12 Toddler activity ideas

12 Toddler activity ideas

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Homeschooling with toddlers

Today, I will share with you some ideas for keeping your toddlers happy while you homeschool. You can keep these items in totes or in a cupboard specifically for school time, if you want. May these toddler activity ideas spur your own creative ideas!

Toddler activity ideas

  1. Have coloring and activity books for your toddler’s age-range, along with plenty of crayons.
  2. Use shaving cream on a table for them to practice making lines, squiggles, letters or numbers, or to just make pictures they can erase and begin again with.
  3. Set up an easel for them to paint. I bought little jars of paints that could be poured out a little at a time or the water color palettes you can buy. Older kids might enjoy the paint by number kits. You could create your own paint by number painting page for your preschooler or toddler to try. Another idea is to use colored pencils on the picture and have the child match the paint colors to the pencil colors. This is a fun way to learn matching and colors.
  4. Invest in blocks–snapping blocks, Lego blocks, wooden blocks. You can help your child learn colors or learn to make simple patterns with blocks. Toddlers love to build towers and knock them down.
  5. Make a tent or sofa-cushion-house for your toddler to play in. Cushions make nice “fences” for toddlers and preschoolers pretending to be puppies, cows, horses, etc.
  6. Buy sewing cards with laces.
  7. Buy puzzles. There are wooden puzzles, giant puzzles, all sorts of puzzles to choose from. As children get better at putting them together, you can even take a magazine picture and cut it apart in different shapes for your child to piece back together. Glue the picture to a piece of cardboard first, of course, so it will be sturdier and last longer.
  8. Let them play in a sink of water if they can reach it with a safe stepping stool or have a small tub of water for them to play in. Add soap if they want to wash approved toys or toy dishes. Be sure to put some towels or rugs down to avoid slippery spots. It can get messy, but if they have fun for awhile it helps you to get a lesson started with a sibling.
  9. Let them blow bubbles in the sink or on the table.
  10. Turn on some children’s music and let them dance out the wiggles.
  11. If you have a chalkboard, let the kids draw with chalk. If you have a whiteboard, provide the appropriate markers for them to create.
  12. Bring out the play dough! Here are two recipes for homemade playdough that you can try. I received these recipes from friends years ago when my oldest was a toddler. Each makes a lot of dough that provides hours of fun. When it gets old and dirty, toss and make a new batch.


Kool-Aid Fun Dough


2 1/2-3 cups flour

1/2 cup salt

1 package unsweetened Kool-Aid

1 Tbsp. alum

2 cups boiling water

3 Tbsp. vegetable oil

1 cup additional flour

Directions: Mix the first six ingredients into dough. Using some or all of the additional flour, knead the dough until it reaches the desired consistency. Store the dough in an airtight container.

Warning: The dough will be hot at first, so wait until it is cooled for little hands to use.

Edible Play Dough

(Recipe from Julie Cox.) Ingredients:

2 cups flour

4 cups oatmeal

1 cup water

1 cup white corn syrup

1 cup peanut butter

1 1/4 cup non-fat powdered milk

1 1/4 cup powdered sugar

Directions: Combine flour and powdered sugar in a blender, pulse on grind speed for one minute. Add water and knead. Add corn syrup, peanut butter, powdered milk, and powdered sugar. Knead well. Add more flour if the dough is too sticky. Kids can add chocolate chips, peanuts, shelled sunflower seeds, or candy bar pieces to add interest and detail to their sculptures.

Big Bubbles

6 cups water

1 cup corn syrup

2 cups Joy dish soap

We used a wand left from a store-bought bubbles purchase.

Kids’ Paint

1 cup each of salt, flour, and water

Food coloring

Divide the first three mixed ingredients into separate containers, then add food coloring to each. Have fun showing the kids how to mix the primary colors for more colors.

I hope these ideas help you homeschool with your toddler(s). Have fun and enjoy this time. It goes fast. Some of these ideas are messy, so you will need to use your discretion or limit that choice.

For more ideas about homeschooling with toddlers, check last week’s blog.

What other toddler activity ideas can you add?

Photo by Aaron Burden on Unsplash.

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