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Our Top 3 Best Indoor Toys for Active Toddlers
The first freezing day of winter arrives. Your kids wake up energized, wanting to run, eager to climb and play. But with low temperatures and lack of snow, it’s hard to find an activity to do outdoors.
Don’t worry. We have you covered, mama!
You probably know that kids need to run and throw and dance. Developmentally, they should only be still for an hour at a time. But what’s a homebound family to do? There’s a wide array of indoor toys on the market that will keep your kids entertained, active, and — most importantly — safe no matter the weather.
The toys on our list are perfect for energetic toddlers. You’ll find open-ended toys that encourage both balance and make-believe. We’ll show you games that require throwing, crawling and vocabulary. And prepare those long hallways! We have a variety of ride-ons to delight 1-year-olds and 4-year-olds alike. Your kids can race each other or the clock over and over again.
- Our Top 3 Best Indoor Toys for Active Toddlers
- Best Indoor Toys for Active Toddlers: Riding Toys
- Best Indoor Toys for Active Toddlers: Climbing Toys
- Best Indoor Toys for Active Toddlers: Active Games
- Best Indoor Toys for Active Toddlers: Other Active Toys
- Final thoughts
Best Indoor Toys for Active Toddlers: Riding Toys
Introduce little ones to bike riding with the Fly Bike. The 3-wheeled tricycle design keeps kids stable while they learn to propel themselves with their legs. The bike is lightweight but holds nearly 50 pounds. And unlike some ride-on toys, this bike has amazing maneuverability. The wheels are reminiscent of skateboards and rollerblades and they turn easily with a shift of the handlebars. Though the wheels can handle sidewalks, they excel indoors on hardwoods or thin carpet.
The Fly Bike folds up and becomes compact for storage or transport. The only real downside is that it lacks height adjustment. Kids tend to outgrow the Fly Bike by 2-and-a-half, and there’s no bigger size. Thankfully, other awesome ride-ons keep bigger kids zooming.
This award-winning toy has a myriad of uses. Early walkers hold the handles and operate it as a push toy. They also practice balance by sitting on the seat and rocking. Once toddlers feel adventurous, just flip the base and let them roll! The wheels come on casters, so riders can move in any direction. The wide base means more stability and less chance of tipping over. Many families have owned the Flip for years since it’s made of durable, eco-friendly birch wood and accommodates larger kiddos.
If your child has outgrown the Fly Bike, KIDZEÜG’s motorcycle makes a great next step. It’s a little taller and only has two wheels. The wide wheels help keep kids upright, but riders must work on their balance to speed around. This motorcycle holds up to 66 pounds, so kids can zoom around for years. It comes in eight different colors with bright stickers, lights, and sounds. Though it withstands outdoor use, most riders prefer to tear up the house.
Bring the thrills home with this 9-foot roller coaster! Kiddos climb a few stairs, board the car, and ride down the hills. Step2’s sturdy plastic is ideal for indoors or out. The basic design allows for plenty of open-ended play too. Kids can scoot anywhere on the car, then race Matchbox (or any other) toy cars down the track. Crawling siblings love exploring the inclines and parents appreciate the compact storage.
This inventive toy has 3 different forms: a walker, a ride-on, and a scooter. Toddlers enjoy pushing things around the house, and this one could become a wagon, a stroller, or a shopping cart. When kids want to ride it, simply flip the wagon bucket over to make a seat. Or, remove the seat to make a scooter. It’s a pint-sized starter scooter, allowing kids to learn the motions required to propel themselves forward while standing. Skip Hop always has cute designs, and these bright colors will delight little ones.
Best Indoor Toys for Active Toddlers: Climbing Toys
It’s tough to find a climber that’s safe for a 1-year-old and challenging enough for a preschooler. The Panda Climber fits the bill. Crawlers can explore, play peek-a-boo, and balance on the slide. Older kids can use it to build forts, race cars, and practice climbing. It has a big footprint for indoors, but works well for rec rooms or basements. Step2’s climbers also hold up well outside. And unlike some smaller climbers, this one easily holds two kids at a time.
If your kiddos regularly climb the furniture, this gym is a must-have. The colorful wood adds cheer to your home while withstanding rough play. Rings, monkey bars, a ramp, and a ladder provide plenty of versatility for high-energy climbers. The structure was designed for 2-5 year olds and holds up to two 55-pound kids at a time. The confusing, Ikea-style construction can be a downside. But if you’re willing to wield a power drill, you’ll have wintertime entertainment for years to come.
Believe it or not, even crawlers need a place to climb. Keep them safe and happy with Foamnasium’s big, vinyl wedges. Babies and toddlers will have a soft space to climb, jump and roll. Rubber on the bottom prevents slipping and the surfaces wipe clean. The pieces have enough weight for durability, but are light enough to move around your home.
Foamnasium makes other shapes too, including cylinders and a tunnel. Add to your set as your child grows! Older siblings might find the pieces too small, but this is a wonderful starter set for crawlers and toddlers.
Best Indoor Toys for Active Toddlers: Active Games
Does your kid throw balls in the house? Focus that energy with an indoor bowling set. The iPlay, iLearn bowling game comes with rocket-shaped pins and two matching balls — a moon and an Earth. The foam pieces minimize damage to players and their surroundings. It’s a fun way for little ones to learn coordination and work on their rolling skills. The numbers on the pins also encourage counting and early math. We adore the cute rocket shapes that kids can incorporate into make-believe space play.
Unfortunately, if you have a baby who bites and mouths things, this foam set can cause some problems. We recommend this plush set instead for teething toddlers.
This adorable game from Mollybee incorporates movement, memory, and vocabulary. Sturdy cardboard cards feature illustrations of everyday objects you’ll find at home. Little ones will race from room to room to find a hat, a book, or a door. After locating the object, they’re asked to perform an action. “Sit on the chair and sing a song” is sure to lead to laughter. Kids will enjoy the scavenger hunt, which will improve their grasp of shapes and colors. During nicer weather, take the “At the Park” version of this game out with you.
If your little ones love to throw things, they’ll have a blast playing with this bean bag game. It comes with a collapsible “board” featuring cute monkeys and five targets. Kids toss the 10 bean bags into the holes for points. It’s an easy and straightforward game that allows for tons of variation. This version can be played inside or outside, and even includes ground stakes for windy weather. It breaks down easily for storage and pops back up for play on a whim. As a bonus, parents actually like playing this game too.
Best Indoor Toys for Active Toddlers: Other Active Toys
This oval trampoline is designed to hold two jumpers. Kids can play together without fighting over space. The bar across the middle helps little ones stay steady and is removable for more surface space. Jumping is a great activity for children with energy to burn. And we love the 220-pound weight limit, because it means Mom can jump along too.
You’ll get years of play out of these 11 colorful stepping stones. The bright colors, variety of shapes and bumpy textures will delight young kiddos. As they grow, kids will use these stones for hot lava, follow the leader, and obstacle courses. The stepping stones have rubber bottoms to prevent slipping indoors. Their durable construction also holds up when used outside. Since the weight limit is 220 pounds, parents can practice their balancing too. The stepping stones stack together for quick storage after play.
In classic Montessori style, this wooden arch has a myriad of uses. Watch as your kids turn it into a slide, boat, tunnel, bridge, and mountain. Little ones will love curling up with a blanket and rocking. Energetic kids can flip it over to climb. Since the rocker holds 100 pounds, it’s a sturdy jumping platform. While Cassaro recommends the rocker for ages 3 and up, many younger children use this toy successfully with adult supervision. Simply stay close to little ones while they’re rocking and climbing. The rainbow is also good for siblings of different ages since two kids can fit inside together.
If you don’t have room for a permanent indoor playground, try this pop-up tunnel set. The two tents and tunnel connect for the ultimate play experience: an exploratory crawling adventure ending in a ball pit. But the pieces can also be used individually — set up one tent, two, or play with the tunnel alone. The five-foot tunnel makes a wonderful hideaway for little ones and a fun game for crawlers. In good weather, take this playground outside. This set doesn’t come with plastic balls, but does include tent stakes for the backyard.
Get ready for your kids to become musical geniuses! Studies show our brains absorb information better when our bodies are moving. Little ones dance, jump and wiggle on this floor piano while learning about rhythm and pitch. Academics aside, this toy is also a ton of fun. The floor mat comes with familiar nursery songs, dance tunes, lights and funny sounds.
The piano mat is recommended for ages 3 and up, and it’s true that older kids will understand the dance games better. The Simon-style musical memory mode is suited for preschoolers and kindergartners. But crawlers can play too by pushing buttons with their hands and knees. Little ones will get a kick out of the animal noises.
This foldable mat makes a wonderful safety companion for any climbing toy. It’s also a fun activity on its own. The mat is small enough to store, but big enough for kids to practice rolls and somersaults. The handles let children drag it from room to room for anywhere, anytime tumbling sessions. The lead-free, wipeable vinyl cleans easily too. We recommend this tumbling mat for every couch-jumping or mommy-and-me yoga session.
After toddlers master walking, they love to push things around. Give them some focus with this vacuum. They’ll clean alongside you or push their vacuum all over the house. The lights and sounds add an extra sensory layer to make-believe. And the sturdy construction should last for years of play. Expect a vacuum race or two down the hallway once little ones get bigger!
Kids as young as one can sit and spin themselves dizzy. Once little ones can hold themselves up and have the strength to turn, they’ll be able to use this toy. Playskool makes durable toys that hold up for years. This sturdy spinner will tolerate older children twirling on it too. The small and lightweight design means it’s easy to store. Kids can carry it themselves from room to room for frequent, independent play.
A parachute can be a prop in many different games. Plop some balls in the middle and play “popcorn”. Set your child’s stuffies in the center, then toss them into the air. This rainbow parachute also makes a quick fort. The billowing fabric is the perfect place for hide-and-seek. Multiple children can hold the handles to play ring-around-the-rosy. While the GSI parachute comes in 6- or 12-feet, we find the smaller size perfect for indoor playtime.
Rest easy knowing that these toys can be used for several years. A toddler who gently bounces on a trampoline will progress to jumping tricks as they grow. A crawler who enjoys the parachute’s colors can use it to build amazing forts as a preschooler. These toys will provide hours of playtime this season and for many winters to come.
As a bonus, all these activities help kids develop gross motor skills. Your 1-year-old should be improving their walking and running. Pushing the PlayGo vacuum cleaner allows them to work on those muscles. And your 3-year-old perfects their balancing skills while hopping on the Shape28 stepping stones.
Now armed with these 20 best indoor toys for active toddlers, there are no more excuses for aimless, rainy days. Whether you have wide-open spaces or a small apartment, you’ll find an active toy to meet your needs.