Toddler in jacket and hat walking through autumn leaves
Now that it’s November I am finally confronting my denial that summer is, in fact, over. The chill is in the air and the days are getting noticeably shorter, and we collectively searching for cold weather activities for toddlers.

As a fellow mom of Cape Cod, I can confidently say that we all brought our A-game this summer. We splashed in the Mashpee splash pad. We visited the Cape Cod Inflatable park. We strolled down Main Street in Chatham and held our kiddos tightly as they peered over the railing to catch a glimpse of the seals at the Chatham Fish Pier.

Now the colder days have us all scratching our heads to come up with activities to keep our very busy toddler BUSY. We’re motivated to keep cabin fever at bay while giving our children some physically enriching activities throughout the colder months. And collectively we think, “the Cape is finally quiet…NOW what!?”

I got you, girl. Here are three tried and true cold weather activities for toddlers to keep them active active (and keep you sane!) once that first frost has hit.

Explore Indoor Play Spaces

Fall is the perfect opportunity to check out the plethora of indoor spaces that the Cape has to offer now that the crowds are thinner.  Say hi to the horseshoe crabs at the Cape Cod Museum of Natural History. Travel inside a space shuttle on your way to a knight’s castle at the Cape Cod Children’s Museum. Jump in the ball pit after a gym class at Little Milestones Play and Learn. If water play is your jam, walk the plank of the pirate ship at the Cape Codder Water Park. Finding an indoor activity is a great way to get out of the house while treating your kiddo to free play in a new environment. It’s an adventure!

Take A Class

There are a variety of toddler movement classes available in the winter months that will give your little one an opportunity to move during the cold weather while also giving you both a social outlet. Check out the YMCA in Hyannis. They have a Water Babies swim class that’s all but guaranteed to ensure a hearty nap. If music is more your thing, check out Music Together of Cape Cod. This class combines music education, language development and encourages physical exploration and dancing. Another option is to follow Motherly Love Wellness, who will be hosting a variety of Mommy and Me yoga and dancing classes throughout the colder months. If your little one thrives on more structured play, classes might be right up your alley.

Bundle Up With Your Hot Cocoa

As I’m sure you’ve already noticed, toddlers are surprisingly resilient in the colder weather. (“Yes, you DO need your jacket” is on constant repeat over here!) But seriously, take advantage of the off-season and enjoy your favorite playground now that the crowds are gone! Outdoor play spaces have the added bonus of avoiding the rampant cold viruses and bugs that take over our households in the winter. Favorite toddler-appropriate playgrounds are Luke’s Love Playground in Barnstable, Wiley Park in Eastham and Johnny Kelley Park in Dennis.

When In Doubt, Have A Party At Home

Finally, some days the hassle to get out of the house just isn’t worth it. But don’t worry! There’s plenty to do to keep you and your little ones from climbing the walls. In cases like these, obstacle courses will be your best friend! Place some stickers, squigz, or coins on one end of a room and its “home base” on the other (piggy bank, play farm, mirror, etc). Then, create your best obstacles! Put down cushions, open that tunnel, have them walk across pillows or even jump over a broomstick. Safety tip: make sure your space is clear of any harsh corners (coffee tables, tv stands, nearby stairs etc). Pump some jams and make it a dance party! Climbing is fantastic for their core strength and will get their wiggles out in time for a peaceful lunch.

When in doubt this winter, let me leave you with this reminder.  You’re doing great. You’ve got a great kid. And together the two (or three, or even four!) of you will rock the winter months and dare I even say- enjoy them.

Shannon Brady
Shannon moved with her husband to Cape Cod during the pandemic to be closer to family. She is originally from Providence and married her high school sweetheart Tom. She went to college at Boston University and earned her degree in human physiology. She worked as a preschool teacher before applying to graduate schools to pursue her degree in physical therapy. She attended USC to get her doctorate in physical therapy and spent 10 years in Los Angeles with her husband. During the pandemic, she and her husband bought a home in Dennisport to be closer to family. After over two years of infertility, they welcomed their daughter Lily. They then welcomed their second daughter Hailey a short sixteen months later. Shannon is a physical therapist and a board-certified Pediatric Clinical Specialist, although she currently stays home with her girls, who are now one and two years old. She is passionate about using her knowledge in physical therapy to empower parents and give them confidence around their baby’s development. She is an avid runner and former Girls On The Run coach with a strong desire to advocate for young women and girls in sport. She also enjoys reading, cooking, snuggling with her dog Jack and watching reality TV. Shannon’s favorite part of living on Cape Cod is being able to watch fireworks from Chatham to Hyannis from the beach on the 4th of July.


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