The Best Cold Weather Indoor Activities for Toddlers

by Lucie Westminster, Demand Media
    Avoid the hassle of dressing your toddler for the cold weather and enjoy indoor activities together.

    Avoid the hassle of dressing your toddler for the cold weather and enjoy indoor activities together.

    While the sight of snow gently falling on evergreens may be picturesque, this postcard winter wonderland also leaves you with a rambunctious toddler and the inability to take him outside to play. Even if you are unable to utilize the outdoors to expend your child's energy, this does not mean you are stuck with a toddler with nothing to do for months on end. If you want to avoid unnecessary tantrums and fits due to boredom during the winter, have a list of indoor activities ready to use when the local news predicts the season's first cold day.

    Dance Party

    Boogie the night away and host a dance party with your toddler. Because your toddler needs 30 to 60 minutes of exercise each day, KidsHealth.org suggests that dancing provides an entertaining way to keep your toddler active. Not only does grooving to your favorite tunes provide health benefits, it allows your child to use her energy for dancing since her swings and slide are covered in snow. Make your dance party more appealing and provide additional props such as costumes or pretend microphones.

    Lights! Camera! Action!

    Stay off slippery roads and out of the cold, and simulate a trip to the movies without leaving your home. While you may not be able to create a true red carpet event, decorate your family room to feel like a movie theater. Place a red blanket on the floor and allow your toddler to walk the red carpet or dress up for the occasion. Select a short and age-appropriate movie to watch with your toddler because KidsHealth.org recommends limiting children to one to two hours of programming per day. Serve healthy finger foods as you watch the movie but avoid sweet candy that will likely end up stuck to your floor or couch cushions.

    Cooking Time

    Grab a chef's hat for your pint-sized baker and cook together. Not only does a warm oven heat up your chilly home, cooking with your toddler builds confidence and self-esteem, according to the Education Resources Information Center. Choose a recipe that is healthy and kid-friendly because your toddler is likely unimpressed by Julia Child's French cuisine. Closely monitor her at all times and request help with age-appropriate tasks like stirring and and decorating. Never allow your toddler near a hot stove or sharp object. Dress her in a special apron or old shirt if you want to avoid an extra load of laundry at the end of the activity.

    Literacy Activity

    Turn on your electric fire place, cuddle up under a warm blanket and read a book with your toddler. Reading to your child at this age prepares him for learning to read later in life. As you read a story, your toddler learns letters and sounds and how various sounds form words. Teach your child that when he has free time, picking up a book is a way to stay entertained, despite the cold or rainy weather. After the story, create an activity based on the book to extend your toddler's enjoyment and learning. If you select a story about winter, for example, ask your toddler to draw his favorite winter scene.

    About the Author

    Based in Texas, Lucie Westminster has been a writer and researcher since 1975. Her work has been published in journals such as "Psychological Reports" and "Journal of Verbal Learning and Verbal Behavior." Westminster's interests include developmental psychology, children, pets and crafting. She holds a Ph.D. in psychology from Miami University.

    Photo Credits

    • Creatas/Creatas/Getty Images