Imaginative indoor play ideas for your little one

Thursday, October 3rd, 2013

So it’s raining, your child is bored and you’ve exhausted your stock of DVDs for the foreseeable future. Here are some ideas for imaginative indoor play that won’t break the bank:


Enjoying music is a wonderfully creative way to pass the time. Perhaps you have a piano or a guitar at home to use, or if not, cheap, hard-wearing instruments such as glockenspiels, recorders, harmonicas, triangles, drums and maracas are always a great suggestion for Christmas or birthday presents. Bring them all out for a noisy jamming session. If you don’t have any instruments, practice the singing-action games that you’ve learned from playgroup. Babies, toddlers and pre-schoolers never tire of ‘If you’re happy and you know it’, ‘Sleeping bunnies’, ‘Incy Wincy Spider’ and ‘The Wheels on the Bus’.


Dancing goes hand in hand with music, and there are so many ways you can be imaginative. Clear a big space, put on a favourite CD or the radio, and lose all your inhibitions. Pretend to be swaying trees, leaping fish, jolly farmers, ticklish puppies – whatever it takes to get their creative juices flowing!


All children should have a dressing-up box as it allows their imagination to run wild. As well as the outfits you will invariably acquire as presents or hand-me-downs, make a point of always considering the dressing-up possibilities of your own cast-offs ג€“ big floppy hats, long strings of beads and old welly boots go a long way, and for items like sparkly tops it really doesn’t matter if they’re missing a few sequins.

Story time:

For a quieter yet just as rewarding playtime, curl up together and read a good book. The shared experience of storytelling is what it’s all about, so really let go and give all the characters their own special voices and mannerisms; your child will love it and share in your enthusiasm. Also you can make up stories together ג€“ a great game is to take it in turns, telling a short section and then swapping narrative duties to the other person. You may be surprised by where your little one takes you!

Card making:

No matter where you are in the year, there’s always a celebration coming up, whether that’s a birthday, an anniversary, Easter, Halloween or Christmas. Invest in some coloured card, self-adhesive foam shapes, glitter, glue, stickers and other craft materials, and save yourself money by creating designs with the personal touch shop-bought cards lack. While you’re at it, making wrapping paper is fun too: simply buy a roll of plain white or brown paper, cut a large section and let your child finger-paint a dotty pattern. You can use this highly individual gift paper when it’s dry to wrap your child’s friends’ presents.

Puzzles and board games:

Traditional board games are a great way of encouraging your child to think independently and be creative with her actions. Favourites include snakes and ladders, snap, pairs and jigsaw puzzles. You could even make your own puzzle by drawing a large picture onto a piece of card, cut it into odd shaped pieces and try to put it back together again!

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