Indoor Activities for Young Children

Indoor Ideas for Young Children

Stuck inside?

Summer is just around the corner. The warm weather is so close I can almost taste it! But then again, we live in Michigan, so we are due for at least one more snowstorm before the weather heats up for good. We are all getting stir-crazy! Until the beautiful warm weather returns- I am always looking for new ways to keep my toddler and baby occupied indoors. Here are a few of my favorite easy indoor activities to keep the kiddos entertained.  

Sensory Bins

Sensory bins are just hands-on activities that are in a plastic box to keep everything contained. 

Soap and Water

The easiest bin I have ever made was literally just a plastic tub with water and bars of soap with a few rubber ducks.  My daughter gave the ducks a “bath” for over an hour.  Yes, water got everywhere, but at least it was clean water and simply required some towels for easy cleanup.  

Rice and Beans

Another bin that was a big hit was uncooked rice and beans with measuring cups and spoons for pouring. Children love the feeling of the rice and beans running through their hands and the satisfying “plink!” sound of the beans hitting the cups.  


Feeling a bit more adventurous? A “snow” sensory bin is my oldest daughter’s absolute favorite.  The ingredients are simple: 1⁄2 cup hair conditioner, and 3 cups baking soda.  Mix it together and voila! It’s texture is similar to kinetic sand, and has a cool-to-the-touch feeling. I add sand toys to the bin and let my daughter play to her heart’s content. 

If you’re looking for more sensory bin ideas- check out pinterest.  There are literally thousands of ideas!

Fort building

One of my fondest memories as a kid was taking apart my living room couch and using the cushions to make a fort.  Not much has changed, as I did this last week with my daughter and had a blast! We pulled out some old sheets, pillows, and all of the kitchen chairs to make a massive fort in the living room.  We spent the evening there reading books and watching a movie, it felt pretty magical!

Chalkboard paint

I found an old child-size table and chair at a resale shop a few years ago.  It wasn’t in the best shape and I had plans to repaint it for years. Finally, I did and used chalkboard paint on the top of the table. It turned out to be my best idea ever! I purchased chalk paint markers on Amazon and my daughter has spent countless hours scribbling all over the table. Regular outdoor sidewalk chalk works just as well. The clean-up is as easy as using a wet paper towel.

Board Games

My oldest daughter is 2, so I assumed she was too young for any sort of organized board game. I was wrong! While Christmas shopping this past year, I stumbled across a brand called Peaceable Kingdom that sells board games for ages 2+.  We purchased “Monkey Around” and “Acorn Soup” on Amazon and my daughter LOVES them! They are age-appropriate and kept my daughter engaged for a very long time.  The games also really helped to foster quality time together as a family. I highly recommend it!

These cold winter days are long and hard and hopefully coming to an end soon.  In the meantime, I hope these ideas can keep your kiddos occupied, and keep yourself sane!

Story and photos by Alyssa Dock for