It might still technically still be Autumn here in Melbourne but when the weather man announces it’s going to reach a top of 11 deg C and there will be snow on the mountains you can be sure Winter is well on its way!
Being cooped up inside with the rain and cold pressing in you can easily find yourself running out of this to do with young children. My winter gift to you is a list of inexpensive fun things you can do with your toddler this winter.
1) Get yourself a cardboard box. Seriously there are hours of fun to be had with this simple (and usually free) piece of cardboard. You can turn it into a house making windows. Let your toddler go crazy with textas and they can draw all over it. Give them a torch and let them shine it inside the box, show them how to make shadow puppets.
2) Take some time out to visit your local library. That’s right, story time is still a thing! Libraries are a fantastic place to take your toddlers to get out of the house and for some interaction with other kids.
3) Indoor pool. Just because its cold out doesn’t mean you can’t still enjoy a swim. Indoor pools are fun and a great way to get exercise during the colder months. Entry is reasonably inexpensive and lessons are a great idea to give your toddler a head start for the coming summer.
4) Throw cotton. This is a great game to play at home with kids. All you need to do is put some sticky tape across a doorway (sticky side facing you) and then you have your toddler throw cotton balls at it and try to get it to stick. This one is a good game to develop their hand-eye coordination skills.
5) Walk that tight rope. Get some masking tape and create lines on the floor – create all kinds of patterns like circles, zig zags, and straight lines. Now have your toddler follow it with one foot in front of the other. If they’re good at going forwards get them to try going backwards too!
6) Continuing from the above game, turn your living room into a city by doubling up the masking tape lines and creating roads all over the floor. Get your toddler to take their favourite car for a drive throughout the city.
7) Indoor fishing. You’ll need a magnet, some paperclips, some paper, and some string. This one requires a little preparation, but once you have the bits set up you can use these again and again. Cut out some paper fish, a minimum of 3 (feel free to use this template) then place some paperclips on the mouth, you can use sticky tape to keep them in place if you find they fall off too easily. Lastly tie your string to your magnet and you’re all set!
8) Quality time with grandparents! It’s great to have relatives who are happy to look after your little ones for a few hours. Don’t forget you don’t have to be the one playing all of the games, take some over to grandparents and let them enjoy a game or two.
9) Target practice. Getting outside and muddy is all part of growing up. If you have a day that is dry get the kids outside for some mud throwing. No, not at each other. Draw some circles on the concrete with chalk then some mud and have your toddler ball some up and then throw it at the target. The best part is that the rainy weather will clean up the mess for you. Well not all the mess… you’ll still need to clean your toddler 😉
10) Build a maze. You can use cushions and furniture to create a maze. You can make it a challenge by having your toddler find treasures throughout the room in the maze.
There you have it! I hope some of these activities are new to you and you can enjoy them. If you have a friend with toddlers please pass these on to help them survive winter indoors!