The best toddler activities include creating obstacle courses, making bubble wrap roads, a car wash station, and more.
Toddlers are active little sponges, soaking up knowledge every waking minute, moving rapidly from activity to activity. Though taking care of children in the 18 to 24 months old bracket can wear parents out, it’s actually quite easy to entertain kids this young. There are hundreds of fun, educational toddler activities you can do together that will enhance your child’s development without breaking the bank.
Chicklink.com recently shared a blog post with more than 45 affordable learning activities for children in the one to three-year-old age group. Many make use of recycled containers and other objects you probably already have around the house. Some teach the same skills as toddler activities and toys that cost a lot of money.
Foam letters and numbers are excellent bathtub toys, but they can also be used in other ways. Moisten them with water and let your little one stick them to your living room windows. Use them as manipulatives when reading an alphabet or counting book, seeing if your toddler can find the letter or number that matches the page you’re on.
An equally fun matching game is one of many Montessori-inspired toddler activities. Buy an inexpensive collection of plastic animal figures then have your child match the figures to picture. Use an animal book or animal flash cards for the images.
Save bubble wrap from packages and make a “Bubble Wrap Road” by placing the strips on the floor. Encourage your toddler to crawl, walk or jump on the wrap and enjoy the sound it makes. Show your child how to pop the remaining bubbles with your hands for interactive parent and toddler activities.
Get a bag of feathers at the dollar store and tie ribbons around the feathers’ stem ends. Attach the other end of the ribbon to an umbrella or a table’s edge. Show your toddler how to sit under the feather fringe and have fun blowing them—an activity that helps train young mouth muscles for good speech development.
Water play is one of the best toddler activities on a hot summer day, but it’s also suitable at the kitchen or bathroom sink on colder days. Partially fill a basin with water and add an assortment of sponges and/or washcloths. Your toddler will love washing toy cars, plastic animals, or their own spoons and sippy cups.
Line up oversized dominoes or even Jenga blocks for a variety of toddler activities. Either build towers or make domino lines. A toddler will love knocking over the first block and seeing the others gently fall.
Stringing is one of the best toddler activities for developing fine motor skills, but many stringing kits are designed for preschoolers. Cut empty paper towel and toilet paper rolls into 1-inch sections and decorate them with stickers or markers. Provide your little one with a length of yarn or a silicone drinking straw and show them how to string on the paper tube slices.
When the weather isn’t nice enough to go outside, there are plenty of fun toddler activities to burn off energy indoors. Set up a simple obstacle course with empty boxes or baskets to run around, place colored squares of felt or craft foam on the floor and hop on them with your toddler, or find a mommy-and-me exercise video on YouTube and do the activities together.