Thirteen more toddler activity ideas…

We are always looking for more toddler activity ideas around here, as Lil’ Duck’s ideas of fun usually involve the destruction of my house! Here’s some more toddler & young child activity ideas from moms of toddlers:

  1. Get a small bag of dried beans or rice and dump it into a large (plastic) mixing bowl.  Give them a few other plastic cups, a mixing spoon, some paper towel rolls and put everything on the floor. They love to dump the beans from container to container and you can show them how to dump the beans down the tubes. Just keep those beans stored in a seperate container and don’t use them for anything else. Put everything on a bath towel or blanket and clean up is pretty easy because the beans don’t roll far on a towel. Of course, if your toddler likes to put things in their mouth, don’t try this one….. always supervise them regardless, of course.
  2. Climbing in empty boxes and “hiding” in them. Use a refrigerator box to build a “house”, smaller ones for sitting in, and stack up the really small ones to make a tower.
  3. Draw various things on a MagnaDoodle or even on paper. He loves to say whatever I draw. I ask him, “what should I draw next” and sometimes he says exactly what he wants!
  4. Sit on the balcony and see cars, stars, dogs, say hi and bye to everyone that passes, marvel at the little things they notice.
  5. Coloring – finger paint, sidewalk chalk, washable markers, etc. Lil’ Duck is a nightmare with crayons, and we restrict him to the outside patio with all of his coloring items to avoid a giant disaster (yes, even washable marker and sidewalk chalk is very hard to get out of furniture and off wooden tables ;)).
  6. A sand play area – Lil’ Duck loves his sandbox at his grandparents house – you can set up a small (preferably outside) area with some sand and household items as well.
  7. Along the same lines – a water play area. Just make sure it’s in a waterproof location ;). Bath time = playtime….. need I say more?!
  8. Football, soccer, basketball, baseball, etc! We improvise with boxes as goals for soccer, baskets for basketball, etc. – also a simple game of catch can be highly entertaining to a little one!
  9. Dancing! We also find random items around the house to shake and rub together while we dance around.
  10. Lil’ Duck loves to tumble around on the floor with us – tickling, bouncing, poking, just generally enjoying each other. Other active games – hide and seek, tag, chase, keep-away, etc – the faster the better, anything to wear him out!
  11. Puzzles – Lil’ Duck likes to work on even the harder ones with me, we take one piece out and put it back at first. He’s way too good at them though, so we usually go to the library and use all of theirs so we don’t have to keep buying new ones ;).
  12. Little helper! He does laundry (loads up the basket, pushes it to the machines, I hold him up to drop the laundry in, then I take the wet laundry out for him and he loads it into the dryer, shuts the door, I hold him up to turn it on, he unloads it when it is done, pushes it back to the bedroom, and helps me fold and put it away. He also helps with the dishes – hands them to me or puts them in cabinets as appropriate – wipes things down with a wet rag, helps tidy up and dust, etc. He helps mix up items if I’m cooking, and putting things in containers to keep for later.
  13. Playgrounds/mall play areas/library/toy stores/Starbucks/community events/zoos/amusement parks/bookstores/specialty shopping areas/etc. – even the grocery store is fun!

27 Responses to Thirteen more toddler activity ideas…

  1. Jessica April 3, 2008 at 10:01 am #

    I have a baby sister coming and i will be doing alot of baby sitting so thanks for the great ideas to keep her busy i will probably try the box one she will love that :)

  2. Chelle September 29, 2006 at 12:16 am #

    Now, where was this post when my six year old was a toddler? A little too late! Haha!

  3. tiggerprr September 29, 2006 at 12:16 am #

    So cute! Makes me remember when my Ashlyn was little…she’s turning 17 on Monday…how time flies. ::sobs::

  4. jen September 28, 2006 at 11:02 pm #

    Wow. Love it. And so helpful. Our kid was so entirely off the hook tonight and we’d used all of our usual tricks. Thanks

  5. Lisa September 28, 2006 at 8:33 pm #

    Great ideas! I don’t have kids but I dunno – they sound like fun to me. Can I go rent-a-kid? hehe

    Thanks for stopping by Snarkypants and cheering me up over my lame post! :) I like your idea about writing it ahead of time. Might try that!

    Have a good weekend!

  6. Danielle September 28, 2006 at 5:13 pm #

    …until yu have 3 ;-)
    Mine fight over helping with laundry, fight over who gets to dump what where, fight over who plays in which box, etc., etc….

    We do have fun dancing…as long as I don’t dance with any one in particular ;-)

    Blanket tents over tables or chairs are a lot of fun too…or making car/truck/choo-choo from chairs–although they both usually result in fighting too with my 3!

    Happy Thursday!

  7. Virginia September 28, 2006 at 4:19 pm #

    Oooh, you’re one of those Supermoms that have all these great ideas and love doing them! I wish I were like that. I’ve always wanted to have a large family but I don’t have the organizational skills to do it and that is important. I have 4 kids and I’m terrible with schedules and stuff. I’m slowly getting there. The problem is I loathe schedules so it makes it harder. Some like schedules. : )

  8. Cheryl September 28, 2006 at 3:31 pm #

    All great ideas. I’m always looking for new ideas for the ankle biters.

  9. Melissa September 28, 2006 at 2:20 pm #

    Great ideas for entertaining toddlers! Sam, who is almost 2, likes me to put every barrette we own into her hair. Then, we take them all out and start over. She also loves bathtime with her frogs, ducks, and octopus.

  10. mar September 28, 2006 at 1:46 pm #

    Such great ideas, should remember them for the next generation of the family :)
    happy TT, mine is up!

  11. Nancy September 28, 2006 at 1:22 pm #

    Great list. Should be lots of fun for toddlers everywhere! My kids are now 7 and 9, but would still like some of these ideas. Thanks.

  12. Diane September 28, 2006 at 12:33 pm #

    Wow, great tips! Now I know what to do when I babysit my cousins. ;)

  13. N. Mallory September 28, 2006 at 11:50 am #

    I don’t have toddlers and I was allergic to glue, I’m sad to say. I did like growing things when I was a kid. Like planting beans in cups or doing the sugar water to rock candy experiment.

    I had lots of puppets too like David said. Great list!

    Happy TT!

  14. David September 28, 2006 at 11:41 am #

    About #2. For years, e very time we had access to a box big enough, one of us (five kids in the family) would build a puppet theater… that would last until we’d worn it out (on to the next project!). It got started when we were anywhere from toddlers through early grade school and carried on through until all of us were well outa gradeschool.

    Puppets? Sock puppets easiest, but cutouts on sticks will do for lil bitties to view. Lotsa entertainment by Mom, at first, then older sister took charge with next one and passed the torch on down.

    Boxes also make great (“pretend”) boats, cars, airplanes and space ships. I don’t know how they would work as stargates…


  15. Erica September 28, 2006 at 10:28 am #

    Great ideas. I love the 1st one

  16. Lindsey September 28, 2006 at 10:22 am #

    You’ve always got so many great ideas! Thanks for sharing! Happy TT!

  17. JO September 28, 2006 at 9:25 am #

    sounds like fun! wish I have thought of some of these when my kids were younger…

    hopping from TT.

  18. Susan September 28, 2006 at 9:24 am #

    Great ideas, wonderful list. I’m going to copy and paste that if you don’t mind, and send it on to my girls.

    My TT is up

  19. MamaDuck September 28, 2006 at 8:47 am #

    LOL thanks a lot, Carmen ;). Guess I should go tell Kukka and Zeus about this list, eh? ;)

  20. carmen September 28, 2006 at 8:30 am #

    toddlers like some of the same things as cats. ;)

  21. TC September 28, 2006 at 8:29 am #

    while Little Princess is no longer a toddler, she enjoys some of these as well.

  22. ali September 28, 2006 at 8:15 am #

    thank you! this is great!

  23. Kailani September 28, 2006 at 5:12 am #

    Great ideas. We love doing the dancing one around here!

  24. Janice September 28, 2006 at 3:41 am #

    great helpful ideas. julia loves to do laundry too! it is so cute. :)

  25. laura September 28, 2006 at 12:53 am #

    good stuff as always. perhaps Daniel and I will be checking some fo these ideas out since
    mama is off work for a couple days…time to play!’
    my tt is up now too.

  26. Tonya September 28, 2006 at 12:49 am #

    Great Ideas!

    We do alot of those with Nate too. Puzzles are a big hit here as is helping with the laundry. We also do craft projects too. You can get some great ideas (and cheap too) from Oriental Traders. They are super easy to make and then you can give them to the grandparents!

    Our list is up too!


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