Melissa & Doug Indoor Fun Guide

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Indoor Fun Guide: How to Entertain Kids When They’re Stuck Inside

February 15, 2023

Parents and caregivers, if your kids need a cure for the common ailment known as cabin fever, Melissa & Doug has the prescription for some much needed indoor fun!

We’re here to rescue your sanity with this handy Indoor Fun Survival Guide, the perfect resource for keeping your kiddos entertained inside when the weather won’t cooperate. (And if you’ve ever been trapped indoors with a bored kid who has nothing to do, you know EXACTLY why we created this guide!)

Toys to Entertain Kids Indoors

We’ve curated some of our top toys in four specific categories of indoor fun—Pretend Play, Puzzles, Developmental Toys, and Arts & Crafts—and also provided some bonus Parent Play Tips to help keep the indoor fun going. 

Indoor Fun: Pretend Play gets their imaginations going!
Top & Bake Pizza Counter

Melissa & Doug Indoor Fun Guide Top & Bake Pizza Counter

Age: 3+

The Play Basics: Mama Mia, it's pizza time! Create fresh-baked pizza, made to order, with this deliciously unique 34-piece pizza making set. Start with felt sauce and cheese on the wooden crust, choose from wooden toppings—pepperoni, olives, mushrooms, and peppers—then "bake" in the pizza oven built into the storage and serving counter. Pieces stick together with self-stick tabs and can be sliced with the rolling wooden cutter. The set comes with a grated cheese shaker, a wooden paddle, pizza box, a reusable menu for placing orders, a guide to help with pizza prep, and play money to pay for your order!

Parent Play Tip: Make a game out of pretend play—place an order with your kid chef and time them on a stopwatch to see how fast they can do it! Can the parents do better?!

Fresh Mart Grocery Store

Melissa & Doug Fresh Mart Grocery Store

Age: 3+

The Play Basics: Shopping and playful purchasing is exciting at the sturdy wooden Fresh Mart Grocery Store! The free-standing play space with smooth, curved corners and edges lets customers browse the shelves and pay for purchases on one side, and allows the grocer to ring up items on the other. Realistic features include a beeping "scanner," a hand-crank conveyor belt, a card-swiping machine, a keypad/calculator, and cash drawer. Kids are sure to find everything on their shopping list at this friendly neighborhood grocery store!

Parent Play Tip: Don’t forget to stock up on the felt foods, cardboard groceries, and wooden pretend food for your kid’s play kitchen to make the grocery run more fun. You can also play the “Grocery Grab Game”—give you kiddo a shopping list and time them as they go!

Examine & Treat Pet Vet Play Set

Melissa & Doug Indoor Fun Guide Examine & Treat Pet Vet Play Set

Age: 3+

The Play Basics: Give young animal lovers everything they need to examine and treat pretend pets! This toy was recognized by toy experts at the Good Housekeeping Institute for how it helps kids develop empathy. The 24-piece collection for aspiring veterinarians comes with two adorable plush pets—a dog and a cat—and accessories galore, including a stethoscope, thermometer, syringe, ear scope, tweezers, and clamp. There are bottles, tubes, and tubs of pretend treatments and ointments, bandages and a cast for boo-boos, and even a neck "cone" to keep pets from licking! Everything, including a reusable examination checklist, stores in a handy tote bag, so little vets can make house calls!

Parent Play Tip: Combo this toy with Melissa & Doug wooden play room furniture to create a “waiting room” for your patients to relax, or add some more exotic animals to the mix like a moose, giraffe, hippo, or panda from our selection of animal plush toys!

Indoor Fun: Puzzles are great for problem solving playtime!
Solar System Floor Puzzle - 48 Pieces

Melissa & Doug Indoor Fun Guide Solar System Floor Puzzle 48 Pieces

Age: 3+

The Play Basics: You'll need lots of "space" to assemble this beautifully illustrated 48- piece puzzle of our solar system! Extra-thick cardboard jigsaw pieces are built to last, and their easy-clean surface keeps this puzzle looking new. Featuring beautiful original artwork of the solar system, this puzzle helps promote hand-eye coordination and problem-solving skills.

Parent Play Tip: Study up on fun space facts about the sun, each of the planets, astronauts and more and share them with your kid while puzzling out this cosmic picture—it will help them develop an interest in science, space, and the natural world!

U.S.A. Map Wooden Puzzle

Melissa & Doug Indoor Fun Guide U.S.A. Map Wooden Puzzle

Age: 5+

The Play Basics: It's fun to learn geography with this 45-piece wooden puzzle. With colorful images associated with each state in the United States, plus the capital name and state outline under each piece, this puzzle is a bonanza of learning! The back of the puzzle lists additional state facts, including state flag, bird, motto, population and more.

Parent Play Tip: Make your kids do a national scavenger hunt BEFORE they even begin the puzzle! Hide the pieces around your house—you can provide written clues to guide them around on their hunt, or use the tried and true “Hot or Cold” method for even more bonding fun.

Land of Dinosaurs Floor Puzzle - 48 Pieces

Melissa & Doug Indoor Fun Guide Land of Dinosaurs Floor Puzzle 48 Pieces

Age: 6+

The Play Basics: The dramatic, detailed dinosaurs on this cardboard floor puzzle may be long extinct, but these 48 puzzle pieces will surely last for ages! Four feet long when assembled, the extra-thick puzzle pieces feature an Easy-Clean surface to keep them looking like new. 

Parent Play Tip: It's an educational and entertaining challenge for any child to complete the puzzle and name the dinosaurs.

Indoor Fun: Developmental toys are the building blocks of learning!
100 Piece Wood Blocks Set

 Melissa & Doug Indoor Fun Guide 100 Piece Wood Blocks Set

Age: 2+

The Play Basics: This favorite collection of 100 wooden blocks comes in four colors and nine shapes. Little builders will find it easy to grasp the approximately 1-inch to 2.25-inch smooth blocks. Kids delight in stacking, building, and knocking them down in countless colorful combinations, while gaining invaluable practice with fine motor skills and dexterity, color and shape recognition, and pre-math skills. A classic creative and educational activity that’s ideal for building and introducing early math concepts!

Parent Play Tip: Challenge kids to build the tallest structure they can! To make it a game, divide the blocks evenly for multiple players and see who can build the tallest, longest, widest, or most unusual structure—don’t forget the stopwatch to time them!

Wooden Doorbell House

Melissa & Doug Indoor Fun Guide Wooden Doorbell House

Age: 3+

The Play Basics: Ding Dong! Fun is at the door of this soundly-built wooden doorbell house. Four electronic doorbell sounds, four unique locks with matching keys, and four pose-able play people are included with this charming cottage! The keys are attached to the house so they won't get lost, and the sturdy handle allows this exciting house party to go wherever children go!

Parent Play Tip: Get your child to tell stories about the family figures while they play—where does mom work, what does dad do around the house, what do brother and sister do for fun—to help them develop narrative skills and creative expression.

My First Daily Magnetic Calendar

Melissa & Doug Indoor Fun Guide My Magnetic Daily Calendar

Age: 3+

The Play Basics: What is today? For a child, that simple question can have so many answers—and this daily calendar helps satisfy them all! Kids will feel a greater sense of control and responsibility when they help post the day of the week, date, weather, and special events on the large magnetic board for all to see. There's even a space to post their mood—an excellent way to open communication and encourage children to gauge their own emotions. Updating the information is simple: Simply take a preprinted magnet from the lower magnetic board, which hangs below the calendar to keep magnets within easy reach. Then place it on the calendar to fill in the information…or make a custom magnet by writing on one of two dry-erase magnet tiles! There are fields for day, date, season, weather, temperature, activities, holiday, and mood.

Parent Play Tip: Use this with your kids to keep track of their chores, rewards, important dates, and much more—you could even use it to schedule “play dates” with friends, arts & crafts time every week, and more. This is a great toy for bonding with your child as well and learning about their social-emotional development when you use the mood board to discuss how they’re feeling.


Indoor Fun: Arts & Crafts help them express creativity!
Deluxe Wooden Stamp Set - ABCs 123s

Melissa & Doug Indoor Fun Guide Deluxe Wooden Stamp Set ABCs 123s

Age: 4+

The Play Basics: Kids will love putting their own stamp on creativity! Use the four-color stamp pad and 71 sturdy wooden-handled rubber stamps to complete a fun-filled 25-page activity book to practice reading, writing, and early math skills. Create cards, personalize art projects, notebooks, and more with upper- and lowercase letters, numbers, symbols, and punctuation stamps. All the supplies store neatly in a sturdy wooden tray. The possibilities are endless!

Parent Play Tip: Play “Pen Pals” with your kiddos, and help them use the colorful stamps to send notes, cards, or messages to loved ones like Grandma and Grandpa!

Design-Your-Own Bracelets

Melissa & Doug Indoor Fun Guide Design Your Own Bracelets

Age: 4+

The Play Basics: This exciting fashion activity set and bracelet craft kit lets kids make their own accessories to wear and share! The set includes four two-sided kids' bracelets, with a different shimmering color on each side. Just add the included sparkle-gem and glitter stickers to fill each one with flowers, hearts, butterflies, stars, loops, and swirls. Make your own bracelets, then close the reusable tab closure to wear your favorite—or layer a bunch for a sparkling fashion statement!

Parent Play Tip: Mix in some role play costumes and have your kids put on a fashion show to spotlight their amazing creations!

Deluxe Wooden Standing Art Easel

Melissa & Doug Indoor Fun Guide Deluxe Wooden Standing Art Easel

Age: 6+

The Play Basics: The Melissa & Doug Deluxe Standing Art Easel makes any room into an art studio! Our double-sided, adjustable-height, kid-sized art easel includes a dry-erase board, chalkboard, locking paper-roll holder—fits either an 18" or 12" wide paper roll—child-safe paper cutter, four easy-grip clips, and a plastic tray to attach to each side of the Deluxe Standing Easel. Assembly is easy, so there's little waiting for the next masterpiece! Children's easels are recommended for building fine motor skills and proper pencil grip—great for beginning writers! Use the chalkboard and white board surfaces of our wooden easel as the ideal practice surface for a child's first letters and words. Paint, paint cups, and paint brushes sold separately.

Parent Play Tip: Don’t throw away the cardboard box after you open up our oversized items like the Standing Art Easel! The box can be repurposed for tons of fun indoor play ideas: turn it into a castle, house, car or rocket ship; transform it into a robot costume; use it to stage a puppet show; or just let them go crazy on it with decorations!