Running an in home day care during the winter months can be a real challenge, especially when there are toddlers around. Toddlers need to be able to burn off their energy. The challenge is figuring out safe activities that the children can do while they are indoors. The list below has some helpful ideas on fun activities for toddlers.
1. The first ideas is what we like to call an un-candy hunt. This is your basic candy hunt with a little twist to it. Instead of actually filling the kids up on candy you will instead be giving them healthy treats, disguised as candy. You can easily make your own candy using little models and wrap them in candy paper. All of the supplies can be found at your local arts and craft stores. They even sell candy making kits. By making them yourself you can lower the amount of sugar in the candy. For the game you can hide the candy in places around the rooms that the children are allowed in. Hiding them in one general room is usually a good idea. This way you wont have toddlers wondering every which way. The reward for finding the candy is to eat it of course. It is also a good idea to hide several different pieces (one for each child) in each location. This way you can be sure there is no fighting.
2. Create a giant coloring book. This particular project is one that I have found to be a lot of fun, when caring for multiple children. It is best to construct your giant coloring book over the weekend so that it all ready when the kids arrive. Visit your local arts and crafts supply store and purchase a large roll of paper. When you arrive home unroll several long pieces and cut them into squares. You can make them as large as you choose. Staple at least five pieces together in order to make the giant coloring books. You can write the name of each child on the first page with your own funny picture. This way when they arrive at the beginning of the week each, one will have their own. Included with each giant coloring book should be a box of crayons. The kids can draw their own pictures or you can draw a few sketches and allow them to color them in.
3. Put on a play. Putting on your on daycare play is a lot of fun. You can create little costumes for the kids and have them act out a fun story. The kids will really enjoy acting out their favorite characters.
4. Create activity centers. Fun little centers where different activities and games can be played will keep little ones occupied. You can have one center with a kitchen, another center with building blocks, and one for coloring or painting. Try creating fun and educational centers that will allow the toddler to learn while they are playing.
These are all suggestions that may prove to be useful for daycare providers, when the weather outside is no longer good for little ones.