Putting together this list of easy toddler activities brought back so many memories for me! Memories of the days when I had a baby and a toddler to keep occupied for hours and hours at a time. Raising toddlers is no easy feat, and every parent needs resources to help them get through each and every day.
Toddlers are busy, hilarious, curious, and every-changing. It is incredible to watch them learn and grow so quickly, and they have a beautiful way of finding delight in even the smallest things. The following list of ideas will help your days go by a little more smoothly and bring fun to everyone involved!
And the best part is that I chose activities for this list that are easy to set up and easy to clean up. No parent needs to add extra work to their day. I’ve experienced the frustration of spending 30 minutes setting up an activity for my kids, watching them play with it for 5 minutes, and then spending 30 minutes cleaning up after them. The activities on this list aren’t those types of activities! Let’s keep it simple… for the sake of our sanity.
Be sure to share this list with fellow toddler mamas who could use it!
This article is written by Shari Medini
For more on this topic, check out the full All About Toddlers collection
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50 Easy Toddler Activities
1. Paint in ziploc bags
Put paint in ziploc bags and tape to table for clean finger painting.
2. Sticker sorting
Different colors of construction paper with matching colors of stickers
3. Watch YouTube channels that get kids moving
(check out our recommendations here)
4. Animal rescue
Put animal toys in a bucket of water and scoop them out with a large, slatted spoon.
5. Pipe cleaners & colander
Toddlers can loop pipe cleaners through the holes in the colander.
6. Pretend mailbox
Cut a slit in a shoe box and color letters to pretend to send
7. Car wash
Get the toy trucks and cars, brushes, and some soapy water.
8. Fine motor sorting
Have toddler use tweezers to pick up small toys and organize them by shape, size, color, type, etc.
9. Balloon tennis
All you need is fly swatters and balloons.
10 . Pasta threading
Stick straws into a pile of play doh, and then have toddler put rigatoni on the straws.
11. Pouring station
Get a large bin and fill it with water. Put cups, spoons, and other kitchen supplies in for your toddler to play with.
12. Glitter bottles
There are a lot of recipes out there to make these. But the easiest way seems to be water, baby oil, glitter, and food coloring.
13. Cutting practice
Purchase dull play doh scissors and let your toddler practice cutting play doh creations.
14. Painter’s tape roads
Put down painter’s tape to create roads, parking lots, rivers, etc.
15. Toilet paper fun
Give your toddler a roll of toilet paper and let them go to town unraveling it, creating mazes, etc.
16. Color sorting
Assign a color and have your toddler run around the house finding things that are that color.
17. Stacking cups
Grab a large pack of plastic cups at the dollar store and let your toddler get creative with them.
18. Cardboard car ramps
Cut up a cardboard box to create ramps for matchbox cars to race from the couch to the floor.
19. Marble runs
You can create your own, or buy one from the store. But either way, they are usually a hit! Just be careful that your toddler doesn’t put the marbles in their mouth!
20 . Rice bin
Fill a pan or bin with rice. Add in toys, spoons, bowls, etc.
21. Baby oil & food coloring
Add these into a ziploc bag.
22. Chalkboard & chalk
Purchase this affordable chalkboard decal for your wall.
Magnets provide so much entertainment! Place them on a metal baking sheet or play with them on the fridge.
24. Velcro felt puzzles
Draw shapes on a piece of cardboard. Cut the same shapes out of felt. Place velcro stickers to the shapes on the cardboard, voila! Easy toddler friendly shape puzzle.
25. Rock box
Collect pebbles and put them in a bin with digger trucks.
26. Cardboard boxes
Give your toddler cardboard boxes, markers, and let them go to town.
27. Watercolors in the tub
Toddler can paint all over the tub, and it easily washes clean.
28. Pool ball pit
Grab the kiddie pool and fill it with whatever balls you have around the house.
29. Paper towel tubes
Tape paper towel tubes to the wall and let your toddler drop pom poms through it.
30. Water bead window
Purchase water beads and put them in a ziploc bag. Use painter’s tape to attach it to a window for your toddler to play with.
31. Happy/Sad sorting
Print out a whole bunch of pictures of happy and sad people. Have your toddler sort them. This will begin teaching them about empathy.
32. Corn bin
Dry corn kernels are another great sensory bin item.
33. DIY binoculars
Tape two toilet paper rolls together and attach some string for pretend binoculars.
34. Decorate the tree
Draw a tree on the non-stick side of contact paper. Collect leaves, or get fake ones. Tape the contact paper to a wall or window, and let your toddler stick leaves onto the sticky side of the contact paper.
35. Sticker names
Write your child’s name in big letters and have them cover the letters with stickers.
36. Tub fishing
Put magnets in the tub, tie a magnet on a string, tie the string on a stick… tub fishing!
37. Bubble wrap run
Place bubble wrap in a line down a hallway and let your toddler run back and forth.
38. Make a Kaleidoscope
Make a Kaleidoscope together with this easy tutorial!
39. Q Tip fun
Rinse out a parmesan cheese bottle, hand over some q tips, and watch your toddler spend forever putting the q tips through the small shaker holes.
40. Sticky mural
Tape contact paper to the wall and cut out paper shapes for your toddler to stick to it. Encourage them to create their own mural.
41. Velcro sticks
Buy a pack of popsicle sticks and some velcro stickers. Place the velcro on either end of the sticks so that your toddler can build and create things out of the sticks.
42. Object hide & seek
There might be a limited amount of places where you can hide, but there are tons of places to hide a stuffed animal!
43. Bowling with bottles
Save your recycling for a little while and use them to go bowling instead.
44. Play charades
Have your toddler act out different animals and see if you can guess what they are.
45. Baking soda & colored vinegar
Mix small amounts of food dye and vinegar. Then have your toddler use a dropper to drop the colored vinegar into a pan of baking soda. Watch it bubble!
46. Ribbon stick
Tying a ribbon to the end of a stick can be surprisingly entertaining!
47. Shaving cream
Spread shaving cream on the tub wall and let your toddler have fun.
48. Float or sink
Collect objects and make guesses as to whether you think they will sink or float in a tub of water.
49. Draw on the table
Cover your table completely with paper and be sure to tape it down. Now let your toddler go to town!
50. Paper plate puzzles
Cut paper plates into a few different shapes and have your toddler piece them back together.
For more on this topic, check out the All About Toddlers collection
Co-Owner: Shari Medini
Shari Medini is the co-owner of the parenting website Adore Them. Her prior experience includes working as a marketing strategist and writer on multi-million dollar capital campaigns, website designs, advertising campaigns, and book launches. Shari’s parenting articles have been published in dozens of publications; and she enjoys doing various speaking engagements. When she’s not on her laptop, Shari can be found spending quality time with her husband and two sons exploring their hometown of Lancaster County, PA