If you’re a fellow low-maintenance momma, you need activities for your back pocket you can pull out in a jif, or you’re just plain too pooped to prep, here are 15 EASY indoor activities for toddlers and preschoolers that require little to no preparation!
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The little two and I have spent a lot of time indoors this winter with the bitterly cold temperatures. Those would have been some looooong days if I hadn’t found ways to keep them happily entertained. Sometimes they occupy themselves with these independent activities, but I want to spend time playing with them every day, as well.
Related Post: 30 Winter Activities For Kids
The thing is… I’m not great with activities that require a lot of prep. If I have to buy supplies or put something together before we can do an activity, chances are high I won’t do it. (#sorrynotsorry) So, I’m always looking for low-maintenance fun we can do on the fly.
If you’re a fellow low-maintenance momma, you need activities for your back pocket you can pull out in a jif, or you’re just plain too pooped to prep, here are 15 EASY indoor activities to do with little ones that require little to no preparation!
15 Easy Indoor Activities for Toddlers & Preschoolers (With Little to No Prep)
These indoor activities are perfect for toddlers and preschoolers (and even older kids, too!) and require little to no prep:
- Bricks and blocks — You probably have some kind of building bricks (eg. DUPLOs or LEGOs) or blocks at home. If not, gather shoe boxes, cardboard tubes, plastic containers, or anything you have lying around the house you could use to build.
- Play-Doh — Get a small case of Play-Doh for birthdays and Christmas, and you will be set for spontaneous play anytime you need it. It’s super versatile and is a great way to engage kids’ creativity.
- Sorting — Gather any kind of objects you already have around the house (small toys, buttons or beads, dry foods, magnetic letters, playing cards, plastic animals, LEGOs, etc.) and sort them different ways, such as by color, size, shape, or function.
- Make music — Don’t have instruments in your home? No problem! Make a drum out of a pot, maracas out of plastic containers filled with rice or pasta, a trumpet out of a cardboard tube, and a guitar out of rubber bands. This activity is not for the days your nerves are already shot *wink*, but if you can embrace the noise for a bit, everyone has a blast.
- Fill-and-spill — This is a great activity for toddlers. Fill any kind of bucket, bowl, or container with small toys, dump it out, and repeat. Super simple, but lots of fun for them.
- Puzzles — I love busting out some puzzles when my preschooler needs some mommy time. It’s a nice low-energy, no-prep activity we both enjoy doing together.
- Read — This is always my favorite go-to activity when my kiddos start getting restless and we need something to do together. We love our books! Here are some of our favorites!
Related Post: Read Aloud Chapter Books for 4-6 Year-Olds
- Freeze dance — This is a fun game in which everyone dances around to music until you say, “Freeze!” Then, they have to stop in place until you say, “Go.” It’s simple, but it never fails to produce some giggles. Plus, it gets them active and burns off some energy!
- Art projects — I’ll admit, I’m not much of an “arts and crafts” mom, but the great thing about art projects is that there is a broad spectrum of energy/prep involved. It can be as simple as coloring in coloring books! For tips on how to manage art time without losing your mind, check out this guest post from a professional artist and momma.
(For the future, I also highly recommend getting yourself some Water Wows, an Aqua Doodle play mat, or paint by sticker for mess-free fun!)
- Homemade collages with reused materials — This has been one of my oldest son’s favorite home projects since he was a preschooler. A few old magazines + a sheet of paper + a glue stick = hours of easy fun!
- Trace household items — This is a great activity to do with toddlers. Simply grab a few random household items of various shapes and sizes, and trace around them with colored pencils or crayons. Another fun idea is to trace your child’s hands and feet. If you have big rolls of paper, you could even trace around his/her whole body!
- Stack cups — Kids love stacking things and knocking them down. Do you have a sleeve of plastic cups? See how tall of a tower you can make by stacking them. You could also do this with plastic containers, rolls of paper towels, books, or anything else you can think of as you look around your house.
- Build a fort — Fort-building is a classic for a reason. Kids LOVE a great fort, and all it takes is a few pieces of furniture and some blankets.
- Set up an indoor obstacle course — Another fun idea is to set up an indoor obstacle course. Arrange toys, pillows, chairs, etc. around a room or down the hallway and give your child directions about how he/she should interact with each item (e.g. “Jump over the toy car”, “Run around the pillow two times”, “Climb over the chair”, etc.)
- Copy cat game — This super simple game is like “Simon Says” without the fake-outs. Make motions with any part of your body, and have your kids copy you. This one’s great because even young toddlers can do it. If your kids are old enough to grasp what to do, you could play follow the leader through the house, taking turns as the leader and follower.
Fun with kids doesn’t have to be complicated or involve a lot of work (thank goodness for that!). There are so many simple ways to delight them and connect with them in the process.
The next time you need some fast and easy entertainment for your little ones, I hope these no-prep indoor activities do the trick!
SHARE WITH US: Do you have additional indoor activities for kids that don’t require any prep?? Share them with us in the comments below!
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