Are you looking for fun indoor activities to keep your little ones engaged and happy this winter? If so, you’re not alone. Preschoolers are well-known for being active, yet most caregivers and parents can feel they come up short for great ideas for indoor activities during the snowy days. After all, they can’t simply leave their snuggly socks and cozy rooms behind to venture outside when it gets cold, icy, or rainy.
To help you get a head start, we’ve put together five awesome indoor play activities you can do at home or daycare with your kids to ensure they stay engaged and active. Whether you’re a parent with multiple kids or run one of the best daycares in Chicago, you can use these indoor activity ideas to cure cabin fever and help your little ones beat winter blues.
We highly recommend doing multiple activities every day and stretching each exercise to around ten minutes or more if their attention allows it.
- Hide and Seek
Hide & Seek is a classic indoor fun activity for younger children, and it played a significant role in keeping them busy during the recent pandemic lockdowns. However, some preschoolers may be scared of hiding, particularly when they cannot find others, so it pays to be careful when setting up and playing this game.
For toddlers’ wellbeing and to reduce anxiety, adults involved in the game should stick to prominent hiding spots where an arm or leg is visible. When it’s the turn of the least experienced child, you should cough a little, clear your throat, or make little noises to help them find you without much fuss.
Initially, when you introduce the game to your daycare group, you might have to count for some of the younger kiddos. You can also take this opportunity to teach them numbers by counting slowly and then increasing the challenge as the kids get the hang of it.
Ultimately, the objective of Hide & Seek is to have fun, so make sure to celebrate each time a little one finds someone.
- Copy Dancing
Dancing is a great way to infuse physical activity and fun into your daycare playtime. Fortunately, younger children have an inherent inclination to love music and wiggle their bodies along with the beat. Be that as it may, toddlers are not used to choreographed or structured dancing styles or rhythms.
That said, the most obvious way to incorporate dancing into activity time is not to focus on any dancing that’s too structured. You can choose two or three random songs throughout the week or even month and begin grooving to them. Perhaps you should include the astronomically popular Baby Shark song.
Copy dancing is another excellent approach that has proven to work like a charm for most daycares and parents. It all began at a daycare dance party, and rumor has it that a four-year-old named it, so you know it’s bound to be a hit with your little ones.
Copy dancing is an entertaining dance activity involving up to 20 participants, making it the perfect choice for any daycare group. And it is as easy as it sounds – one participant dances, and others have to copy their dancing style. It’s even better when kids lead the way.
- Yoga for Children
If you already enjoy doing some yoga, meditation, or other structured forms of exercise, your little ones will probably love doing them, too. Get your children involved in these reinvigorating activities, and you’ll be thankful that you introduced them to a healthy lifestyle at a tender age. Yoga can also provide your kids with a bevy of benefits, including boosting memory and concentration, improving strength and stability, and managing anxiety.
It’s important to note that toddlers are not known for being quiet, so don’t expect them to stick to breathing exercises and stay silent. They may even start laughing at poses like the downward-facing dog or the tree pose.
Craft some flashcards with the pictures and names of the yoga poses to incorporate some learning into the activity. Daycare yoga favorites are tabletop, lion, and flying warrior poses.
Just remember, if you consider yoga to be part of your me-time, it’s going to be a challenge to get some relaxation and hit your zen with them beside you. Consider inviting them to just the first or last few minutes of your yoga session. Better yet, you can include a particular yoga sequence just for your kids.
- Making Homemade Collages
Homemade collages are hands down the best indoor fun activity for kids in the arts and crafts department. It doesn’t have to be complicated or expensive. Just give your little ones a handful of items they can arrange into a collage over and over again.
Provide a placemat or tray, too, where they will be arranging these items to create many different objects, designs, and patterns. Animals, simple buildings, and geometric shapes are, of course, some of the most popular go-to’s for preschoolers.
If you want to take this activity to the next level, use reusable materials, such as spare keys, fabric swatches, paint samples, buttons, and craft sticks. Don’t forget to snap a photo of each collage to commemorate each craft.
- Scavenger Hunt
The scavenger hunt, poised to be an instant hit with kids either at home or a daycare facility, is another indoor activity. It’s also a fun activity for the whole family when you can’t get outside.
Select numerous fun objects like toys and choose some nooks and crannies where you can hide them around your daycare or home. Take a clipboard and create a list with images or drawings of the said objects and cross them off as you find them. You can also opt for any theme, like colors, letters, or patterns, and have fun hunting around the place.
Don’t take the fun out of scavenger hunts by hiding stuff in hard-to-find spots. It would help if you were extra careful when hiding things dear to your little ones, such as pacifiers, blankets, or stuffed animals. The last thing you want is to end up with kids throwing tantrums because they couldn’t find their favorite blankie.
Incorporating fun indoor activities is a great way to create a routine for your children and keep them active and engaged. You are better off sticking to winter-friendly activities that encourage movement and incorporate music or arts and crafts, such as freeze dance, obstacle courses, yoga, shapes, and squiggle art, to mention a few.
About the Writer
Sandra Chiu works as Director at LadyBug & Friends Daycare and Preschool.