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.
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.
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!