Too Soon For Cabin Fever? Read on for our favorite everyday indoor play toys! November 15 2013, 0 Comments

too soon for cabin fever? This article was originally published as a guest post on Heartland Parenting.

After the first snowflakes start to fall, it becomes increasingly difficult to get motivated to go outside for playtime. The move indoors is always a challenge – met with boredom and perhaps defaulting to the TV more than we’d like.

To keep our kids’ creative & explorative juices flowing during the colder months, it’s important to have a variety of open-ended indoor play items handy, from music, to crafting, to building as you never know what your kids will take to, and it’s important for them to explore the spectrum of their creativity.  No need to run out to your nearest store to purchase bright & flashy toys – all these ideas and activities are easily accessible!

Below are my top 10 items to keep around the house (geared more towards toddlers/preschoolers):
  1. Clay:  Clay is wonderfully moldable and can be used to create anything and everything – from play food to animals to nondescript creatures and objects.
  2. Legos:  Legos are fabulous for your little builder and they also make excellent clay “stampers.”
  3. Brown Lunch Bags:  Brown lunch bags are incredibly versatile –  for making puppets, collecting items for scavenger hunts, and for mystery “what’s inside” activities.
  4. Scarves:  Old or used scarves are excellent for playing dress-up and super-heroes, and exercising those fantasy/imagination muscles.
  5. Duct Tape:  Kids love sticky tape because of the endless possibilities – from making car/train tracks to jewelry to stickers.
  6. Shakers:  You can easily make shakers with empty jars and beans or you can buy some simple ones at the store.  Shakers are great for pretending to be in a band, dance parties, and getting kids moving.
  7. Yogurt cups and tubs:  Don’t throw away empty plastic containers – these are terrific for stacking to make castles, fun hats, water activities, bath time and more.
  8. Cardboard paper tubes: From empty paper towel rolls to gift wrap rolls – these are great for banging together, making funky noises, and BONUS-they make great blank canvases.
  9. Towels: For pretend picnics indoors and making forts!
  10. Aluminum Foil:  Aluminum Foil can be used for sculpting (retains wrinkles/shape well) and/or as a drawing/painting canvas.
It’s difficult to limit my favorites to just 10 – there are so many other items I love from bubble wrap to yarn to old socks to egg cartons!  I recommend having a “boredom buster” box filled with these items and more so that they are within reach for those cold and cloudy days.