Indoor activities for toddlers {that don’t cost a thing}

January 11, 2017

Good morning friends. Thanks for stopping by. I hope your week has been great so far!


Today I’m sharing some of the girls’ favorite (and free) indoor activities. Although my kids get outside just about every day, some days the weather forces us to stay indoors. We try to limit screen time in our house, so I often have a list of activities I rotate through to keep my kids busy and engaged. While I love taking them to fun places like DefyGravity, Kidzu, and Notasium, these activities can add up fast (especially with two kids) so I try to incorporate activities that don’t cost much, if anything, into our schedule. Since I know many of you are parents, I thought I’d offer some of these today in case you wanted ideas for your toddlers.

Mall walking: We love, love, love mall walking! As many of you know, I haven’t actually shopped at a mall in years, but I enjoy wandering through the empty floors with the girls before the stores open. My kids can run around and explore and we all get a little movement in. Plus there’s usually at least one coffee shop open (thank you, Nordstrom!) so I can grab a cup while we walk. It’s a win-win!

Southpoint Mall in Durham has an indoor play space for kids which is fun for little ones. There’s tons of seating for parents, too.


Barnes and Nobles: I have been bringing the girls to Barnes and Nobles ever since they were infants. As a new parent, it was a friendly and comfortable place to visit when I needed to get out of the house with my babies. Years later, my kids still enjoy going to B&N to explore, play, and read. The kid’s area is a fun space where the girls can wander around, yet still be contained, and there’s always something new to discover.

My children love playing with the train table and can usually stay entertained for quite a while, especially if we stay for story tine. I love being surrounded by books (my favorite atmosphere) and having an interesting area for my kids to explore.


Kid cooking: The girls are super interested in cooking and making food right now, so I let them help me prepare some of our meals. Typically they assist with washing vegetables or adding ingredients to the mixing bowl. Other times, I just give them measuring spoons and bowls and let them do their own thing. I’ll put raisins, plantain chips, or Cheerios in bowls and ask them to sort them to help me cook. They usually just eat them! 🙂

Public library: Many local libraries offer story time and other free programs for preschoolers. The girls and I like to attend a weekly Music and Movement class at our library. Afterwards, we’ll stay to look at books and play. There is always something to do in the children’s section, like puzzles, games, and coloring. I also appreciate that there’s a kitchen area in the back where you can sit and enjoy snacks since my children become ravenous whenever we leave the house.

Arts and crafts – We’re big fans of arts and crafts in our home. There is so much you can do with construction paper, scissors, glue, and crayons. Lately I have been letting the girls cut out shapes from our Christmas wrapping paper and old magazines.

We’re always working on some type of project in our house. M & A are really into making beaded necklaces and bracelets. The yarn and beads below came from Michael’s, but you could also use string and buttons for a fun craft!

My friend recently gifted the girls a puppet making craft which they really enjoyed. The kit includes everything you need, like glue sticks stickers and bags. They were fun to put together and were easy to clean up. You could easily replicate this using brown lunch bags and some craft supplies, like markers and stickers. Puppets are fun for acting out plays and bringing stories to life.



There you have it! I hope this provided you some fun ideas for your kids. I would love to know what you would add! Please share in the comments below!

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