When it's too cold to go out: Inspiration for Indoor Play

Oh, winter. Some days it's just too cold to go out! But that's tricky if you've got little ones with lots of energy. If you're like us and you get a little stir-crazy and you're desperate for new things to do with your baby or kids at home, we've rounded up some ideas that will hopefully inspire you and occupy your Littles!

Some of our favorite things to do are build epic forts, bake healthy muffins or chocolate cupcakes with sprinkles, take an extra long bubble bath (that smells like honeysuckle and quince of course), set up a living room picnic lunch, and throw a surprise pizza + family movie night. Incorporating fun lights like this rotating disco ball, favorite music, or a delicious snack can cheer up almost any gloomy day where you'll all stuck inside.

If you're feeling up to messy but extra exciting indoor activities that will engage your toddler for a longer period of time, try sensory bins full of dried pasta, cornmeal, dish soap bubbles, or dried beans. Include safe kitchen tools like whisks, measuring cups, spoons, and salad tongs or small toys for even more fun.

Painting and crafting is always a big hit. Try homemade play dough, whipped cream with food coloring, watercolors, or vegetable painting. If you're feeling crafty, pull out some string and beads and make necklaces and bracelets together. Or design a family portrait with various materials like crayons, photos, cut up pictures from a magazine, and glue. When you're making things together, the possibilities are endless.

We asked our mamas in the Tubby Todd Mamas Facebook group what their favorite indoor activities were and we got some super creative ideas we plan on adding to our wintertime repertoire:

  1. Impromptu dance parties! Joslynn Barton
  2. Scavenger hunts! Our three year old loves when we hide his "snuggle pals" around the house and he has to find them When he starts to get bored w/ it ~ we switch rooms and pals! --Alyssa Burkholder
  3. We bring snow inside and make mini snowmen! -- Alex Ford
  4. So much reading on the couch! It's almost becoming my favorite season because I can't get them to sit still, cuddle, and read with me hardly ever when it's nice outside. Also, they love the library (2 & 4 year olds) which is awesome because I can easily nurse my baby and such while they explore the books, play with puppets, and interact with other kids there. The library is such a low stress, family friendly outing during cold months. Also, free! --Naomi Ruth Jenkins
  5. 5 year old and 8 month old here. Lots of LEGO at our house. We also play with kinetic sand, water beads, read books, play board games, Kiwi Crate projects, and cook together. Sometimes we veg out with a good movie. Oh, and paper airplanes and magnatiles are a big hit! --Thy Vu Mims
  6. Lots of water color painting (use a big sheet on the floor and let them go to town) bath tub paint + afternoon bath, baking, busy box (a container of new stickers, coloring books, small toys and crafts for her to choose from on snow days), homemade play dough, and red light / green light with lots of dance parties to get the wiggles out! --Natalie Fernandez
  7. We go to the library or the mall! Granted mine is only 7 mo, but we both get cabin fever!! --Katie Lantakh

Thank you so much for sharing your tips for keeping our kids and ourselves sane during the winter months. We'd love to hear your ideas of what to do with kids during the winter. Tag us on Facebook or Instagram with #tubbytoddindoorplay. Hang in there everybody! We got this.