In these uncertain times, you gotta do what you can to stay sane and alleviate the stress. We admittedly have been doing a slow bleed of new toys and books. Of course, there are a lot of free online activities that we’ve also been doing to mix it up.
Anyway, here are our favorite indoor quarantine toys, so far, in no particular order:
One of the harder things about the quarantine for a toddler is losing access to using our outdoor park playgrounds. It’s so important for them to still challenge themselves physically — jumping, climbing, stretching and taking “risks”. We had many days of taking apart the couch to use as a fort and jumping off the sides, but we broke down and bought this simple Eezy Peezy monkey bar gym, because, sadly, who knows how long we might have to keep off outdoor playgrounds. It’s sturdy and hold up to 150 lbs, so mom can join in on the fun too. Kids ages 3 to 8 years old.
*Note: MSRP is $115. Also be very alert when reading the directions. One key thing to look for is the arrow pointing up to know how to connect the units. My husband missed that and took awhile to disassemble part of it. There is also a handy plastic tool that helps you disconnect pieces, which will save many tears.
**Update: 4/23/20: Looks like this is unavailable now, so I’d recommend looking into a trampoline, like this cute Monster feet trampoline:
It folds down and also has padding on top and on the sides.
We’ve had Picasso Tiles for over a year now (since around 2 yo); we still love them and use them often. Recommend getting the 100-piece set at minimum because one of the most fun things is to see how high of a tower you can build! For the same cost of Magnatiles you can get twice as many Picasso Tiles and they are essentially the same, arguably sturdier.
Do you remember this classic board game when you were growing up? Although it says 6+, we’ve been playing this since 3.5 yo. It’s fun for the whole family! It’s a game with two boards filled with different character faces. You try to guess the mystery person on the other side by asking questions to eliminate your options, like, “Does the person wear glasses? Does the person have red hair?” When we first started we played on teams, so I would play with my son to ensure he eliminated the right cards, but now he plays alone and usually wins. We got the classic (older) version because I read a review saying the new version’s illustrations weren’t as nice. However, we immediately noticed that they could’ve had a balance of male to female and also more diversity. Nevertheless, still fun to play!
It’s amazing how people of any age just want a chance to be heard. This is a great conversation game for kids, as young as 3, although the manufacturer recommends 6 years of age. “If you could have any pet what would you choose and why?” “What hurts your feelings? How do you act when your feelings are hurt?” “What’s the best book you ever read?” “What do you worry about the most?” You’ll be surprised at how thoughtful, insightful and interesting the answers can be! Our toddler likes to answer these questions and we always learn something new.
Just like adult charades, this is always a crowd-pleaser and leads to a lot of laughs. There are three options on every card, with the first having a photo so it’s good for toddlers too because they don’t need to be able to read. That first photo is always an object though. It says ages 4 and up, but a savvy younger toddler can play too.
We own this tumbling mat and it’s a very sturdy; it’s made of 2-inch thick firm high density EPE foam so you can feel safe when you are jumping or doing a somersault. We used to have an IKEA one, and while colorful, it didn’t really provide any cushion support. This is one that can be used for parent workouts and also for the kids. We use it as an addition to our couch fort, a pretend swimming lane, a tunnel, a Hotwheels ramp and at the end of every day, it becomes a reading chair next to our little one’s bed :).
Note: if you are tall/large, you should checkout the dimensions to be sure you fit well on the mat. I would’ve liked to see it longer and wider for true tumbling, but this does the job as an exercise mat.
What are your favorite indoor toys? Please share your ideas!