If you are looking for wholesome, fun activities for toddlers and children with supplies you have around your house, this is a great list to get you started. It can be difficult to come up with fresh, simple, and fun activities for toddlers to invite play into your everyday life and keep your children engaged. While it is easy to purchase toys for your child, consider instead inexpensive play using everyday objects around your home. These fun activities for toddlers can encourage open-ended play and the objects created can continue to be reused for activities that grow with your child. Here are a few examples of favorite fun activities for toddlers.
This paint is taste-safe for your little Picassos and can be used with brushes or fingers. Unlike some other homemade paint, this mixture preserves your child’s masterpieces for years to come without peeling or cracking when you use thick papers such as cardstock. Once created you can store mixed paint in the refrigerator for a few months. While this paint is taste safe it is not an edible paint, you do not want your toddler to eat a lot of this as it does have a significant amount of salt in it. It is great for model drawing and painting for younger toddlers to help them get started!
Materials needed: 1/4 cup flour, 2 T salt, 1/2 cup hot water, food coloring, a covered kids table, kitchen table or if it is a nice day, take your roll of paper outside.
Instructions: If your child is still mouthing, we recommend spreading out the flour on a baking sheet and cooking it at 350 degrees for 15 minutes to eliminate any bacteria. Cool flour completely before mixing together flour and salt in one bowl. Then mix hot water and food coloring in a separate bowl. If the mixture is too thick add additional hot water or if it is too thin add additional flour.
Read More: 13 DIY Sensory Activities For Every Sense
Matching Fun Activities For Toddlers And Babies
This is a color match activity that can grow with your child. For young children, they will love pulling out the sticks. As they grow, they may want to place the popsicle sticks back in the cut holes. As they get even older it is a great way to show them how to match the color sticks to the correct egg carton spot. This takes hardly any time to prep.
Materials needed: empty egg carton, colored markers, and colored popsicle sticks.
Instructions: Flip the egg carton upside down and use different color markers to color each egg section. Use a small knife to cut a slit in the top. If you have pre-colored popsicle sticks, color the egg section to match your sticks. The activity helps with hand-eye coordination, focus, concentration, colors, soothing, and matching.
Homemade Play Dough
There are so many benefits in the simple act of allowing your child to play with Playdough, whether homemade or store-bought. It helps to develop fine motor skills, can be a calming activity, enhances hand-eye coordination, encourages creativity, and promotes playtime. There is no question why Play-Doh has been a favorite amongst fun toddler activities since the 1950s. By creating your own you limit the toxic ingredients that may just be ingested (some) and cut down on costs.
Materials needed: 1 cup flour (If your child is still mouthing, we recommend spreading out the flour on a baking sheet and cooking it at 350 degrees for 15 minutes to eliminate any bacteria), ½ cup fine salt, 2 teaspoons cream of tartar, 1 tablespoon vegetable oil, 1 cup boiling water (if you want to add food coloring or fine glitter, add it directly to boiling water before you mix with other ingredients)
Instructions: Mix flour, salt, and cream of tartar in a bowl. Add oil, but don’t mix yet. Then add boiling water and mix, when cool enough to touch start kneading with your hands. Add additional flour if the dough still seems sticky. Allow to cool and then start playing! Store in an airtight container or Ziplock.
Lemonade Sensory Bin
What a great activity to prepare your toddlers for those upcoming lemonade stands this summer! This sensory bin not only allows them to have fun water play, but it is a great way to teach them how lemons turn into lemonade. This allows your toddler to really explore based on temperature, texture, and feel; to be creative and imaginative. Don’t forget to discuss the feel, how to pour, measure, funnel and how refreshing the lemonade tastes — “Ahhh, that is good!”
Material needed: bin, lemons and limes, cups, funnel, and utensils (such as slotted spoon, ladle, tongs).
Instructions: Slice lemons or limes, place them in bin with water and props. Sit back and watch your children enjoy this sensory bin.
Sensory entertainment is important especially with young toddlers and by creating your own taste-safe sand with cheerios in the blender toddlers can enjoy all the benefits of a sandbox without the mouthful of sand.
Materials needed: Cheerios, blender and sensory bin. Optional: add scoops, toy bulldozers and other small toys.
Instructions: Place desired number of cheerios in the blender, blend, pour into bin, and add toys or props.
Replicate the tissue pulling experience by using an old plastic container, placing a slit or cut in the top, and link square felt pieces together. This is a great activity for toddlers to practice their fine motor skills.
Materials needed: Felt squares or colorful scarves, plastic container (puffs, oatmeal, sour cream, yogurt, wipes, etc), scissors.
Instructions: Cut several pieces of felt down to squares and cut a slit into each corner. Cut a hole in the center of your plastic container, be careful not to leave any larger jagged edges. Connect the “tissues” by feeding the corner diagonally across from the slit in the next piece of felt and continue so they form a chain. Stuff the chain of the tissues into the container so that the pieces stack on top of each other. Place the lid on the container and pull the first tissue part of the way through. Be sure to demonstrate to your toddler how to pull the fabric, piece by piece, out of the container.
A quick and easy take on flower crowns that every toddler will enjoy, these crowns are especially great for those who are into princess and fairies! This activity teaches your toddler the tactility of assembling the crown but also allows them to be creative, get outside, and explore looking for treasures to embellish their crown to make it their own.
Materials needed: construction paper or paper bag and double-sided tape.
Instructions: Take construction paper or cut open paper bag (if using), cut a zig-zag line along one of the long edges of the bag or paper. Using both sides of the zig-zag cut the height of your desired crown using the zigzag as the top of the crowns. Add double-sided tape running down the center of the two pieces of the crown, sticky side up. Now we have two naked crowns. Allow your child to explore in nature and find treasures in your backyard to embellish their crown. Then, attach with tape or glue and fit to your child’s head for a pretty flower crown of their very own.
Fun activities for toddlers do not have to break the bank and at a time when folks are spending more time around the house, it is a great time to be resourceful! We hope this article inspires you to find fun activities for toddlers that encourage them, allow for bonding opportunities and developmental growth. Other toys that can provide open-ended, fun activities for toddlers are wooden puzzles, train sets, play kitchens, paint with water books, Duplo blocks, foam climbing blocks, or musical instruments. Create and enjoy these fun activities for toddlers with your little ones this Spring.
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