Even if establishments are welcoming kids once again, it’s still important to have as much fun indoors as you do outdoors! It’s awesome to have a room full of toys, but finding new ways to entertain your tots doesn’t always have to mean spending a lot of money. You may already have all the tools you need laying around the house! To give you better ideas, we searched for low budget activities (some are Montessori-inspired), which you can enjoy with your toddlers at home. Check them out here!
Have you ever tried building a fort with boxes, blankets, and pillows? Kids love to play pretend and a simple cardboard box can easily stimulate their imagination. If you have old balikbayan boxes in storage, bring them out and have a tea party under a cardboard box fort with your kids. If you want to stretch your creativity a little more, you can also assemble the boxes as a train or a maze your little one can crawl into.
Here’s a little bit of Science for your toddler to experiment with. Simply fill a bowl with water, and gather various objects that can either sink or float — leaves, a feather, a toy car, paper, coins, and more. Kindergartners may already be capable of thinking and analyzing which items have the ability to float, but for much younger children, just allow them to explore. They will already enjoy watching the objects either float or sink!
Another way to exercise their motor skills, and hand strength, is by opening and closing objects like jars, tin cans, or pouches. Prepare a basket with these kinds of items and then let your child make their own discoveries. Provide items that are easy to open and close, think containers with simple lids or latches. As an added bonus, you might want to hide a treasure in one of the items and ask your child to look for it!
Activities involving water are always a fun time! Here’s something you can try using a bowl filled with water and soap (you could probably use baby shampoo, too!). The idea is to whisk the soap or shampoo in the water and wait for it to form bubbles. You can demonstrate whisking so your little one can follow!
One other activity that can help practice thinking skills is sorting or matching. You can prepare different kinds of containers like bowls, plates, or boxes. Then gather items that are of the same category or which go in pairs — crayons, socks, hair ties, uncooked pasta noodles, and the like. The goal is to match objects of either the same color, shape, or size. This is a great way to keep them occupied for several minutes!
If your child loves sorting and matching, they may also have a good time with a pouring and transferring exercise. Fill a pitcher with rice, grains, or oats, then have an empty pitcher beside it. Your child’s task is to pour the contents of one pitcher into the other. Another option is a transferring activity where your child can scoop things like candy from one bowl and pour them out in a second bowl.
Little kids and bright colors go hand-in-hand! Finger painting and coloring is a classic. Leave your child with a blank piece of paper and some crayons, and that will surely keep them busy. You might also want to try finger painting using non-toxic watercolor. You can cover your walls or floor with paper, so it will be safe to make a mess!
For something more active, play some music! Sing nursery rhymes or have a dance party at home (no singing nor dancing skills required at all! ). The more you repeat fun tunes, they will be able to sing-along after you! A song or dance party is also a great way to exhaust some of their extra energy!