Indoor activities for babies and toddlers

Looking for fun activities you can do indoors with your baby or toddler? Pampers have collected lots of great ideas for you!

Indoor activities for babies and toddlers

Looking for fun activities you can do indoors with your baby or toddler? Pampers have collected lots of great ideas for you!

Indoor activities

Some of these are games you can do together, while others are activities your older baby or toddler may be able to do on their own with you nearby to supervise.

Being stuck inside doesn’t have to be boring; with a little imagination you and your little one can have lots of fun. Remember that you don’t need to schedule activities to fill every moment, but it’s helpful to have a few ideas up your sleeve for when you need them.

Activities to do with your baby at home

If you’re working from home or need some indoor play inspiration, here are some ideas for activities you can do with your baby at home:

  • Make noise with random household objects. Gather some safe household objects like an empty box, a wooden spoon, and the lid of a tub and let your baby pick which one they want to play with. Your baby will enjoy handling each item and banging it to see what noise it makes. Just make sure whatever you give them isn’t breakable or dangerous.
  • Look out of the window. Hold your baby up to the window and point out birds, passing cars, a squirrel running along the fence, or the shape of clouds.
  • Have a dance party. Turn on some fun music and dance with your baby. If your baby is old enough to stand with your support, they will love that you’re dancing hand in hand.
  • Read together. It’s great to start reading picture books to your little one at an early age. Point out the characters in the story and use expressive voices to bring the story to life. Get your baby involved by helping them hold the book and turn the page.
  • Sing or chant nursery rhymes together. Those rhymes and songs that have simple hand movements will particularly delight your little one. You’ll love seeing your baby squeal along even if they don’t yet have the words or actions down pat.
  • Build an obstacle course. Your older baby or toddler loves to crawl, climb, and explore. Create an obstacle course using pillows and boxes, and your little one will be thrilled at the challenge of getting over, under, and around the objects.
  • Create a bridge. Pull two chairs together with about 3 feet between the backs of the chairs. Place a towel or blanket over the top, encouraging your toddler to crawl under the bridge. They’ll love the sense of achievement, and they’ll love finding you waiting on the other side.
  • Blow bubbles. Blow bubbles around your baby and watch them try to swat at them in wonder.
  • Play with blocks. Piling blocks into a tower that can later be knocked down is a big favourite among many older babies and toddlers. Traditional wooden blocks are nice, but you can also make your own box blocks by stuffing milk cartons, cereal boxes, or shoe boxes with paper and taping them shut.
  • Roll balls back and forth. You can also name the features of the ball as you do it; for example, you could say “Roll the yellow ball to me!”. Once your baby is older you can also play this with a few different balls and say things like “Roll the big striped ball.”
  • Play peek-a-boo. Your baby will be delighted as you reveal your face from behind your hands or from behind a blanket or tower. You can pull a funny face to create even more laughter.
  • Assemble a tactile tub. Put clothes or different fabrics such as coarse wool, smooth silk, beaded materials, or netting in a tub, box, or bag. Let your baby handle and feel the different materials.
  • Organise a safe kitchen cupboard. Though you may have babyproofed your low kitchen cupboards by locking them shut, you might like to keep one cupboard open to store safe, unbreakable items like small pots and tubs with lids and wooden utensils for your baby to play with and explore. They’ll love the thrill of being able to grab, bang, and shake all the different objects.
  • Rotate toys. Your baby will be intrigued with something “new” if you rotate toys and keep the rest hidden. When you give them a toy, encourage them to crawl to reach it and let them figure it out by themselves so that they will get that sense of achievement.

Fun indoor activities for your toddler at home

Here are some fun activities you can do indoors with your toddler as well as solo play ideas you can encourage:

  • Sort objects. Put an array of safe objects on the floor and help your toddler learn how to sort them by colour, size, shape, or type. Objects can include all kinds of household things like socks, a hat, a brush, a clean sponge, fruits, bottles, tubs, and boxes.

  • Make a shape box. Find a small ball and a block, and then cut a rectangle and a circle into the lid of an old shoe box, making the openings the same size as these objects. Help your toddler learn to place each item in the right hole. Explain the features of the shape by saying things like “See, this block has square edges. Which hole has square edges?” and watch them triumph when the object successfully falls through the hole.

  • Play hide and seek. As your toddler gets older, they will be up to the challenge of finding you hidden behind a sofa or behind a door. They will also love the thrill of hiding behind a curtain and waiting for you to find them.

  • Let your toddler help you with chores. Your little one wants to mimic you and may want to help out when they see you doing chores. Encourage their desire to be helpful by letting them participate in doing safe tasks. You could put on fun music and put their toys away together, or you could ask them to help you fold socks. Be encouraging and help them help you.

  • Cook together. Why not bake some cookies or cupcakes? If your toddler is old enough, let them help out with mixing the ingredients, pouring the batter into the pan, or icing the finished product. Or they could just be there to help you as the chief taste tester. Just make sure that everything is safe: for example, don’t leave any sharp utensils within your child’s reach, and keep them away from the hot stove and oven.

  • Share family stories. Your toddler probably loves hearing about themselves and where they come from. Take out a photo album and show them pictures of yourself when you were younger as well as those of their grandparents. You could even show them pictures of themselves when they were a newborn. They will love learning about their family tree and hearing stories about themselves.

  • Create a scrapbook together. Gather some paintings or drawings your toddler is doing and let them pick out some favourites. Get a big notebook or folder and add the art with the date alongside it. In a few years, your child will love having this special keepsake of their earliest work.

  • Display your child’s art. If your toddler is old enough, you can get them involved in choosing which of their artworks to display, and you can even select a wall that becomes your toddler’s very own art gallery. If you don’t want to stick anything on the wall, simply hang it on the fridge using a magnet.

  • Write letters together. If you have an older toddler, why not encourage them to write a letter to their favourite grandparent? You can discuss what they’d like to write and you can help by writing the letter, and you can encourage them to scribble their name at the bottom as their “signature.” You can also show them how a letter is addressed and let them stick on the stamp. It’s ok if you can’t send it right now; put it aside and mail it when you have a moment. The recipient will be delighted!

  • Build a fort using a sheet. Your toddler will love this activity—you could even call it indoor camping! All you need is a few chairs with a sheet draped over the top to create the fort. Put a comfy pillow inside for your little one to sit on. Once the fort is made, encourage your toddler to look at their picture books in there or give them a torch they can use to make light shapes with. You might find they make it their own little domain that they can spend hours hiding out in. Over time, you’ll find your toddler uses their creativity and imagination to make the fort into whatever they want it to be, whether it’s a spaceship, a pirate ship, or a castle.

  • Create a sign for the fort. If your toddler is older, they may love the idea of having an entry sign for their fort. Use supplies like glitter and colourful pencils to make the sign and make it match whatever they imagine their fort to be. For example, it could say “Mia’s Fairy Wonderland” or “Tom’s Castle.”

  • Look in the mirror. Your toddler loves looking at themselves in the mirror and following your instructions. For example, ask: “Where’s your nose?” or “Can you stick out your tongue?”. You can even ask your toddler to look carefully at their eyes and tell you what colour they are.

  • Impersonate an animal. Play a fun game with your toddler in which you pick an animal like an “eagle” and then soar through the sky (your living room) with your arms outstretched as if they were wings. Then say “giraffe” and encourage your toddler to stretch up nice and tall with their arms up high and their hand bent forward as the giraffe’s head. You can become an elephant by holding one arm up to your nose like a floppy trunk. Another option is to jump around the house, pretending to be kangaroos. What fun! Let your child show you how to imitate certain animals for extra fun and encourage them to make the corresponding animal sounds, too.

  • Play ball. Your toddler will enjoy rolling a ball back and forth or playing catch with you, and these are good ways to improve their hand skills and hand-eye coordination. Just make sure you pack away any breakables like vases and photo frames because your toddler’s aim will be off (whether it’s accidental or on purpose!), and your aim might need some practice, too!

  • Squish coloured spaghetti and rice. Cook up a small amount of spaghetti and rice and place a few spoonfuls in a few different bowls. Wait for it to cool and add some different coloured food colouring to each bowl. Then, let your little one squish the foods with their hands and explore the different colours, textures, and sounds. They’ll love making a mess with their hands and feeling the food squish between their fingers!

  • Sort some pom-poms. You might be able to get these budget-friendly round puffs in various colours at your local arts and crafts store or at an online retailer. Give your toddler a muffin tin and ask them to sort the pom-poms by colour. Your toddler will like the challenge, the feel of the textures, and the look of the bright colours, and this task will help improve their hand and finger skills.

  • Create a stained-glass window. Get some coloured tissue paper and let your toddler tear it into small shapes, then help them stick these onto a window to create their own stained-glass window. To stick them you can either use water or glue (just make sure it’s the kind that will wash off easily afterward). A less messy approach may be to tape a big square of wax paper onto the window first, and then help your little one glue the shapes onto the wax paper. This idea will help them learn to fit shapes together and allow them to express their creativity. They’ll also enjoy watching how the colours change depending on how the sun shines in.

  • Stomp on bubble wrap. If you have bubble wrap at home, place a large square on the floor and let your toddler jump on it to pop the bubbles.

  • Make a rainbow. Get your toddler to scrunch up coloured tissue paper into tiny balls, and then help them stick them on a piece of paper to create a rainbow. If you have limited colours of paper, choose a motif to match. For example, if you have brown and green paper, help your toddler create a tree.

  • Do a puzzle. Help your older baby or toddler put the shapes of a large, simple puzzle in the right spot.

  • Chalk it up. Set up a blackboard and let your toddler draw with chalk. You might ask them to be the “weather person” each day and ask them to look outside and draw what they see - it could be sun, clouds, or rain, for example.

  • Dip into finger painting. Grab some big sheets of paper and put out the paint, spreading a drop cloth or newspaper underneath to protect the table or floor. Let your toddler play with the paint and mix colours with their fingers to see how new colours can be formed this way.

  • Mould some dough. Give your little one some store-bought dough or make some homemade dough that your toddler can poke, scrunch up, pat down, pull apart, and squeeze together. The same can also work with crinkly cellophane or crunchy wrapping paper. Your toddler will love making a noise when it’s scrunched or torn.

To help you feel more connected to other parents like you, it might help to create or join an online chat group or forum for other parents in your community where you can share creative ideas for fun indoor activities. You’ll be able to share tips and encourage each other. Plus, if one of you is having a bad day or struggling with a specific challenge, you can be there for each other. Even though you’re at home with your little one, being in touch with fellow parents via phone, video chat, or group chat will help you feel that you’re not actually alone.

Listed in this article are just some of the many fun activities you and your child can do at home, with several of them not requiring anything other than everyday household objects and a little imagination. Your little one learns through play, and while these activities help your child’s development, you might find that you enjoy these shared moments, too!

Indoor activities for babies and toddlers