January can feel like a long stretch of cold weather and indoor boredom and we can all get a bit of cabin fever now and again. But it's not all doom and gloom! Some really engaging winter activities for babies and toddlers are based inside and can really support babies development and parental bond.
So, what do you do with your toddler on a cold day? To give you some inspiration, here are a few things to pull out of the bag when you want to mainly stay indoors.
Absorb some culture
Your local cinema will also be showing child friendly short films during the daytime - great when you want to get out of the house but it’s terrible weather outside! 'The Gruffalo', 'Stick Man' or 'We're going on a bear hunt' are just a few of the “fun for all the family” films you can take the tots to see this winter!
If your are concerned about screen time, it might be worth checking out your local theatre or village hall for some child-friendly theatre or musicals. Children's theatre is usually interactive and engaging so it’s more likely to hold your children's attention!
Swimming is a great activity for both you and your little ones and it’s something babies can start doing from birth. It’s an activity with loads of benefits including:
- It’s great exercise, helping your child develop muscle, improving cardio health and encouraging a healthy heart, lungs and brain.
- It gets your toddlers comfortable in the water, so learning to swim feels less daunting. Showing your child that you can be comfortable in the water will also help them to feel more confident in the pool.
- Pool time is great for bonding. You both get to spend quality time together and your child gets your undivided attention for the whole session.
- Swimming can help to tire your children out so that they sleep better at night. Our Floating and Sinking Game Set is super handy to take with you to the pool (and also a great diving training toy for older kids)!
- Exercise also can improve your baby’s appetite, so they might want some kind of snack and drink once they finish the session.
- Swimming is a great way for toddlers to meet friends and for you to get to know other parents with children around the same age.
If you haven’t already, you could always check out the local pools in your area and ask for their timetables to see if they run any child friendly sessions. Parent and baby sessions or toddlers play time are usually part of any leisure centre timetable.
Indoor creative activities are perfect for the winter months. They also help children develop through sensory play with purpose.
Before we get started, a few essential bits of equipment for me are:
- An enormous waterproof tablecloth
- Washing-up bucket
- Cloths for wiping the kids (and the floor)
Here are two favourite crafty activities ideas:
It doesn't always have to be a bath - if you can find a corner that can survive a few splashes (maybe lay out towels), why not just fill a flat basin or bucket with water and let the kids explore! Good news is our Matchstick Monkey bathtime range is the perfect companion for some splashy fun. You can just pop our slide or scale on any hard surface and get playing!
Build a den from boxes
Building a den is a great way to keep little ones entertained! My favourite way to make a den for the kids is out of a big cardboard box. Cutting tunnels, turrets, windows and round holes to crawl through provides endless fun for toddlers! You don’t need to buy one, just pop into your local big hardware or DIY stores and ask if they have any spare large boxes!
An oldie but a goodie! Non-toxic poster paints and big sheets of recycled paper are perfect for this kind of activity. Do you remember creating huge butterfly shapes by painting on one side of the paper and folding it over to form one giant sheet of paper? I still think I enjoy making these as much as the kids!