Top 5 toddler friendly winter activities

toddlers playing with rice on a tray - text over image says "top 5 toddler friendly winter activities"

When it's cold outside it's hard to keep little kids entertained inside the house without the house turning into a bomb site and everyone going a little stir-crazy. Here are my top 5 activities to do in winter to keep your toddlers entertained - ideal for 12 months to 4 years old. 

1. Build a fort. Sometimes with chairs and a big blanket. Sometimes with just a kmart pop up tent. We put all of our special toys in the fort. We read stories. Get torches and light up the fort. It is a lot of fun and will entertain my kids for maybe 15-20 mins. 

2. Put rice in a tray and play in it. My mother in law gave me the brilliant idea of taking their water play table that we use in summer and filling it with rice. It has been so fun. The kids love it. But you could just get a normal tray, put rice in it and play with animals or trucks or dolls. I do this out on our decking to avoid rice going everywhere inside the house. It will entertain my kids for a good 30 mins before they start throwing rice at each other. 

3. Pretend kitchens. I would give my kids Tupperware to play with and I knew they loved pretending to cook them. So when Aldi was having a sale last week on wooden toys I bought a salad kit and a toaster. My kids love these two toys. They will make each other dishes. Pretend to clean up. Pretend to set a table. It is amazing. The trick is to pack the toys away and only bring them out every few days so they are really engaged with the toys when they do get them. This has entertained my kids for up to an hour. 

4. Have a dance party. Being cooped up inside can mean that the kids aren't letting out all that energy the way they do when they play outside - so we put on some toddler friendly spotify dance music playlist and dance around the house. It gets a little energy out and it makes us laugh. This will entertain my kids for 20 - 30 mins.

5. Hide and seek. Sometimes we hide toys.  Sometimes the kids hide from me. Sometimes they hide from each other. Sometimes I hide from them. Either way - the kids love playing hide and seek and it is a quick fun activity to play. I love it because it doesn't make a mess - unless we are hiding a toy. Then all the toys get thrown around to try and find the hidden toy. This will entertain the kids for 15-20 mins. 

Some other things we do inside include playing with playdoh (mixing playdoh and kitchen toys is a lot of fun), we do colouring in, reading, cooking or baking, playing with megablocks, playing with train-sets, riding around on little cars. And how could I forget watching TV - because this mama needs some screen time every once and a while - it's all about balance, right?

If you have any other ideas or suggestions on how to entertain toddlers inside I would LOVE to hear them. 

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