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7 Indoor Toddler Activities To Support Learning And Beat Boredom

by | Jun 2, 2022 | Creativity

It can be stressful to be cooped up inside all day with a toddler. Little minds need to be engaged, but that can be challenging when you’re stuck inside. To keep your child occupied and having fun learning, below are seven simple indoor toddler activities.

Our experts picked these specific activities especially for curious toddlers. They’re age-appropriate, bust boredom, and help support learning.

However, you know your child best. So if you don’t think they’re ready for a particular activity, skip it for now. You can always try it again later.

Table of Contents

Active Indoor Toddler Activities

Your child is constantly working on their fine and gross motor skills as a toddler. They’re learning how to move their body, coordinate their movements, and use their muscles.

1) Painter’s Tape Hopscotch

Hopscotch for indoor toddler activities

What You’ll Need

  • A roll of painter’s tape
  • A cardboard box
  • Scissors or a razor blade for cutting cardboard
  • A soft ball or a pair of rolled-up socks

What To Do

Create a special toddler hopscotch course out of painter’s tape on your floor. This process takes some time, but it’ll give your toddler a fun place to play.

First, cut a simple square template out of the box. The size you go with is determined by how much space you have available, but, ideally, your square will be large enough for your child to comfortably stand in.

Use painter’s tape to outline your template. To make the game age-appropriate, we recommend creating a straight line out of six squares, rather than the traditional hopscotch design. Then, pick the cardboard up and use painter’s tape to create the number one inside the box.

Next, move on to squares two and three, putting square two on top of square one and square three on top of square two, until you reach six.

Once the course is complete, ask your child to play hopscotch. Use a pair of socks or a soft ball as your marker. Toss it onto the course and say the number in the space where it lands. Then, have your child jump with both feet to that square.

Note: Painter’s tape usually comes off easily without causing damage. However, check to see how your floor reacts in an inconspicuous area before creating the course.

What They’re Learning

Your child is working on gross motor skills as they move their body. For example, tossing, jumping, hopping, and bending all work on different muscle groups.

They’re also working on their number identification skills and counting. To reinforce these essential math skills, count aloud together as you jump.

2) Letter Hunt

Cards for indoor toddler activities

What You’ll Need

A set of letter cards (we recommend the ones from the HOMER Explore Letters Kit)

What To Do

Pick a few letters to hide. The ones in your child’s name are good ones to use first. Place them around the room.

Have your child come in and try to find them all. Praise them as they see each letter and say the name. Finally, ask them to repeat what you said.

As your child gets better at finding the letters, increase the number you hide each round. You can also let them take turns hiding letters for you to find.

What They’re Learning

As your child searches for the letters, they build their observation skills. They’re learning to pay attention to the details of the space around them.

Additionally, your child is becoming more familiar with the alphabet. As you say each letter, you expose them to the concept of the alphabetic principle.

Messy Indoor Toddler Activities

These activities aren’t neat and clean, but messy play is good for kids. They get to use their senses and explore new textures and smells. It’s a great way to learn about the world around them.

3) Toy Car Wash

What You’ll Need

  • A bin of soapy water
  • A container of clean water
  • Plenty of towels
  • Toy cars

What To Do

Prepare your bins of water and set them up on a table. It’s best to have plenty of towels nearby to handle spills.

Show your child how to dip their toy car in soapy water and then rinse it off in clean water. As they play, discuss what they’re doing.

Point out how the soap is making the dirt on the cars disappear. You can also use this opportunity to introduce or review the concepts of “wet” and “dry.”

What They’re Learning

Your child is learning about the properties of water and how it can be used to clean things. They’re also getting an initial exposure to simple science concepts that they can build on as they grow.

4) Simple Sensory Bins

Simple sensory bins for indoor toddler activities

What You’ll Need

  • A storage container, such as a plastic shoebox
  • Filler materials, such as rice, beans, broken spaghetti noodles, or dry oatmeal
  • Small toys or objects
  • Kitchen tools

What To Do

These directions are just for a basic, simple sensory bin. If you want, you can create thematic sensory bins, such as an ocean sensory bin or a farm animal one. But don’t feel like you have to be elaborate. Your toddler will appreciate any sensory bin you create.

Fill your container with the filler of your choice. Then, hide the small objects in the bin. Next, give your child some kitchen tools to dig through the bin and find hidden treasures. Kid-friendly forks, tongs, and measuring cups are fun options.

Remind your child to keep the filler in the bin for easier cleanup. You can also set it up on a shower curtain or tablecloth to help contain the mess.

What They’re Learning

Sensory bins are great for letting kids explore new textures and smells. They can use their imagination to interact with the components in front of them and play.

As they use the tools to dig and scoop, they’ll also strengthen their fine motor skills. Finally, as they search through the filler, they can identify each object they find. This helps work on vocabulary.

5) Shaving Cream Finger Painting

What You’ll Need:

  • Shaving cream
  • A large cookie sheet

What To Do

Spray a large pile of shaving cream onto the middle of the cookie sheet. Then, show your toddler how they can spread it out and use their fingers to create images.

What They’re Learning

As your child paints in the shaving cream, they will use their fine motor skills. You can also expand the learning by challenging them to copy a shape or letter you create on the tray.

Artistic Indoor Toddler Activities

Most toddlers like to create. These creative indoor toddler activities let them use their imagination in different ways.

6) Transform A Box

young boy playing in a box

What You’ll Need

  • An empty box
  • Crayons or colored pencils

What To Do

Let your toddler color the outside of the box. If it’s large enough, set them inside of it and have them decorate the inside, too.

Talk about what they’re making. Is the box going to be a train? A delivery truck? Maybe they’ll turn it into a rocket.

Once your child is done decorating, keep the box so they can use it during pretend play. For example, it might be a fun place for them to sit with a few favorite toys or board books. They could also use it as a prop for dramatic play.

What They’re Learning

This activity provides your child with a chance to create freely. They can turn the box into anything they’d like, giving their imagination a chance to shine.

As they use the box for pretend play, they’ll be expanding their creative thinking even more. For kids, learning is play.

7) Sticker Collages

What You’ll Need

  • A few sheets of construction paper
  • A variety of stickers

What To Do

Show your child how to peel the stickers off and place them on the paper. Then, let them create a collage or image of their choice. If they seem stuck, you can offer a bit of guidance.

For example, you could put a small mark on the paper and have your child cover the spot with the sticker. You could also ask them to put all the flower stickers on first or simply encourage them to add another sticker.

What They’re Learning

As your child peels and places the stickers for this indoor toddler activity, they use fine motor skills. You can also use this activity to discuss the stickers’ different shapes, colors, and images.

Keep Your Toddler Engaged And Learning

dad playing with young toddler

Use these indoor toddler activities to keep young kids engaged and learning at home. As you’re playing, you can also use the materials from the games we’ve mentioned in other ways to create even more inside fun.

For example, use the magnetic letters from the HOMER Explore Letters Kit to see what items in your house are metal. As your child goes around trying different surfaces to see if the magnet sticks, they will be learning some basic scientific principles.

Look around your home at what you have and find creative ways your child can use everyday items. You’ll have a lot of fun together, even if you’re stuck indoors!


Dr. Jody Sherman LeVos
Dr. Jody Sherman LeVos

Chief Learning Officer at Begin

Jody has a Ph.D. in Developmental Science and more than a decade of experience in the children’s media and early learning space.