Make play-time fun with these entertaining and easy activities just for toddlers!
Toddlers keep parents busy! They are on the move. They love to play. The love to explore! Moms and dads are busy too. Between taking care of our littles, working, and household duties we sometimes turn to the same old activities to keep our tots occupied.
Getting a little bored playing the same things? If you’re looking for inspiration to keep your toddlers entertained but short on ideas or time you’ve come to the right place!
Breathe new life into your child’s day! These creative ideas for toddlers will help them learn, develop their brains, and of course have fun!
Educational Play For Toddlers
Help toddlers develop a love of learning while playing with these creative ideas:
1. Color and Learn
Toddlers love to color. Why not make it a learning experience? Look for coloring books that teach numbers, letters and shape concepts. It’s a natural way to learn and kids have fun too!
2. Vocabulary Builder Books
It’s amazing how little kids love to look at books and their pictures over and over again. Help build your toddler’s vocabulary by getting books with pictures of common words. Tots will feel like a big kid reading the books to themselves while learning to identify common objects.
3. Floor Puzzles
Toddlers build their brain power when they do puzzles! Problem solving, fine motor, and spatial planning all work together when kids complete puzzles. Get them sprawled out on the floor as they work on these skills and figure out how to put big puzzles together!
Developmental Play For Toddlers
Play offers many opportunities for brain development. Check out these fun ideas:
4. Stringing Beads
Learning to lace beads is a basic skill toddlers love to learn. Developing dexterity in hands will help them go on to do other things like write and cut when they’re bigger. Give them a jump start with beading. You can create your own set with almost anything from home. Yarn and noodles or shoe laces and beads are some ideas. Just make sure the pieces are easy to grasp and your kiddo will be able to make all kinds of creations.
5. Obstacle Course
Work on balance, coordination and gross motor skills when you build an obstacle course for your toddler! You can make one with pillows, boxes, small tables, or blankets. Give them things to jump on, crawl under, or go through. They will get their wiggles out and burn energy too!
Have some stickers laying around? Create a little sticker book by stapling paper together and let your toddler fill the pages with the stickers. While it may seem like a simple activity there is a lot of skill development with peeling off stickers and placing them on paper. You can also teach simple ideas like making patterns or color sorting with stickers.
7. Scavenger Hunt
Have a curious toddler? This one’s for them! Hide things around the house for your tot to find. Use any small trinkets and toys like action figures, cars, even hair bows are easy to hide. You can make it into a game of hot and cold or let your toddler hunt for things on their own.
Fun Play Ideas For Toddlers
Free play is a great way for toddlers to unwind. Add some life to their regular play routines with these ideas:
8. Window Art
Do you have a budding artist on your hands? Give your little Van Gough the canvas of their dreams… a window! Crayola makes markers just for windows or you can simply use dry erase markers. Draw pictures, learn letters and numbers or make designs. Drawing on a different surface makes coloring fun.
9. Tape Road Maze
Have a little car guru on your hands? Feed their imagination by making roads with masking or painters tape! Find an area on the floor, or even use a blanket. Then map out road lines using tape. Your toddler will love driving their cars around on their own streets!
10. Dress Up
While costumes are fun, using other props turns dress up into something different for your toddler. Turn your old clothes into dress-up clothes. Skirts, hats, ties, and scarves are a great way to build a dress-up kit. Use old towels for capes and old jewelry for an added touch of fancy.
11. Box Building
If you have large boxes around, turn it into something else! Decorate it like a train, car or boat. Cut out windows and doors for a house. Create a large opening for a puppet show. Whatever you turn it into your toddler will love to play in it!
12. Ball Toss
All you need for this activity are some bins and balls! Set up a ball toss by placing the bin on one end and have your toddler stand behind a line on the other end. Toss the balls and see how many they can get in! Boxes, laundry baskets, trash cans make great ball toss targets.
Outdoor Activities For Toddlers
Don’t forget about the great outdoors! Here are some great ideas for getting out:
13. Backyard Carnival Games
Kids love playing carnival games. Recreate the same activities in your own yard! Ring toss, beanbags, and cones will keep your toddler entertained! They will feel like they are having a day at the fair when you create little yard games.
14. Plant Exploration
Have a little green thumb on your hands? Your toddler will enjoy helping you in the garden and learning about how things grow with their very own garden gloves and garden tool set. You can even use sand box toys. Whenever you’re doing yard work get them involved by having them look for interesting plants, rocks or bugs. See what they can find or simply see how dirty they can get.
Indoor Play For Toddlers
Next time you’re stuck inside all day keep tot entertained with these activities:
15. Indoor Basketball Hoop
Your toddler can keep burning energy indoors with indoor basketball hoops. With easy set up and soft balls suitable for indoors your tot can make two pointers all day long! If you don’t have a hoop make your own with a basket or box. As long as your toddler has something to toss a ball into they have a hoop!
16. Dance Party
Burn energy and get the wiggles out with a dance party! Keep your toddler moving with kid friendly music. Make it extra fun by playing freeze dance or making up your own dances.
17. Doodle Mat
Let your kids lay out and draw away all day long with an extra large coloring surface. Either give them butcher block paper, wrapping paper or a collapsed box for large surfaces. Your toddler can sprawl out with crayons and markers and make their own creations.
18. Indoor Fort
Building a fort is always a fun rainy day activity. Drape blankets over chairs or tables and let toddlers get cozy with their stuffed animals and books. Or set up some pretend play and make it a house or castle. Whatever your toddler chooses to do, forts are perfect for indoor play.
Stimulating Play For Toddlers
Playtime is a great time to stimulate your child’s senses. Here are some ways to do just that:
19. Homemade Sensory Bin
Find a plastic bin and fill it with anything sensory related. Dried pasta, beans or rice are classic sensory bin choices. You can also shred paper or use beads and buttons for an alternative. Add some little cups, spoons, and construction trucks and your toddler will be playing a long time! For easy clean up place the bin on top of a sheet to collect any spills.
20. Musical Instruments
For the musician in your family let your little one express their talents with a musical instrument set. Or make your own instruments with beads in a covered bowl, wooden spoons or plastic container with a lid. Your toddler can play along to their favorite tunes or compose their own songs, tap out different rhythms, put on a concert or make a parade!
21. Homemade Sensory Bottle
Make a visually stimulating bottle that toddlers love to watch! Fill a clear water bottle up with water. Add a few drops of oil, food coloring, and glitter. You can also put in small beads or sequins. Put the cap on and shake the bottle! Watch the bubbles and glitter over and over again.
Make playtime fun again with these 21 ideas just for toddlers. They are easy, fun and help your toddler learn and grow too!