Most Saturdays, it is just my Son and me. I love it! Now, some weekends I hit Saturday with a ton of plans, only for the weather to ruin everything. As I look outside and see rain streaming down the window, I first thought, ‘I need some indoor activity ideas for a 2-year old’.
I need something fun, I need something energetic, and most of all I need something that does not involve a lot of cleaning up!
It is tough, and if the truth is told, he will be happy just sitting around playing with his toys. As long as I am with him, then that is good enough for him. It is too late, though. I have already tested myself with the question!
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Are you pausing all outdoor toddler activities just because it is raining?
No, certainly not. I have never been afraid of getting wet…but if it is cold AND wet, there is no chance of me stepping out of the front door!
The cold and rain can prompt us to look for indoor toddler activities, but there are also many more reasons. You may not be feeling 100%, and it may be TOO hot. Whatever your reasons, let’s look at some of the activities I have enjoyed with my Son.
Indoor Activity Ideas For A 2-Year Old
I want to take this opportunity to welcome the idea that you can kill two birds with one stone, so to speak. Mayne of the indoor activity ideas below include basic household tasks, but don’t scoff at the ideas just yet. Kids absolutely love helping out if you make it fun….honest, they do.
I generally cycle through all of these activities whenever the weather is too bad to go outside, and I do not want either me or my Son to stir crazy indoors. Some days, he is just not interested in one of them, so I move on to the next until he agrees.
Your toddler is a toddler. They do not know much, and it is your job (in part) to teach them how to be fully functioning human beings. I love this part, it is like having a fresh canvas to work from, and their brains are ridiculously quick at picking things up at this age, so use it to their advantage!
I am not talking about letters and numbers here. I am talking about ANYTHING they do not know but need to.
Here is a quick list of subjects:
- Eating (Using cutlery)
- Going to the toilet (Potty training time?)
- Crossing the road (Make your own road indoors, it is safer)
The list is actually endless because there is a great deal that a Toddler does not know!
Ok, so it would be better if you are fully prepared for a Toddler painting session! If you are not prepared, and as long as you have water-based paints, it is cool.
What do you need for a Toddler painting session? Here is a list:
- Washable Paint
- Plastic Protection
- Old Clothes (for both of you)
- Kids Apron
- Separate paint pots
- Painting Pad
Not all of that is necessary – but I have every one of those items because it helps limit the mess they will make!
You could go ‘full-on child artist’ and get a kids easel. That would save a bit of cleaning!
3. Assault Course
My Son and I absolutely love this one!
It involves getting anything and everything out….chairs, tables, beanbags, cushions…..you name it.
All you need to do is work with them to design the assault course.
Begin at one end of the house and place various objects in the way. Then run them through the course a few times, and they are off!
This isn’t just about running around. Get them crawling under chairs, jumping onto cushions, climbing over the bean bag. It is perfect! Setting up an assault course is a great indoor activity for a 2-year old or older! You will get them worn out in no time, and it is a great way to battle childhood obesity.
The only downside is clearing up afterward!
Okay, this one can get tricky and messy, but Toddlers LOVE cooking and making a mess.
What could go wrong?
It goes without saying that you will take charge of any ACTUALLY cooking. Do not let them get near anything hot, including (but not limited to) the cooking hob, the oven, the microwave.
Take a cake, for instance…..Get a bowl out, get the ingredients ready (Google this one, I do!), and work with them to measure the ingredients, place them in the bowl and stir it.
Some cooking ideas for you:
You could save this up for the end of the day and get the cleaning done AFTER your Toddler has made a mess of the house.
My Son loves spraying liquid from a bottle. Water, mostly. When it is time to clean up, I hand him a water spray and tell him where to direct it! We begin in the kitchen and work our way through the house, and all I need to do is make sure he has the correct bottle in his hand and make sure he is not doing something he shouldn’t.
Please DO NOT give your Toddler any ACTUAL cleaning sprays unless they are harmless. Keep them away from any power outlets. In fact, when walking past a power outlet, remind them that spraying anything there is not allowed.
We have a wooden floor covering most of our house, cleaned with spray and some cleaning slippers!
6. Create Something Together
Literally, there are TONS of things you can create together!
You could create a rewards chart together so that they can figure out their own rewards. Creating their own rewards will help embed the whole ‘reward process’ in their brains because when you get them to think of the end goal, it is much easier to get them to behave!
Head on down to your local arts and Crafts shop and load up on things like pipe cleaners, clay, and kids glue. Those items will cover you to create loads of things! A new superhero, a fairy, a present for your partner (serious relationship points!
7. Build a Fort
We all have some old sheets around the house somewhere, right?
It is easy, grab a few chairs, grab the sheet, load up on cushions. Push the chairs together, close enough, so the sheet doesn’t fold in. Put some cushions around the edge of the sheet so you can spread it out. Ensure there is enough room inside for both of you.
Maybe you can both make a flag to stick on the top of it. If the sheet is ancient and you have no need to use it again, why not paint it first? Get some handprints on it to make it their own. Now you have turned an old sheet into memorabilia!
8. Build a Space Rocket
I am not going to lie; this is very similar to the fort above, but this time you will throw in a few sheets of aluminum foil because we all know that the NASA rockets are made from old bedsheets and foil, right?
Has your toddler got a hat or a baseball cap? Wrap some foil around one to make a space helmet!
The important thing here is that you play your part. You are supposed to be in space (when it lands) so pretend to be in space.
You can use this as an opportunity to teach them about planets and the solar system. Pretend to me on the moon and explain that you need to wear shoes or you will float away. Don’t get too close to the Sun because it is hot. Run through a list of planets to kickstart a love of space and the planets!
Above all else, this is awesome fun, so enjoy the memories. It is one of the TOP indoor activities for a Toddler.
9. Write a Kids Book
Kids have an awesome imagination, so take advantage.
Begin with a pad and a pen. Explain that you will write a book together (like a book you regularly read your Toddler).
First, you need a protagonist. What is their name? How old are they? Are they a secret superhero? If it even a human being, why not a Dog, or a Cat?
Then run through the story. I guarantee that (assuming they buy into the story!) you will be surprised and amazed as you witness their imagination kick in. Even as a 2-year old, it is surprising. This may be an indoor activity for a ‘late’ 2-year old instead of a Toddler who has recently turned 2.
10. Make a Shop
Kids love acting out things they see regularly. As you visit shops with your Toddler, they are more than used to seeing shop assistants get on with their work. They will have been watching.
Set up a few chairs and grab some supplied from the kitchen (tins of food mostly). Get some loose change from your wallet (or use their piggy bank money, and don’t forget to put it back!).
Now you have a shop! Work through various transactions and use it as an opportunity to teach them about money. You can introduce some basic math, and even if your Toddler is not interested, they pick it up. I am certain of that.
If you haven’t guessed, I am always looking for an opportunity to teach them something!
It is also a good idea to introduce the concept of paying with a card.
If you are looking for indoor activities for a 2-year old, I have you covered in this post! In fact, it isn’t really just for 2-year olds. These tips cover some indoor activities for Toddlers in general.
These activities are cycled through on the days where it is just my Son and me, and outdoor activities are simply not going to happen!
Hopefully, these tips will stop you from going stir crazy at home with a Toddler! They have certainly gone some way in preserving my sanity when the weather is not treating us nicely.
Whatever indoor activity you choose to do with your Toddler, always look for activities where they are useful, educational and there is not much cleaning up to do afterward.
If you think I have missed any activities, please get in touch or leave a comment below.
Finally, I will leave you with this thought:
When my Son and I are stuck indoors and we are deciding what to do, I tell my Son what I want to do, he tells me what he wants to do. After a brief period of negotiation, we do what my Son wants to do.