It's hard enough to keep young kids entertained, active and non-destructive during the cold winter months. With COVID-19, it's probably going to be an even taller task, since so many indoor playgrounds are shuttered.
Indoor toys for toddlers have come a long way since back in the day when you were a young'un, so there are some pretty cool and affordable options that can be stored away quite nicely when not in use.
Check out these suggestions of indoor toys for toddlers and kids for inspiration. Some of them are so fun that you'll probably want to test them out yourself. Just make sure you check the weight maximum first, 'mkay?
The tiny Simone Biles wannabes out there will surely appreciate a sturdy, foldable home training bar for those days when they can't hit the gym. This version is ideal for kids ages 3 to 7, offers four adjustable heights and also includes a swing!
Here's a “toy" that both parents and kids can literally get on board with.
A balance board is a great way to get the blood pumping, whether it's just for fun or a total body workout. An excellent core-strengthener, this is especially good for athletically-inclined kids who want to take their game to the next level, or those who just want to play around. Plus, it's small enough to fit under most beds or in a closet with ease.
Bring the age-old activity safely inside using a set of balancing blocks as stepping stones. The “stones" are actually plastic blocks of varying sizes, shapes and colors, and can be configured into obstacle courses or as part of a game, like “Follow the Leader."
In addition to being a just plain fun indoor toy for toddlers, the different heights and sizes help to train and sculpt growing leg muscles. They also store in a box under the bed easily.
Most of the indoor bouncy castle places are likely to be limited, if any, capacity this COVID season. So, make use of your own space with one of these miniature versions!
Just make sure to triple-check your ceiling height before purchasing, to make sure you have enough space, and be sure to abide by the weight limit (for this one it's 200 pounds), so you don't wind up popping it.
Inflation and set up takes a measly one minute, a tiny price to pay for potentially hours of bouncy fun.
Even tiny ballers can get ready for spring training when it's cold out with a plastic T-ball set. This one comes with plastic balls, however, so best to replace them with lightweight foam balls for indoor use, unless you want picture frames to get broken and dents in the walls.
Even better, tape up a target on the wall and challenge your kid to hit it! This set fits easily in any toy box or closet.
Fine-tune your kid's hand-eye coordination with this classic game. This easy-to-store bean bag game comes with its own bag, so you can easily haul it to the park when the weather finally turns nice.
Bring the excitement of the playground indoors with this foldable indoor/outdoor slide. Meant for children ages 24 months to 6 years, this particular slide can be easily put away in a closet or on a deck when not in use.
This toy does require some minor assembly, so make sure to have basic tools on hand.
This particular teeter-totter is a two-in-one toy. On one side, multiple kids can rock back and forth safely, or flip it over to reveal a fun “climbing bridge."
This indoor toy designed especially for toddlers requires no assembly at all and can fit under many beds for storage. It's suitable for kids ages 24 months to 6 years.
This three-foot-tall colorable playhouse is a blast for kids to personalize using a variety of art supplies. Once the customization is over they can play inside to their heart's content. Toddlers and older kids alike will love this fun and creative indoor toy.
Few activities work the whole body the way that climbing does, which is why this rock wall is one of the best indoor toys for kids. Whether the gyms are closed this winter, or you just don't feel like risking it, consider turning a wall or two in your apartment into a climbing paradise.
Kid- and adult-friendly climbing hardware can be easily installed using basic tools, but be prepared to patch the holes or pay damage fees when moving out. If you really feel like dropping some dimes, consider buying a wall mount already fitted with climbing holds.
Climbing should always be supervised.
Kids can happily let off some steam by taking out COVID-19-related frustrations on a child-friendly punching bag. There are plenty of products to choose from, including an inexpensive inflatable bag or a freestanding boxing bag.
Obviously, the inflatable can be deflated for super easy storage, but the freestanding bag doesn't take up much space, either, and can fit into most closets or even just an out-of-the-way corner.
Who doesn't love a living room tent made with sheets, blankets and a couple of well-placed chairs? Make the classic activity much more “now" by investing in one of the many, many pop-up play tents on the market.
Some include multiple tents with connecting tunnels, others feature ball pits, a la Chuck E. Cheese! Most fold up flat for easy under the bed storage.
Before you purchase, however, make sure it's OK to install and that your door frame is the right size.
A tiny folding trampoline is a perfect toy to help restless kids (and adults) bounce some energy away. Look for one with plenty of safety padding and a handle to prevent unnecessary injury. When not in use fold it up and store it in a closet or under the bed.
With all of the indoor toys for toddlers and kids that require jumping, bouncing and stomping, be sure to play at considerate times if you're in a top-floor apartment. If you're on the ground floor, however, knock yourself out any time of day or night.