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100 Easy Activities for Toddlers

I often chat with parents that are looking for activity ideas for their kids. They express their desire to keep their kids busy while they can get on with other things.

There are some problems with this thinking though... we forget that our toddlers have a desire to be WITH us, not separate from us.

So how do we find the balance, where parent feels as though they can take 5 for themselves, and toddler feels happy and content?

We simply involve them!

Yes, there might be more mess.

Yes, it may not go as planned.

Yes, it is quicker to just do it yourself.

But in my time as a parent, and whilst working with other parents, I have seen clear proof that when we bring our kids in closer and include them, rather than sending them away to busy themselves, we create deeper connection between us and our children as well as getting the job done.

What we need to do is to SLOW down and think SIMPLE. How often do we race through our days?

If I had £1 for every time a parent told me they'd set up a beautiful and elaborate sensory tray for their toddler, but they didn't play with it, I'd be a very rich woman. This is because toddlers need simple stuff. They want real stuff. They don't want complicated. They don't want tons of colour. They don't want tons of objects. Simple is enough and simple is plenty. And also, simple means you don't have to waste your time making something beautiful and elaborate, for your toddler to just walk away from it.

So here in this blog, I have included 100 EASY and SIMPLE activities for you and your toddler.

They take minimal prep, they're easy to set up and they play to your toddler's needs for movement and sensory input. They might seem boring to you, but to a toddler they DEFINITELY are not, so stay open minded and give it a go.

Sometimes parents tell me their kids aren't interested - that's ok! They won't be into everything. Watch them and you'll see what they like. Do more of that!


Play Baskets

  1. Soft and hard objects

  2. Fruit and veggies

  3. Natural objects (shells, pine cones etc)

  4. Musical instruments

  5. Photographs

  6. Fabrics

  7. Rough and smooth objects

  8. Heavy and light objects

  9. Shiny and dull objects

  10. Open and close boxes

  11. Textured balls

Matching and Sorting

  1. Colour matching

  2. Nesting cups

  3. Ordering sticks by size

  4. Ordering pebbles by size

  5. Stacking pebbles

  6. Sorting pebbles by colour or shape

  7. Sorting shells by shape

  8. Sorting leaves by colour or shape

  9. Shape matching

  10. Letter matching

  11. Animal matching (object to picture)

  12. Leaf matching (1/2 leaf to other 1/2)

  13. Shell matching (object to object)

  14. Flower matching (object to picture)

  15. Lid and container matching

Water activities

  1. Warm/cold bowls

  2. Pouring (jugs, scoops, cups, containers etc)

  3. Playing in the rain

  4. Washing toy cars

  5. Washing a doll

  6. Ice cubes

Motor Skills

  1. Play dough

  2. Clay

  3. Plasticine

  4. Painting

  5. Crayons

  6. Pavement chalk

  7. Climbing triangle

  8. Squirrel tag (tuck a sock into your waistband like a tail and try to catch each others)

  9. Climbing mound (stack cushions under a blanket)

  10. Jumping and hopping games

  11. Walking on cushions like stepping stones

  12. Walking on the line (balancing game)

  13. Puzzles

  14. Cutting leaves

  15. Cutting herbs

  16. Cutting flowers

  17. Gluing

  18. Dancing

  19. Threading beads onto pipe cleaners

  20. Threading leaves onto sticks

  21. Screwing on lids

  22. Tong transfer (pom poms or pine cones into a muffin tray)

  23. Herb container & cotton buds

Practical life

  1. Baking

  2. Washing the dishes

  3. Pouring dry ingredients

  4. Flower arranging

  5. Planting seeds

  6. Watering plants

  7. Cleaning windows

  8. Mopping the floor

  9. Loading the washing machine

  10. Hanging laundry

  11. Scooping cake mixture into cake cases (transferring with a scoop)

  12. Counting out sweets or peas (transferring with fingers)

  13. Counting out fruits or balls (transferring with palm)

  14. Pouring a glass of water (transferring with a jug)

  15. Juicing fruit

  16. Chopping fruit

  17. Grating vegetables

  18. Zips

  19. Buttons

  20. Poppers

  21. Buckles

  22. Hand washing

  23. Wiping table

  24. Putting socks on

  25. Peeling an orange

  26. Folding wash cloths

  27. Feed a pet

  28. Brush a pet


  1. Smashing herbs in a bowl

  2. Smelling bottles (fruits)

  3. Tasting herbs

  4. Basket of bells

  5. Traditional wind up music box

  6. Silent game (turn a 30 second egg timer over and play being silent)

  7. Sound hide and seek (hide with some bells and shake them)

  8. Mystery bag (3-4 objects)

  9. Sound bottles (fill with items that rattle like rice, pasta, coins, bells)

  10. Oobleck (2 parts corn flour, 1 part water)

  11. Cloud dough (1 part oil, 8 parts flour)

  12. Sensory bottle (fill with lots of interesting objects)

  13. Tasting platter

  14. Nature walk

  15. Singing

  16. Push ball bin DIY (cut holes in a shoe box the same size as a ball then push through)

I hope you and your toddler find the joy in the simple things!

P.S. If you want to learn more about play baskets and natural, heuristic play, head HERE for a freebie and to learn more!

Follow me on Facebook and Instagram @montysplayhub

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