Top 20 Easy and Fun Toddler Activities! | Days of Chalk and Chocolate

Top 20 Easy and Fun Toddler Activities!

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We've had a great summer and I have been able to keep Ellie busy despite the fact that she's a toddler who can not be pleased by anything other than Team Umizoomi.We have managed to fill our days with cute, easy activities to keep a toddler busy and happy for, like, 10 seconds. But those 10 seconds are magical. 

So here is a list of our favorite top 20 summertime (or anytime) toddler activities!

1.  Bubble table. Take that water table to the next level and squirt some mild dish washing liquid in to make mounds of frothy fun. Both of my girls can play with this for a while.

2. Homemade play dough. There are tons of recipes out there. You can find the one I like the best here.

4. Stuffed animal daycare center. We put them to bed, tell each other to Shhhh, then wake them up again. Then we do it again. And again. And, well, she's three. You know how this goes. Sometimes we feed them, sometimes we sing them songs. You get it.

5. Tissue paper ball art.  I like to spread out a huge piece of paper and let her go nuts with a glue stick and pre-cut squares of tissue paper. It's so good for their little fingers to practice fine motor skills and she likes being able to crumple stuff. 

6. Hide and seek. Seriously, you laugh but toddlers dig it in a huge way and it keeps Ellie happy for a while. Molly is so good at playing this with her.

7. Chalk paint. Mix equal parts cornstarch and water, then drop in a few drops of food coloring. Give them a paintbrush and they can paint the sidewalk or driveway until they are good and tired. Washes off with the squirt of a hose.

8. Goo. We LOVE goo. Mix about 3 parts cornstarch to 1 part water. Stir until it is combined into a semi-solid goo. It is so fun to play with. It feels like a solid but when you pick it up it runs through your fingers like a liquid. Easy peasy clean-up too.

9. Cutting with safety scissors. I was shocked by how many of my students came into Kindergarten with almost no experience using scissors. People, that's what safety scissors are for!  Ellie gets a big long piece of paper and makes little cuts in it or cuts up our catalogs and junk mail. 

yes, she is holding them the wrong way. We're working on it.

10. Sensory bins. I can't stop giggling when I say that. Let's just call it what it really is. A sandbox filled with stuff other than sand. On rainy days we pull out a sensory bin and it's fun in a sensory bin kind of way!

11. Pom Poms. They like to use a bundt cake pan to play with pom poms by stuffing them into the hole. They cram in as many as they can and lift it up to see the pom pom tower created.

12. Painting. We paint constantly around here. TIP:  Use a washed out tuna can  for an unspillable water container.

Isn't she brilliant?
13. Decorate store-bought cookies with icing and sprinkles. Just make sure to put the cookies on a cookie sheet with sides first to keep the sprinkles contained.

14. Water beads. You can buy these at the dollar store but  they are marketed as vase filler. You just put the little dry pieces into water and in a few hours they are soft, wet, round, beads. The girls like to play with them but they do break so if you have a kid that sticks everything in his or her mouth this isn't for them. Oh and they bounce. Like all over!  This is for a day when I've had enough sleep.

15. Tracing cookie cutters. I keep a bunch of old cookie cutters around for this. The girls trace and color the shapes.

16. Scavenger hunts. Ellie LOVES this. She feels so important with her list and bag. I change the list up for the seasons too.

17. Ribbon wands. Both of my girls love to twirl and dance with a long ribbon attached to a stick. The longer, wider, and floatier the ribbon the better. And it doesn't even need to be a real stick. An empty paper towel tube works too.

18. Bubble wrap stomping. On crummy days, I lay out a sheet of bubble wrap, have them put on their sneakers, and they jump and pop  for a good long while.

19. Puddle jumping. I am shocked by how many moms won't let their kids do this. That's why we're all in therapy nowadays!  Not enough puddle jumping. The girls go out in boots and bathing suits and jump, jump, jump (as long as there is no thunder/lightening). What is the big deal about this? Sometimes I do it too. There is great satisfaction to make the water splash out!

20. Camp out/pajama party. This a Molly favorite. She loves to get out her sleeping bag, play tent, and her picnic basket and set out on a pretend camping trip. Sometimes it's a pretend sleepover party and they run around in their jammies.  Sometimes they make their tent with chairs and blankets. Whatever. They like it.

21. Rorschach art. Ok, I know I said 20 but I couldn't resist throwing in another. Fold a piece of paper in half, squirt paint on one side, and then fold the other side over. Let your little one squish the paint around and then open it up to see the colorful shape inside.  Adding crayon or marker details turns the paint blotch into anything they can imagine. And bonus, someday when your kid turns 16 you can bring out all of their masterpieces for their guidance counselor.  "Is that a butterfly or Satan?"

22. I swear this is the last one. Pipe cleaners!  Now I know there are all sorts of ways for kids to use these and Pinterest has a million ideas like sticking them into a colander. Fabulous!  Except my kids love just twisting them into different shapes, making alphabet letters, bracelets, hats, whatever. I can just hand them the bag and walk away. Fun happens. And I can use my colander for spaghetti.

Any of these helpful?  Anything you may try with your little one soon?  Having toddlers can be tough. Someone once told me the days are long but the years are short. Truer words were never said!  It can be a challenge from day to day trying to engage a little being who is hell-bent on not complying. But sometimes a new, novel activity can help!



  1. Great ideas! Your girls must have very happy days!

  2. Oh my goodness Treole(I can only call you that). This are the ideas I have been looking for all summer! Your awesome!

  3. Nice list - I have this bookmarked :)


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