City-Friendly Indoor Play Must-Haves - Chicago Moms Network

Living in the city with limited space, toys have to WORK in our home! If it’s not a transformer that can do a million different things, I’m probably not letting in in the house 🙂 Since it looks like we’ll be having a very home-centric winter this year, it’s time to start looking at your setup and thinking about how you can best utilize your space during the cold months. Especially as the holidays are approaching, these would be GREAT gifts for your children from a grandparent or relative that is looking for a gift idea that will make YOU happy as well as your kids!

Lily & River Little Climber

This is the perfect definition of a workhorse toy! We don’t have space for any sort of play gym in our home, but this FOLDS UP and can be stored in a closet!! This is a version of a Pikler Triangle, and there are plenty of other versions available on Etsy. The Little Climber enhances creativity, self-confidence, motor skill development, balance control, and muscle growth for children ages 6 months-5 years. Both my 2 year old and 4 year old have so much fun climbing & sliding – one side of the wooden plank is smooth and the other has climbing pegs. Watching the kids reach new milestones on the climber is really amazing, from pulling up to stand to practically taking one step to the top! It’s also a great base for a fort, and additional pieces can be purchased to enhance the climber. We have SO much fun using this as part of an obstacle course (hello every day in April 2020….). I typically keep it stored in the closet and bring it out a few times a week so that it’s new and exciting every time it comes out!

Ikea Flisat Children’s Table

This is the table of my DREAMS. We purchased this once Ikea opened back up in the spring (it’s only $50!), and let me tell you, it’s in use 24/7. If you look up Flisat Children’s Table hacks, you will see that there are truly endless uses for this table. It also wipes down like magic – we have run this thing into the ground and it still looks new. It’s super light, so we carry it ALL over our condo. We use it as:

  • A water table with a recirculating sink. Pictured below you’ll see a pink sink, but I can’t recommend this one. We now have the sink from our 2 year old Lovevery box and its PERFECT.
  • A basic table for drawing, eating, coloring, etc.
  • A Lego table. We attached these baseplates to one side of the table flaps using double sided tape, which was super easy! The table flaps still lay flat on the table, and can easily be flipped to the Lego side. We use the Lego Duplo because my kids are little, but you can switch out to normal Lego baseplates when the time is right!
  • A sensory bin table. Ikea sells bins that fit right in the openings of the table here and I have found this SO much more manageable than doing a huge sensory bin on the floor. For some reason my kids are much cleaner when using this table!

We use these Skip Hop chairs with the table, because I like how the kids can still fit their legs underneath even with the bins in the table. They are super light, and also easy to wipe down.

If you are shopping at Ikea or placing an order for pickup, make sure to stock up on their art supplies! They have so many amazing options, We’re obsessed with these watercolor colored pencils that are truly magic, and this watercolor set that has been going strong for 2 years now

Little Tikes Easy Store Trampoline

A little trampoline for getting the wiggles out saved our lives this past winter. This also is a GREAT addition to an obstacle course! Everyone getting to stir crazy? Go jump on the trampoline! This does not meet my criteria of being a transformer, but it’s worth it’s weight in gold for allowing my kids to be active in our small space!

Learning Tower

There are a million learning towers out there, but we like ours because it folds up! We didn’t add the “feet” to ours to save additional space, and it’s been in use for 3 years without any issues. This has allowed my kids to be SUPER active in the kitchen, and turns cooking into a family affair. It’s also nice to have another place to do activities like playdough or coloring – at the countertop instead of at the table. Although not a toy, it is a big ticket item that would make a great holiday gift. It has provided endless entertainment for my children!





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