I have some simple ways to get those toys out and get us playing with each other.
I have a wide mouth mason jar that is filled with sticks that have activities on them...
I call it get a stick. Lots of times in my house I say no more tv get a stick and do it. It works wonders. I have adapted these sticks from the busy books, made for kids and toddlers, and preschoolers. I also used ideas from the Artful Parent.
I decided that it was best to start of easy, I will post more Stick ideas as the season rolls on.
Observe Nature: this is an open ended as you would like, A good 10 min. outside session, or a walk around the neighborhood. Then we talk about it, I will ask questions, to get them to think about what we saw. I won't take my toddler out if the temp or wind chill is under 35. So we observe from our window, this works really well when it's snowing!
Play with Plastic/stuffed Animals: We have so much fun, making zoo's, making habitat out of blankets, or just using them to act out what they do.
Sing songs: sing, just sing, we love the Hokey Pokey, It's a small world, all the preschool songs, it's a fun time at our house when we sing. (I do not play the piano, this is all just us, or the help with Alexa from my Amazon tap)
Clean a Bathroom I love when they pick this one...
Play with bubbles in the bathtub
Play dress up with big dresses, or old Halloween costumes.... I can't seem to get rid of the costumes.
Which then leads to.......
acting a play, or a song, or a movie.
Play Farm: My boys love when we get out our toy tractors, animals, and other imaginative toys out to play farm, really the sky is open and it's really fun to see their imaginations come to life while we play!
Play with Doll stuff
Create with Jix
Make a paper bag puppet
Create a Lego city
Create a Lego Zoo
Play Restaurant: We have some Melissa and Doug toys that we love to play restaurant with, they play restaurant for hours, they even make up a menu, and set up a table it's so fun to watch!
Create a book from magazine pictures, have a bunch of magazines laying around, make a book from the pictures!
My blog post here was inspired by this activity
Create with blocks, We also create towers, castles, habitats from our imagination add some plastic animals, the sky is the limit!
Play with Melissa and Doug toys: I have a box filled with Melissa and Doug toys that my kids adore, they get super excited to play with them and they have a ton of fun playing with these simple wooded toys!
Have a dance Party
Play with Stuff animals: vet clinic, animal rescue, pets, let their imagination run wild!
Make your own music, use what you have.... the sky's the limit
Play with puppets, and put on a show.
Play princess and prince
Play with beans in a sensory Table we like to add tractors and animals to this
Water in the Sensory Table simple and fun it's very open ended to what you can do!
Play with colored rice dump and pour is fun!
Shoot Nerf guns at a cup pyramid: We love red solo cups for this, build a pyramid, of cups and let the shooting begin, for added fun add some Lego guys at the top and sides, and have fun! We love hearing the cups fall down onto our hardwood floors. we like 10-20ish cups. Any more than that is to long to build the pyramid. Here is a link to help you be inspired
20 Item pick up, we each pick up 20 things. Whomever gets done first gets a piece of candy. (this is adapted from the Fly Lady)
Play a board game, WE LOVE SUSPEND and Jenga!
Play Just Dance, We LOVE DISNEY JUST DANCE ok, this does involve some tv, but totally worth it, it's a good work out!