15 Fun Indoor Activities For Toddlers

15 Fun Indoor Activities For Toddlers

When stepping out of the house is not an option, indoor activities are an excellent choice for engaging toddlers. Whether it is just doodling on a piece of paper, playing with blocks or making something creative with food, playtime with toddlers is all fun and frolic. Here, Momjunction lists the best toddler indoor games and fun activities for you.

15 Indoor Activities And Games For Toddlers

With the right games and activities, keeping your little one busy for hours is a piece of cake.

1. Making Pasta Necklaces

Making Pasta Necklaces

Image: iStock

Do necklaces or other jewelry entice your toddler? Here is an activity to teach the kid to make a necklace right at home, and with!

You will need:

  • Wool string or cotton thread
  • Long cylindrical pasta (uncooked) (preferably multicolored)

How to:

  1. Stretch out the string and cut it into shorter pieces, long enough to be worn around the neck.
  2. Now get the toddler to draw the string through one piece of pasta at a time.
  3. Alternate between two or more colors of pasta to make the necklace colorful.
  4. Once done, tie the loose ends.

The pasta necklace is ready to be worn on special occasions or to adorn the toddler’s bedside.

Skills improved:

Fine motor skills, hand-eye coordination, and finger dexterity.

[ Read: Gross Motor Activities For Preschoolers ]

2. Circle The Object

Circle The Object

Image: iStock

It is time to exercise the object-noun association skills of the toddler with this indoor activity. It can be played at home or in a childcare center.

You will need:

  • Old magazines with a lot of pictures of objects or animals
  • Sketch pens

How to:

  1. Pick a magazine with pictures of commonly identifiable objects.
  2. Give each child one magazine and a sketch pen.
  3. Now ask them to search the magazine for a picture of “Tiger,” “Lamp” or any other object and circle the image.
  4. The one who does it the fastest and with the highest accuracy wins the game.
  5. If you are playing at home, there may not be competition, but your toddler can still find out the animals in the magazine.

Skills developed:

Association of a name with the image of the object, animal or person.

3. Cotton Snowman

Cotton Snowman

Image: Shutterstock

How do you build a snowman in winters, when the outdoors are too cold to go out? Well, you build your very own cotton snowman with this wonderful winter indoor activity for a toddler.

You will need:

  • Cotton roll or balls
  • Chart paper
  • Pencil
  • Glue
  • Colored paper

How to:

  1. Outline a snowman on the chart paper and smear glue inside the lines, covering the entire structure.
  2. Now break the cotton balls into smaller pieces and stick them on the glue.
  3. Add as much cotton you need to make the snowman fluffy.
  4. Draw outline of eyes, nose, and arms on colored paper. Let an adult cut out these.
  5. The toddler then sticks the eyes, nose, and arms to the cotton snowman to complete the activity.

Skills improved:

Gross motor skills and general creativity

[ Read: Creative Art Activities For Toddlers ]

4. Bobble Tunnel

Old toilet paper roll cardboards are boredom-busters in this fun-filled indoor activity for a toddler.

You will need:

  • Toilet paper rolls
  • Bobble or pom-pom/small balls of fabric or wool

How to:

  1. Stick the toilet rolls to a door or to the wall one after the other to make a discontinuous vertical tunnel.
  2. The toddler then puts the pom-pom into the roll at the top and then watches it slowly fall through the tunnel.
  3. Tilt a couple of toilet rolls to increase the challenge and also to make the pom-pom wobble on its way down.
  4. Make sure you stick the toilet rolls at the toddler’s height so that he can place the pom-pom easily.

Skills improved:

Gross motor skills and object tracking abilities.

5. Straw Drawing

Straw Drawing

Image: iStock

Drawing is fun, but it gets three dimensional when you use colorful drinking straws to create a figure.

You will need:

  • Several drinking straws of various colors
  • Cello tape

How to:

  1. Consider simple shapes and objects such as a square or a triangle that the toddler can easily make.
  2. Start making the shape by sticking two alternately colored pieces of straw together, one after the other to complete the shape.
  3. You can stick as many straws as you can to create intricate designs like a zig-zag line or the shape of a house.

Skills developed:

Fine motor skills, general creativity, and object-shape association.

[ Read: Language Activities For Preschoolers ]

6. Roller Race

Have an indoor race with some old tissue rolls and see how your toddler gets excited.

You will need:

  • Colorful ribbons
  • Cello tape
  • Old tissue paper rolls

How to:

  1. Stick a set of ribbons on the floor, parallel to each other, to make tracks. You can create as many tracks you like.
  2. Let the toddler sit at the end of the track with the roll.
  3. The moment you say “Go”, the toddler pushes the roll to make it roll along the track. The roll that passes the finish line first wins.

Skills improved:

Hand-eye coordination and object tracking.

7. Toss The Ball

A hot summer should not come in the way of fun. Here is how you can have fun right at home with this summer indoor activity for toddlers.

You will need:

  • A bathtub or pool
  • Plastic bowls
  • Small plastic balls

How to:

  1. Fill the tub or pool halfway with water and place the plastic bowls in it.
  2. The bowls will float on water.
  3. The toddler stands at some distance from the tub with the plastic balls.
  4. Ask them to aim and throw the balls into the bowls floating in the tub.
  5. If a ball falls into a bowl, they get a point on the scorecard.
  6. You can up the challenge by gently pushing the floating bowl. Now the toddler has to throw the ball in a moving floating bowl.

Skills improved:

Object-movement-action coordination, object training skills, and gross motor skills.

[ Read: Outdoor Games For Toddlers ]

8. Sorting The Blocks

A lazy afternoon can be spent sorting the scattered playing blocks. It helps you clean the mess and works as an excellent indoor activity for the toddler.

You will need:

  • Ziplock bags
  • Acrylic colors
  • Paintbrushes
  • Toddler’s playing blocks

How to:

  1. Use the acrylic paint to paint the bags from outside in colors that correspond to the blocks.
  2. Place the blocks in a pile or a plastic basket.
  3. Remove one block at a time and ask the toddler to match its color with the correct ziplock bag. Once they get it right, place the block inside the bag.
  4. Continue playing until you have sorted all the blocks and put them in their respective color bags.

Skills developed:

Color-name association and general problem-solving skills.

9. Matching The Cards

Exercise your toddler’s memory skills by playing this fun indoor game that improves cognitive abilities.

You will need:

  • A card set with several pairs of identical cards
  • You can also make your own set of cards right at home with the same image/number/letter each on two cards.

How to:

  1. Put the cards face down, in rows on a table or bed.
  2. Ask the toddler to turn two random cards and see the image.
  3. Ask them to remember what the cards are.
  4. Continue turning cards and try to remember their position, until the child uncovers a card that has a match at a known location.
  5. Keep playing till your toddler has matched all cards in pairs. This is an excellent indoor activity for three-year-olds who have better memory functions.

Skills developed:

Cognitive functions and memory recall

[ Read: Small Group Activities For Preschoolers ]

10. Colored Cups

Here, you paint clear cups and see through them. Your toddler will undoubtedly enjoy the various tints they create.

You will need:

  • Acrylic paints
  • Paintbrush
  • Tumbler/glass made of clear/see-through plastic

How to:

  1. Paint the cups uniformly with a single coat of paint.
  2. Choose one paint for two cups and create as many pairs of cups as you can.
  3. Once done, the toddler can hold the cup over their eyes, as spectacles, to see things through the homemade colored ‘lenses’.
  4. This is an ideal indoor activity for one-year-olds, who enjoy art & craft.

Skills developed:

General creativity and understanding different colors.

11. Painting The Windows

Painting The Windows

Image: Shutterstock

Toddlers like painting on paper. But they would love painting real objects such as window panes even more. Think that will be messy? Not in this case!

You will need:

  • Transparent plastic sheets
  • Acrylic colors
  • A paintbrush

How to:

  1. Select a window in the house with the maximum area of glass work.
  2. Stick the transparent plastic sheets firmly on each of the window panes and paste the corners with cello tape.
  3. Give the colors and a paint brush to the toddler, and ask them to use their imagination to draw whatever they want to.
  4. You can leave the plastic sheet in its place for some days so that the little one can admire the masterpiece.

Skills developed:

General creativity and gross motor skills.

[ Read: Shape Themed Activities For Preschoolers ]

12. Trace The Letters

Trace The Letters

Image: Shutterstock

Toddlerhood is the best time to learn the alphabet, and tracing is an excellent way to familiarize a toddler with the shape of letters.

You will need:

  • Pen and paper

How to:

  1. Write down large block letters as dots, on a piece of paper.
  2. Give the sheet to your toddler and ask them to “join the dots” and tell you what the letter is.
  3. Let them trace the letter one or more times after that while calling out its sound.

Skills improved:

Basic writing skills and cognitive functions.

13. Crawling Under Ribbons

A highly engaging and exciting indoor physical activity for a toddler.

You will need:

  • Colored ribbon
  • Cello tape

How to:

  1. Choose a corridor in the house that is narrow or just pick a spot with two parallel walls, close to one another.
  2. Stick each end of the ribbon at various heights on either wall, thus filling up the space/corridor with strings of ribbon.
  3. The toddler now crawls and passes through the space while trying not to touch them.
  4. Where the ribbons are low, they have to step over them; where they are high, they will crawl underneath.
  5. It makes an excellent motor activity for toddlers.

Skills improved:

Gross motor skills, walking skills, and general dexterity/agility of the body.

14. Catwalk The Ribbon

Looking for the right indoor game for your toddler’s birthday party? Here is one toddler party game that will excite everyone.

You will need:

  • Cello tape
  • Colored ribbon

How to:

  1. Tape different colored ribbons to the floor in straight and curvy or askew lines.
  2. Mark the beginning of the tape as the starting point for the toddler.
  3. When you say “Start,” each toddler is supposed to walk only on the ribbon, even if the line is not straight.
  4. The one who reaches the finish line first is the winner.
  5. A fun-filled indoor activity for two-year-old kids, who love using their walking and running skills.

Skills improved:

Gross motor skills, walking skills, and overall nimbleness.

[ Read: Memory Games For Preschoolers ]

15. Indoor Toddler Golf

You can have a mini golf tournament right at home with this indoor activity.

You will need:

  • A plastic golf club or stick
  • Plastic rings
  • Plastic ball

How to:

  1. Place plastic rings at different points on the floor.
  2. Select the spot where the toddler would stand first.
  3. The toddler chooses the ring that they would like to aim at.
  4. Then, they gently strike the balls towards the ring.
  5. If the ball lands right in the middle of the ring, then the toddler gets a point.
  6. If the ball misses the target, then they strike the ball again to make it land in the ring.
  7. The fewer the hits a toddler takes, more the points they get.

Skills improved:

Cause & effect and general physical exercise.

So there! You have the 15 best indoor games and activities for toddlers to keep them busy and active. They can be more fun when you follow some basic best practices.

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3 Tips For Indoor Games & Activities For Toddler

  1. Alternate games and activities: Do not repeat the games. Shuffle activities to sustain the toddler’s interest in them. If you play a game this week, try something else the next week and another one after that before repeating the first one.
  1. Let the toddler decide: Allow the toddler to take the initiative. If your little one enjoys playing a certain game more often, then let them do so. Letting your toddler choose the games helps improve their decision-making abilities and reduces the chances of them throwing a tantrum.
  1. Observe precaution and be watchful: Toddlers can get super-excited, especially when they are in groups. Keep an eye on them always, and remove hazardous or heavy objects such as wires, weights, or glass that can hurt them. Cover sharp edges of the furniture with rubber or tape to prevent accidents and keep your toddler safe.

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Toddlerhood is all about learning through play. Engage the child in active and imaginative play indoors to promote healthy physical and cognitive development. Try the games we have here or get creative to develop some new games. The goal is to let your preschooler enjoy while having fun yourself!

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Rohit Garoo

Rohit Garoo took writing as a profession right after finishing his MBA in Marketing. Earlier he graduated with a Bachelor’s degree in Botany & Zoology from the autonomous St. Xavier’s College in Mumbai. Rohit has also done a Stanford University certification course on breastfeeding. This botanist-zoologist turned writer excels at life sciences, and at MomJunction he writes everything about pediatrics and maternal care. In between writing and being overly curious, he spends time cooking, reading, and playing video games. LinkedIn profile – linkedin.com/in/rohit-garoo-263115aa
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