ACTIVITIES FOR TODDLERS
- Toddlers like to put things inside of other things and dump them out. Cut a hole in the middle of the lid of a clean coffee can or plastic margarine tub. Let the toddlers put clothespins, thread spools, and big hair curlers through the hole.
- Make play dough. Mix 3 cups flour, 1 cup salt, 3 tablespoons oil, and 1 cup water together. Add food coloring for color. Let the toddlers use jar lids, clothespins, and popsicle sticks to cut and shape the play dough.
- Children love to play with water. Fill big buckets or tubs with water. Give the children soap chips, measuring spoons and cups, plastic bottles, butter tubs, and sponges to play with in the water. Put towels or newspaper on the floor so the children will not slip on the wet floor.
- Toddlers like goop. Mix cornstarch and water together. Let toddlers play with it in a bucket or in bowls with cups and spoons. Make the goop thick or thin.
- Ask your local appliance shop for a free refrigerator (or other large appliance) cardboard box. Cut doors and windows in the box to make a playhouse. Toddlers can draw on it with crayons or “paint” it with water and big brushes or sponges.
- Toddlers like to draw with short, fat, unwrapped crayons. Give them paper bags (you can tear them open to make large sheets of brown paper) or large pieces of heavy paper to draw on. To help them draw, tape the paper down so it does not move.
- Let toddlers tear old wrapping paper. Then have them paste the pieces to make a collage.
- Have toddlers finger paint with shaving cream mixed with food coloring. They like this mess.
- Toddlers like to jump. Put pillows, cushions, or a mattress on the floor.
- They can use some swings and low slides at the playground.
- Most toddlers are just learning how to walk and run. Go for lots of walks.
- Let the toddlers practice climbing stairs with your help.
- Toddlers also like to play house with dolls and housekeeping props such as plastic dishes and spoons.
Bubble Wrap & Dish Scrubber Starfish
No Mess Color Mixers
Rubber Duck Stamping
Who Do You Love Sensory Tub
Glass Sponge Painting
Animal Track Painting
Rainbow Gelatin Sensory Tub
DIY Board Book About Feelings
Playdough Toy Prints
Pretend Play Vet Clinic
Backyard Car Wash
Baby Block Painting
Pretend Play Grocery Store
Toddler Butterfly Craft
Discovery Bottles For Babies
Painting With Water
- Soapy jars, fun to shake up and watch settle!
- This is a blast! And a way to get the kids to clean, with dish soap foam.
- Cook up some spaghetti [or even better, use leftovers], add some color to it to make spaghetti potion.
- A slimy gel bag is a squishy sensory delight for toddlers!
- Just flour. Let your toddler explore flour freely.
- Add water to the flour and put in a baggy for some flour & water piping.
- Explore ice cubes!
- Jello! A sensory activity from Learning 4 Kids.
- Playing with and exploring pasta, from Teach Preschool.
- Oooo. Add water to paper, idea from Tinkerlab.
- Bubbles! Simple sensory activity at MamaSmiles.
- Make a simple egg carton train with pipe cleaners.
- Use a baggy and paint and add a dowel or toy of some sort and do some roller painting.
- Contact paper window decor. The best toddler art activity there is, I think!
- Using a toilet paper tube, stamp a heart!
- Use yogurt to paint.
- Make your own edible finger paint and create tape resist art. [Or use store-bought washable fingerpaints!]
- Foam shapes art on the window, a wonderful idea from Putti Prapancha.
- Sticker art is a perfect toddler art activity from The Artful Parent.
- Spray paint art using water and watercolors with squirt bottles, toddler will love this idea from Kiwi Crate Blog!
- Shaken ball art [from Toddler Approved] is fun for your toddler to get moving and create art in the process.
- Explore ribbons, add a bottle to the mix for some fine motor practice.
- Pom poms are perfect for toddlers and they love putting them in other objects!
- Pipe cleaners are not only fun to touch, but you can stick them through small holes [such as a colander], too!
- Let your toddler play with a cardboard box. Easy enough.
- Corn kernels, just keep an eye that they don’t put them in their mouths, and they’ll haul them around or pour them into containers!
- Tissue paper can be thrown, scrunched up, or torn into small pieces!
- Give toddlers your fabric scraps to play with!
- Use your leftover baby food jars as busy toddler play! Screw and unscrew them, stick little objects inside for prizes!
- The good old pots and pans never get old to a toddler!
- Water never gets old for kids! Add color to it for added fun. Let them play with cups and spoons for hours!
- A flashlight as a light table, idea from Growing a Jeweled Rose.
- Ripping magazines! From A Mom with a Lesson Plan.
- Stacking cups could be a great busy play activity for toddlers! Idea from The Imagination Tree.
- Stabbing foam plates [idea from Creative with Kids] could be lots and lots of fun with recyclables!
- Chop up some pipe cleaners for sprinkles for fine motor practice or pretend play!
- Get the balloon out and play balloon badminton with your hands or with paddles.
- Leftover shipping packaging makes for a great bubble pop road.
- Hammer golf tees into Styrofoam for some great hand-eye coordination.
- Bust out your ABC Mat and make roads to drive along. [Don’t have an ABC Mat? Get one! They can be used for all sort of activities and learning!]
- Go on a heart hunt, or any kind of hunt. Hide some like items around the house like you would Easter eggs!
- Pop a spaghetti noodle into some Play Dough and thread other noodles onto the spaghetti for some fine motor practice.
- Throw newspapers in the house.
- Roll down hills.
- Make a balance beam from boards inside or outside and practice walking along them.
- Stack up blocks with your toddler and let him try, or let him knock them down. [Have a builder? Make sure you have these top ten block toys!]
- Make doodles in the carpet with cookie cutters and other kitchen utensils.
- Set out random ingredients from your pantry and let your toddler stir and mix them up in their own concoctions.
- Make some golf ball chutes [at Sense of Wonder]!
- A homemade lacing activity, from What do We Do All Day?, is an excellent toddler fine motor activity! You can also buy lacing cards too!