7 Ideas to Get You and Your Toddler Out of the House This Winter
If you live in a state where it gets cold in the winter, the days spent inside with a toddler can start to drag. Here are 7 ideas to get you both out of the house this winter and let your toddler burn some energy!
Last winter, Camden was only a few weeks old, so between constant feeding and napping, it was pretty easy to stay inside. And if I wanted to get out, he was content to sleep in the carrier or car seat while I wandered Target.
This winter, though… not so much. Camden is a walking, 1-year-old ball of energy. We can stay home for a few days and find plenty to do with all his toys and climbing and playing, but I start to get a little stir crazy after that. So, I’ve had to search out things we can do to get out of the house and let him burn some energy. Because sitting in the cart while I grocery shop does NOT cut it anymore.
Here are some great inside winter play ideas, so your toddler can burn some energy (and you can keep your sanity).
HEADS UP! At allllll of these places, remember to wipe down anything you can, try to keep your child’s hands away from his or her face, and wash their hands as soon as you’re done. Winter is flu season and these are all places that germs are most certainly lurking. My favorite wipes to carry with me are these Babyganics Alcohol-Free Hand Sanitizing Wipes!
Story Hour at the Library
Most libraries have a story hour every week for toddlers. And many of them are also starting to have story hour – sometimes called ‘laptime’ – for babies 0-18 months as well.
Our library has laptime, and we sing songs with our little ones, read stories and then just let them play and explore some simple toys. It’s nice to let Camden interact with the other babies, plus it lets me have some human interaction every week!
Also: Barnes and Noble has story hour every week, too!
Play Area at the Library
Your little one might not be super into going to the library to pick out books yet, but he or she probably likes to play! The play area of a library is a good place to take little ones during the day. There aren’t usually many people there, and the toys usually get wiped down (flu germs!). It’s a great place to go for a hour or so if you and baby just need to get out of the house.
Playdate with a Friend
If you can find one other mom (story hour is a great place to make friends with moms who also have babies!), then you can start doing playdates together.
Take turns coming to each other’s houses, so each of you gets a chance to get out of your house.
You can also trade worktime as well. So, when my friend comes to my house with her little girl, she watches both babies and I can get some things done around the house. When I go to her house, I watch Camden and her baby, so she can do some work. This is a great swap to save your sanity!
Check on facebook or ask around your town or city. There’s a good chance that you have a moms group that meets at least once a month. Often these groups meet in the mornings and offer childcare for those moms with little ones not in school.
Sometimes these groups meet in the evenings, and either offer childcare, or give your spouse a chance to stay home one-on-one with the kids and give you a break.
Our moms group does all sorts of great things, like recipe exchanges, crafting, holiday parties, etc.
If your town doesn’t have a moms group? Consider starting your own!
Find an Indoor Playground
Many churches are starting to add small (or huge!) indoor playgrounds to their buildings. These are usually open to the public for free during the week, so you can take your little one and let her crawl or walk around with a little freedom.
Head to a Children’s Museum
Children under 3 are free at most children’s museums, so you’ll just have to pay for yourself to get in. Most museums have a toddler area, so for a few dollars, you can let your baby play and explore the morning away (and be ready to take a really good nap!).
Tot Time at Gymnastics Centers
Many tumbling/gymnastics centers have infant and toddler free play times, where toddlers can go crawl and climb on all the equipment. Some gyms may charge, and others may offer tot time for free. Check your local gyms – it’s another great way to get out of the house and ensure a great nap later!
Mall Play Areas
In the early morning hours, all the older kids are in school. That makes it a good time to take your toddler to the mall play area and let her climb and play. Just make sure you wash her hands afterward!
Looking for some great toys to entertain your toddler inside? Check out this list!