Stuck Indoors? 10 ways to keep entertained

If you’ve noticed the silence around here recently, you may know that we were without power for a bit in the wake of Hurricane Sandy. (I am grateful that we are all safe- my heart goes out to all those impacted).

The list below is how we entertained ourselves while we were stuck inside, mostly without power (the day before the hurricane hit and the day after were both rainy with gusts of wind, so we stayed in):

  • Pom-pom Play: We struck gold with my huge bag of pom-poms. Sort them, blow them across tables with straws, throw them around, create animals with them…there are endless ideas!
  • Indoor obstacle course: To stay active, we created several obstacle courses. A favorite one was to do one forward roll, jump on a pillow, give me 2 high-fives, and then hop back.
  • Mailbox: I got out our toy mailbox, and we wrote letters on post-it notes, and mailed them to each other. Both boys loved “writing” notes (mostly just making marks on the paper). This could also be done with any shoe box- just turn it over and cut slits to slip paper in.
  • Collages: I got out stickers, pieces of yarn, tape, crayons, and markers and just let the boys cover sheet after sheet of paper.
  • Play with spicesI got out spices, about 5 at a time, and we smelled them, sitting together in front of the big window watching the rain come down. Both boys loved it. We also used the spice as paint. I added some water to the spice, just enough to make it wet, without watering it down too much, and the boys covered paper with it.
  • Chores: Yes, you read that right! The boys really got into helping me with the laundry (it probably helped that I pulled them around in the basket). While we still had power, they helped me add clothes to the washer and dryer as I snuck in one last load. Later, they helped me match up socks. And we played a game where we raced to see how much laundry we could put into drawers before I counted to 100. They also had fun washing and putting away dishes.
  • Toy Rotation: I mean to be good about toy rotation, I truly do. I have put away some toys, and luckily, I knew where to look with them in the basement, so I could do it by flashlight. I brought them upstairs, and it was like Christmas. The boys had so much fun playing with their “new” old toys. (For my 16 month old, they really were new- I’m bad about toy rotation, which means when I do remember to put away toys to rotate, I forget the rotate part, and they just stay stored in the basement).
  • Legos: I probably should put Legos higher on the list, because they truly were the go-to activity. Whenever one of the other ideas was getting old, we would take a Lego break. Just about every day we play Legos, and days without power were no exception. Legos are a wonderful fine motor activity, and so good for creative thinking, spatial relationships, imagination, math.

playdough recipe

  • Playdough: I made a big batch, using this recipe. We used cookie cutters, rolling pins, plastic knives, and mostly our hands to create and play with the dough.
  • Tea parties: I did my best to make snack times extra fun. I got out our teapot, even to just fill with watered down juice. We spread out a blanket and had a picnic on the floor. The boys helped make the snacks.
What are your favorite rainy day activities?
Do you have a little one? Check out Zero to Two: the book of play, an e-book I co-authored! It includes 25 step-by-step tutorials with pictures, as well as links to over 50 more ways to play with babies and toddlers – all for $8.99. Many of them are great indoor ideas!
Baby and Toddler Play Ideas
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