10 From GEM: Fun Indoor Activities For Babies And Toddlers

 

10 From GEM:
Fun Indoor Activities For Babies And Toddlers

If you and your family live in a part of the country that’s cold or wet this time of year—which is most of the United States right now—you’re probably struggling to find indoor activities to keep the kids engaged on weekends and days off from school. Of course, you would never let them watch TV or play video games all day long, right? Okay, maybe it’s happened a time or two (or three) but you really don’t want to do that on a regular basis. So, what’s a parent to do when she’s fresh out of fresh ideas? GEM has answers. Here’s part one of an occasional series about indoor activities you can do with your children.

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1.  CREATE A HOME LIBRARY

Creative Commons/nannetteturner

Babies and toddlers love books. They love it when you read to them. You probably already have a bookshelf full of books for your little one, but add a new dimension. If you have the space, find a dedicated corner of your house to play library. Decorate it with books, stuffed animals, artwork—anything that will make it feel like a kid’s corner. Make a library card for your toddler and have her use it to “check out” books anytime you visit the corner together. You can also vary this game to go on a visit to the grocery store or doctors’ office.

Read more: GEM On The GO! Adventures In New Fantasyland.. And It IS A Fantasy!

2. TEACH TEXTURES

Creative Commons/Odalaigh 

This is a neat little activity that will teach babies and toddlers differences in how things around them look and feel. You need a few materials with different textures like putty, fun fur, sandpaper, cotton balls, and fabric swatches. Glue each one to a small square of cardboard and add a strip of magnetic tape to the back. Put your cardboard pieces on the refrigerator or other magnetic surface and let your baby explore while you show her which ones are soft, rough, or smooth.

Read more: On Aisle 9: Three Things My Special Needs Son Can Teach You About Life

3. ROCK IT TO ME

Creative Commons/Green Wellies

Baby, it’s cold outside, but you’ve got to get out sometime. When you do, take along a pail and pick up a few rocks from various locations. Wash the rocks when you get home. Sit with your toddler and ask him to sort the rocks according to size. Then have him sort according to shape. Try having him sort by color and weight, or whatever you can come up with.

Read more: Guest Posting: 6 Things That Are “Good Enough” For Your New Baby

4. WHERE IN THE WORLD IS MY BLOCK?

Creative Commons/smartyarty41

Spatial awareness is an important cognitive skill to develop in babies and toddlers. Get a bowl and a small item like a building block. Put the block in different locations in and around the bowl and point out where it is using words such as under, over, inside, outside, and behind. Keep the game interesting by using a box and a different toy the next time you play. You can also play the game with your child by sitting her under the table or on the chair and telling her where she is.

Read more: A Trip To Nike: Hoop Dreams.. And A Mother’s Wish

5. KIDS’ CABINET

Creative Commons/pumpkin-girl

What baby doesn’t love to pull things out of drawers and cabinets? Give your baby his/her own cabinet and throw old kitchen items in it like plastic storage containers, utensils, colanders, muffin tins, and cake pans. Let them have at it. Rotate the items every few days. Maybe even surprise them with a new or recycled toy that you’ve hidden there.

Read more: What’s The Worst Meal You’ve Ever Cooked?

6. MAKE A JOYFUL NOISE

Creative Commons/Liz Adrienne

You know babies and toddlers love to make noise. If you can stand it, hit some pots and pans with him. Make different sounds with your mouth. Mimic sounds he makes and watch his delight as he comes up the new sounds and rhythms for you to imitate.

Read more: Life Lessons: ME!

7. GONE FISHIN’

Creative Commons/lettwinsknow

 

Your child has to take a bath. Add a layer of amusement by telling her she’s in a duck pond. Load the tub with rubber duckies and fish. Use an old kitchen strainer to have her “catch” fish. Make it a teachable moment by using colorful ducks and fish and pointing out and naming the different colors.

Read more: Guest Posting: I Was A Victim Of Child Sex Abuse.. The 3 Things Parents MUST Do!

8. LET’S GET PERSONAL

Creative Commons/miss coconut

Buy or make a special notebook for your toddler. Personalize it by putting her name on the cover. Think of it as her first journal where she’ll put her scribbles. Have her use markers, crayons, and stickers to really make it her own.

Read more: Life Lessons: Karen Finocchio

9.  CRAYMACHINE

Creative Commons/Andreas Koller

 

This is an abstract web toy that isn’t designed specifically for babies or toddlers, but yours will love it. Have him press a letter on your keyboard and watch what happens. It’s 26 different treats for his eyes and ears.

Read more: Keyboard Courage: Why People Will Say ANYTHING Online!

10. RHYTHM NATION

Photo Credit: Alexis Walker

Listen to different rhythms with your toddler like rainfall, heartbeats, a hair dryer—anything that makes noise and has an easy pattern. Look at a bracelet with beads or a bridge you built with blocks. You can have your child show these patterns on paper. Using crayons or paints, have your child draw the pattern she sees or hears on a large sheet of paper. It’s also fun to sing or dance the patterns.

Read more: Survivor Stories: Jacque Miller

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So which one of these caught your eye?  What are some indoor activities you already do with your little ones?  Let’s hear ya!

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Alexis Trass Walker lives in Gary, Indiana, with her husband and four children. She is a stay at home mom and writer who loves all things chocolate. After years of shyness, she is a recovering wallflower who understands that a smile goes a long way. Read more about Alexis on her website lilliebelle.org.

 

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Alexis Trass Walker lives in Gary, Indiana, with her husband and four children. She is managing editor of Good Enough Mother. Read more about Alexis on her blog www.lilliebelle.org or follow her on Twitter @LillieBelle5. You can email her at alexisnw16 [at] gmail [dot] com.

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