Now that the weather is colder and we are spending more time indoors, entertaining a toddler is often a bit tricky. Some days, it's near impossible! My little man is a ball of constant motion so we are always looking for ways to keep him busy.
While on my search for some entertaining toddler activities, the creativity of some people blew me away. It was hard to narrow my choices down to just a few, but of the crafts and activities that I found, the following are my favorites. I hope they also inspire you to roll up your sleeves and get creative with your little ones. Preschoolers and grade school kids will love them, too.
This post was updated on 1/19/17 to replace dead links and content that no longer existed.
Rainbow rice sensory bin
Sensory bins are really hot right now. You can put just about anything you want in a sensory bin. Rice, corn, water, foam, anything at all. Add some toys, scoops, and buckets and your kids will be entertained for hours. Find out how to put together this colorful rainbow rice sensory bin from Share & Remember.
Glow in the dark bath paint
Come on! How fun is this?! I am definitely going to have to make this, even though I know that my son will never want to get out of the tub! Find out how to make glow in the dark bath paint from Raining Hot Coupons.
Homemade play dough
Who doesn't love play dough? It is one of those things that kids have played with for decades and it is still just as popular today. My son absolutely loves play dough and by making our own, we can choose the colors we want. Also, when you make your own, you don't have to worry too much about it drying up. You can just make more! Find out how to make this homemade play dough recipe from How Does She?
Not only does this look fun, it's so pretty! I want to make it just to look at it. Find out how to make this fun and colorful unicorn (poop) slime from MomDot.
Ziploc bag window painting
Sometimes the last question I want to hear is, "Mom, can I finger paint?" Sure, I love when my kid wants to get creative and I do love having his masterpieces to hang on the refrigerator, but it can be such a mess! Not with this creative Ziploc bag window paint idea from No One Has More Fun. (scroll down a little way in the post for this tutorial)
Oatmeal container (or popcorn bin) drums
Drums! What parent doesn't love drums? Haha! But seriously, how cute are these? I love that they look like a real drum. Find out how to make these fun DIY oatmeal container drums at Diesel in Bloom.
Has this happened to you? You buy your kids a sandbox (or just a bin of sand) but when they go to play with it, the sand just falls flat. It won't form into anything like it does at the beach. Well, not anymore! Now your kids have the moldability of beach sand with this cloud dough recipe from Juggling with Kids.
When I was a kid my mother had a box full of buttons. I used to love to go through that box, looking at all of the different colors and shapes of buttons. The sound they made was almost just as satisfying as looking at them. I wish I had thought to make crafts with them back then, but now I will be doing it with my own kids. I can't even tell you how obsessed I am with this kids' button art from Simply Designing.
DIY recycled rainbow crayons
If your house is anything like mine, you probably have loose and broken crayons laying around. I find them everywhere! Under the couch, in the cushions, in the garage, you name it. Now you can solve this problem by recycling them. Find out how to make these DIY rainbow crayons from The Imagination Tree.
DIY non-toxic finger paint
Now, I know this post is mine but we loved this craft so much. We made homemade finger paint and it was just as fun to make it as it was to create with it. As with many homemade products that don't include preservatives, you do have to use it up within a few days or it will go bad. But you won't have any trouble at all using it up. Find out how to make homemade finger paint Here.
I hope you have found some inspiration for some fun things to do with your toddler or preschooler. Even if it isn't a rainy day, you will have a blast being creative with your little ones.