Friday, August 22, 2014

15+ Simple Toddler Activities

We are really enjoying our Simple Toddler Play challenge! My toddler and I are having fun doing at least one simple toddler play activity each day and sharing it with you on Instagram (I'm @kristinatoddlerapproved). We are loving the ideas that some of the other participants are also sharing using the hashtag #simpletoddlerplay!

We just got back from a weeklong trip so we'll have even more ideas for you now that we are home and not constantly stuck in our car or hotel! This post shares just a few favorites we've enjoyed. We also have 10 more favorite easy activities we like here.

Here are 15 of our favorite toddler activities that we've tried over the last little while!

1. Cardboard box rides! My toddler hops in and my big kids pull him forward and backwards and give him a ride. It is hysterical and he loves it!

2. Stop and Go in the car! Make little red and green lights using paper and craft sticks. While you are driving have the kids hold up red when you are at a red light or need to stop and green when the light says go!

3. Painting with Do-A-Dot markers. This is always a highlight! Sometimes we even make cool things with our creations too, like these butterflies.

4. Drawing on a chalk table!! Grab a chalkboard table at IKEA or make your own and then let your kiddos draw on it!

5. Fizzy Cookie Cutters. It is so fun to squeeze and drop colored vinegar onto the baking soda! This activity is best with toddlers who aren't still trying to eat everything.

6. Flour play!! Jamie at Hands On: As We Grow introduced us to this activity and my toddler loves it!

7. Build a photo garden. This is super easy to put together and is a fun way to help your toddler learn their name and the names of their family!

8. Deliver the mail and make a paper plate mailbox! Toddlers will love to decorate these AND then deliver mail to their friends and family.

9. Pom pom or marble run using paper towel rolls and painter's tape. My toddler isn't interested in eating marbles or pom poms because he'd prefer to watch them roll. If your toddler likes to eat them, hold off on this activity and pin it for later:

10. Muffin tin liner sticky wall! Add some contact paper to your wall (sticky side out) and then add on some muffin tin liners. My kids liked to pull these off and rearrange them again and again. Their favorite part was pullin them all off.

11. Tape collages! Hand your toddler some pieces of plastic or paper tape and let them decorate the top of a paper plate. Older kids can even turn them into shields or frisbees!

12. Pipe cleaner and straw drop!! Add a small dime sized hole to the top of your puffs container, cut pipe cleaners and straws to fit the container and then pass your child one piece at a time to drop them in! Open the top, dump them out, and try again. We loved this activity on our recent road trip.

13. Create a tape roadway or runway on your floor, add some cars, trucks, airplanes, and trains and you have an activity that will keep little ones occupied and creating for awhile!

14. Make a telephone using 2 big plastic cups and a string. Time them together to create a telephone. My toddler loves to "talk" to all of our family members on his new phone. 

15. Pom pom drop. Drop pom poms or other small objects through a paper towel roll. Older kids will have fun making pom pom shooters as well.

A few more ideas...

Roll out playdough with a giant rolling pin!

Add food coloring and shaving cream to large ziploc bags and let kids mix and explore the textures.

Build towers with spice jars!

Go on a texture trip! You can use any items you have around your house for this!

Find the nearest airport and go watch the planes land. We could've done this FOR HOURS.

Draw on a chalkboard with chalk and then give your toddler a sponge or paintbrush and water to use to make the chalkboard drawings disappear!

Now we'd love for you to share your favorite #simpletoddlerplay activity with us!! Please tell us in the comments or pop over to Facebook and join in the conversation.


  1. These are great, thanks! My son will love the paper plate mailbox activity!

  2. Painting outside with a paint brush and water. No clean up!

  3. I love the mail box idea!

    Mine always loved driving on tape roads and doing the pom-pom drop. I have been meaning to do that old telephone cup idea for forever... That might be today's craft!

  4. I was looking at those yesterday and Thalia 9 decided she really like number 10 and decided to do it for a 3 years old brother. However, she slightly changed it and made it in an awesome game for cars. I wanted to share the pic, but there is no option for that….


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