Stuck at Home? The Ultimate List of Indoor Activities for Babies and Toddlers

It’s really hard to be a provider and entertainer all at once. And that’s especially true when you have to hold court at home. Thankfully, we’ve put together the ultimate list of ideas for when you’re stuck inside but got a little mercurial one to entertain. Hopefully, this list will spark inspiration or sanity…or hopefully both.

 

Activity Description Age
 
 
Sibling story time
Have your older child read to a younger sibling. 
All
 
 
Homemade Playdough 
With a couple of basic ingredients you can make some fun, non-toxic playdough at home. All you need is some flour, salt, cream of tartar and food coloring. https://www.diynatural.com/homemade-playdough-recipe/
Toddler 
 
 
Cook together 
If you’re going to be cooking in, you might as well involve the kids. It’ll inspire a love of real food and potentially nudge those picky eaters to try new foods, since they’ll have some pride in being part of the process.
Toddler
   
Plant herbs, seeds together
Use your old Yumi jars or other used jars and create mini planters for herbs or other seeds. It’ll be fun to chart the progress as they grow!
Toddler
   
Trampoline Time
Pretty self-explanatory, but definitely requires adult supervision. 
Toddler 
   
Butcher Paper Drawathon
Buy a butcher paper roll (you can find them in Home Depot), and affix it to a wall or unroll it on the floor, and let your kids go to town with crayons or washable markers. You can even create imaginative worlds or cool maps for their car toys and other figurines to inhabit. 
Toddler
   
Throw a tea party 
Just because you’re staying in doesn’t mean you can’t be social. Invite your kid’s favorite “friends” to a tea party.
Toddler 
   
Pasta Jewelry 
Cheap and easy. Put your overstock of dried pasta to good use. Dye pasta shapes with food coloring and string it together. Requires supervision, but your kid will be so proud of their pasta creations. 
Toddler
   
Water bins
There is almost an infinite number of water bin games for babies and toddlers. It’s great sensory play, and if you have a backyard it will be easy to manage the mess. 
All 
   
Have a picnic in the backyard
Switch up the routine and take lunch outside. Set up a picnic blanket and point out items in nature, like a maple leaf or lady bug.
All 
   
Make Forts 
This one is a classic night or day. Use blankets or pillows to create a fun fort and read stories underneath, with a flashlight if at night. 
Toddler
   
Paint with cotton balls
We always have extra cotton balls in the house. Put it to good use by creating some art with cotton balls and paint.
Toddler 
   
Stamp with sponges
Same idea, but with kitchen sponges (feel free to cut them out into fun shapes like hearts and stars)
Toddler
   
Play Make-Believe with Amazon boxes
Put your old shipping boxes to good use by creating interesting scenes with boxes. Turn a box into a house, a spaceship, a go cart. If your kid can dream it, you can help make it with some markers and some patience. 
All 
   
Put on a play (with used boxes)
Turn a large old box into an impromptu theatre. Create, or have your kid, create a performance with their favorite stuffed animals. Just make sure you’ve hit record on your phone, this activity is bound to be adorable. 
All 
   
Have a lunch facetime with grandma/grandpa
Use Facetime and Zoom, and host a mini lunch with with the grandparents. 
Toddler 
   
Freeze! dance game
Play some of their favorite songs. As you DJ stop the song at various points, participants have to freeze when the music stops. 
Toddler 
   
Backyard scavenger hunt
Hide some household objects in the backyard (pick ones that are easy to clean). Have your kids find them and give them prizes based on how many they can find.  
Toddler 
   
Play with bubbles
Running around the backyard with bubbles, or just blowing bubbles, is always a good time. 
All
   
Dig for snails and worms
If you’re going to do some gardening, let your kid get in the fun. Give them a small shovel and get digging together. Look for snails, worms or other insects you can point out. 
Toddler
   
Make art prints with nature (leaves)
Collect leaves, paint, (and some newspaper, to prevent a big clean-up) and make some beautiful leaf prints on paper or fabric. 
Toddler
   
Play hide and seek with toys & stuffed animals
Play a game of hide and seek with your baby’s toys. 
Toddler
   
Create sensory bins
Get a bunch of plastic binds and create all sorts of sensory bins (great for cognitive development). Some ideas here.
All
   
Play “dress the baby”
Let your older kid help dress up the baby in silly (but safe ways) — with your supervision of course.  
Toddler
   
Lava lamp experiment
A great experience for older kids as they start to geek out on science. 
Toddler
   
Dye flowers with food dye
A simple, but gratifying science experiment. Take some simple white flowers, like carnations, and have different pots with water colored with food dye. Let your kid marvel as the flowers change over time. 
Toddler
   
Oil & Water experiment
This may seem simple to you, but it’s a pretty cool visual trick and a way to introduce the concept of liquids with different densities. 
Toddler
   
Improvised Bowling Alley 
Take used plastic bottles (fill them up with water for stability, more water=more stability and don’t forget the caps), grab a medium sized ball and turn your hallway into an impromptu bowling alley. 
All
   
Dance party with lil’ ones
Throw on their favorite, most dance like music and have a little dance party. If they are on the young side help them clap their hands to the rhythm of the beat. 
Toddler
   
Yoga with your kids
Show your kids some basic yoga poses. Depending on their age, your kid can participate and discover their inner namaste. 
All 
 

 

 

Teach your baby sign language
Use hand movements along with associated words to teach baby the joy of communicating with gestures.
Infant
 

 

Baby in the middle 
Put your child’s favorite toys in a circle, place them in the middle and let them build their core strength to reach their friends.
Infant
 

 

Bath time “showers”
Punch holes in plastic food containers and fill with water to make a fun bath time toy
All 
 

 

Pancake fun
Make pancake batter and then dream up fun mixes and toppings with your kid. Make mini-pancakes with unique ingredients and have fun trying all the flavors together. 
Toddler
   
Play garbage pail
While you’re cooking set up your kid with their own mixing bowl. As you finish cutting vegetables, give the scraps to your kid so they can have fun making their own “creation.” Goes without saying, but toss when done or add to compost. 
Toddler
   
Paint in the bathtub 
Use washable paint, and let your kid explore their inner Picasso in the tub. The cleanup will be easier inside vs. outside the tub. 
Toddler 
   
Tie-dye some old shirts or rags into cool designs 
If you’re willing to get a bit messy and feeling a bit ambitious, get some old plain, white t-shirts and have a fun afternoon creating tie-dye creations with your kid.  
Toddler
   

 

       

 

 

 

 

 

 

Let’s build a healthier generation together