If you’re anything like me, you are always on the hunt for quick, easy (translation: little to no prep involved) toddler activities that you can do right now…using THINGS YOU ALREADY HAVE AT HOME. Mamas, this is a win-win, am I right?!
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6 Toddler Activities You Can Do Right Now
It isn’t the prettiest of toddler activities…and there WILL be a mess to clean up…but honestly, it’s one of my kids’ favorite things to do! The teacher in me cries a little on the inside but we all have to pick our battles and…I concede to this one. As a result, I don’t put out the brand new, shiny crayons. Instead, I set out the nubs and the broken pieces. My girls go to town peeling them!
I tell myself that they are working those fine motor skills like no other. That’s what I keep telling myself.
One day, I had dragged the water table up from the basement. I cleaned it and was wracking my brains trying to think of different toddler activities we could do with it (definitely not water though, since it’s the middle of winter here!). I saw the plastic eggs scattered all over the floor and thought…EGG SCOOP! One of the best toddler activities! (Especially if you have a ton of those plastic eggs laying around like I do.)
Transferring objects is a popular toddler activity. This particular one satisfied both Nugget and Peanut. (One of my challenges is finding activities that are developmentally appropriate and safe for both of them. Sometimes this is tough since they are different ages!)
Here are the materials we used at our house (but obviously, you can use any container–not necessarily a water table only–and any “scooper” and “scoopee”):
I literally used what was already in my house. You can too! Substitute any and all objects. The idea is to transfer objects from one place to another using some sort of medium. BAM. Done.
Pom Pom Scoop
Since we are on the topic of transferring, here is another fun and simple activity. Pom pom scoop! We seem to have 2,693 of these in our house…why not making cleaning up a fun game?
Foam Sticker Collage
Too many times, I find myself overthinking the process. Do I need to wait until the paper towels run out and then save the roll and THEN do something cool with it? Or tape up my floors/walls/house in order to create some alternate universe for my kids to play in? Should I go out and spend hundreds of dollars on art supplies and spend hours creating the “perfect” game?
I remembered that I had some foam stickers left over from our trip to Hawaii (read on if you want toy recs for a long plane ride!). I literally plopped them onto the middle of the table, set out two pieces of paper, and let the girls go to town. Easy peasy, lemon squeezy!
Sometimes, it literally is that easy. The girls LOOOOOVE peeling off the backs of the stickers, then sticking and unsticking the stickers. Tons of fun to be had here! Working those fine motor skills and there’s plenty of room for creating, designing, and talking about colors and shapes.
If you want to get fancy, make a foam sticker…picture frame! (You may or may not have these lying around your house.) I ordered these for Nugget’s birthday party recently and they were a hit! I love that these come with stickers.
Bubble Wrap Coloring
I have to admit, I am 100% guilty of online shopping. As a result, I always seem to have bubble wrap, cardboard boxes, and envelopes laying around. One day, I cut open a bubble wrapped envelope, put it on the floor, put a piece of paper on top of it, and let the little munchkins go to town with their crayons. (After they peeled the crayons, of course!)
Nuggets loves to pop the bubbles (another simple sensory activity!).
You know that saying, “Just add water”? SAME GOES FOR ICE. (At least with my kiddos!) I desperately needed to get something done and Nugget and Peanut had other ideas. I grabbed a bucket, scooped out a few handfuls of ice, threw down some towels, and tossed in a few spoons, cups, and ladles. BAM. Mama gets 20 minutes to make a phone call and start dinner…kiddos are happy and wet.
Dog Bones in a Box
They say necessity is the mother of invention. “They” were right! (Although I didn’t really invent anything, per se.)
But seriously…of all the toddler activities out there…this is perhaps the most ridiculous one we do at our house.
I was desperate to get dinner started. Nugget and Peanut were not thrilled by this idea. I quickly scanned my pantry and came up with this:
The sides of the oatmeal box had two holes (handles). Perfect. One for each child. I emptied the oatmeal box and taped the top back up. Then I opened up the box of dog bones and told the girls to fill the other box. Voilà! Dog bones in a box was born.
I suppose you could make the oatmeal box look like a dog or a mailbox or something cute…this mama just wanted to get dinner going! And the toddlers didn’t care, LOL.
Toddlers seem to love to put things INTO containers, things with holes, openings…this is perfect for that.
Hope you have a few more ideas to add to your arsenal.
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Looking for more toddler ideas? Head on over to 5 Easy, Low Prep Toddler Activities for more ideas!