Whether you’re looking for something to do with your toddler on a cold or rainy day or perhaps just need to help your little one burn some energy, here are 25 fun activities for toddlers.
Most activities are pretty easy to set up, but some do require some advance (minimal) prep work. These are well suited for busy toddlers, and should keep them entertained for quite a while. Have fun playing!
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25 fun activities for toddlers
1. Mailbox pretend play
Mailbox pretend is a super fun idea I saw on Hands on as We Grow, and can keep your toddler entertained for hours! Make sure to keep some junk mail and construction paper laying around so that your toddler can have something to put in the mail!
2. Roll and play
Roll and play is a super fun game that’s designed for toddlers 18 months and up and is great to keep them engaged for longer periods of time. You and your toddler will take turns rolling a brightly colored cube and then acting out the corresponding directions on a card. For example, your child might roll a yellow square and the directions would instruct him to “roar like a lion” or flap your arms.”
3. Make a bean sensory station
I got this activity idea from my daughter’s preschool and we’ve recreated it at home. It’s so fun and keeps her really engaged and entertained. Throw in some plastic scooping cups or measuring spoons, too!
4. Sidewalk chalk
Just doodle for fun or work on gross motor skills by playing hopscotch with your tot. You can number the squares, too so they can work on their numbers or simple words. Mostly they’ll just have fun jumping around and you will have succeeded in tiring them out!
5. Sticky Window Fun
This is a super cute idea from Where the Smiles Have Been and is guaranteed to spark your toddler’s creative side, too!
Playdough can entertain a toddler for a while! Mix things up by allowing them to use kitchen utensils or items while they play. You can also have fun by making easy homemade playdough, and allowing them to “help.”
7. Sorting colors or shapes
Pull out a muffin tin and let your toddler sort items by color, shape or size. This is super fun and educational! Just pull together things from the house, or for ease, use craft balls.
8. Felt board
Kick story time up a notch or just let your toddler have fun creating something with a homemade felt board. These are super easy to set up and you can always keep it interesting by keeping some felt on hand and creating new felt pieces. Here’s a quick DIY video:
9. Paint with water
Painting with water is a super easy, no clean up fun activity for a toddler. You can either do this outside on the sidewalk on a warm day or you can get some construction paper and tape it to the highchair tray. I like to use thicker paint brushes for this activity.
10. Create a racetrack with masking tape
Use either masking tape or painter’s tape and create a “racetrack” or “road” for you little one to use cars to drive on it. You can also participate and do races.
11. Take a walk and start a collection
Grab a small basket and head outside with your toddler. Either go on a walk or explore your back yard looking for a particular item to add to their basket. One day it can be dandelions, the next it can be smooth rocks, or pinecones. Your toddler will love exploring!
12. Create a pasta sensory bin
Have old pasta in the pantry you’re not going to eat? Make a pasta sensory bin! To add even more fun, consider dying the pasta several different colors. This is a huge hit with tiny tots; especially if you use several different pasta variations! Store pasta in a big bin and hand your toddler some scooping spoons and cups. Here’s an awesome how to:
13. Have an Easter egg hunt
Who says Easter egg hunts are only for Easter? Save those plastic eggs and have an easter egg hunt year-round. Toddlers love finding things and you can easily hide eggs during their nap.
14. Jelly bean sort
In keeping with the Easter theme, you can also do a fun color sorting activity with easter eggs and jelly beans. Happy Go Lucky blog has all the details for this super cute activity.
15. Have a balloon party
Looking to tire out a toddler? Blow up a few balloons and have a balloon party! Add some music and your toddler will have a ball!
16. Parachute party
Remember rainy days in gym class where the gym teacher would pull out a parachute and add a beach ball? You can easily recreate that with an old sheet and some of your toddlers favorite balls. This is super fun and wears them out, too!
17. Have a dance party
Dance parties are a great way to get my cranky toddler in a better mood. I turn on her favorite music and dance with her. I love this activity because not only does it help her burn some energy, but I also use it as a mini calorie burner for me!
18. No mess painting
Take a plastic ziplock bag and put a couple colors of bright paint in it. Next, tape it to your window or storm door (using painter’s tape) and let your kid “paint” without any mess. They’ll love squishing the paint! You can also hand your toddler a qtip so that they can “draw” in the paint, too. So fun!
19. Make a fort
Simple enough. And will likely keep an older toddler entertained for hours!
20. Bath paints
I like to do bath paints on a rainy or a cold day, and not just for bath time. Here’s a simple, 2-ingredient recipe from the Mom Dot blog.
21. DIY moon sand
You likely have baby oil and flour around the house, so why not combine the two and make moon sand! Your toddler will squeal with excitement as they are exposed to a fun new texture! It’s a good idea to let your toddler play with this sand in a contained space, and I like a cheap plastic baby pool for this purpose.
Recipe for moon sand
- 8 cups flower
- 1 cup baby oil
Mix ingredients together until all lumps are gone. This recipe makes a lot, so if you’re not sure how your toddler will react to it, I’d suggest halving it first!
22. Jello Fun
If you’ve got little ones it’s always a great idea to keep some jello on hand. Prepare a jello mold during your toddler’s nap time and place some plastic trinkets in the mold. They’ll have a blast tearing apart the jello to get to their toys. You can contain the mess by using a plastic pool as the play space.
23. Colander Challenge
This activity requires no prep, other than taking the colander out of the cabinet and finding some uncooked spaghetti noodles or pipe cleaners.
Flip the colander upside down and let your child attempt to put the spaghetti noodles or pipe cleaners in the holes. I like to buy colorful pipe cleaners so we can also work on our colors, too!
The same principal also works with an old 2 liter and pipe cleaners. My toddler will stay busy with this activity for a while, which is a win in my book!
24. Magnet Play
As much as I love stainless steel, it’s no fun in the toddler department when it comes to magnet play.
Luckily you can still recreate this activity by using cookie sheets! Pull out a cookie sheet and let your toddler enjoy placing magnets all over the cookie sheet. This is just plain fun and also helps with language skills if you play with them and form simple words.
25. Matching egg game
The matching egg game is a great way to teach your toddler shapes and colors, all while keeping them entertained!
Related toddler reading:
- Everything you need to know about buying wide shoes for toddlers