We’ve been back in NH for the past three weeks and avoiding cabin fever with a very energetic 1 year old is not easy! I’ve found that I need to be prepared in order for survival. Staying at home and just staring at each other will leave you and your little one extremely frustrated. I wanted to share how we are coping and staying busy during bad weather days.
At night, I try to prep an AM activity and a PM activity. I try to make one of those activities out of the house. Below are some of our go-tos! Do you have any favorites? Let me know in the comments!!
Outside the house activities:
- Search for nearby libraries to find toddler story times and other activities. (Next week we’re headed to a dance party and a messy art class at our local library – both for FREE!)
- Head to the playground – switch it up by finding a few within 20 minutes of where you live to keep it “new” for your little.
- Join a local gym with toddler classes or open play times. We joined the YMCA for the month we’re back to take advantage of the open pool and gym hours. There’s also a “free” gymnastics class included with your membership but unfortunately, it’s during E’s nap time.
- Search for gymnastics studios in your area- a lot of them have “open gym” hours that are significantly less than gymnastics classes but your little still has access to all the equipment.
- Search for “indoor playgrounds” near you.
- Head to a nearby Children or Science Museums or Aquarium.
- Find a weekly toddler music class.
- Set a playdate (keep the playdate short – 45 minutes to an hour max. Any longer than that and E starts acting out).
- Check out a local brewery. Surprisingly, breweries are super kid friendly- often providing a kids corner with toys and activities for your little. The new definition of date night with your hubby.
Mommas, the dollar store is about to become your best friend. Some of E’s favorites from here are: stickers, construction paper, pipe cleaners, pom poms, painting paper, coloring books, bracelets that we use for a DIY ring toss, glue sticks, play dough toys, balls, wooden puzzles, and a music recorder.
- Everyday tasks. If you’re stuck in the house you probably still have a ton of chores to get done. Your little would love to help. E helps me load the clothes in the washer and dryer, sweeping (she holds the dustpan and dumps it in the trash), washing and peeling fruits & vegetables, preparing meals (make pancakes together, let your little cut her own banana with a butter knife), cleaning furniture with a towel, helping vacuum.
- Water Play – My first choice for this would be outside but if it’s a bad water day you can let your little practice washing plastic dishes or tupperware in soapy water in the kitchen sink with a stool.
- Painting – This is another one that I prefer to do outdoors. But if that’s not an option you can use these no spill paint cups, and a huge sheet of paper (I have a huge roll of brown paper from the dollar store). If the mess freaks you out have your little “paint” with water.
- Glueing shapes to paper – Easy and she loves it.
- Color sorting – you can use anything
- Ball transfer – two bowls and a large spoon.
- Matching Socks
- Tape a paper towel roll to the wall at eye hight for your little, give them something to drop down the roll – a pom pom, uncooked penne pasta, etc.
- DIY PlayDough
- DIY goop – This texture freaked E out but maybe your little will find it cool.
- Pasta Threading – Pipe cleaner and uncooked penne pasta. Can make a “pasta necklace”.
- Dress up – At 18 months E is starting to become interested in playing dress up. From trying on my shoes, to putting hats on everyones head, to me tying up her silk scarf like a cape and she runs around like a superhero.
The 4PM “witching hour”. The stretch of time between 4-6pm (right before dinner) is SO HARD. She’s especially tough if our afternoon activity was indoors. So as best you can, if you can get outside – even in mild rain, cold or snow if you have the proper clothing, take your toddler out. Even if it’s only for 15 minutes. It can seriously change their attitude around!
I hope this helps. Let me know your toddler boredom hacks in the comments below!