Thursday, February 20, 2020

Easy to Set Up Toddler Boredom Busters

What are some toddler boredom busters that are easy to set up before you pull out your hair??!!

Toddlers are busy and can get into everything. Often they'll go off and play independently but sometimes they need a little help getting started. These simple activities are sure to help you survive those days when you're just trying to make it to bedtime.

When I have all four of my kids home from school, they all entertain themselves pretty well and I spend most of my time refereeing here and there, but they can almost always think of something to do.

Meanwhile, once my big kids are at school, my youngest occasionally goes through a phase where she can't think of anything to do. 

She just wants to watch TV or have a friend over. 

Toddlers rarely say, "I'm bored." But they'll whine or get frustrated.

For us this usually happens the most after a vacation where my toddler is used to having the big kids around to play with. 

I love Netflix and use it as a tool when I need it, but most of the time, devices are off at our house. I find that my kids are much happier and creative when screens are off.

I also love having friends over, but sometimes I just need to get stuff done and not supervise a bunch of kids. 

So now that screens are off and there are no friends, what is there to do?

Ideally, I'd love to just say, "go play" and have my toddler run off and play by herself. Almost 90 percent of the time she actually does this... but many kids don't or need to be taught to play independently.

To get kids started, I love to set up some simple activities. 

The goal of these activities is for kids to eventually be able to set them up for themselves or use them as a jumping off point for their own creative play.

Basically, I want to work myself out of a job as toddler or preschooler entertainer.


Here are 50+ simple toddler boredom busters to pull out when you need them! These are grouped by the categories or types of activities we like to do that most often.

Toddlers love simple activities. So do parents. There is no need to do all of these. Just pick a few you love and repeat. 

Toddlers LOVE repetition!

RELATED: These indoor boredom busters HERE are great for big and little kids.


Sensory bins are my saving grace as a parent. They work great for kids of all ages and are immediately engaging. Kids can scoop, dump, pour, sift, etc. Some bins are tidier than others and it is important that you set up clear expectations before you get started and stick to them!


I love hunts because they give me a little breather to take a seat and relax. First I hide whatever object we are using... then I chill while the kids hunt for it. Repeat. You can do this with any theme and you can repeat these again and again.

  • Number Hunt by Toddler Approved
  • Glowstick Hunt (basically hide & seek with glowsticks, no tutorial needed)


These vehicle activities include boxes, sensory bins, trains, trucks, and cars. 


Sticky walls need contact paper (aka clear shelf liner), painters tape, and then another item or two depending on which activity you pick below. They don't need to be complex! These are a great way to explore the concept of "sticky" with your toddler and have a fun sticky sensory experience.


Science doesn't have to be complicated or hard to set up. Some of our favorite science activities just use baking soda and vinegar or water and ice. These can be repeated again and again.

RELATED: Find more awesome simple Toddler Science activities HERE.


Balls are great for helping kids work on large motor skills and hand eye coordination. These activities only use a few materials but get kids moving and active!

  • Ball drop (If you don't have PVC pipe, just use jumbo red solo cups and cut off the bottom)

There are so many other ways to keep toddlers busy, but these are our favorites because they are easy to set up, don't require too many materials, and kids love to play them again and again!

I'll bet you have some others you could add? 

What are your favorite simple toddler boredom busters?

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