One of the biggest challenges for parents everywhere is dealing with cabin fever. Unless you have a back-up plan for when you need to confine your young kids in the house, you might find yourself dealing with stir-crazy kids and the experience is not a pleasant one. At such a time, indoor playthings will be your help in time of need; they will keep the wee ones busy and out of your way.
These can be toys and other play set-ups. Selection should, however, depend on safety factors, suitability, and the age of your kid. To help you in this, we have compiled a list of 10 indoor playthings for young kids that you might want to try. Whether you are looking for energy-burning, interactive, relaxing, or brain-teasing varieties, these playthings can keep your kids occupied all the way to sleep.
#1 Kids Teepee Play Tents
Young kids crave ownership; this is the reason behind designating everything as ‘mine’ or ‘my’. You can use this need to your advantage by giving them true personal space- in the form of an indoor tent. Here they can retreat and play with their toys, hold tea parties, and even doze off when they are worn out.
For this, what you need is a kid teepee play tent. The triangular-shaped tent comes with a square base and wooden poles. Depending on the available space or how much of it you are willing to give, you can choose from varieties of sizes and colours. You can make the tents even cosier by getting matching accessories such as mats, pillows, buntings, and stuffed animals.
Price: From £100.00
#2 Indoor Ball Pool Pits
Ball pits are favourite playthings in most indoor playgrounds. The joy and relief these rubber balls add to your kid’s life can now be brought right into your home. There are different styles and shapes to go with; from multi-coloured balls to cartoon-printed ones. They are made of plastic, making them light and easy to clean.
Depending on the size of the play area, you can go for 50, 100 or more pieces. There are different sizes to choose from, with 2-inch diameter balls being suitable for toddlers. Make the pit interesting by throwing in some big soft blocks. Young kids can also use the balls to play catch or indoor hockey-using fly swatters as hockey sticks. Simply put, there is no end to the creativity that these balls can inspire.
Price: Around £70.00 for a 200-ball pit
#3 Wooden Railroad Set
Train sets have always captured the minds of kids of all ages. While school-goers are more inclined to playing video games, preschoolers will do with setting up trains. The great thing about these toys is that instead of merely distracting kids, they engage their minds and inspire creativity.
Unlike electric tracks, wooden toy sets are safe for toddlers and babies alike. Wooden toys are more sturdily built hence they withstand round handling better than plastic ones. With many moving pieces, the sets become handy in numeric identification, hand-to-eye coordination and logical thinking. Additionally, the material is not created using chemicals; it’s cheap and hypoallergenic.
Price: From £87.00
#4 Ride on Toys
Kids enjoy toys that can be manipulated to move and like them even better if they can ride on them. Nothing fulfils this need than a rocking animal toy. The design is minimalistic and will do for indoor play. With such a plaything, they can ride hours on end as well as have fun dressing and decorating the animal.
A wooden rocking horse comes highly recommended due to its sturdy and light build. For toddlers, such rocker should come with a safety harness and a well-cushioned seat. This ensures safety and comfort. The design should also incorporate stoppers on the base rails to avoid toppling over. A popular design is the unicorn rocker a favourite for girls.
Price: From £82.00
#5 Musical Instrument Sets
Young children are usually vocal and anything that can produce sound is always welcome to their play area. You can tap into this by providing them with toy musical instruments– and who knows, you could be nurturing an up and coming musician. Playing instruments also help to develop motor skills and emotional understanding.
If you don’t mind the racket that these toys bring to your home, then it’s time to start a family band. To ensure all-around creativity, buy sets with as many pieces as possible. The toys should also be of compact design to prevent small pieces from coming off. The finish should also be smooth and made from non-toxic materials such as wood.
Price: From £12.00
#6 Mini Bouncing Castles
A bouncing platform inside the house is just what young kids need. It keeps them from jumping on the sofa and bed. By putting a spring into your kids’ steps, they will be jumping and rolling over for the better part of their awake time. Apart from burning energy, inflatable bouncers help in nurturing confidence and athletic abilities.
Choose a bounce house with high walls to ensure safety for the young ones. It should also be made from puncture-resistant material. For quality playdates, the bouncer should accommodate at least 2 kids. For more fun, you can acquire a bouncer with a slide. A built-in inflatable blower with the reverse setting will also come handy for a compact indoor design.
Price: From £106
#7 Folding Indoor Swings
A swing feeds a kid’s imagination and helps in building confidence. An indoor one will do for babies within the 6 – 36 months bracket. The seat design should be geared towards comfort and safety- a padded seat with a backrest and a safety locking frame will do.
To maintain cleanliness, the seat should be made from a strong washable fabric. A folding frame will go a long way in easing storage and moving to the outdoors if need be. Another feature to insist on is height adjustment- to accommodate your baby’s increasing height. This can be incorporated in the swing rope’s design or the steel coated support bars.
Price: From £38.00
#8 Mini Basketball Hoops
If yours is an athletic household? Why not instil the same spirit to your kids by gifting them a mini basketball hoop. These hoops have grown on many people and are now found in workplaces as well. Simply put, this will be one activity to bring together the whole family while teaching your kids teamwork as well.
The set should be easy to assemble and dismantle, but sturdy enough not to break or bend. Since dunking is a common thing, the base should be heavy enough to support the frame. For this, some models come with wide sand or water-filled base. The stand also needs to be adjustable to accommodate the growing height of your children.
Price: From £9.00
#9 Multifunction Wooden Activity Cubes
Children beyond the age of 2 are usually active and adventurous. They need a really engaging toy or activity for them to stay grounded. It’s with this in mind that activity blocks have gained much popularity in 2019. These are specially designed cubes with functions such as the abacus, rotating balls, matching puzzles and clock faces- all in one toy.
These are early education tools perfect for preschoolers. They are beautifully coloured to attract and keep kids interested. The toys help in improving hand-eye coordination, recognition of shapes and colours, and logical thinking. The set comes with small pieces- calling for adult supervision to ensure safety during play.
Price: From £32.00
#10 Water Doodle Mats
Kids love to doodle and any available surface is a canvas. Walls, floor, tables, and even tv screens are fair game when the artistic nature kicks in. Doodle mats are a perfect way of redirecting this energy. The toy is an innovative doodling mat which uses coloured water pens.
The water doodles fade within minutes, making the mat reusable. The mat also comes in different sizes including 100X70cm, which is big enough for up to 3 kids. To inspire creativity, the set comes with different stencils; such include shapes, letters, and animals cutouts. The pens, mat, and other accessories are made from non-toxic materials to ensure the safety of you and your kids.
Price: From £18.00
The Final Word
The above hotlist of indoor playthings contains everything that young kids need to get creative, occupied and learn in the process. While toys are appealing and fun to play with, it falls on you to ensure that they are well assembled and safe to use. Be on the lookout for sharp edges, loose parts as well as sweet smelling parts that might be construed as candy.