Activities for Toddlers

Perhaps it's just me- but I'm bored with toddler-dom. I'm tired of watching tons of Elmo. I'm tired of "coloring". I found a few ideas online and thought I would share them. It doesn't seem like they can do much (and I'm a mess-a-phobe).

  • Put a bit of dish soap bubbles on a sliding glass door and let them draw designs. (also cleans off messy handprints- bonus!)
  • Paint fingers of a pair of white glove with different colors then sing the color song- tune: "Are you sleeping?"
Where is red? (bring one hand up with fingers showing)
Where is red? (repeat with other hand)
Here I am (wave one hand)
Here I am (wave other hand)
Show me if you can (kids try to identify the color)
Show me if you can
Where is red? (if they didn't get it right, show them the color)
Where is red?

Repeat this with all the colors.

  • Play with different varieties of dry pasta, sorting, mashing, etc.
  • Sensory bottles:

    a. Lava bottles: fill 1/2 water and food coloring, and 1/2 baby oil. It produces a lava lamp effect when tilted.

    b. Snow globes: fill half with water and half with corn syrup. Add glitter, beads, paper clips etc. The corn syrup makes the glitter fall slowly for dazzling effects.

    c. Discovery bottles (not pictured): fill with rice and small objects like dice, small toys, paper clips etc. As you roll the bottle, different objects will come to the surface to be discovered.

    Once filled, simply fill the bottle caps with hot glue and turn them on. Let set until dry and you have a great addition to you sensory set.! Set these bottles in a sunny window for even more dazzling effects!

  • Tear-Free bubbles: 1/4 c. no-tears baby shampoo, 3/4 c. water, 3 tbl. light corn syrup. Add into an empty bubbles bottle.
  • Make binoculars out of 2 toilet paper tubes, tape them together and go on a nature walk or hunt for birdies.
  • Print out the alphabet bugs- stick them on yourself or the wall and have them take the bugs off- telling you what letter they are and "catch" them into an empty strainer or bowl.
  • Take a trip to the virtual zoo!
  • While the kids are napping, tape down some cut out footprints and have them follow the footprints to a special "surprise".
  • Take an empty cereal box and take a utility knife to cut a small cross(X) in the middle of the front or back. Make the cross just big enough for your toddler to push a small plastic toddler/infant spoon through it. Close the top flap of the box, and take about 10 plastic spoons and then let your toddler push them in the box through the opening you just made. Then let your toddler pick up the box and shake it around to hear all of the spoons make noise inside. Sit on the rug and slide it back and forth to each other. Open it up and let your toddler dump all the spoons out. Then do it all over again!
  • If you have a salad spinner- tape strips of construction paper in different colors and let them spin it to see the colors whirr around.
  • Bring out a large, empty cardboard box from the garage to pile stuff into, make into a fort, etc.


  1. I'm always looking for simple things to do with my kids. Thanks, Ashley!

  2. when taylor was little he always wanted to help me clean but i didn't necessarily want him spraying the cleaner, so i got him his very own spray bottle for 99 cents and gave him a washcloth + sent him outside to clean all of his toys. he LOVED it and would stay out there for hours. it's pretty cold out right now, so that would work more in the spring/summer...

    you could also get some small objects [not too small obviously, i don't know how much they're still trying to put in their mouths] like beans? blocks? buttons? pipecleaners? + have them sort them.

    i was always looking for ideas too!

  3. SO FUN! I have made the discovery bottle and it provided DAYS of entertainment. Thanks for the ideas!

  4. Cool ideas! Another awesome one is equal parts cornstarch and water- add a little food coloring- bada bing- it's a blast! It's solid in a closed fist and turns to liquid when open- it's messy- but FUN!!!! Lay down newspaper or wax paper for easy clean up. Also, shaving cream! Painting with it- washing windows with it- finger painting on the windows with it- hours of fun! Another fun thing is painting with or coloring with weird objects- rubber band a marker to the bak of a toy car- color on the page with it- put a marker of a head band and have them color that way- out lipstick on them and have them kiss a piece of paper a million times. Sounds like you guys will be having a blast at your casa!

  5. Thanks for all the fun ideas! I understand the toddler boredom. Anything to keep them happy and content!