As I say often, please know you do NOT need to plan activities for toddlers.
They learn by exploring the world and engaging with us – fancy set ups and planned activities are NOT required. I’m a huge believer in setting up YES spaces for toddlers (spots where they can freely explore without being in danger or causing harm), because this will allow them to play and explore without so much intervention from us.
That said, there are plenty of ways you CAN engage your toddler – and this is the list for you if you’re looking for ideas.
The activities here offer exposure to the world and help guide you toward enriching ways that you can interact with your little ones!
Remember the most important activities will always be engaging with you and exploring their worlds. You know your toddlers best – choose the activities that will be safe for your comfort level and child.
Easy Things to Do with Toddlers: Outdoor Activities
1. Magnets on the garage door.
2. Draw roads with chalk, play with cars.
3. Set up a bin of soapy water – wash the cars.
4. Set out plastic animals and washable paint – paint and then wash the animals.
5. Fill a baby pool with bubble foam (2:1 ratio water and baby soap mixed with a hand mixer)
6. Make an obstacle course in the yard.
7. Go for a color or letter scavenger hunt in the neighborhood.
8. Give kids a spray bottle to go water plants!
9. Trace body outlines with chalk and decorate.
10. Have an outdoor tea party with stuffed animals.
Easy Things to Do with Toddlers: Sensory Bins
11. Mystery Water! Water with a little cornstarch and food coloring – drop in toys to discover.
12. Baby Bath! Put plastic babies in a tub of water to give a bath!
13. Construction Snow Storm! Whipped Cream + Trucks!
14. Taste Safe Mud! Pudding mix + 1.5 cups water + farm animals
15. Scooping Rice!
16. Water Play! Dyed water with plastic bins, funnels, colander, and pitchers.
17. Dirt bin! Dirt + dinosaurs or bugs!
18. Bin of stale cereal and construction trucks!
19. Water with cut up citrus fruits to squeeze and explore.
20. PomPom Sensory Bin! Fill a bin with water and pompoms!
Easy Things to Do with Toddlers: Art Projects
21. stamping with paint and LEGOS
22. Drive cars through paint and make tracks with the tires
23. Make a giant color page! (Use a paper grocery bag cut open if you don’t have big paper!)
24. Paint with animal prints – set animals feet in paint and then stamp their tracks across the paper.
25. slice the end of celery – make rose prints using the end of the celery.
26. Nature paint brushes – tape leaves on the end of sticks and use them to paint.
27. Freeze a tray of water and let kiddos paint with water. (25 more water activities here.)
28. Crayon resist art – color with crayons and then reveal the images with water colors!
29. Paint with cotton balls and clothespins – so fun and easy!! More summer crafts here!
30. Paint with clothes pins and pompoms! Same idea as above, but you can use pompoms if you don’t have cotton balls!
31. Paint the animals (grab plastic animals and paint them using washable paint)
Easy Things to Do with Toddlers: in the Bath Tub
No bathtub? No problem! If you’re in a school setting or with a larger group of kids, most of these ideas also work in a bin of water!
32. Make shower paint with shaving cream and food coloring.
33. Make a color bath – add all one color toys and add food coloring.
34. Add legos for a LEGO bath
35. Add colored ice cubes
36. Add pompoms for pompom bath
37. Bring water color paints and paint the walls
38. Have a sink or float experiment
39. Build boats with tin foil and float them in the tub!
40. Bring in plastic animals and pretend you’re a zookeeper washing the animals.
Easy Things to Do with Toddlers: FINE MOTOR Activities
41. String fruit loops or pretzels on string to make a snack necklace – notice and practice patterns if you like!
42. Put beads in play dough – have toddler pick out the beads. Can use fingers or tweezers!!
43. Thread pasta on string to make pasta necklaces.
44. Muffin Tin Rescue – tape object into a muffin tin and let your little rescue them! If they’re no ready do scissors, you can also have them pick and pull at the tape to release the items!
45. Draw lines in highlighter – have little one trace over the lines (if this interests them – no need to force it!!)
46. Stick pipe cleaners through a colander – let little one pull them out or try putting them in!
47. Clipping clothespins – have little one pull them off or try putting them onto the edge of container.
48. Spaghetti cutting – toss leftover spaghetti in a bin and let your little one explore cutting it!
49. Nature cutting bin – grab leaves, small branches, any grass clippings, etc. Let your little one explore cutting up the contents of the bin!
50. Rubber bands on a bottle or jar! Challenge your little one to wrap the rubber bands around the jar.
If you like this list, you’ll love: the 25 best water activities!!
Thanks for reading, and I hope you enjoy these EASY things to go with toddler. Remember to sign up for the Low Lift Fun email list to get easy kids’ activities and parenting tips delivered straight to your inbox!
Looking for more fun activities?! You will love 40 Easy Crafts with Kids!!