Indoor days are inescapable. Especially in the winter and spring, when bad weather can roll in at a moment’s notice. School can be canceled, or the babysitter might. Leaving you to find a way to entertain your kids with indoor activities. Let’s face it, braving the weather for a time can be fun but is often short-lived, and very messy!

Sometimes it is easier to remain inside, for some developmentally appropriate learning or to encourage independent play. Granted it may require a little more planning and preparation to keep little ones engaged. For most parents or caretakers, the main goal is to limit time spent on a tablet or in front of the TV. To help you plan a well-rounded day of indoor play, we’re sharing some of our favorite ways to entertain kids using sensory bins and similar brain-engaging activities.

1. Dive into a Sensory Bin

When it comes to rainy-day play ideas, the most beneficial are those that entertain kids and allow parents to get their work done. This means finding the right toys for independent play. Our recommendation? Meemzy Magic sensory bins! These kits are designed to encourage learning through creativity, curiosity, and problem-solving. And thanks to the safe, sustainable, and non-toxic toys, parents can reap the benefits, minus any guilt. We currently stock four unique sensory bins starring inclusive characters and seasonal themes. Even better, they are compatible with the Ikea Filsat table! Meaning less of a mess, plus easy cleanup and storage.

2. Kid-Friendly Baking

One of our favorite snow day indoor activities is a bit of kid-friendly baking. Consider whipping up a batch of warm muffins, sweet or savory, for your afternoon snack. Or make a batch of sugar cookies! This recipe is easy to follow and perfect for decorating. Choosing a recipe that allows kids to be creative or put some adult skills into practice will help them stay engaged. 

This activity tends to be difficult for parents who like to stay organized and in control, so some words of advice! Start by mentally preparing yourself for a bit of a mess. If it helps, pre-measure the ingredients – the kids will only have to pour and mix. Using big bowls will also allow room for a bit of splashing. With very young children we recommend assigning specific tasks, like measuring, pouring, or stirring.

Toddler sensory play activity

3. Bust a Move

Doing indoor activities at home can stimulate kids mentally, but not always physically. Depending on the age of a child, and their energy level, it can be helpful to get them up and moving. This can also help parents who struggle to convince their kids to sit still for more than a minute at a time. The solution is simple and fun! Put on some child-friendly music and bust a move. If your child needs more guidance, you can find numerous dance-along videos on Youtube. Our favorite is GoNoodle, starring songs from Kidz Bop. This activity works best if mom or dad plays too since kids are eager to replicate adults.

4. Do a Learning Activity

A day off can be fun, but maybe you are facing several days off and want to ensure that your child is still participating in educational activities. To meet this goal, set up a variety of activities that will pique their curiosity and encourage them to get hands-on. Here are a few of our favorite ideas that you can easily pull off at home:

  • Try some indoor gardening, whether it be herbs or vegetables, to teach them about farming and how food makes it to the table.
  • If your child is an avid reader, encourage them to come up with their own story. Help them put it onto paper, complete with pictures.
  • Get crafty! Play with a bit of paint or colored play dough to introduce color theory. Or keep it simple by creating toilet paper roll characters or architecture out of cardboard boxes.
  • Board games and puzzles are a fun way to get your kids to use critical thinking skills and practice healthy communication skills

5. Take a Break with an Educational App

A tablet is a useful tool when it comes to indoor days. Especially when mom or dad is in need of a little break. Say you would prefer a solo trip to the bathroom, to safely cook a meal, or even just to step away to take a deep breath. The key is to limit their time on their tablet, and the types of apps they are using. The best kind are both fun and educational! Some of our current favorites include Kids Academy and PBS Kids Games. If your child is into reading, try Epic! or Reading Eggs. All of these apps are either free or how a low monthly subscription.