Playing Indoors with Your Busy Toddler

Toddler playing with cushions

If it’s just too cold to be outside much and your toddler is restless, grab whatever you have and create a game out of it. Present an old toy or a piece of furniture in a new way. Challenge yourself to find a new game in every room to keep yourself engaged as you find ways to help your toddler burn through energy and have a good time.

When my first child was learning to crawl, I hit on a theme we came back to over and over: drag out the cushions, blankets, pillows, and anything that can be piled up and crawled on. We started by creating soft steps that helped her learn how to negotiate stairs safely. She’s a teenager now, and she still takes all of the cushions off the couches and creates interesting spaces for hiding and playing.

Where to Start?

  • Pile cushions on the floor to create mountains. If the cushion mountain works for your children, keep bringing it back.
  • Go sock skating into the cushion mountains.
  • Dress up as animals who live amongst the cushion mountains.
  • Crawl through cushion tunnels.
  • Set up train tracks through pillow landscapes.
  • Create mazes or obstacle courses for rolling balls.
  • Give towel rides for smaller children if you have hardwood floors. Be careful! This can get wild.
  • Chase bubbles.
  • Cover a table with play cloths to create a house or castle or space ship under the table.

Image © Anatoliy Samara |

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