Advanced search

Ideas for toddlers at home (no garden)

(28 Posts)
YukoandHiro Sun 15-Mar-20 15:44:52

Please can people share their ideas for activities with a toddler at home. We have no garden and tend to get out a lot in ordinary times but we're social distancing due to high risk family members and pregnancy.
We're already have WAY too much screen time and it's making me sad that we might spend so much of the summer stuck inside our flat.

OP’s posts: |
Peanut91 Sun 15-Mar-20 15:47:46

Placemarking. Our days are usually filled with going places and lots of outside activities

NameChange30 Sun 15-Mar-20 15:50:22

There's no need to self isolate when pregnant. To protect others yes but there's no greater risk to pregnant women compared to general population.

I am pregnant with a 3yo and even if things close down we will still go out with bike/scooter and to feed the ducks, we'll just keep our distance from others. I just don't see how we'll survive without going crazy, otherwise!

However, as for indoor things, I suggest getting a small indoor trampoline. We have one and sometimes set up a kind of obstacle course which involves jumping between sofa / trampoline / armchairs etc. It's a good way for them to let off some physical energy indoors.

ErrolTheDragon Sun 15-Mar-20 15:54:39

Indoor den making and picnics.

Dancing around to music - the Flight of the Bumblebee (renamed as the Bum of the Flightlebee) for instance is good for a short burst of energy expenditure.

Mesmeri Sun 15-Mar-20 15:55:06

Where we are (central European country) all schools and nurseries have been shut for a few days now. I have 4 children aged 8,6,3 and 1. We've been reading aloud a lot, drawing, making assault courses, doing treasure hunts. Trying not to over-use TV, but have a family movie or some cartoons before dinner.

Greaterthanthesumoftheparts Sun 15-Mar-20 15:57:48

We are in lock down (not uk) and have done painting inside plastic bags today and now on the balcony throwing a sponge basket ball into a mesh washing basket (well I’m drinking a g and t).

Pinterest is your friend!

Bubblysqueak Sun 15-Mar-20 16:06:04

Decorating boxes (especially if it's big enough to sit inside)
Day time baths with lots of toys
Junk modelling

Ricekrispie22 Sun 15-Mar-20 16:08:17

Hide small objects (we used to use clothes pegs) round the house and go hunting for them.
Make a washing line indoors and hang up anything you can find - pieces of paper, hats, gloves, empty cereal boxes!
Stack and unstack paper cups
Melissa and Doug reusable sticker pads
Lacing cards
Pop Up Pirate
Hungry Hippos
Marble run
Usborne search and find books
Giant floor puzzles
At that age, my dc loved printing - hand printing, potato printing etc..
Make dens and tunnels and tents with sheets and furniture
Cook up a big saucepan of porridge (with water instead of milk) and let it go cold. Add some food colouring and it turns into a fantastic squelchy messy play activity, especially with little toys hidden! I do the same with custard and with mashed potato using a packet of instant smash! Polenta works well too, as does cooked couscous or cooked spaghetti.
If possible, get a piece of guttering, put it on the stairs and use it as a ramp for toy cars.
Indoor hopscotch with masking tape
Scavenger hunt - things of different colours, textures, shapes etc...
Make a bird feeder and hand it outside.
Make ‘islands’ out of the furniture and use cushions as stepping stones.
And when all else fails, give them an ice lolly - it takes them a good 15 minutes to eat!

bubba22 Sun 15-Mar-20 16:09:58

I agree Pinterest is gr8. Baking is something my boy loves

Breckenridged Sun 15-Mar-20 16:11:56

Sticky Kids on YouTube is good to get energy out!

Bear2014 Sun 15-Mar-20 16:15:44

The book 5 Minute Mum has some great ideas.

Some of mine:
Bath in the daytime with loads of toys
Bath crayons
Make your own play doh
Make a den and read a pile of books inside
Giant paper and crayons on the floor

managedmis Sun 15-Mar-20 16:20:07

Cook up a big saucepan of porridge (with water instead of milk) and let it go cold. Add some food colouring and it turns into a fantastic squelchy messy play activity, especially with little toys hidden! I do the same with custard and with mashed potato using a packet of instant smash! Polenta works well too, as does cooked couscous or cooked spaghetti.


Fuck me you're brave!

managedmis Sun 15-Mar-20 16:20:46

Any chance you can go outside to a remote outdoor spot, op? Do you drive?

CampfireZen Sun 15-Mar-20 16:25:35

* A fly swatter each and a blown-up balloon to bat back and forth to each other safely.
How long can they keep it up in the air?

[You can also make different sized cardboard targets for solo play/ divide the room with a length of string ('volleyball net') etc].

* Several large Ziploc bags.
Blobs of 2 different colour paints in each.
Securely tape them flat against window/clear patio door.
Mess-free fingerpainting & colour mixing patterns.
Bonus stained glass effect on sunnier days!

* Help them lay road/track runs of cut-up cardboard boxes, as lengthy as your floorspace allows.
Stick of white chalk or white tape to mark.
A few toy cars/trains.

* Long tunnels from cardboard boxes joined together. Always a winner!

CampfireZen Sun 15-Mar-20 16:28:42

Ah! See the Ziploc painting's already been mentioned upthread.
Well, that's two of us recommending it, then. smile

RhymingRabbit3 Sun 15-Mar-20 16:30:42

Baking and craft (we have loads of pom poms, paint, cardboard, stickers, colouring books etc.)

Activity books - sticker books, wipe clean activity books, magic painting

Exercise - dancing, YouTube exercise videos (have been recommended cosmic yoga but not sure if it's better for older kids?), playing with balloons

Water play or having a bath with lots of toys in.

Messy play - playdoh, shaving foam, cornflour and water "goop", kinetic sand

RHTawneyonabus Sun 15-Mar-20 16:33:53

We have a plank we keep under the sofa. It can be a car ramp, slide, see-saw, support for a den anything.

CathyandHeathcliff Sun 15-Mar-20 16:37:09

If not in self isolation, will we still be ok to go for walks in rural areas and woodland etc?

CathyandHeathcliff Sun 15-Mar-20 16:37:27

Away from other people I mean

Notlostjustexploring Sun 15-Mar-20 16:42:45

I've done the following in the past:
obstacle courses sacrificing sofa cushions
Basin of soapy water and a sponge and got them to wash my kitchen cabinets
Upended flour on the kitchen floor with a brush and shobeel
Using my bed as an indoor trampoline

Good luck!!

Elephantonascooter Sun 15-Mar-20 16:45:04

I've taken DS on walks these past couple of days and tomorrow will be the park. Just avoid other people

Barbararara Sun 15-Mar-20 16:45:57

Loads of great ideas, mine aren’t activities as much as strategies:

Think in terms of activities taking 15 minutes/30 minutes and then alternate between “up” activities that are exciting and stimulating, and “down” activities that are engrossing and calming.

Plan anything that is potentially messy backwards from the clean up - so put a big sheet down to catch mess/ have cloths and wipes on hand/ put down towels to catch splashes.

Plan an end to each activity so that you’re not being constantly driven by the toddler losing interest. Otherwise you never get anything tidied up and you’re constantly trying to keep them entertained. Tidying up should be a part of the activity.

Also split the day into segments and have a routine for each part. Meals have lots of rituals and toddlers enjoy the repetition of tasks like cleaning the table, setting the table, washing hands, etc. Get them to help with meal prep (in a small safe way) and clean up. Toddlers really enjoy helping and joining in, so you don’t necessarily need separate games and activities all the time.

Ariela Sun 15-Mar-20 16:49:28

I would take the toddler out of the house for walks, so long as you keep your distance and avoid others, don't go to mega popular places you should be fine. You can stop and look at nature, wildlife, birds. Maybe avoid the swingpark, but is there a grassy bank to run down, a muddy patch to make footprints, a puddle to splash, etc?

PaperDreamsHoney Sun 15-Mar-20 16:54:46

My 3yo DS had a great time this afternoon mixing vinegar and bicarb. Made a horrendous mess but it kept him busy for ages. He keeps asking to "do more fizzing".

Clangus00 Sun 15-Mar-20 16:59:19


Join the discussion

To comment on this thread you need to create a Mumsnet account.

Join Mumsnet

Already have a Mumsnet account? Log in