Need a little fun for your toddler? Here’s 9 easy activities to try.
Simply put: quick and easy activities are the gold standard to me in toddler-land.
Yes, I can spend hours prepping a project but there’s no guarantee my two year old will play for long enough for me to recoup my “investment”, and that is not okay with me.
You can have pre-planned toddler activities each day! Check out my ebook Playing Preschool: 190 days of at-home learning.
9 easy activities to keep toddlers busy.
Since I love them so much and would marry easy activities if I could, I’ve compiled a list of 9 terrific toddler activities that are quick to set up, easy to get going, and will hold toddler attentions for so much longer.
Oh, and the supply list? Things you probably already own because toddler activities don’t have to cost a thing.
In no particular order, my 9 favorite no prep toddler activities:
Big Building Supplies: This held my son’s attention for not minutes, but days. Actually daysssss with like 25 “s” for emphasis. I gave him some toilet paper, paper towels, and some laundry baskets and let him have at it. He loved it. Nothing unraveled, but if you’re worried about that – add some tape to keep the rolls held together.
Pasta Pound: Nothing spells quick and easy like dumping out a bunch of pasta on the patio and adding a toddler hammer – or in this case, a socket wrench. My son smashed them into pieces then used his construction vehicles to scoop up his newly made “dirt”.
Love this idea? Try my crunchy box activity using stale food from your pantry!
Color Bin: Working on colors with your toddler? Make them a color bin in seconds! I laid a piece of construction paper in a casserole pan, then walked through the house collecting yellow items. In that little yellow bowl, I put some yellow play-doh and let his imagination run wild.
Magnet Crane: Please tell me I am not the only person who didn’t know that pipe cleaners were magnetic? I found that out and immediately came up with this toddler activity for my crane loving boy. Holy concentrating, hand-eye coordination, and dexterity gold mine! He simply transferred pipe cleaners from the ground into an empty jar. It was just that easy to set up and held his attention for.ever.er.
Need another crazy easy activity with pipe cleaners? Make this threading station – it’s a riot!
Color Sorting: Every day of the week, sorting is a quick activity for us and kind of my go to. Sometimes, we make it a little fancy by adding construction paper. This was especially easy to set up because I just taped down the paper, dumped out the Mega Blocks bag, and enjoyed the quiet sorting skills of a very entertained toddler on a mission.
Stacking Cups: It’s not always the most glamorous activities that keep a toddler busy and this is a classic case and point. I took out all the cups left over from party’s past and told Sam he could “play cups”. I imagined the scene from Pitch Perfect, he imaged building tall cup towers. Either way, it was a win, gave him a fun, unexpected project, and let the poor unused cups have some time to shine.
Do you have a toddler who loves to build? Have you tried shaving cream towers?
Ladle Lift: Inside or outside, this is a winning toddler activity and it can be set up a million different ways. Take two bowls or buckets or baskets. Fill one with water and toys, leave the other one empty. Ask your toddler to transfer the toys from one bowl to the other. Sounds simple? Not exactly that easy for a toddler with budding fine motor skills, dexterity, and hand-eye coordination.
Need another water based toddler activity? Our favorite and most popular activity, a pouring station, is always a winner!
Paint with Water: There is no easier “art” activity for a toddler than letting them paint with water. This is a summer staple for us and we even have some cheap sponge brushes outside as our permanent “art supplies”. I have been known to let my toddler paint the garage floor so technically this could be an inside toddler activity too (wink).
One of my favorite ways to paint in the summer is with chalk paint. It’s so easy to make!
Tape Up: I kid you not that this is one of the best toddler activities. Wait for the lengthy directions: lay down tape. Let toddler pull tape up. We use painter’s tape because it’s “safe enough” to use on the hard wood floor and my toddler absolutely begs for this activity. I lay down tape. He pulls it up.
One of my favorite silly toddler activities: playing with clothes pins.
Toddler activities don’t need to take hours to set up or cost loads of money for supplies.
Did you love the activities in this post? Check out this super popular round up of 40+ quick and easy toddler activities next!
Quick and easy activities are sometimes the best.