Being a toddler can be rough. They’re not quite big enough to play on the big kid equipment, but they aren’t immobile babies anymore either. Many toys have a 2+ age limit, and a lot of prefabbed activity boxes don’t even start until the age of 3. But if you have a toddler, you know they can and love to have fun too! Sometimes it is hard to come up with new and fresh ideas for my toddler and I to do together, so we’ve done some of the work for you! Take a look at our fun list of awesome activities for your toddler.
1. Edible Finger Painting
You can kill two birds with one stone on this one. Get your toddler creative and eating a snack at the same time! All you need is a little plain or vanilla yogurt and some food coloring or koolaid. Mix together in separate bowls for multiple colors and get some large art or butcher paper. Strap your toddler in a high chair and let them go wild!
2. Roller Painting In A Bag
When you think of toddlers and painting you undoubtedly think of a huge mess and paint on your furniture. Save the headache and paint in a bag! Cut out any shape you’d like (hint: Valentines Day is approaching, maybe a heart?) from a sturdy piece of paper and place in a sealable bag along with the paint of your choice, and an object that can roll, such as a paper towel roll or dowel. Then have your toddler move the dowel around to create a unique and fun piece of art!
Visit HandsOnAsWeGrow for 49 more toddler activities!
3. Playdoh Alphabet
This is a great activity for sensory development and maybe even some letter learning on the side. My daughter loves playdoh and thinking she knows how to count and say letters. Grab some playdoh (store bought or homemade) and some alphabet cookie cutters. Talk through the letters as they squish them into the dough. They may not retain the whole alphabet in 1 sitting, but they are sure having fun while doing it!
NoTimeForFlashcards has 21 other amazing activities, perfect for your pre-2 toddler!
4. Rainbow Salt Tray
Your toddler will love this activity using 5 simple items. Grab a box, salt, tape, paintbrush and colored paper in the colors of the rainbow. Simply lay the paper down in overlapping layers in the order of the rainbow and tape down all the edges. Then dump a thin layer of salt (a little actually goes a long way) and let your little one “paint” through the salt with their paintbrush!
Learning4Kids.net has the full tutorial along with other amazing activities for kids based on their age!
5. Sticky Table
Normally you work hard to remove all source of stickiness around the house, but this activity is the opposite! Simply tape down a piece of contact paper with sticky side UP onto a flat surface. Then give your toddler simple items they can stick down to the paper easily, such as pipe cleaners, pom poms and ribbon. Bonus! Everything will be stuck to the table at the end of play and NOT to the bottom of your feet!
ThingsToShareAndRemember has tons more art and even dramatic play ideas. Go check them out!
6. Sticker Play
My almost 2-year old could play with stickers until the cows come home. Sometimes she needs help getting them off the sticker sheet, but other than that, playing with stickers is an easy, inexpensive and fun way to play for her. You can get cheap books with over 600 stickers (WOW!) in the toy sections at places like Kohls or Home Goods. Use sticker books or make landscapes out of construction paper for easy sticker application (i.e. not on your walls!).
7. Rice Art
This is a great activity for being outside and if your toddler is no longer putting random objects in their mouth (dry rice doesn’t taste that great). Divide several cups of rice into separate bowls and use food coloring to color. Then take outside and help your toddler (or just do it for them) put liquid glue down on large pieces of construction paper. Then let them create some beautiful art! It’s one of the easiest and most creative activities for your toddler!
LetKidsCreate.blogspot.com has the full how-to on this easy and fun craft so head on over there!
8. Make Your Own “Toys”
We have hundreds (ok, maybe not that many) of toys around the house and it goes without saying that my child gets bored with them and just wants to play with boring old items, like my tissues and kitchen utensils. Instead of fighting with your toddler to stop, take some every day items that are new (and tempting to them) into “toys” that they can play with. Do you have old phones or keyboards lying around? Perfect! My daughter will play with any of these she can find, including running into the bank cubicles to answer the phone and play with the computer mouse! No need to buy more toys, just use some of your “cool” adult stuff!
9. FacePainting Crayons
This is a new idea for me! Amazon has very inexpensive sets of face painting crayons that you and your toddler can use on each other. According to the package they are also easy to remove from the face, but having never tried it, you’ll have to take the packagings word on that! If you’ve tried these, we would love to hear from you in our comments!
10. Watercolor Coffee Filters
These are simple yet gorgeous craft great for any age. All you need are large coffee filters and watercolor paint or marker (if the big kids want to play too). You can leave the coffee filters as they are or trim scalloped edges. Then let your kids dip in paint or use paintbrushes. Once they’re done and dried, you can bunch into flowers or fold up into the shape you like!
Check out FunAtHomeWithKids for the full tutorial, along with other fun crafts!