Selecting Toddler Activities


Toddlers are a handful at all times. Choosing toddler activities that are easy and require little preparation or clean up is not difficult. Toddlers enjoy sound and hands-on activities. Many of the items needed for these projects are most likely already on hand.


Toddler activities that involve sounds may be hard on parents’ ears, but will be great fun for them. Using old coffee cans that have tightly taped on lids make great drums. Drop a few beans, bells or small rocks inside empty plastic soda bottles to create rattles. Just remember to secure the tops of the shakers using hot glue to prevent the toddler from opening the bottle. Large metal and wooden spoons make great drumsticks as well as their own musical instruments. Metal buckets and pails can also be used, as can pots and pans.

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Sorting Activities:

Toddlers are fascinated with putting things inside other things. Many toddler activities can be created based on this concept. Make cut-outs of an object like an apple or a pumpkin and then hide them around a room. Toddlers will have a blast looking for them and placing them in their basket. Providing more than one container will allow a toddler to put specific items into each container. Blue items will be placed in the blue container, red into the red container and so on. Plastic eggs are a great way to help a toddler recognize colors. Using a few containers, the toddler can place eggs of the same color into the corresponding container. This activity can be expanded into shapes, animals and clothing.

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Paint Projects:

Safe non-toxic paint is inexpensive and cleans up easily. Pudding and corn syrup with food coloring added are two other types of toddler safe paints. Heavy butcher paper is the best to use when painting with pudding or corn syrup paint. Using kitchen objects as stamps provides hours of painting fun for toddlers. Other toddler activities using paint include stamping on paper with sponges, cut potatoes, leaves, or rainbow making with pieces of cloth as a paintbrush. Handprints collages and fingerprint people are fun ways to incorporate color, painting and fun.

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Paper Projects:

Paper is an inexpensive way to create many toddler activities. Old calendars can be cut up or the images cut out providing colorful shapes and pictures for collages. Paper shredders produce great stuffing for Halloween ghosts, pumpkins, and snowmen shaped from pieces of cloth or paper bags. Paper links can be glued together easily by toddlers and can be made in seasonally appropriate colors. Providing pre-cut shapes such as flowers, snowflakes or pumpkins to toddlers allows them to decorate and then glue their own landscape picture. Squares of brightly colored paper with holes punched around the edges can be used to sew a quilt square using ribbon or yarn as thread.

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Developing motor skills is an important part of childhood development. Geometric shapes formed from yarn on the floor or drawn on the sidewalk with chalk help the child develop balance. The object of the game is to jump from one shape to the next. As the child gains more control the shapes can be placed further apart. Drawing a line on the sidewalk or placing a wide piece of tape on the floor, allows the toddler to practice walking the tightrope. As the child becomes more skilled, ask them to walk the tightrope backwards or sideways. Toddler activities should be fun and enjoyable for everyone. Finding new ways to stimulate a toddler is easy and inexpensive using items that are already on hand.

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