Ideas for toddler activities. 110 things to do with a toddler

Could you help with some play activities I can do with my daughter who is just under two years old.

Here are some ideas below, but remember you don’t have to try so hard. Your daughter needs to learn to entertain herself. If you are the primary playmate and also need to get the housework done, get a wall calendar and plan one morning activity and one afternoon activity every day, to get you out of the play-on-demand routine. If she wants to help you, inspire her with her own duster, she can get wet as she helps you clean the shower, or help sort the washing; all the socks together, all the dark things together on a pile. Put the washing in the washing machine. If she doesn’t want to join you, be very firm about the fact that you need to get your own chores done and she needs to entertain herself.

Toddler activities, 110 things to do with a toddler, games to play with toddlers, toddler entertainment
1. Act out a story from a book.
2. Bake, cut out and decorate cookies
3. Bang on pots and pans with spoons.
4. Blow bubbles.
5. Brush each other’s teeth.
6. Build a wooden puzzle.
7. Buy the Gymboree Toddler Play book or Toddler’s Busy Book by Trish Kuffner which covers activities from 12 months to preschool.
8. Collect and press flowers.
9. Collect rocks in a basket.
10. Colour.
11. Count household items: how many chairs, tables or pillows?
12. Dance to music.
13. Dedicate a low cupboard to only plastic packaging containers, pack in and out.
14. Do colours: Point out all the red, green things in the room.
15. Do finger plays (Two little dickie birds… Where is Little thumbkins? )
16. Do letter flashcards/ animal flashcards.
17. Do the hokey pokey. “Put your left foot in…
18. Draw a balancing beam on the floor: walk along to improve balance.
19. Draw a rectangle, square, circle, triangle on the patio. Name and jump into the right space.
20. Draw faces on fingers with koki, and let the different hands talk to each other.
21. Draw a picture with chalk on the patio; wash away with a hose.
22. Fill an old handbag with toys, and take them for a walk in the garden.
23. Get out of the house; join or start a playgroup.
24. Give a piggy back ride.
25. Give your toddler a large cardboard box and be amazed at her play creativity.
26. Glue shapes onto paper.
27 Go for a walk.
28. Go on a safari in your back garden. What do you see/ smell? Make a drawing.
29. Go to a museum; take a picnic and enjoy in the museum gardens.
30. Go to an outdoor food market; learn the names of vegetables.
31. Go to the park.
32. Go to the pet store.
33. Google games for toddlers and download.
34. Help mother cook.
35. Hide favourite toys in the garden / living room for her to find.
36. Invite a friend over for a play date.
37. Lead the dog…put a leash on a stuffed animal and walk about the house.
38. Let your child decorate and eat an open peanut butter sandwich using raisins.
39. Make and wear a tissue paper flower wreath.
40. Make a bracelet for your doll with pipe cleaners and bells.
41. Make a car out of a cardboard box.
42. Make a drum out of an oatmeal box.
43. Make a fort out of cushions and sheets.
44. Make a hammock with a sheet and swing your child (one adult on each side)
45. Make a playhouse with a large cardboard box and towel curtains.
46. Make a puddle on the paving and splash barefoot through it.
47. Make a puzzle from a breakfast box.
48. Make a sandbox; and fill with clean sea sand.
49. Make a shape puzzle by tracing items from around the house and matching them up. Squares, circles etc.
50. Make a shoebox train for favourite toys.
51. Make a super hero costume out of household items.
52. Make a train out of boxes and cushions; place favourite toys/passengers on the wagons.
53. Make an obstacle course out of cushions and / or furniture.
54. Make and try on paper hats.
55. Make and walk along a toilet paper or newspaper trail.
56. Make binoculars (with empty toilet rolls) and go “bird watching” or “stuffed animal watching”
57. Make flower necklaces from tissues.
58. Make music; xylophone, drums, piano.
59. Make puppets out of old socks or brown paper bags with newspaper hats or crown.
60. Name body parts in the bath.
61. Paint your toddler’s palms with wash-off paint and blot on paper. Make a card.
62. Paint, with fingers, an old toothbrush, brushes, ear buds, string.
63. Pick up sticks in the garden and make a pile.
64. Plant a tray of flowers, vegetables.
65. Play dress up in mom’s or dad’s clothes.
66. Play “name the picture”. Cut out themes from magazines. e.g. furniture, kitchen utensils, colours, animals, movement: paste on cardboard. Hold them up to your child to name. Keep it one theme a day.
67. Play chase and catch.
68. Play dress-up with stuffed animals and your toddler’s clothes.
69. Play games like I Spy, or Simon Says.
70. Play games with stones and drop them into different containers to hear the different sounds they make.
71. Play hide and seek.
72. Play horsies or airplanes with appropriate sounds.
73. Play paper netball with wadded up paper and a basket or box.
74. Play peek-a-boo.
75. Play tea party. Wear hats.
76. Play the matching game with children’s cards.
77. Play the smell and name game with fruit. Blindfold. What is this? An apple, orange, banana.
78. Play tug-of-war with a large towel or blanket.
79. Play with a bucket of water and a sponge NB with CLOSE supervision!
80. Play with learning cards; numbers, names of objects.
81. Play with pegs and a card.
82. Play with clay.
83. Play with play dough.
84. Plays shells/ cups and peas. Hide an object under one of the shells.
85. Practice climbing by stacking boxes on top of each other.
86. Practice writing your child’s name.
87. Practice putting things into and taking things out of boxes and bags.
88. Pull your toddler around the house on a blanket.
89. Put a sheet with toys on the lawn and play on it.
90. Put lipstick on your child, kiss a mirror, or make a kiss for Daddy on paper.
91. Put on a puppet show.
92. Read a book.
93. Record each other on a tape recorder.
94. Roll a ball back and forth on the floor.
95. Roll a ball into a bucket or basket
96. Rotate the playroom and change the scenery, the kitchen, the dining room…
97. Rotate your toys; periodically put away and bring out a few weeks later.
98. Say and sing nursery rhymes together.
99. Scoop sand into a bucket, or use a serving spoon and bowl/s.
100. Sing a song.
101. Sketch an outline of your toddler’s hands, feet on the patio or paper with chalk.
102. Stack canned or boxed food on top of each other.
103. Stack cushions and pillows and make an obstacle course.
104. Stack plastic mixing bowls or dishes inside each other, vary rounds and rectangles.
105. String circle sweets on a string or a shoelace.
106. String large beads on a shoelace.
107. Take a bubble bath.
108. Take a nature walk around the block and collect stones, or sticks.
109. Throw bean bags into a bucket / onto the sofa.
110. Use toilet paper rolls to make a low wall for your toddler to climb over without touching. +27 (0)81 885 4683

*Important : The information provided is for information purposes only. No medical diagnosis or prescription can be inferred or is implied. Please consult your doctor for medical advice.

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