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We live in a place where summers are very hot and the days are long. Some days it is too hot to venture out even into the shade. Any ideas for calming indoor play activities for toddler play dates when they are hot and bothered?
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We are in the opposite situation where sometimes it's too cold to do anything outside. We build a lot of forts and do indoor camping a lot. We have a small play tent that the kids love to use. They pack up their backpack, pack some snacks and a sleeping bag and set up for the day.
We also love Cosmic Yoga on Youtube. It's very relaxing and easy for the kids to follow. She has themed videos based on the kids interests (like Frozen yoga) and they love it!
We used to live in a very hot place too when my kids were little. I used to freeze large blocks of ice with different toys and objects frozen inside and they would spend hours with paint brushes playing with the ice and watching it melt to reveal the treasures inside. My kids also loved to play in the bath when it was hot and do sensory experiences like slime in the bath. Best of luck.
This is a great question. Toddlers have short attention spans and it can be a challenge to keep them busy, even on good weather days. Kids learn through play and while outdoor play is really important, there are some days when this is just not possible. A good idea is to create a "rainy day", "hot day", or "snow day" play box that is filled with activities that you might not get to at other times.
For toddlers, tactile toys are an important part of development - and many of these toys also help with things like fine motor skills. Some suggestions for these types of activities are:
1. A touch jar or bag. Place small items of different textures into a jar or bag. Let you toddler reach into the bag and select an item. Help them to describe the item based on how it feels eg. smooth or rough, soft or hard. Remember to always supervise this activity to prevent the risk of choking.
2. Make some moon sand (you can find the recipe online). moon sand is a great sensory play item and can be shaped and moulded without drying out.
3. Baking is always a fun activity. If your toddler is too young to help with the baking, let them decorate the cookies or cupcakes instead.
Another fun activity that can lead to an opportunity for calm, is building a cushion or blanket fort. Once the hard work has been done, your toddler can relax in their safe space with a cool drink, a few picture books, and a few of their favorite soft toys. If tantrums or meltdowns are threatening, you can try some breathing exercises. Balloon or belly breathing (you can find examples of this on YouTube) exercises are calming and can help avert a crisis.
Yes! Find an indoor pool! We also live in a hot climate and we have a great public outdoor pool, but it does get too hot even for that. We found a great indoor pool nearby and it's fantastic. Also, a great indoor trampoline park would be fun. And, I know this sounds boring, but check you local mall for an indoor gym. As toddlers, my son and his friends wold spend hours running around these indoor play spaces having a blast. And some of them are in the mall itself and are free! If you want to keep it at home, invest in a fort making kit. That's always fun! Or perhaps a play kitchen. Hours of entertainment for lots of kids. I also would do drawing contests, building contests or my son's favorite, indoor scavenger hunts! Just some ideas.