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Do you have a busy little one? Try these awesome home activities for toddlers!
Sometimes being a mom can feel like a juggling act because you’re trying to do so many things at the same time.
We sure love our kids, but staying one step ahead of them can be tough.
If you’re anything like me, you don’t have a hard time staying busy!
By the time you finish reading this article, you’ll have all kinds of fun activities to try without having to think them up. Mom for the win!
Toddlers are so fun to play with because everything is so new to them and they find great joy in the simplest activities.
I’m sure that’s not news to you, but keep it in mind as you involve your toddler in activities with you throughout the day!
Things like sweeping (their version, of course), cleaning the floor, and folding laundry can be super fun when you have the right little helper.
Home Activities For Toddlers
1. Q-tips Drop
- Q-tips Drop
- Card Drop
- Q-tip Poke
- Pom Poms and Tubes
- Tongs and Pom-Poms
- Scoop and Dump
- Pom Pom Sort
- Stacking Alphabet Letters
- Clean Painting
- Yogurt Masterpiece
- Balls and Cups
- Stair Drop
- Banister Push Through
- Boom Boom Down The Stairs
- Play Dress Ups
- Sliding Tennis Balls
We took an empty container and cut a slit into the lid on the top (in this case it was an oats container, but you could use whatever you have on hand).
My daughter picked up the q-tips and one by one put them through the hole, so they dropped into the container.
It was exciting for her to fit them into the right spot and then let go and watch them disappear inside.
If you are extra crafty, you could cut out some construction paper to fit around the container and decorate it to look a little more exciting and cute!
I didn’t have the time (or to be honest, the desire!) to make this one look fancy.
She still loved doing it and didn’t even notice the container was undecorated!
2. Card Drop
Using the same container as the previous activity, gather up some old playing cards and let your little one flip and turn them to learn how to fit it into the hole.
It was a bit tricky at first, but she got it figured out! (I recommend using cards you don’t care about, it is very likely some will get bent in the process).
It was pretty funny though, she eventually got annoyed with having to put the cards in one or two at a time, so she figured out how to take the lid off and stick them all in! hahaha. What can I say, she’s resourceful!
3. Q-tip Poke
I saw this idea awhile ago, somewhere on Pinterest! It turned out to be a lot of fun. The prep for this one was minimal, it only took a minute or two. I took an empty egg carton, flipped it over, and poked a hole into each egg spot using scissors.
Then we grabbed some of the q-tips we had used for the q-tips drop (above) and I showed her how she could push the q-tips through the holes.
It may look quite simple, but it kept her entertained for quite awhile!
She would put them all in, take them out, and then do it all over again.
Eventually, some of the q-tips got pushed all the way in so we had to open the egg carton to find them again! Ta-da! Then it became yet another game, opening and closing the carton!
4. Pom Poms and Tubes
This was so fun! We grabbed a few empty toilet paper rolls and an empty paper towel roll and taped them to the wall.
It may sound strange, but I tend to hold onto these kinds of things for projects and activities like this! It stems back to my days as a classroom teacher haha.
As it often goes with little ones, I first showed her what we were trying to do. After a few attempts, she got it!
She did a great job putting the pom poms down the top tube and watching them pop out at the bottom.
There were several times she went up on her tiptoes and tried to peek down the tubes to see where the pom poms were going. Cute!
The rolls were eventually pulled off the wall, but I can’t blame her- the tape just looked so interesting to play with as well!
5. Tongs and Pom-Poms
You’ll find your toddler is pretty good at creating their own entertainment using whatever they can find.
I handed my daughter a plastic set of tongs and she spent a good amount of time trying to pick up the pom-poms with them!
The idea of pinching the two sides together to hold the pom-poms on there was a bit tricky, but it was a good way to practice such a skill.
She also learned to pick the pom poms up with one hand and then hold it in place with the other hand as she moved it around.
Learning how to problem-solve! That is always a great skill to learn;)
Don’t put those pom poms away yet! The fun has just begun;)
6. Scoop and Dump
This one just required a bit of poking around in the kitchen to find a few things.
We pulled out a muffin tin and dropped several pom-poms into the different spots.
My daughter used a spoon, and after some practice time, figured out how to scoop the pom poms up. But most of the time she just moved them over with her hands. 🙂
Next we found a funnel and a glass jar (which this can be any container that a funnel can be placed on, I was with her the whole time she was playing with this so we didn’t end up with broken glass or cuts!).
We placed the funnel on top of the glass jar and she grabbed handfuls of pom poms to drop into the jar.
The original idea was to have her scoop up pom poms onto the spoon and dump it into the funnel/jar.
That ended up being a bit frustrating to her, so I just let her go with what felt comfortable, which was using her hands.
We’ll have to do it again and see how she does now!
7. Pom Pom Sort
We have some fun stacking cups, but you really could use any cups or containers.
My mini-me loved picking up the pom poms (in fistfuls at times!) and dropping them into the different cups.
Occasionally she’d pick the whole cup up and dump out its contents. This could easily turn into a great color sorting game.
8. Stacking Alphabet Letters
Try stacking letters! Or really stacking anything. She loves stacking them up on top of each other, but even more, she loves to knock the stacks over.
They came with a little bag, so she’s been great with helping to clean them up when she’s done playing with them. Fun and learning happening all around!
These will also be an awesome learning tool when she starts recognizing letters.
9. Clean Painting
I loved this idea of painting with no clean up!
My kiddo definitely enjoys doing activities that get messy, but sometimes it’s nice to have other options for things that are fun and clean.
This is a great one if you are looking for that type of activity!
I first made my own paint using this recipe. Easy peasy.
Then I spooned both of the homemade paint colors into a Ziploc bag together. I taped it to the window and showed her how she could use her finger to ‘paint.’
She thought it was pretty cool! A little later she found one of the q-tips we had used for other activities and used it to move the paint around inside the bag- great idea!
10. Yogurt Masterpiece
Now that you’ve enjoyed some clean painting fun, on to getting our hands (and faces!) a bit messy! She loved this one!
To get things ready, gather up some:
- yogurt (I used plain Greek yogurt)
- a couple spoons to mix with
- food coloring
- An additional option is a pastry brush to act as the paintbrush (but fingers work just fine as well!).
Pour yogurt into 3 separate containers.
Squirt a few drops of food coloring into each container (I chose to just do 3, feel free to do as many colors as you’d like!) and mix each one together.
Plop some onto the tray/table and let the painting (and most likely eating) begin!
My toddler loved putting her whole hand into it and feeling the yogurt squish through her fingers.
She mixed the colors up all over the tray and, of course, had to try some now and then. The pastry brush acted as a great paintbrush and spoon;)
These next few ideas are all using plastic balls like these. They are so much fun!
11. Balls and Cups
This one came about as we were playing with the plastic balls we had on hand.
My daughter enjoys putting them in and taking them out of things, so we saw the cups nearby and had this brilliant thought!
We lined them up and she proceeded to put a ball into each cup.
It was also fun to knock the cups over so the balls would come rolling out.
There were a few times she picked the cup up and carried it around with the ball sitting on top. It could be a great activity for some fun and safe balancing practice!
12. Stair Drop
There is a certain satisfaction we feel when watching something bounce down the stairs.
These balls are a perfect choice! They are colorful and bounce happily down the stairs.
My daughter loved watching them go down from the top of the stairs, then watching them come down from the bottom of the stairs.
After she watched them roll down the stairs she’d quickly “boom boom” down after them and the play continues!
13. Banister Push Through
If you happen to have a stair banister like ours (in the picture below) you can easily stick balls in between the posts and voila- a new game appears!
My little one loved pushing the balls through and then watching them bounce down the stairs.
She even figured out how to put a ball or two back up so it was again sitting between two posts.
14. Boom Boom Down The Stairs
I’m sure this activity has many names, but in my house growing up we called it boom booming. It was an activity we spent hours doing!
Once your toddler is comfortable going up and down the stairs (on their belly) this is a natural activity that results.
They can’t help but find fun things to do wherever they go;)
It definitely makes the trip downstairs a lot faster and a lot more fun! I talked about boom booming in another post with more great activities.
15. Play Dress Ups
Dressing up is just a classic way to pass the time!
Why not pull out some fun (or funny) clothes and let your toddler run around for a bit in them.
My daughter has also enjoyed putting her dad’s shirts on and wearing his slippers (or at least attempting to walk in them, it’s pretty comical to watch;))
Put a puzzle together. It can be so rewarding, for any age really, to find the puzzle piece that fits correctly into each space.
Your little one likely won’t get it right every time, but that’s the fun part- learning and trying new things.
If this way didn’t work, try another way. This can be great practice for all kinds of reasons. Read more about the amazing benefits of puzzles.
17. Sliding Tennis Balls
Joy is found in simple things!
We pulled out our Little Tykes slide and some tennis balls and she loved picking up each tennis ball and throwing it down the slide.
By the end, she had a nice pile of tennis balls and a big smile!