Getting the Winter Wiggles Out: Indoor Play Activities

When you are stuck inside but still need to get the wiggles out.

The holidays are over and the thrill of the winter season is quickly fading. When the playground is covered in snow and the sidewalks are a mix of slush and ice, a small ache for spring and warm weather can begin to slowly seep in.

February and March tend to force moms of little ones to get creative when it comes to staying indoors for active playtime.

Here are a few thoughts for helping babies and toddlers play hard while cooped up inside, with the end goal of having them nap well for you later. Your encouraging smiles and enthusiastic engagement will be the best motivator in all of these activities.

Indoor Play Activities

3-6 Months

  • For the baby who is working on tummy time and the beginner crawler, place a favorite toy just out of reach and encourage baby to get it. Move the toy to the right and left to encourage mobility.
  • Place baby on his back and have him practice reaching for your fingers and pulling himself up. I call these "Baby Crunches". This will help strengthen baby's core and will tucker him out in no time.

    6-12 Months

    • Get a bucket and a few balls. Pitch the balls across the room a few feet away from baby and have him quickly bring them back and place them in the bucket. Talk about the color and size of each ball. Let baby try his hand at throwing them as well.
    • Toss some cushions, pillows and blankets on the floor and hide a toy (or yourself) among them. Have baby crawl over pillows to find the object. It won't take long for baby to become fatigued as the small fabric molehills are mountains to them.

    12-18 Months

    • Use blankets, pillows and cushions to make forts and tunnels for baby and you to crawl through. Babies like cause and effect games, so tearing them down and re-building is always fun!
    • Hide-and-seek is a classic game that begins to get really fun at this age. Make it unique by developing your own "come and find me" whistle or phrase. This can also turn into a fun chasing game.

    For Any Age

    •  Have a dance party. Clear the floor of anything baby and you could trip over. Turn up the tunes and go crazy. If you don't have enough space, make it a dance-off from room to room. Make up your own hand and foot motions and talk about (or sing about) what body parts are moving and how.

    What fun active play ideas do you have to help with the winter wiggles? I'd love to hear about your favorite indoor play activities in the comments below.

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    Lena Vogelgesang

    Lena Vogelgesang

    Lena likes to define herself by the Seven C’s: Christ, Chris, Children, Comrades, Coffee, Cheese, & Cardio. Due to her love of coffee and cheese, she must also have a relationship with increasing her heart rate. The Lord has given her a wonderful husband in Chris and they have two young boys.

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