There’s no doubt the toddler years are hard but guess what? They are actually some of my favorite years! Your little one is developing a personality and can really start to play. Take advantage of this and make all the memories you can!
Below are some ideas for fun and simple activities to do with toddlers both indoors and out. These ideas are so good that you might just be able to avoid counting down the minutes to nap time every day.
50+ Super Fun Things to do with Toddlers [Easy & Fun Activities]
Indoor Activities for Toddlers
Here are some great indoor activities for those days when you are just hanging out at home with your little one. These also come in handy when you need to make a phone call or complete an online purchase without someone hanging off your body.
1. Bring back a childhood classic! Layout pillows and blankets on the floor and then play the floor is lava.
2. Let your toddler go through the cupboards and pick out some pots and pans to make instruments out of, then form your own band. Creating music is not only fun but great for your toddler’s development!
3. Hunker down in an unexpected place, like as inside the closet or under a table. Throw a sheet over it and you’ve got a makeshift fort.
4. Have fun with play dough. Fear the mess? Keep the play dough in a sealed baggie while your child handles it.
5. Have a real tea party. We love this gender-neutral set which can be used for pretend play or for real since it can be put in the dishwasher to be cleaned.
6. Get your science on and play with magnets. You can stick them on the fridge or cookie sheets.
7. Have your little one help with chores around the house (but make it fun!).
8. Craft something out of one of your leftover cardboard boxes like a fort or car.
9. Tape up a train track on the rug. Choo Choo!
10. Read together, and make sure to really get into character!
11. Get creative with sensory play. One of my favorite ways to do this is by creating a sensory bin.
12. Get silly with finger puppets.
13. Play hopscotch inside.
14. Practice organizing and sorting. We like to do Cheerios or small candies in a muffin tin. This is a great activity to work on your toddler’s fine motor skills!
15. Pour water between containers at the kitchen counter or in the sink. This is a great idea for entertaining toddlers while you cook.
16. Try on all the hats in the house.
17. Remove everything from the bookshelves. Then, put them all back.
18. Stick and unstick stickers! On the paper, on your shirt, on your cheek. Hooray!
19. Create a ball pit out of your old pack n play.
20. Tear up old magazines or newspapers and make some art.
21. Play hide-n-seek.
23. Have a dance party!
24. Build an obstacle course out of pillows and cushions.
25. Solve puzzles together like this Melissa and Doug Wooden Puzzle.
26. Exercise or yoga time! All my kids loved to exercise with me. They would try all my yoga moves and then sometimes try to do their own “versions” of working out. Be prepared, they do get distracted so have a bucket of cars or toys for them to play with so you can keep your workout going.
Outdoor Things To Do with Toddlers
27. Create a chalk masterpiece.
28. Play hide-and-seek with small toys or fruit from a tree. Give your child a bucket to collect the items you’ve “hidden” at the park or in your yard- Easter Egg Style!
29. Go on a safari in your backyard. Take picture of little insects or grab some binoculars and explore the great outdoors.
30. Play catch. This simple act never gets old. “Let’s go to the park and throw sticks at the bushes!”
31. Go on a bike ride. Put little ones in a bike trailer.
32. Collect rocks into a container. Stack rocks. Line up rocks. I’m surprised they don’t sell rocks at the toy store. I bet someone has tried.
33. Play on a water table. My daughter could play endlessly with her activity table and especially loves pouring water in and out of glasses. Here are our favorite water tables!
34. Start a butterfly garden.
35. Playing fetch with stomp rockets or other “blast-off and chase” toys.
36. Run through the sprinklers or a fun Unicorn Sprinkler! Water play in the backyard is my go-to when we are feeling cooped up.
Outings for Moms with Toddlers
37. Home Depot or other massive hardware stores. Check out the light switches, the doorbells, the orange cones. Basically, everything your kiddo enjoys seeing in the world around him is sold there. Look at all those potties!
38. Head to the public library. Since other people’s toys and books are more fun than your own, this is a place to enjoy them for an hour or two. No pressure to buy anything!
39. Head to your local zoo. Time to think about a membership, mama!
40. Head to the playground.
41. IKEA. If you’re lucky enough to live near one, here’s a list of why it’s awesome for parents.
42. Chase the garbage truck! Some days are easier to get out of the house when you know the garbage routes.
43. Head to the Children’s Museum.
45. Sip pretend coffee at a kid-friendly cafe. (It’s called steamed milk, and they’ll make it not-too-hot if you ask.)
46. Visit a friend’s house, where the toys are fresh and novel.
47. Go anywhere with trains. A train is like magic to a toddler.
48. Push a doll stroller or drag a wagon around the block. Even better, find a friend with a baby in a stroller and let your toddler push her stroller on the World’s Slowest Walk.
49. Have a cultural experience through food! Visit an Ethiopian or sushi restaurant where eating with your hands is worldly.
50. Find an indoor play space with climbing, bouncing, and toys you don’t need to keep at home. I love heading to Gymboree classes with my little one.
51. Go on a bus ride.
53. Visit a botanical garden with leaves to touch and bugs to chase.
54. Visit a local toy store, but keep your wallet hidden!
Bonus – Tips for Entertaining Toddlers While Out and About!
It is a great idea to get out of the house with your toddler, but sometimes they will need a little extra entertainment. Here are some great things to keep in your purse to entertain your toddler while waiting in lines or running an errand they don’t like.
Bubbles– I always keep bubbles in my purse. It is an instant 15 minutes of distraction
Pull Back Cars– These are great and will keep your child entertained, but make sure those cars don’t go too far.
Toy Characters from a favorite movie – Pulling out a toy version of your toddler’s favorite character will surely buy you some time when you need your kiddo entertained for 10-15 minutes.
How to Appreciate the Toddler Stage
Toddlers possess the amazing ability to simultaneously demonstrate knowledge of how the world works AND cluelessness about their role in it (sorry sweetie, mommy is not going to help you push the stove out of the way so that you can ride your plastic car through that part of the kitchen)!
This means they are no longer satisfied by an activity gym on the floor, they are ready for some more exciting activities. This means you can encourage them to be more independent and experience a whole new world through their eyes. Have fun with it!
While the days may seem long, I promise you the years are short. Take this time for what it is and make the best of it, and if they throw a tantrum in public or say no to you all day long just know I’ve been there too.
Have Questions or Need More Tips – Leave a comment below! Also, check out our Rookie Moms Group where moms ask questions and share advice.
Frequently Asked Questions
What can you do with toddlers?
Build a fort
Play with magnets on a cookie sheet
Give them an old box to play in
Create a sensory bin
Mommy and Me Yoga
Should a two-year-old know colors?
Your child will start recognizing colors around 18-months-old, but they may not begin to recognize their names until around 3 years old. Two is a good age to start playing games that involve colors.
Where can I take my two-year-old for fun?
2-year-olds are great little adventurers and can tag along with you just about anywhere. The park, the zoo, the mall, or just out for a drive.
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