6 Ways to Keep Toddlers Busy in the Winter

Winter is probably the toughest three month span of the year, especially with a toddler! The days are short, it’s cold out, trees are bare and most of the time my kids are cooped up and going stir crazy. Today I’m sharing my tips for battling the winter blues and keeping your kids busy with some fun winter-friendly activities for toddlers. 


Check out a Movie

A movie day is a great way to get out of the house. Another activity I generally wouldn’t think a kid would behave for but the big screen really does keep their attention pretty well. Combine that with some popcorn and candy and it’s pretty much a win all around.


Discovery Kids Fort | Fort Magic Kit | Castle Pop Up Tent

Build a Fort

Growing up we just moved furniture and sheets but nowadays there’s some fancy fort kits if you’re interested in the splurge.  I’ve seen a few different kinds of kits, some come with rods and joints, others come with a tarp and clips. 


Run Around at a Kids Gym

A few gymnastic gyms around me offer toddler time at least one day a week. This is a great place to get out for a couple hours. It also usually results in a great nap afterwards (running around sure tires them out)! 

In addition to kids gyms, there’s also trampoline parks popping up all over the place! Places like Sky Zone offer toddler time, check this link to see if there’s one near you. 

Take Swim Lessons

Get ready for the summer months by taking swim lessons through the winter! It’s a great way to introduce toddlers to the basics of swim safety while familiarizing them with a pool. Most classes run one day over the course of several weeks. Our local gym has a swimming pool and they offer kids classes throughout the winter. Otherwise, any swim club should have a program as well. 

Franklin Institute, Philadelphia

Invest in a Museum Pass

The winter is a great time to invest in a yearly pass to a local museum. We are super lucky to have great museums like The Please Touch Museum, Franklin Institute, Adventure Aquarium, and Garden State Discovery Museum all within 20 minutes. A yearly pass usually pays for itself in a couple visits, especially if your kids are little enough to get in for free! 

Let Them Get Messy

Switch up your daily routine by introducing some new activities. Some of our favorites include play-doh, finger painting, and simple crafts. I keep a craft box for kid-friendly materials including: construction paper, non-toxic paint, crayons, markers, stickers, felt, glitter, pom-poms, and glue. There’s a ton of DIY ideas on Pinterest using these basic items… so it’s great to keep them stored away and on-hand!

To be honest, the thought of playing with messy paints, play-doh, etc. was always my LAST option. I always thought I’d end up taking everything out for 5 minutes of play-time. However, the more I introduce crafts/paint/play-doh, the longer my son actually plays with it. So I’ve really come around to crafting with a toddler since it seems to hold his attention longer than typical toys.

I’ve rounded up a few of my favorite toddler-friendly crafts on my pinterest board here:

These are just a few of my favorite things to do, but I’m always up for suggestions. Leave your best tips below!


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  • Reply Rachel @ The Analytical Mommy February 13, 2017 at 8:37 pm

    I love these ideas! especially building a fort!

  • Reply The Cool Mom February 11, 2017 at 1:35 pm

    These are all such great ideas! Our littles love the museum and it tires them out, so it’s a win win for everyone.

  • Reply Chelsea February 11, 2017 at 1:28 am

    We have passes to museums, aquariums and theme parks. Such a great investment for wiggly toddlers!

    Chelsea ||

  • Reply onepeainthepod February 10, 2017 at 2:17 pm

    Yes! Museums are so much fun! We have a really cute one by our house we love!

  • Reply AshKTaylor February 10, 2017 at 11:57 am

    I love taking my daughter to toddler time at Sky zone! It’s about an hour drive for us though, so we don’t go very often.
    These are all great ideas!

  • Reply Jasmine - LoveLifeLaughMotherhood February 10, 2017 at 10:22 am

    These are great tips-even thought it doesnt snow here, its sometimes way too cold to go outside

  • Reply Rose February 10, 2017 at 8:26 am

    You would get your money’s worth for a museum pass just winter months alone. We have had a couple 70° days so we have been able to get out and play and even ride bikes here. We still change it up though. Doing different things is good for them and us.

  • Reply Susannah February 10, 2017 at 12:52 am

    These are awesome ideas! I’m always on the struggle bus with how to keep my little man busy but now I have a few more tricks up my sleeve!

  • Reply Sheri R. February 10, 2017 at 12:26 am

    Thanks for the great ideas <3

  • Reply mdhippiemama February 9, 2017 at 11:45 pm

    We’ve been house bound with a major winter storm for the past week. We’ve done a lot of getting messy. In fact, my 2 year old has bingo dabber dots on her forehead and cheeks:)

  • Reply thecoffeemom0617 February 9, 2017 at 11:23 pm

    these all look like so much fun! Here in FL we don’t really stress “winter” but sometimes in summer it gets too hot to be outside so these would actually be great for them for me.

  • Reply Belle February 9, 2017 at 10:11 pm

    These are great tips! My kids love an indoor play gym so that one is a must do for us!

    Belle | One Awesome Momma

  • Reply Lauren Cunningham February 9, 2017 at 7:22 pm

    So very helpful as it is only early February and I’m running out of ideas! I hadn’t thought of swim lessons, but really, this is the perfect time – get the skill down before the fun in the sun begins this summer.

  • Reply Veronica Lee February 7, 2017 at 9:30 am

    Hi! Stopping by from Mom Bloggers Club. Great blog!
    Have a nice day!

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