This list of activities for toddlers helps you out when you’ve got a bored little one at home. It’s usually helpful to plan a couple of days ahead in case you need to buy some items. That said, this list also includes many easy toddler activities that require minimal effort from your part.
50 Fun Indoor Activities for Toddlers
Here are 50 activities for toddlers that work well inside.
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1. Make a fun Sensory bin
2. Easy Toddler Treasure Basket
Treasure baskets are perfect for keeping young toddlers occupied. Busy dads can quickly throw old baby stuff (rattles, pacifiers, baby toothbrushes, etc.) into a basket or a bag and voila...a treasure for toddlers. It worked very well for us when our boy was a little under two years old.
3. Build Something With DUPLO Legos
My boy doesn’t like to play alone, so DUPLO Legos are perfect for us. I can build something, and he can play a giant Godzilla by destroying it. There are also other toddler blocks available, of course (click the link to learn about other good options).
4. Cardboard Box Tunnel or Fort
You can use cardboard boxes (I used diaper packs) to make a tunnel for young toddlers or a fortress for older ones. You can also let your little one build something using all the stuff that your wife urged to throw away (good thing that you didn't listen to her three weeks ago, right?)
5. Play With Playdough
6. Make a Ribbon Play Basket
There was a period when our boy could spend an hour with a single ribbon. I made this basket when he was already over two years old, and now he barely glanced at it. In conclusion, it can be a perfect activity for a toddler if you introduce it at the right time. You simply attach different ribbons to a basket. Different colors and material make it more interesting (in theory).
8. Read a Book Together
There are innumerable books for toddlers. A lot of them introduce a certain topic and can come with sounds. Many toddlers enjoy their parents reading to them. Our boy isn’t one of them, though. He likes to look at the pictures and play with sounds. If you’re out of ideas, then it may be fun to visit (yes, really) a bookshop and let your little one choose her favorite.
9. Designate a Drawer for Your Toddler
When our boy was one year old, he loved to empty the drawers in our kitchen. Many parents opt for baby-locks, but we left a couple of lower drawers for him. We kept only safe items there, and so when he started his morning-routine, we got to sip coffee 15 minutes in peace.
10. Sticker Books
Sticker books are fun activities for young toddlers. Our-two-year-old loves them. As a bonus, you don’t have to worry about the mess. An educational sticker book by Roger Priddy is a popular choice (not pictured).
12. Make Use of the Pillows and Blankets
Toddlers like to play with pillows and blankets, and ours is no different. You can arrange the pillows differently (make a tower, for example) to catch the attention of your little one.
13. Drawing With Washable Pens
14. Drawing With Water
Some parents have said that their kids love to paint with water on colored paper. My boy didn’t find that particularly interesting (got bored in less than three minutes), but water-reveal coloring books have been a hit. Books by Melissa & Doug are beautiful, and you don’t have to worry about the mess.
15. Drawing on an Easy to Clean Surface
16. Make Bubbles
My boy loves bubbles, so a bubble machine is a good choice even for indoor use. In this beautiful stock photo, you can see a cheaper bubble bottle, but I'm not a fan. My head started to ache after ten minutes of blowing bubbles for my toddler. That said, it can be a good choice for older kids. Another option is to pour dish soap into warm water and let your little ones whisk some bubbles. The last option isn’t kind to wooden floors, though.
17. Sensory Bottle
You can find tons of sensory bottle ideas for every season from Pinterest. In my experience, sensory bottles are fun for young toddlers.
18. Play Sand
Play sand lets your kids play with sand even in indoors. The sand is moldable and doesn’t dry out. My two-year-old plays with it in a big cardboard box, but some cleaning is still always required. So this is not a mess-free activity.
19. Activity Boards and Tables
20. Sink or Float Discovery Station
21. Make a Play Kitchen for Your Toddler
22. Fine Motor Skills Alphabet Activity
23. Hide the Toys Toddler Activity
My boy loved to hide his cars under the rice when I made a car sensory bin for him. So I got inspired and designed a similar activity where the main purpose is to hide small toys under rice.
24. Mini Treasure Hunt
This activity is the opposite of hiding stuff. You should hide some toys yourself, and your toddler is required to find them. You can provide him or her with different tools (spoons, basting brushes, etc.) to do that too.
25. Ball Pit
You need plastic balls to make a ball pit. At first, we used a playpen to make a big ball pit, but then we poured one-third of the balls to a small cardboard box. As it turned out, our boy is quite happy even with a smaller version that takes up less space.
26. Pouring Station
Pouring station is a fun water-related activity. Find some metallic and plastic containers and fill them with water. You can use food colors to make toddler activity even more fun. He can practice pouring skills and see how different colors mix.
27. Let Your Toddler Brake Stuff
Making a breaking box for your little one is a straightforward business- pour crunchy stale food to a big container and give your little one a toddler hammer.
29. Pom-Pom Racing
30. Sorting and Organizing Stuff
Sorting is fun for most toddlers, but you have to figure out a suitable variation for your kid. Sometimes you can let your little one sort small objects (buttons, poker chips, for example) by colors or other criteria. My kid likes to pour a stack of old bubble gum stickers onto the floor and find all the pictures of cars.
31. Stacking Stuff
Toddlers love to stack different objects. My boy loves to stack small Lego bricks to make as tall a tower as he can. If you have old CD-s or DVD-s lying around, then you can let your kid stack them onto a spindle. You can also buy a stacking ring for younger toddlers (it’s usually more fun for one-year-olds).
32. Wii Games
34. Make Paper Planes
Make paper planes for your little one or buy some cheap styrofoam planes. You can then use a large sheet of paper and make your toddlers fly planes through holes of different sizes (can also be a fun party game for dads:)
35. Simon Says
Don’t forget this old classic.
36. Nerf Target Game
37. Obstacle Course
38. Scavenger Hunt
You can arrange a scavenger hunt for toddlers, but use pictures instead of words to mark all the items he or she has to find.
39. Pool Noodle Car Track
Cut a pool noodle in half and make a cool car track for your toddler.
40. Cardboard Tubes as Car Tracks
You can use long cardboard tubes to make a car track tunnel for your toddler. Another option is to tape many short tubes to a door and let your little one drop different objects through these “tunnels.”
41. Play Music
Listening to music is a fun activity for toddlers, although my little one prefers the sounds of his toy car. There are many ways to incorporate music into your daily routines. You can introduce your little one to different genres (one genre per week, for example). You may prefer to listen to only songs that invite your little one to dance or singalong. Listening to a full album by a particular artist is certainly another good option.
42. Play With Musical Instruments
43. Play Catch
This can be a great indoor game for younger toddlers as they can’t yet throw the ball very hard.
44. Mini Golf With Cardboard Box
Use plastic balls and a cardboard box to make your own mini-golf track. It gives you an excuse to buy a full box of beer and provides your toddler with a fun activity. It took me 15 minutes to make one.
45. Bubble Wrap Walk
If you happen to find a big piece of bubble wrap from a package, don’t throw it away. Use duct tape to fasten it on the floor and watch your toddler have fun walking on it.
46. Fridge Magnets
Playing with magnets is interesting for toddlers, but I recommend to let them play sparingly as little ones get bored quickly. You may want to keep magnets as a last resort option for special moments. One cool option is to buy magnetic toddler-blocks (yes, these exist).
47. Play With Flashlights
Older toddlers love to play with flashlights. One of the easiest games is to try to guess what others are drawing on the wall with light, but there are also other great options. My two-year-old doesn't like dark, so this is not my photo:)
48. Toy Car Wash
My two-year-old likes to “wash” his toy cars in a drinking cup. But you can make an actual activity around this habit. You need only a couple of vehicles, warm soapy water, and towels. If it’s warm, you may even try to let him wash your family car...
49. Buy Balloons
A couple of balloons can provide hours of activity for toddlers (especially if these are helium-filled).
50. Scotch Taped Toys
This is a simple toddler activity. You attach small toys to a table or floor via scotch tape and watch your little one clean up the mess. I must admit that my boy got quite angry with me for what I had done with his things:)
25 Fun Outdoor Activities for Toddlers
You can practice many of the "indoor "activities outside, and the mess is usually easier to clean. One good idea is to make a sensory bin or a treasure basket using stuff that you found in nature. That said, the list of outside activities aims to bring out other options as well.
51. Hiking or Camping
Go It's easy to hike with babies because you can carry them. Toddlers may want to move around, and they weigh more. This means that it may be hard to hike with toddlers properly, but you can go walking in the forest and camp in your backyard. Toddlers can usually walk approximately their age in km (0,62mi), but you have to do breaks. Enjoy these mini-hikes and surprise your little one with a tent in your yard!
52. Go Running
53. Try a new Organized Activity or Visit a Festival
54. Enjoy the Water (Including Rain)
55. Have a Picnic
Picnics are a great way to spend time with your family.
56. Go to a Beach
57. Arrange a Scavenger Hunt
Arranging a scavenger hunt outside (on the beach, for example) is such a great idea that I had to mention it again. Give your toddler a printed sheet (younger ones will need pictures) and see how many items he can find.
58. Helping out in the Garden
My boy enjoys helping his grandma in her garden. Watering the plants is his favorite activity.
59. Start a Garden
You can start a tiny garden for older toddlers, but such a long-term project isn't for everybody. Toddlers have short attention spans and will probably get bored after a couple of days. At least this happened to me when I was a little lad.
61. Teach Your Toddler to Catch a Fish
Angling is suitable for toddlers, but kids usually prefer the more active spin fishing. The later is too technical for most toddlers, though.
62. Bird Watching
Bird watching can be a great educational activity for toddlers.
63. Buy a Ride-on-Toy
64. Play With Flying Toys
65. Sidewalk Chalk
66. Arrange a Cool Water Fight
67. Go to a Playground
68. Ice Cube Activity for Toddlers
Freeze some small toys and let your toddler melt the ice cubs to get them back. My boys' hands were cold after playing with the ice, and the floor was wet. So it's an excellent activity for a hot day outside.
69. Jump in Leaf Piles
Jumping in leaf piles is a fun autumn-related activity for toddlers.
70. Nature Memory Match Game
You need sixteen identical boxes and eight different items (two of each) from nature to make this game. Put all things to boxes and close the lids. Each player can open two covers in his or her turn. The purpose is to find two same pieces.
71. Visit the Zoo
Visiting the Zoo lets your toddler see different animals and spend a day walking outside. It may be fun to visit outside of peak season (winter, for example).
72. Amusement Park
Don't forget these old classics when you're figuring out an activity for your toddler.
73. Play With Snow
The next couple of activities for toddlers have a small prerequisite...snow. If you happen to live in a place with cold winters, then playing in the snow is one of the most natural activities. Let your kid run wild in the snow, and if she gets bored...you can make a snowman, snow castle, or arrange a snow fight.
74. Buy a Snow Sledge
You don't need a big hill for your toddlers to enjoy sliding. Younger toddlers are perfectly happy with a small one that you made yourself.