puppy was 2, she learned how to use our digital camera. It kept her busy for a long time during my afternoon naps while pregnant and exhausted – comatose-like state!

Just One of many interesting shots …

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35) Balloon decorating.  Blow up some balloons. Let your kids use markers, crayons and stickers to decorate them.

Puppy’s Dr Evil?

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36) Waterplay.  Provide toy boats, funnels, spouts, scoops, measuring cups, and a shallow bucket of water. Tea strainers (cloth and metal variety) are fun, too. Talk about capacity and the nature of various materials. I have dumped them (kids and all) in the bathtub and let them have fun splashing while I put up my feet nearby. A great chance to rest and watch at the same time.

37) Window washing.  My Bunnies love their spray bottles and dry little hand towels, especially when I clean the house. The result: clean windows and furniture, no effort from me! Show and tell the difference in materials – “Spray on glass or wood only, make sure you wipe.”

38) Blowing bubbles.  I don’t know a single kid yet who doesn’t love blowing bubbles. Use a wet indoor area that’s easy to clean (we have an air well), or apartment balcony (supervise).

39) Make music.  Build up a collection of music instruments – drumming tins, maracas, bells, xylophone, tambourine, etc. Recycled paper rolls can be pretend-microphones too. Put on some favourite music. Let the kids dance and make music while you work.

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If your child refuses to be left alone, don’t fret! Have Tag-Along-Time:

40) Help in the kitchen…and everywhere else you go!  Preschoolers (even toddlers) can help you wash rice, peel garlic, wash vegetables, unload the washing machine, hang laundry on low-level racks, fold laundry, sweep up dry leaves, and more. As you go, talk about colours, shapes, kitchen safety, nutrition, cleanliness, living skills, likes, dislikes, and everything else under the sun. Extra adult patience required on some of these … which bears results ………

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Who folded these??

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41) Singing.  Sing with your little one as you work. Nursery rhymes, action songs, any favourite song – decent lyrics please!

42) Language games. Play “I spy with my little eye (something red/something that begins with the letter ‘C’)”, Simon Says. When my eldest was 2, she loved sitting on a stool in the bathroom and playing these games with me while I enjoyed a shower. She had fun and my baby was safely in his cot without any danger of his eyes getting poked out.

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There! How did I make it past 40?? I’m pretty sure I’ve left some out…. It’s been really enjoyable for me, putting this list together and going through old photos. They remind me of all the wonderful experiences I’ve had building my relationship with the Bunnies. Thanks so much for reading!

If you have an activity that’s not on this list – Safe and Simple, Cheap and Creative – bringit ON. I appreciate every single new idea!

Update on related posts: Fun indoor activities for toddlers and preschoolers (Part 1); (Part 2); (Part 3); (Part 4); Fun ways to learn writing the alphabet; Learning the alphabet and honing glueing skills; Keeping a toddler occupied while a preschooler learns (17 ideas); Sensory play.

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8 Comments

  1. Thanks for sharing all your activities. Sometimes we just need to think creatively about what we can do with the kids. There is so much to do actually.

  2. Love these lists! Now, I have more ideas for indoor activities! 🙂 You homeschool all your kids? How do you do that with 3 kids and 1 coming along??? I have 3 and I struggle…

  3. We decided to homeschool the kids only up to age 6, afterwhich they’d go to a year of preschool (to get used to formal schooling hours etc) then Standard 1 (P1) the following year. I think it’s still important in the context of our multi-racial country that they learn some skills by being in the national education system, complexities and all. It’s not fantastic but it does offer that wider experience that books or I can’t provide. My eldest is now in Std 1 but we still homeschool in the afternoons. Hey, I struggle with 3 kids too and no doubt will continue to do so with a 4th – and now also a dog too! 🙂

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