20 Activities to keep active toddlers occupied and busy at home
Although most schools and nurseries are still going as normal as per the latest advice, many parents are choosing to keep toddlers and preschoolers at home. Everyone’s circumstances are different, and it’s up to each family to decide what works best for them.
But for most of us, keeping up with our little bundles of energy can be a struggle. Let’s just say several bottles of wine found their way to my grocery shopping trolley as soon as I realised there was going to be a potential lockdown. I guess we all have our own way of dealing with things.
So I thought it’d be helpful to put together a list of fun things you can do at home to keep toddlers busy. Here are a few things I looked for:
Easy to put together and to clean up after ✅
Kids can do themselves, with supervision, rather than adult-led activities ✅
Using things we all have at home. The last thing we need is expensive crafts supplies ✅
I will also publish a blog with ideas for older kids soon. Watch this space…
20 activities to keep toddlers busy at home
Playdough: Making your own playdough at home is fun and super easy. Click here for my favourite playdough recipe. Add glitter, food colouring and baby oil (smells gorgeous) or even a couple of drops of lavender oil for a sensory experience.
Practice colours with Twister game: Do you have a Twister game at home? Now you can use it for something other than drunken home party giggles (just me?). Select a few small toys of different colours (red, blue, green, yellow) and ask your toddler to fill each circle with toys of the right colour. My little ones used to love this game when they were very little.
Foam and more foam: Most supermarkets sell super cheap foam bath of different colours on the kids and baby aisle. Let them explore with it in the bath with a few Tupperware boxes of different sizes and plastic cups. Ideal if you have a Tuff Tray at home, but a large empty storage plastic box works just as well.
‘Washing-up’: Of course you’ll need to clean the items after. Allow them to explore different materials, like plastic Tupperware boxes, wooden spoons, a metal whisk, etc.
Window stickers: These have worked a treat for us. You can get them in Amazon.
Stamps: You can get a stamp set very cheaply in Amazon and most large supermarkets.
‘Paint on the window’: Do you have a whiteboard pen at home? Let them draw with it on a designated window. But make sure you explain that’s the only place they can do it. I learned this the wrong way.
Chores – ‘washing’ a wall, kitchen cupboard, etc: I have a clean spray bottle at home which I only fill with water, and lots of small cloths in different colours to make it fun for the kids.
Magic kitchen cupboard: When my kids were very little they were into everything! I used to find quite hard to cook or get anything done. So I emptied one of the low cupboards at home and I filled it with old pans, Tupperware boxes, lids, etc. I used to let them empty it whenever they were bored.
Musical instruments from old bottles filled with uncooked rice: For see-through bottles, you can dye your rice first! Add some water and glitter and you have a sensory bottle. Make sure you seal the lid properly though.
Decorating a plant pot and planting a seed: A classic!
Small toy hunt with KIDS’ chopsticks: We’ve used tiny dinosaurs or plastic fish. Add some play foam for extra fun.
Den with pillows and blankets: Snuggle up and read a story inside your den.
Chopping vegetables with a kid-friendly knife: Cucumbers and peppers work best.
Dance party: Play some fun kiddies music and dance like no one is watching.
Puppet show from old socks: Do you have a kids table at home? Lay it on the side so the kids can have a stage. Or get creative with a blanket. Let them put the show on for you while you have a cuppa.
‘Gardening’: Designate a spot in the garden for each child and give them a few kid-friendly garden tools. Let them explore.
Picnic in the garden. Or indoors when it’s raining: Who said lunch can only be eaten at the table?
Baking: There are so many awesome recipes for kids online. We’ll publish our favourites soon. In the event of a lockdown, we are planning to host a Mini-Bake Off on our Facebook Community. The idea is that you bake at home and submit your photos for a chance to win. More info soon…