Showing posts with label indoor activities for winter. Show all posts
Showing posts with label indoor activities for winter. Show all posts

Wednesday, February 13, 2013

5 Boredom Busters for Toddlers

As a stay-at-home mom, I often try to balance structured and unstructured playtime with my two year old. As he gets older, he has found ways that he enjoys playing independently, but as the day wears on he tends to need a bit of help from mom.  After lunch and during that long stretch of time until dinner, I often find that he needs support and creative inspiration to keep from allowing the boredom and crankiness to set in.  Here are a few ways that we stay active, creative, and learning indoors, when we can't head outside to play!

Blocks {Game}

Whether you have Duplo, wooden, or cardboard - blocks are a wonderful item to keep around the house for imaginative play.  Lately, we've been building our share of houses, walls, and bridges with the Mega Blocks that my son got for Christmas.  Another use that we have found for them is creating a fun game that gets my son moving and building at the same time!

For this game, all that I did was set a bell on top of the table and toss blocks around the living room. (If you don't have a bell, you could use anything that makes noise - a tambourine, a buzzer, or even an empty oatmeal container to bang on!)  Then, I showed my son how to find a block, set in on the table, and ring the bell.  He then went in search of another block, placed it on top of the other, and rang the bell again.  This repeated until all of the blocks were gone and he had built a little creation by adding one block at a time. After a game or two, he decided to make up his own rules, but enjoyed playing just as much! 

Salt Trays

We've had a lot of snow recently at our house and my son just loves waiting for the plow truck to visit our street.  One day, after he had watched the road being cleared and salted, he asked me if he could scoop up snow inside.  

This was such an easy activity to put together.  All you need is a tray, a jar of salt, and few trucks to plow with! (It's easy to sweep up afterwards, too.) If you don't have enough salt, rice would do just fine!  Or if your child isn't into trucks, here's another simple idea for playing with salt from Creative Playhouse.

Creative Tables

Experimenting with art supplies is another great way to break up your day.  Search the house for any type of materials that you child can create with.  Let them have free reign and see what develops!

For this activity, I set out torn construction paper pieces, paint, glitter, glue, paintbrushes, and a side that I cut out of a cereal box.  My son has used many of the materials before in one way or another (except for torn paper), so this time I just let him experiment and create his own masterpiece.  

Color Sorting

Grady is still working on learning his colors, but he loves to "match" any type of items he can find.  We've used these foam shapes in several activities this year including painting with shapes and learning how to sweep, so we pulled them out again for some color sorting.  

We grabbed a few bowls from his play kitchen (Tupperware would be perfect, too) along with the blocks and began sorting. I placed one of each color in a separate bowl and asked my son to sort the rest!  This can be done with any object lying around the house - pom poms, cereal, toy cars, etc.  The possibilities are endless and it helps improve color recognition during play!

Balls {Toddler Created Activity}

On the days when we're stuck inside because of the cold weather, I always try to find an activity that will allow us to burn off some energy.  One day I decided to bring a few different sized balls and a laundry basket upstairs to do just that!

After rolling them back and forth and chasing them around the living room, my son made up a game of his own!  We would roll them as far away from ourselves as we could, then he would run around collecting them, and set them in a group on the floor. He would then hide them under the laundry basket until Mom would find them and roll them away, starting the "game" all over again.  A super-simple activity that is easy enough for a 2 year old to understand! Why not try setting out a few items with your bouncy balls and allowing your child to come up with a silly game on their own? 

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Wednesday, January 9, 2013

{Artistic Expression} Painting with Shapes

toddlers, art, paint

It's been several weeks since we dragged the paints out to have a bit of fun.  Since today was a dreary, rainy day in our neck of the woods, I thought we would try a simple art activity that I came across on Lessons Learnt Journal a few months back.  She did an a fun activity with her toddler called block printing that I adapted to fit the supplies that we had lying around the house.  All you need to for this project is paper, foam shapes, and paint. (Well, a few wet wipes wouldn't hurt either!)

I set up this art activity for both mother and son because I love to have a little fun right there beside you! Since you're still learning your shapes, I thought that sticking to only circles would be a good idea for today. (Tomorrow we'll try squares!) I began making dots all over the paper with my circles, and you joined right in.  You dotted, rolled, and smeared the circles all around on the paper.  You even tried stacking the them in you spare time! After you got tired of that, you decided that hand prints were the way to go.  It was really interesting to see how you decided to use the objects that were given to you without any input from me.  I did, however, talk to you about what I was doing, while asking you questions about yours. In the end, we had two lovely pieces of art that you created, plus one that Mom made as well!        

blocks, paint


~ Try cutting out different shapes using a sponge and paint with those.
~ Make circles using cork. (Putti's World)
~ Create shapes with only your finger as the brush.
~ Use a stamp pad instead of paint.
~ Mom can trace different shapes onto the paper with a pencil and the child can paint them.
~ Find a potato and turn it into a circle stamp


~ Play connect the dots with the circles that you painted.
~ Wait until your circles are dry, then paint with another shape. 
~ Turn the circles into faces!
~ Use your finished product to make a card (or bookmarks) and send it to a loved one.
~ Talk about the different colors that you painted with and try mixing them to make new colors.

Thank you so much for stoopping by! If you enjoyed this post, please join us on Facebook. You can even explore our boards on Pinterest if you are looking for more ways to foster family connections through play and inspiration.

Monday, December 17, 2012

All Year Round Blog Carnival: Winter

As the cold weather quickly approaches and the possibility of snow becomes more imminent, Mother Nature is beckoning for us all to slow down, cuddle up with our loved ones, and create winter memories that will keep the family warm throughout the entire season.

One memory that comes to my mind from last winter was Valentine's Day. We all woke up to a lovely blanket of snow on the ground ~ which was a first for Grady.  He was in awe as he pressed his little nose to the window observing how nature had changed overnight.  It's amazing how just a little bit of snow can make the world glisten.

With the new year approaching, and the Winter Solstice only days away, we are hoping to take the time to appreciate all that the winter has to offer whether we are indoors or outside.  As we look for new ways to enjoy this season as a family, we are excited to see and read about how your family celebrates in our All Year Round Blog Carnival for Winter.  

So now, my co-hosts and I invite you to link up your favorite posts relating to the winter.  Have you baked anything yummy for the upcoming holidays? Worked together to make a craft? Found a book that beautifully describes the winter weather that you may be in store for?  Any activity, recipe, craft, game, project, story, or artwork that has the hint of winter speckled through it, is welcome.  Please remember to link to the URL of your post, and not to your homepage.  

If you would like to grab a button, you can do so here or if you are interested in co-hosting and finding our more about the All Year Round Carnival, visit this page. I am really looking forward to seeing what everyone had been working on during the winter months and hoping to find a few fresh ideas try out with the family! Please, join my co-hosts and myself in celebrating this new season!

Carnival co-hosts: 
sunnydaytodaymamaMama SmilesWinding Circle,
The Mahogany Way, Smiling like SunshineHome Baked,
Connecting Family & SeoulAll Things BeautifulLike Mama~Like Daughter,
Plain Vanilla MomLittle Homeschool BlessingsSimple Whimsy,
2 Big, 2 Littlejabberwocky

Thank you so much for stopping by! If you enjoyed this post, please join us on Facebook. You can even explore our boards on Pinterest if you are looking for more ways to foster family connections through play and inspiration.
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