These free indoor activities for toddlers will get you through the cold days, rainy days, and even the seemingly endless months of winter. I know full well how much energy toddlers have and planning fancy activities everyday can get expensive. That’s why I created two months worth of free indoor activities for toddlers that you can create with things you already have in your home!
This post is all about free indoor activities for toddlers that are easy to set up and great for toddlers of any age!
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Free Indoor Activities for Toddlers
What supplies will you need?
If you have these couple of items around the house you will be able to complete all of these free indoor activities for toddlers!
- Masking tape or painters tape
- Paint (any colors you have)
- Paper & markers
- Standard kitchen supplies (like a broom, mixing bowls, and rice)
- Cardboard boxes
- Sticky notes
- Bed sheets
- Shaving cream
- A magazine or two
- Whatever toys your kids already have
1. Indoor Hopscotch– Your kids will absolutely love being able to bring an outdoor game inside. How Wee Grow also has great ideas to extend this activity and work on counting by adding the correct number of toys into each square or counting as you jump.
2. Tape Roads– Masking tape and painters tape can both create easily removable roads to drive their toy cars all over the house. You can also opt for a roll of this road tape if your kids love this activity. We have a roll of this tape ourselves!
3. Balance beam– Lucky for us, toddlers can be entertained by the simplest things. A simple line of tape is a ton of fun when you pretend it’s a balance beam! Have your kids try to walk, spin, jump, or maybe even somersault on the balance beam without falling off!
4. Laser Beams– Tape pieces strung across a hallway is a fun obstacle course of “lasers” for a rainy day. They may not set off any alarms when they get touched but they will definitely stick!
5. Tape Resist Art– While younger toddlers may not yet have the ability to really paint or draw certain items or pictures, tape resist art (via Busy Toddler) lets the really little ones create a beautiful design. Write their name with the tape, create a random design, or outline their favorite animal even!
6. Tape Parade– To help your toddler host their very own parade, lay down pieces of tape anywhere in your home and have your toddler place their stuffed animals or toys in a row along the tape. Play Inspired Mum also had the idea to do this activity with animal figures.
7. An Obstacle Course– Create a line of tape through your home that your toddler has to work on. All the while, place obstacles in the path of your tape line such as couch cushions, shoes, pillows, etc.
8. Sticky Spider Web– Crisscross strands of tape back and forth at the top of a doorway in your home to create this sticky spider web from Hands on As We Grow. Crumple up some paper to throw at your sticky spider web and count how many you can get to stick.
9. Paint Rocks– This is a toddler activity that I actually enjoy doing myself alongside my toddler. Kids of any age can do this one too.
10. Paint in a Bag– If you aren’t in the mood to clean up the usual mess that comes with painting, give painting in a gallon ziploc bag a try! It’s extra fun of you do it up against a window. You can check out more on this activity from Parenting Chaos.
11. Paint with Sponges– Sponges make great paint brushes if you don’t have any or want to switch things up a bit. While you won’t want to use any sponges in your house that may have been used with cleaners, do a quick search around your home to find unused sponges for a fun painting activity. (you can also paint with forks to create a fun pattern if you don’t have sponges!)
12. Painting Ice Cubes– If you have an ice cube maker or an ice cube tray and a bottle of paint, this ice cube painting activity from Busy Toddler can provide hours of fun inside!
13. Paint Toys– If you use washable kids’ paints, letting your kids paint a few of their plastic toys is harmless and fun! This one is especially fun if you have toy cars that you can give a new paint job.
Paper & Markers
14. Design Old Shirts– When my kids’ shirts get stained, I put them off to the side to use as play shirts, pajamas, or painting shirts. If you do the same thing, these shirts combined with a few permanent markers creates a fun art activity for toddlers of any age.
15. Draw Self Portraits– Draw each other or draw yourselves with whatever art supplies you have on hand. Not only will this art project give you a few laughs but it may also give you something adorable to hang up on the wall.
16. Make Paper Airplanes– Such a simple old school activity but let’s be honest…paper airplanes never get old.
17. Design Cards– Rather than getting caught off guard when holidays roll around, have your toddler create cards now. Then you’ll be ready to go when the next holiday or family birthday catches you off guard.
18. Snowball Fight– The only thing required for an indoor snowball fight is crumpled up pieces of paper. Find an old journal that you never actually had time to write in and have a good ol’ fashion snowball fight with your kiddos.
19. Giant Dot to Dot– It’s easy to create your own dot to dot and it’s especially fun on huge paper. Using butcher paper to make a giant dot to dot of your toddler or their favorite animal is a super simple low prep activity.
20. Bake Something– You will be amazed just how capable your toddler is when you allow them to help you cook and bake. My toddler actually loves helping me make dinner now! It may take a little longer and occasionally cause a spill or two but that time you’ll get to spend together is precious.
21. Blanket Fort– Use your dining room chairs and a few stray blankets around the house to create your own blanket fort. Then spend some time in your fort playing, reading, or maybe even watching a movie or two!
22. Rice Sensory Bin– Rice is a staple that I have in my kitchen at all times. Not only does it make a quick and easy meal, but it also makes tons of different quick and easy sensory bins. I love this pumpkin scoop and pour rice sensory bin we made for fall but you can easily modify it to make it work for any season/holiday. Just dye the rice an appropriate color for that holiday and draw hearts, shamrocks, candy canes, etc. on the containers.
23. Ice Excavating– Throw a few of your toddlers toys in a tupperware container filled with water and slide it in the freezer overnight. (or opt to put small toys into each section of an ice cube tray and then fill it). In the morning, use squirt or spray bottles of hot water to “dig” out their toys!
24. DIY Skee Ball– Gather up a few of your toddler’s play balls and 4-5 mixing bowls from your kitchen. Place a tape line on the floor (or use a broom as a line) and line up the bowls vertically on the other side of the line. Mark each bowl with a certain number of points using sticky notes with the closest bowl being worth the least and the furthest bowl being worth the most points. Give each of your children a certain number of throws and see who can get the most points!
25. Ice Skating– Have your toddler stand on paper plates or parchment paper and/or put their feet into old tissue boxes to go ice skating all around the house! Bare feet are best to help them stick to whatever they are standing on without sliding off.
26. Limbo (or Anti Limbo)– Grab a broom, turn on some music, and teach your toddler limbo. Or try jumping over the broom and slowly raising it higher and higher, as I like to call it “anti-limbo.”
27. Paper Plate Lacing– Lacing activities are super valuable for kids’ fine motor skills and brain development. There are plenty of adorable lacing toys out there but you can also easily DIY your own lacing toy with a paper plate, hole punch, and yarn!
28. Pasta Necklace– If you have penne or elbow pasta and some string, a pasta necklace requires virtually no prep work. Throw on any beads you already have lying around to spice things up a bit.
29. Drop Test– Give your child some sort of food that is easily broken if it gets dropped and challenge them to use things around the house to keep it safe when it drops. The most common food to use is an egg but shortbread cookies have also worked great for us in the past! Once they have their food wrapped up and ready to drop, see how high you can drop it from before it breaks!
30. Go Bowling– Rummage through your recycling for empty cans and bottles and set up your own bowling alley. Grab any play balls you have around your house and bowl down your hallway or set up a bowling lane with a broken down cardboard box!
31. Time Capsule– Use a water bottle or empty food container to help your child create their own time capsule. Once they are all finished, you can bury it in the yard, store it in the attic for a while, or throw it in a snowbank if it’s winter and find it when the snow melts!
32. Blind Taste Test– Have your toddler close their eyes while you feed them bites of different foods and have them guess what it is. Use a few of their favorite foods to make the game even more fun.
33. Sensory Bottle– Use any empty bottle or container that you have to create a sensory bottle. We used a plastic peanut canister, corn syrup, and beads we had at home to create our sensory bottle. Check out our step by step in this Instagram reel.
34. Dance Party– There is really no need for an explanation of this one. Find some amazing kid songs and get a dance party rolling. We are personally huge fans of Slugs and Bugs!
35. Make Motions– Choose one of your toddlers favorite songs (the one you hear 27 times a day) and work together with your toddler to come up with motions or a dance to it! At least this way it will be a little more entertaining when you have to listen to it all day.
36. Sock Puppet– All you need to make a sock puppet is an old sock and a few permanent markers. Bonus points if you happen to have googly eyes, buttons, or felt pieces you can hot glue on as ears and a tongue!
37. Rice Sock– While I will admit that my toddler owns a warmies dog, it’s actually so easy to create one of these with nothing but a sock and some rice. Find a tall sock in your drawer that is at least semi-new, fill it with rice, and tie it off. You can also add decorations like from the sock puppet if your toddler wants to create their own “warmies” animal. Just heat it up in the microwave for about a minute when they need some warmth on those cold days. (adjust as needed depending on your microwave)
38. Cardboard Car– Draw doors, headlights, wheels, and a license plate on a large box to create a simple cardboard box car. Cut the door so that it can open and cut out a key/key slot if you really want to get fancy!
39. Tissue Box Guitar– I think every kid has created a tissue box guitar at some point in their lifetime. You’ll need a tissue box (or small box), string, paper towel tube, and tape/glue for this one.
40. Cardboard Castle– Your toddler will more than likely need a bit of help cutting the top of the box to look like the top of a castle. But they can make up for it by doing all the decorating on the outside of the box. Bonus points if you throw princess and/or knight costumes in the mix.
Things ARound the House
41. Pillow Case Race– Sack races are a ton of fun and you can easily recreate them indoors with nothing but pillow cases.
42. Homemade Parachute– The day we got out the play parachutes in gym class was always my favorite school day as a kid. If you don’t feel like investing in another large toy to store, just use a sheet! Throw a few balls on top for some extra fun!
43. Draw in Shaving Cream– As a former teacher, I am a big fan of shaving cream activities. Your toddler can draw if they are really little or use shaving cream to start practicing drawing their letters and numbers. Add food coloring for a little extra fun.
44. Flashlight Scavenger Hunt– This Christmas flashlight scavenger hunt from Hands on As We Grow was too cute not to include. And if you don’t have bows, you can use duplos, play cars, dolls, or truly anything.
45. Magazine Collage– If you happen to have an old magazine, you will be amazed at just how much your toddler loves choosing pictures to cut out from the magazine and glue to their photo collage.
46. Letter Match– This fun post-it match from Busy Toddler is a great way to help your toddler begin learning their letters.
47. Post-It Note Puzzle– The best part about a post-it puzzle is that you can make puzzles of your toddler’s favorite things. (and hopefully your drawing is good enough that they can tell what it is)
48. Wall Phone– Use numbered sticky notes on a wall to mimic the keyboard on a phone. This makes a great tool to teach your kids certain phone numbers and also how to call 911.
49. Color Match Game– To play this color match game from How Wee Learn, write out each color name onto its own post-it note. Have your toddler grab one at a time and go stick the post-it note with the color “blue” on something blue and so on.
Whatever Toys They Already Have
50. Lego Color Hunt– If your kids don’t have legos, you can easily do this color hunt game with any other colorful toys your kids have. All you need is colored paper. This is one of my absolute favorite free indoor activities for toddlers!
51. Paint Chip Color Hunt– If you want to up the ante a little bit with your color hunt game from above, try doing a color hunt game with things around the house to match every color on paint chips! You can find paint chips at Walmart, Lowes, Home Depot, etc.
52. Puzzle Piece Hunt– Grab a few of your toddlers’ puzzles, empty out the pieces, and hide the pieces all over the room. Challenge your toddler to find them all and put them back in the right puzzle. An incredible idea from No Time for Flash Cards!
53. Car Wash– It’s easy enough to create a toy car “cash wash” with a container of soapy water and your toddlers’ toy cars. Plus, if we are honest they probably need washed anyways.
54. Fashion Show– Let your toddler try on your clothes or mix and match their own clothes and show them off down the runway of your hallway.
55. Make Crayons– If you have a ton of broken crayons laying around your house, throw all the broken pieces into any silicone mold you have or even a muffin pan! Put it into the oven at 250 degrees for about 15 minutes or until they are melted. Once you pull them out of the oven, let them cool completely before pulling them out. Tada! New crayons!
56. Sink or Float– Like the name suggests, fill up the tub and have your toddler grab a few of their toys and test whether they sink or float. Yes it is truly that simple.
57. New Animal– Spend some time learning about a new animal either by reading a book about them or watching videos and then try and draw them!
58. GoNoodle– GoNoodle was one of my absolute favorite tools as a teacher to give the kids a chance to get moving. The songs are fun and they definitely help them get a little energy out.
59. Workout Video– My toddler has actually come to love and enjoy doing workout videos with me. I highly suggest checking out dance workouts and maybe getting a pair of these kids’ play weights too.
60. Hide and Seek– Hide and seek is one of the classic free indoor activities for toddlers that is so easy to forget about but always ends up a blast.
61. Animal Charades– Pretend to be a certain animal and ask your toddler to guess what animal you are. Once they get the hang of the game, see if they can act out animals too.
62. Crab Walk Races– Crab walking takes a ton of energy and is therefore one of the best possible things for a toddler stuck inside.
This post was all about free indoor activities for toddlers that are simple to throw together quickly in a pinch. Whether it be for rainy days, cold days, or long winter months, these activities will keep everyone happy!
-Beautifully Busy Mom
Print out the board for your fridge
and cross them off as you go!