Days where you and your toddler are stuck indoors can easily fly out of control if the little ones aren’t kept busy and entertained.
Your house turns to utter mayhem and someone ends up having a meltdown.
Not to fret!
If you need the perfect list of home activities for toddlers, without having to constantly stop at the store for supplies or break the bank getting specific crafts and games, then scroll down for 25 Home Activities for Toddlers.
I’ve gathered up a whole bunch of fun things to do that I’ve found over the years. The ideas come from experience, friends, or even my own toddler’s imagination!
I know time is of the essence for moms so I’ve categorized the activities depending on what kind of idea you need RIGHT NOW:
- Items You Likely Have – Here you’ll find activities that use simple household items.
- Burn Off Some Energy! – Is your little one getting a little too antsy with so much downtime? Check these ideas out!
- Easy Peasy Crafts – I love looking for new crafts to try out with my toddler but frequently we don’t have the necessary supplies on hand (and to be honest I don’t always want to spend an arm and a leg on the ones required). So I’ve put together some super simple craft ideas, most of which use fairly accessible items. The materials you may not have at home can easily be found at the dollar store.
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Activities for Toddlers at Home
Items You Likely Have
- Masking tape roads
Don’t have a toy car? You can use your imagination or make a little one out of anything in the house (remote, puzzle piece, cardboard, blocks).
If you still can’t find a car, make roads/paths for animals, dinosaurs, or dolls to walk through!
- Sink bubble bath for washable toys
My two year old loves this one. I show her which toys are bubble bath-friendly and she loves to add foaming bubbles to the sink, give the toys a scrub, let them “swim” and rinse/dry once they’re all clean.
And it’s probably good those toys get the occasional wash anyways!
- Cardboard car ramps
Have any recycling in the house? Trim boxes or cardboard pieces into bridges and ramps.
You can also use a folded cardboard design to tape the ramp to the wall. Or lay it diagonally from a pillow or stairs to get those cars zooming fast.
- Hide-and-go-seek a toy/stuffy
This one was recommended from a friend of mine and I loved the idea since my daughter loves hide-and-seek but in a moderate-size apartment, there are only so many places a moderate-size momma can hide.
With this game, your toddler gets to choose a stuffed animal or doll and you can take turns hiding and seeking the stuffy.
Tip: make the hiding spot a little obvious the first couple times until they get the gist of it. A smaller stuffed animal is a bit harder to find and we don’t want them losing interest before they’ve even begun!
We love making forts out of everything and anything – cushions, sheets, blankets, chairs, or even massive delivery boxes. Or you can get a fort building kit to help with the structure!
Tip: Once the novelty of the fort is over, make the most of the mess by turning it into a cozy reading nook for a little while before you tidy up.
Make shakers or maracas out of whatever you can find in the kitchen.
Choose a water bottle, Tupperware container, or other containers you can find in the recycling and fill with different noisemakers in your cupboards: dry macaroni, coffee beans, rice, popcorn kernels. Get creative!
Set up a bowling alley in your hallway, but use plastic bottles or mini block towers or even clean cans to knock down.
- Dress up
Put together a fun bin for dress up. Not everyone has costumes, but little ones will love getting to put on your clothes, hats or accessories. If you really don’t have anything they’re interested in, pull out their tiny baby clothes to put on stuffed animals or dolls.
- Treasure hunt
This one used to keep my little girl occupied for long periods of time when she was around a year or so.
Hide little (appropriately-sized) gems (AKA random things you find around the house) into all of the little pockets of a bag, backpack or purse you have on hand. Let them go through the bag, figuring out where the pockets are and practise opening them to find a surprise inside.
- “Birthday” presents
My 2-year-old actually made this one up. She loves placing any surprise objects into a gift bag and then giving you your “birthday gift” (if you’re lucky she’ll even sing you Happy Birthday).
Then she loves watching your “excitement” as you open her gift.
Be a doll, return the favour and put together an exciting oddball gift for them – the more random the objects the better the toddler reaction I’ve found!
- Ring toss
You don’t need special rings for this one. Use cut cardboard, plastic lids, jar rings, or pipe cleaners and toss them onto plastic bottles or into bowls/bins.
Ugh, chores – boring!!… well, it’s not necessarily boring for toddlers!
Why not make it fun and get a little work done while you’re at it?
They will love washing windows (sure, you may want to use a simple water and vinegar combo over the chemical stuff), dusting (use a rag or duster), sorting shoes or clothes, tossing garbage into a can or laundry into a hamper, or any other little tasks you can think of!
Burn Off Some Energy!
- Obstacle course
Make cushion mountains, tunnels, pillow stepping stones, and string or tape doorways and hallways!
- Dance party
Put on some awesome music (or whatever your toddler requests) and have a fun dance party!
Get involved and dance with your little one to really show them a good time.
(Also a great game if you’re wanting to get in shape!)
- Hopscotch with masking tape
Just like the masking tape roads, make little squares around the floor with tape for your energizer bunny to hop around the room from square to square.
- Follow the leader
Take turns being the “leader” and do a certain move (gallop, lunge) or skill (balance, tiptoe) for the other person to copy.
- Be animals
Get on the ground with your munchkin and move how the animals of your/their choice do: crawl, slither, jump, gallop and even swim (or pretend to)!
- Alphabet race
This could be any kind of race but I call it alphabet race because we put up little squares with every letter of the alphabet on our wall.
As I call out the letter my 2-year-old gets to run from the starting point, touch the letter on the wall, and run back to the starting point.
Learning and burning energy? Double yay!
If you don’t have letters, let them race to something else in a safe place (to a certain toy, spot in the home, or go get a certain object).
Easy Peasy Crafts
- Egg carton caterpillars
Cut out a row from the egg carton. Let your little one colour or paint it as they please. Draw or glue something on for the eyes (googley eyes are fun if you have them). Poke pipe cleaner through for legs and voila!
- Paper towel roll napkin rings
Cut a paper towel roll into shorter rolls (I found a knife actually worked better than scissors for this part). Get your little one to finger paint all around the roll.
You may need to help rotate by holding the inside or encourage them to really cover the roll in paint.
Afterwards, you can add accessories or write down each family members’ name if you actually plan to use them as napkin rings.
We do use them to remember who’s napkin belongs to who with each meal.
- Cardboard crafts
Let your imagination flow here! You can make crowns, binoculars, or even castles with any cardboard or TP rolls you’ve tossed into the recycling bin.
- Pipe cleaner jewelry/accessories
Another great way to make a crown, glasses, or even bracelets and rings, is to use pipe cleaners!
- Paper airplanes
I don’t have any tutorials for this one but look up some super simple paper airplanes and teach your toddler about folding.
They’ll love throwing around the airplane afterwards.
And you’ll love that folded paper can’t break much when thrown!
If you have any old magazines or torn kids books you were planning to get rid of, try cutting out the pictures and let your kiddo have some fun with glue.
If you’re feeling generous you could even let them use their child safety scissors to cut the paper.
- Go wild
You know what? Sometimes crafts are best when the kids just get to be kids!
Prepare a plate with some supplies and let them do their own art with whatever you have on hand. Googly eyes, pompoms, macaroni, cut out shapes, milk jug tops… the list goes on and on, just like the fun!
There you have it: 25 activities for your toddler when you’ve run out of ideas.
Try to gauge your child’s energy and interest level when figuring out their next activity.
Make it fun, get involved and try to let them do as much themselves as possible. It can be easy to want to control how they are executing the game or craft. But with a little freedom, they will have so much fun and perhaps even switch things up and think of a new activity themselves!
My last recommendation, if you still find it difficult to keep your toddler occupied or engaged in playing, is to rotate toys, books, and puzzles. This way the choices don’t feel mundane. Pulling out toys after a month of not seeing them makes them feel new and exciting again!
I really hope you found some fun ideas for your little ones on my list. Tell me in the comments which ones you tried and which was your kiddo’s fav!