Indoor Toddler Fun--results from my readers

My last post about keeping toddlers entertained indoors lead to super helpful suggestions. Thanks for so many awesome ideas, mommies of the world--you rule. I tried to compile a big organized list here for everyone to read. I feel totally empowered to face winter now, I don't know about you!


-Indoor playgrounds:
I did a little research on this one and found AWESOME places here in the Milwaukee area. The Big Backyard in New Berlin is about $8 per person. There is a Gymboree at the Brookfield Square mall and I do believe they have both free and paid classes, definitely going to check this one out asap. Then there is the Monkey Joes in Waukesha---adults are free and kids under 2 are just $5! I also found a lot more playground types of things listed in this article by JS Online. And I never really considered the malls of our area but I'm sure some of them do have indoor playgrounds and Truman does love malls for the people watching. Could possibly venture into the world of McDonalds, too, if it meant fun for my babe. Sign me up!!

-Museums: here in Milwaukee we do have the Betty Brinn museum which is geared towards younger kids. If I'm reading the site right, it's $7.50 per person if you are over 2 years old. Not too bad and if we love it, we could get a yearly pass. We also have The Domes here but I'm not sure T is old enough yet to really like this place--but one commenter mentioned they do have a trains exhibit starting Jan 15 so we will be trying it out then, for sure!

And also...
-Zoo (staying indoors as able, just did this last week)
-Library (we love our FREE Rhyme Time on Thursdays already!)
-Swimming lessons (our fave for Tuesday nights at the local Y)
-Land of Nod stores--playing with their toys laid out for kids to enjoy
-indoor gyms may have a $5 day for non-members (may check out the Y for this, too)
-Lowes/Home Depot kids workshops
-Local schools' ECFE classes

-finger painting in the tub, 'tub chalk', or these by Crayola
-finger painting while on kitchen floor, giant papers taped to ground, and then a bath after (non-toxic, Crayola paints recommended, or Color Wonder Paints)
-painting while in the highchair using pudding, shaving cream, yogurt
-playdough--the homemade 'salty' kind that kids won't really want to eat
-plain old crayons and coloring books
- 'window crayons' for only $4
-making a 'busy bag' for kids--love this idea!!
-markers, especially the 'color wonder' markers
-make colored ice cubes for fun in the tub
-paint with water books (yes, I remember these and loved them!!)
-Aquadoodle travel mat
-making window clings for each season
-using cardboard boxes to make a pretend rocket ship/fort and adding stickers for decoration
-making a weekly 'theme' for focus on which activities you will do together

-building forts out of couch cushions, chairs, blankets (did it after my first post, LOVE it!!)
-old fashioned games (works best with more than one child, I'm sure): Duck, Duck, Goose; Hide and Seek; Ring Around the Rosy'; Dont' Touch the Ground; Twister
-set up play dates with other kids and mommies
-indoor egg hunts, even with empty eggs
-making train tracks out of kleenex boxes, soda cartons, legos, foam puzzle pieces, etc
-putting out a tub of uncooked black beans, or rice, etc and letting kids play in that with their beach toys---like an indoor sandbox of sorts
-making a marble run out of paper towel tubes
-bringing snow into the bathtub
-science projects at home
-baking with mom, and filling old shakers with dried beans for good 'shake effect'
-swimming in the bathtub
-for Christmas time, The Elf on the Shelf tradition

Other websites/blogs with fun ideas:
-Navigating the Mothership
-Play at Home Mom
-Frugal Family Fun Blog
-Rookie Moms
-Toddler Boredom Busters
-Pinterest --another reason to spend WAY too much time on this site


  1. Ooooh!! Thanks for the list. Awesome!

  2. I know you have many other things you are thinking about these days (like a growing babe in the belly) but I thought of you yesterday at Petsmart. Keenan had an absolute blast looking at all the fishies, birds, rats, hamsters, dogs ... all for free. It's great for a quick "get me out of the house" kinda trip.


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