We are deep into winter here in New Jersey and while we haven’t had too much snow at all, we have had our fair share of single digit degree days and even really bad rain.  Once in a while we find ourselves stuck inside for a few days in row with our winter weather.  Those days start off with me thinking it’s going to be a nice simple day- no shuttling kids to their car seats, rushing to get dressed, or interupting the baby’s nap to do a pick-up, but then…..by about noon, meltdowns and choas ensues and we’re going stir crazy.  When the coloring books have been colored, the Play-Doh has been out and packed back up again, and the TV has been on too long, I have this little stash of awesome toys that I keep in the attic to stave off the cabin fever.  They are toys that are just too big or too noisy to keep out all the time, but are perfect to take out on special occasions and my kids go wild for them.  If you’re a mom with little ones, these might be great to keep for a rainy day, or even a good gift to another family because most moms would look at these at first glace and say ‘NO WAY’ but trust me when I say they are wonderful to have as a special activity when you really need to keep them busy.

1. Ball Pit   2. Floor Piano   3. Tent   4.  Bowling Set   5. Basketball Set

The ball pit is our number one most favorite special occasion toy.  This is great for my toddlers and my infant who is crawling.   The picture does not show it but many of these sets come with balls.   I will say that it’s even more fun if you get some extra balls to put in the pen.  My kids have SO much fun diving into the balls and crawling through the tunnel. It folds up nice and flat for storage. 

The piano was a gift given by my aunt last year.  When I opened it and let the kids play with it I decided where it was going after the day was up- the attic. They loved it but this is a toy that maintains its luster if we play with it in small doses.  I take it out for an hour or two, and while I deal with the noise, they LOVE to play with it!

Our teepee tent is the easiest toy to take out when things get a bit boring around here.  Sometimes I toss a bean bag inside and my tots read books or bring their Jumbo Learning Resource animals in there and do pretend play.  We even take this out on the deck in the summer sometimes.  It’s so entertaining for little ones to have a little fort to play in and will fold right up to store away when not in use.

Our bowling set is a similar to the piano in that it’s LOUD but my kids have a blast with it. I linked one that has two balls because we have a tug of war with the one ball that came with our set.  Sometimes I swap the bowling ball out with a softer one since I have a crawler lurking nearby this toy.  The bowling ball is hard plastic and can really hurt if doesn’t hit it’s target- the bowling pins.

Our basketball set was a fixture in my living room for months but when it was just collecting dust and taking up space I relocated it to my rainy day stash.  Now they love to play with it when it’s down for the afternoon and this one happens to be a great way for them to release some energy. They run laps and slam dunk together.

Hopefully you’ve picked up a few good ideas for your little ones.   These also serve us really well if I’m not feeling well and want to keep the kids entertained with something other than TV, or when Nolan was a newborn and I couldn’t leave the house on a given day (maybe not the noisy toys).    It’s always nice to have something in your back pocket for a rainy day!

I provided links to the same or very similar product we own. They are all available through Amazon and almost all have Prime shipping.  These links are just for your convenience, I do not receive commissions from Amazon.