Discovery Building Sets contains affiliate links and is a member of the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program. If you make a purchase using one of these Amazon or other links, we may receive compensation at no extra cost to you. See our Disclosure Policy for more information.

39+ Indoor Activities For Toddlers: How To Keep Them Busy

Every season brings its own joys and challenges. Some days, the weather might be too hot or cold to go outside and explore with the family. No worries, we have compiled fun activities you can enjoy indoors instead!

Let’s break out the boredom busters and get busy with indoor activities for toddlers.

What makes Great Indoor Play For Toddlers?

We like to look for fun indoor activities that are easy to set up, use things found around the house, and keep your toddler’s attention for more than a minute! Many of the following activities are very versatile and perfect for both indoor and outdoor play.

Collage of indoor activities for toddlers showing them enjoying a puzzle, pretend play, and a blanket fort.
Keeping Your Little One Busy With Indoor Activities For Toddlers.

Indoor Physical Activities For Toddlers

Try one of these indoor activities for your high-energy toddlers.

discovery building sets-play-icon-symbol Bean Bag Toss

Use easily made or purchased bean bags and toss them into laundry baskets, recycled cardboard boxes, small wastebaskets, or other containers for fun stuff to do with toddlers and the whole family.

discovery building sets-play-icon-symbol Paper Plate Toss

Try this easy game made from paper plates and empty paper towel rolls. Cut the bottom out of several paper plates and paint or color the edges. Then, tape an empty paper towel tube to another paper plate. Now you’re ready to start tossing! It’s a simple and creative way to have some indoor fun with your kiddos.

discovery building sets-play-icon-symbol Indoor Scavenger Hunt For Toddlers or Treasure Hunt

Create a simple list of items to look for around your home. For example, focus on a theme like finding all the red things or specific items like flowers. This activity can also be incorporated into a holiday like Easter and hiding plastic eggs with treats. For a fun twist, give your toddler a flashlight to go treasure hunting.

discovery building sets-play-icon-symbol Parachute (blanket or sheet) Play

This activity helps shake out the sillies and is great for gross motor development. They can shake the parachute fast or slow, put a ball or a stuffed animal in the middle, and bounce it around. Let your child sit in the middle while you bounce the ball or shake the parachute for added enjoyment.

discovery building sets-play-icon-symbol Play Physical Games

Remember the classic childhood games you used to play? For example, “Follow The Leader,” “Simon Says,” “Ring Around the Rosie,” “Red Light, Green Light,” or “Hide And Seek” may be played indoors or out.

How about a fun twist on hide and seek? If you have leftover glow sticks from a previous dance party, hide them around the house. Then, turn off the lights and let the kids loose to find them in the dark. It’s a cool way to make hide-and-seek even more exciting!

indoor activities for toddlers like hide and seek. two young boys are hiding from their mom in a closet. you can see the moms legs just right outside the door to the closet.
Toddlers Love A Good Game Of Indoor Hide And Seek

Are you looking for more ways of keeping toddlers busy indoors? Try these easy gross motor activities!

Indoor Sports For Toddlers

Many outdoor sports may be adapted for indoor play. Set up one of these for some fun indoor activities for busy toddlers.

discovery building sets-play-icon-symbol Indoor Bowling

Stack or set up recycled plastic water bottles, plastic cups, or empty boxes for a quick and easy bowling game. For a more detailed approach, you can create bowling lanes with painter’s tape.

discovery building sets-play-icon-symbol Balloon Badminton Or Volleyball

Blow up some balloons, then bounce them back and forth over a net (create a line on the floor with painter’s tape.) You can also use a timer to see how long they can keep the balloons off the ground.

discovery building sets-play-icon-symbol Indoor Mini Golf

Build a course using empty toilet paper rolls, boxes, and blocks. Build it according to your child’s abilities, including tunnels, walls, and obstacles to bounce the ball off. Then let your little one try pushing a ball (ping pong balls work great) through the course with an empty paper towel roll.

discovery building sets-play-icon-symbol Indoor Basketball

All you need is a waste paper basket or bin (laundry basket) and some balls for your toddler. If you do not have any balls that you can use to “shoot” baskets, just roll up sheets of newspaper into balls. Let them try shooting baskets from different lengths. Have them see how many baskets they can make in a timed period.

Rainy Day Activities For Toddlers

Keep on hand an art box that holds washable markers, paint sticks, crayons, reusable stickers, glue, lots of paper, added bling like buttons, craft sticks, feathers, pom poms, googly eyes, and pipe cleaners for impromptu indoor crafts for kids

discovery building sets-play-icon-symbol Build Cardboard Box Creations

Do you have leftover shipping boxes and are wondering what to do with them? Let your toddler use them to create houses, roads, cities, zoos, parks, trains, planes, ramps, or boats. Add toy people, animals, and cars for your toddler to get busy playing.

Toddler boy engaged in rainy day crafts for toddlers wearing a striped sweater, pilot helmet, and goggles, playing in his cardboard box created plane.
Use Cardboard Boxes To Create Planes, Trains, and Automobiles.

discovery building sets-play-icon-symbol Create A Mural

Let your toddler choose a theme, such as under the sea, outer space, or someplace completely imaginary. Then roll out a large piece of white paper, and add washable markers, crayons, paint sticks, and other art supplies you have around.

discovery building sets-play-icon-symbol Make A Lifesize Portrait

Trace your toddler’s outline on a large sheet of paper. Then let them create and decorate their self-portrait.

discovery building sets-play-icon-symbol Make And Play With Playdough

discovery building sets-play-icon-symbol Make Edible Pudding Slime

Check out this cool recipe for pudding slime that is also taste-safe! It’s like a mix between slime and playdough, and it smells almost good enough to eat. Many kids love making and playing with this slime, so try it with your family.

discovery building sets-play-icon-symbol Cook Or Bake With Your Toddler

Children love to help in the kitchen. Invite them to help you make their snack or bake some cookies. Keep activities age-appropriate, like stirring the batter or cutting out the cookies.

discovery building sets-play-icon-symbol Seasonal Themed Crafts

Toddlers enjoy simple crafts, so why not gather up some supplies and let your toddler get engrossed in the season? For Spring, think Easter, Passover, Earth Day, May Day, Cinco de Mayo, Mother’s Day, or Father’s Day.

discovery building sets-play-icon-symbol Make Sock Puppets

Grab some old socks and materials from around the house to make your own puppet. Create their faces using markers, paint, stickers, or paper cutouts. Make a few puppets and then put on your very own puppet show!

discovery building sets-play-icon-symbol Create Shadow Puppets

Don’t have any old socks? How about grabbing a flashlight, your dolls, stuffed animals, or fingers to make characters come to life on the wall?

discovery building sets-play-icon-symbol Put On An Art Show

If you’ve been stuck inside for a few days, your kids probably have created lots of artwork. Why not put it on display for an art show? They will beam with pride. You could even invite family and friends to stop by to check it out. At the very least, take photos to capture the moment!

discovery building sets-play-icon-symbol Tell Jokes

Have fun telling jokes! These short, sweet, and silly puns will make your little ones laugh. We’ve got 101 jokes to get you started, complete with answers. So grab your kids and get ready to giggle!

By their very nature, fine motor activities make great inside activities for toddlers. Check out these Fun and Helpful Fine Motor Activities.

Musical Activities

Music brings a level of joy that not only kids love but adults, too. So, turn on some music and enjoy these indoor activities for toddlers.

indoor activities for toddlers-musical activities-young toddler girl and father enjoying a dance party in the living room
Father-Daughter Dance Party.

discovery building sets-play-icon-symbol Dance Party

Dance parties are one of our favorite activities, and they require no prep! Just put on some music and let the moves begin. For a special treat, add some glow sticks or homemade musical instruments.

Try These Other Versions

discovery building sets-play-icon-symbol Freeze Dance

Put on some lively music and encourage your kids to dance around as much as possible. Then, randomly stop the music and watch them freeze in place. This game is great for both their bodies and listening skills.

discovery building sets-play-icon-symbol Mimic Dance

This one is simple: have your child start dancing while everyone else copies their moves. Kids really enjoy being the leaders in this game, so make sure each person has a chance to lead. Let’s turn on the music and get ready to show off your best dance moves!

discovery building sets-play-icon-symbol Musical Chairs

It is a classic game that is easily incorporated with things to do indoors with toddlers. Kids walk around chairs while the music plays. When the music stops, they quickly find a chair to sit in. But there’s always one less chair than kids! The one left standing is out. The game continues until one player is left, and they’re the winner!

discovery building sets-play-icon-symbol Sing Along

Sing silly songs together, like “Old MacDonald Had a Farm” or “The Wheels on the Bus.” Clap your hands, stomp your feet, or use simple hand motions. It’s a great way to have fun, and your toddler will love the interaction. So grab your favorite songs and let the singing begin!

Block Activities

Blocks offer some of the best indoor activities for toddlers. We have sampled just a few below. For more, have a look at this post on simple block activities for toddlers.

blocks activities-young toddler girl playing with blocks, cars and other toys on the floor in a playroom
Simple Block Activities For Toddlers And Preschoolers

discovery building sets-play-icon-symbol Obstacle Course With Giant Building Blocks

Create an obstacle course with giant building blocks and other items found around the house. For added fun, use things like a climbing triangle, chairs, pillows, hula hoops, or cones. 

discovery building sets-play-icon-symbol Wooden Building Blocks Tower Competitions

Wooden Building Blocks are a household classic. Use your blocks to engage in fun block tower competitions. Try to build the tallest, the most creative, or the one that uses the most blocks. Use a timer and see who can make the tallest tower before the timer goes off. 

discovery building sets-play-icon-symbol Playing With Magnets

Playing with magnets or magnetic building toys is a fun thing to do with toddlers. Enjoy these 8 Fun Activities For Toddlers.

playing with magnets-toddler girl playing with smartmax magnetic building toys
Playing With Magnets: 8 Fun Activities For Toddlers

discovery building sets-play-icon-symbol Edible Engineering Activities

What toddler doesn’t enjoy playing with their food?  Set up a workspace with some round food items like grapes, marshmallows, or seasonal gummy candy, along with some dry spaghetti noodles or toothpicks, and let them build away. Take a look here for more easy STEM activities for toddlers.

Imaginative Play Activities

Pretend play or imaginative play is one of the best indoor activities for toddlers. You can light up their world with the following indoor play ideas. Fortunately, there is no “right way” for dramatic play to take shape; just let your toddler take the lead.

imaginative play-toddler girl on the floor wearing a stethoscope is engaged in pretend play with her bear. she is pretending to feed him medicine with a spoon.
Imaginative Play Helps Your Toddler Practices Caring And Empathy.

discovery building sets-play-icon-symbol Indoor Camping

Do you have a small tent you could set up in your family room or your toddlers’ bedroom? If not, you could use the fort you created above to pretend you’re camping. Get out a sleeping bag, make smores (in the oven or fireplace), and tell stories around the “campfire.”

discovery building sets-play-icon-symbol Indoor Picnic

Another simple but easy way to make your toddler’s day is to spread out a blanket and let them have a special “picnic” lunch or snack.

discovery building sets-play-icon-symbol A Tea Party

Grab your BFFs (Best Furry Friends), some finger foods, and set the table for an afternoon tea.

discovery building sets-play-icon-symbol Put On A Puppet Show

Let the kids use those adorable puppets they made to create a puppet show. It’s a great way to get creative and have some family fun.

discovery building sets-play-icon-symbol Build A Fort

Nothing makes for more fun than a secret fort. Help your toddler build their own special hideout with a table and sheet or blanket placed over the top. So simple but so memorable!

indoor things to do with a toddler-mother and toddler excited and playing under a blanket fort with string lights
Enjoying A Memorable Blanket Fort

Try a few of these other imaginative play ideas for your toddler.

discovery building sets-play-icon-symbol Bakery, Coffee, Pizza, or Ice Cream Shop

Kids love pretending to make and eat their favorite foods. Use the cookies you baked earlier, make some “coffee,” and set up shop. Let them use different colored playdough and build ice cream cones. Cut up some cardboard circles for pizzas and decorate them with “toppings.”

discovery building sets-play-icon-symbol Grocery Store

Create a grocery store using items from the pantry. Or let them make their own groceries out of empty boxes. You can also create a grocery list and have them shop for the items to bake cookies.

Let them choose, but what about a Doctor, Veterinarian, or Dentist’s Office?

How about other community places like the Dad’s Office, Library, Hair Salon, Post Office, or School?

pretend play-young toddler girl pretending to be a superhero with a red felt mask and cape. an adult is holding her up in the air like she is flying.

Maybe they would like to pretend to be a pirate, fairy, princess, superhero, astronaut, mermaid, or animal.

Whatever strikes their fancy, help them find a few household items to start their imagination and creativity.

Quiet Activities For Toddlers

So you have had a busy morning, and now you are looking for some quiet indoor activities for toddlers. Here are the ones we use regularly.

discovery building sets-play-icon-symbol Sensory Bin Ideas For Toddlers

Important Safety Note: If your toddler still puts things into their mouth, please do not attempt this activity. Should you choose to engage in this activity, please supervise your toddler the entire time to ensure that nothing ends up in your toddler’s mouth, as it could pose a choking hazard.

These are wonderful activities to keep on hand for both indoor and outdoor play. You can make the bins in various themes and bring them out just when you need them most! Sensory bins can be messy, so cover the play area with an inexpensive shower curtain liner or an old tablecloth. When finished, just pick up the corners and pour any spills back into the bin.

  • Try collecting toddler-safe items from around the house all in one color. Like a red building block, a red spatula, and a red ball. Then encourage play and exploration.
  • Fill one with cotton balls, spoons, and cups, then let them create a white wonderland.
  • Fill with dried beans, pasta, rice, oats, or cereal. Add a variety of spoons, cups, and kitchen tools, then let your toddler play.
  • This one requires pre-planning. Prepare ice cubes and pour them into the bin with some water, spoons, and bowls to make “soup.” You could also freeze little surprises into the cubes so that when they melt, the container has some fun toys to enjoy.

discovery building sets-play-icon-symbol Puzzles, Board, or Card Games

Keep on hand a few special puzzles or games that you only bring out for those much-needed breaks. Spend quality time together, winding down before nap or bedtime.

quiet activities for toddlers-toddler girl sitting in a chair at a table playing with a puzzle
Fun Language Activities

discovery building sets-play-icon-symbol Reading and Storytelling

These are some of our favorite easy indoor activities for toddlers. We love to read stories, and even more fun is creating our own. Let your toddler choose the subject, for example, dolphins. Then you start; after a few sentences, ask your toddler what happens next. Continue building by using questions to prompt your toddler.

discovery building sets-play-icon-symbol Family Movie Day Or Night

Gather together with comfy blankets, pillows, and yummy snacks. Pick a movie everyone will enjoy, turn off the lights, and enjoy spending quality time together.

Looking for additional activities that support language development? Explore these simple language activities for preschoolers.

Indoor Water Activities For Toddlers

Water is always so soothing for toddlers and can occupy them for quite some time. Fill the bathtub or a large sensory tub (remember the shower curtain liner underneath), and the possibilities become endless.

  • Include some bubbles and let them wash their “toys.”
  • Drop in some containers for pouring activities.
  • Add water-safe blocks and see what they build.
  • Tape pool noodles to the wall and let them pour water through.
  • Add glow sticks for an extra special experience.

It can be challenging with a busy toddler when stuck inside all day or even for days on end. Use one or more of these inside activities for toddlers to keep them happy and occupied.

inside activities for toddlers-mother and daughter enjoying a tea party with stuffed animal friends
Enjoying A Cup Of Tea With Mommy And Friends

So, which of these fun things to do indoors with toddlers will you try today?

Grab Your FREE Indoor Activities Printable!

It’s time to get ready for some play! Drop in your info and receive play inspiration, fun activities, and special offers directly to your inbox. Plus, we will send you your FREE Indoor Activities Printable!