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The Importance of Play: Developmental Benefits of Activities for 2 Year Olds
At the age of two, children are constantly learning and exploring the world around them. As a parent or caregiver, it’s important to provide them with activities that stimulate their developing minds and bodies. Engaging in age-appropriate activities can help enhance their cognitive, social, emotional, and physical development. Here are some fun and educational activities for 2 year olds.
Sensory play is a great way to stimulate a child’s senses and encourage exploration. Activities like playing with playdough or kinetic sand can help develop fine motor skills, hand-eye coordination, and creativity. Another great sensory activity is creating a sensory bin filled with different textures like rice, beans, or water beads. This will provide your child with hours of exploration and discovery.
Reading books to your child not only helps develop their language skills but also sparks their imagination and creativity. Choose books with colorful pictures and simple stories that your child can relate to or follow along with.
Physical activity is important for a child’s overall health as well as their motor skill development. Encourage your child to run, jump, climb, or play ball games outdoors in safe areas like playgrounds or backyards.
Arts & Crafts
Arts & crafts activities allow children to express themselves creatively while developing their fine motor skills through coloring, drawing, painting or cutting paper shapes using safety scissors.
In conclusion, providing appropriate activities for 2 year olds helps promote healthy growth in various aspects of development such as physical fitness, cognitive function including language acquisition and critical thinking abilities; social interactions through sharing toys/games with other children; emotional regulation by understanding emotions better through storytelling; creativity which helps harness imagination into concrete forms such as arts & crafts projects among others . So be sure to engage your little one in these fun and educational activities to help them grow up to be healthy, happy, and well-rounded individuals.
This text was generated using a large language model, and select text has been reviewed and moderated for purposes such as readability.
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Learning Activities for 2-3 Year Olds
Activities Dec 20, 2022
Looking for fun, educational things to do with your little one? Check out these learning activities for 2-3 year olds you can do at home!
Perhaps you feel compelled to enrich her days with activities and lessons she can learn but are at a loss for how to do just that. Sure, you’ve seen a handful of activities, but they seem to take a lot of preparation (along with the ensuing mess).
So, what are some fun at-home crafts, games , and activities you can do during play time that also stimulates her mind?
Learning activities for 2-3 year olds
This is the age when kids have shed their infant ways but haven’t matured into full-fledged, “I know not to eat crayons” big kids yet. Learning activities aren’t so much about getting kids to memorize words or add and subtract so much as nurturing their curiosity.
Thankfully, kids are already hard-wired to learn—we don’t need to equip them with complicated activities. We’re also better off following their lead than telling them how to make a craft. I’m not a fan of having them paint snowmen and turkeys when they’d rather make abstract art with their fingers.
And while my home doesn’t look like a preschool, I know the importance of providing the right materials and activities to engage kids. Take a look at some of the favorites my kids enjoyed—I hope you’ll find plenty of simple and fun activities to do with your little one:
Arts and crafts
- Glue bits of paper. Tape the corners of a large piece of paper onto a surface. Then, have your child take cut-up pieces of thick paper (even junk mail!) and glue them onto the larger piece.
- Play dough. The options are endless! Grab a rolling pin and flatten play doh pieces, or take cookie cutters to cut out shapes. Roll them into long strings and balls, or show him how to pinch pieces off with his fingers. Describe the colors, and combine them to make new ones.
- Finger painting. This was a hit at our home! I bought three bottles of the primary colors —red, blue, and yellow—and let my kids mix and paint. Dress him down to diapers or cover him with a smock for easier cleanup.
- Stickers on cards. Practice fine motor skills and have him peel and apply stickers on thick card stock paper that’s folded in half to make a card. You can then use the card for letter writing or gifts (especially if the stickers have a theme).
- Sidewalk chalk. Combine outdoor time with creative activities! Perfect to take to the park, too. If you have to stay indoors, drawing on a chalkboard works as well.
- Boxes of all sizes. Save all those cardboard boxes you get shipped to your home and see what he can turn them into. One might be a house for stuffed animals, another a dance floor to tap his feet on, and another a toy airplane.
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- Magnets. One of the best ways I kept my kids occupied was with magnets of letters and numbers on the kitchen fridge. That kept them occupied while I cooked and prepared food .
- Puzzle pieces. Now that your little one is in the two to three year old range, challenge her with a more difficult puzzle, like a 48-piece set. Encourage problem solving skills and don’t save her from every struggle or difficult puzzle.
- Board games. Play simple board games (I especially like cooperative board games where players work together). Even board games for older kids can be played to her level if you follow her lead.
- Matching games. Use matching card games , or make some of your own! Cut out circles, squares, triangles, and rectangles in various colors. Have her match the pieces by shape, then by color.
- Learn new songs. Create a playlist of children’s music and sing along to them. Dance along, especially to those with physical routines like Head, Shoulders, Knees, and Toes . And expose her to live music, from musicians at farmers markets to summer or winter concerts.
- Learn the days of the week and months of the year. Talk about the day of the week, and introduce months and seasons (“We’re in December, and it’s winter right now “).
Check out these educational activities for 3 year olds.
- Trace letters and numbers. Have your child trace a letter or number (perhaps one each week), first with his finger, then with a crayon or pencil. Finally, encourage him to write it on his own.
- Read books. Dedicate shelf space just for his books. Keep books in every room of the house as well. And visit the library regularly to introduce new stories and expose him to a variety of books.
- Attend library events. Many offer regular programs like read-aloud and sing-alongs, as well as special events like summer reading parties and crafts.
Check out these children’s books for 3 year olds.
- Fill sensory bins with dried beans or rice. Add large spoons that your child can use to scoop the beans into a bowl. He’ll enjoy feeling different textures with his hands.
- Play with sand. The easiest way to play with sand is to go to your local playground’s sandbox and bring sand toys. You can also drive to the beach or, for a simpler option, play with kinetic sand at home. Encourage pretend play and include little toys (like dump trucks) in the sand.
- Place pasta into a muffin tin. Place small- to medium-sized pasta (like penne) in a bowl (pom poms work too). Then, show him how to take one with his fingers and place them into the muffin tins.
- Wash toys with a sponge or washcloth. Fill a tub or bin with water and soap, and let your child wash water-safe toys. She can also squeeze water out of the sponge or washcloth.
- Scoop water with cups and spoons. Fill a tub or bin with water, along with cups, bowls, and spoons. She can spend time pouring water from one cup to a bowl. Have a towel handy to dry off!
- Paint the driveway. Using a large brush and a bucket of water, have her “paint” the driveway or sidewalk with water. This is a fun way to paint without too much mess to clean.
- Help organize and pick up. Turn real life, regular clean-up time into a learning and fun experience! Toss balls into a basket, sort toys by color, and race to see who can clean the fastest.
- Gardening . Take your little one with you to the yard to help. He can pull weeds, rake leaves, water plants, and gather sticks.
- Laundry. Show him how to load laundry, add soap, and later dry and sort the clean clothes.
Fine motor skills
- String beads through a shoestring. Grab a handful of large beads (or even large tube pasta like rigatoni) and a shoestring. Your child can string the bead through the shoestring. Tie a bow on the other end to prevent the beads from sliding off.
- Loop pipe cleaners through a colander. Turn a sturdy colander upside down. Then, show her how to poke one end of a pipe cleaner through one hole, and the other end through another. Do this with several pipe cleaners to see what kind of shape she’ll make!
Get more Montessori fine motor activities.
- Go on nature hunts. Pick a theme for the day and gather or point out those items. Maybe it’s collecting yellow leaves, finding and counting bugs and insects, or looking for five types of flowers.
- Count during walks. Count how many cars, dogs, sprinklers, trees, and more during a walk! If you walk up and down stairs, count each step you take.
Get outdoor activities for 3 year olds.
Best practices for learning activities
- Designate an area for arts and crafts. A child-size table and chair are perfect for your little one to get in and out of to create art. Stock the table with plenty of crayons, markers, paper, paints, stickers, and glue.
- Rotate toys. Having all his toys at once can overwhelm him into not using any of them. Instead, store most toys out of sight and leave a few he can access. After a week or two, bring out some of the toys you’ve stored and put the ones that were out back in storage. Old toys will feel “new” once more.
- Stick to one activity a day. Don’t feel compelled to spend every minute on a learning activity. Instead, focus on one “big” craft and leave the rest of the day open.
- Include plenty of free play time. Speaking of which, having downtime to tinker can encourage imaginative play and problem-solving skills. Even if you have regular activities, dedicate a time of the day when you’re simply at home and he can play how he chooses.
- Make it fun! He’ll learn what he has to learn, so there’s no need to pressure him to excel all the time. Instead, make learning a fun, natural part of life. Include “lessons” in the conversation, from counting to pointing out shapes to saying, “Let’s find your red shoes.”
Hopefully, you’ve found several learning activities for 2-3 year olds to fill your day and nurture your child’s curiosity. From water play to arts and crafts, you now have fun things to do with your little one—all without going crazy at home.
Get more tips:
- No-Fuss Montessori Fine Motor Activities
- How to Make Learning Stick
- Easy Activities for 3 Year Olds You Can Do Any Day
- Montessori Activities for 1-2 Year Olds
- Best Preschool Outdoor Activities for Summer
Don’t forget: Join my newsletter and get ready-made printables below—at no cost to you:
Disclaimer: Sleeping Should Be Easy and its content are for informational purposes only and should never be used as a substitute for advice from a qualified professional. Disclosure: Per FTC guidelines, this website may be compensated by companies mentioned through advertising, affiliate programs, or otherwise. As an Amazon Associate, I earn from qualifying purchases.
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- Family Life
Sorting colors is a quick and simple activity to do with your toddler- they will have so much fun, they will not even notice how much learning is going on.
Most parents have muffin tins, and they’re perfect to use for sorting colors. All you need is some construction paper and something to sort. We love the rainbow bears !
Read Books Together
One of the best things you can do with your 2-3 year old is to read books together. Reading books helps your child develop their early language skills and takes them away on fun adventures.
Reading to your kids is one of the best things you can do for their future education, so use up all opportunities you can!
Related : 20+ Best Books for 2 Year Olds
Apple Number Match: Free Apple Printables
Apples are a quintessential fall theme since all of the local orchards open for picking. Who doesn’t love some apple cider? So, grab some apple printables to go along with the theme.
These apple number match is great for toddlers and preschoolers who need practice counting from 1-20. They work on various skills, such as:
- Practice Counting
- Number Recognition
- One-to-One Correspondence
Play Board Games
Board games might not be your first thought when finding activities for 2-3 year olds, but kids love them. If you find board games that work for your child, you will enjoy them together. They’re perfect family activities!
Related : Perfect Board Games for 2 Year Olds
Clothespin Letter Match Preschool Activity
This clothespin letter match activity is perfect for a cold winter day when you are looking for an activity with very little supplies and easy set up.
The best thing about this activity is it is using supplies you probably already have laying around the house! All you need is clothespins, a paper plate, and a marker.
Grab some cotton swabs and paper. You can practice early pre-writing skills with your 2-3 year old. Start by writing out letters or shapes on the paper and give them cotton swabs to paint with.
It’s definitely one of my favorite activities for 2-3 year olds. We always have cotton swabs available, and a little bit of paint goes a long way with using these for painting. Plus, holding the cotton swabs help with fine motor skills!
Color in a Coloring Book
Sometimes, you don’t need fancy activities for 2-3 year olds. All you need is some nice coloring books and crayons.
My kids are LOVING these new Twistable Crayons since they never seemed to want to use crayons after they got to the paper. These always seem new.
I grab coloring books at the grocery store; they’re cheap at the Dollar Tree as well!
Make Glitter Sensory Bottles
Sensory bottles can be a calming experience for your little one. They’re great for babies, toddlers, preschoolers or any child who loves visually stimulating objects.
The great thing is you don’t have to buy them! Instead, you can save money and make them yourself at home with inexpensive materials from the store and what you already have in hand.
Splash in the Bathtub
Once again, skip those complicated activities for 2-3 year olds and put your kid in the bathtub. Toddlers and preschoolers love to splash, so toss in some bath toys.
I promise you; your child will be entertained!
Ocean Dot Activities
Our house loves all things ocean related like sharks and whales. So, I made this set of dot printables for my preschoolers to enjoy.
2-3 year olds love dot markers ! These are fun for coloring and activities; we use them all the time. Grab a set and my favorite ocean dot activities printables.
Easter Egg Letter Match
Use Easter eggs to play a letter match game to help your child learn their uppercase and lowercase letters while having fun with a favorite – and cheap – toy. All you have to do is use a permanent marker to write an uppercase case or lowercase letter on either side of the egg.
Then, your child has to find the matching one!
Grab some play trucks and fill a small tub with water. Give your child a sponge and some dish soap. Then, let him wash them!
It’s such a simple idea, but it’s still fun for little kids regardless. 2-3 year olds love imaginative play like this that also focuses on real life skills.
Fishing For Letters Outdoor Activity
Fishing for Letters is a simple activity that your toddler will love! There is very little prep and it also creates a fun learning experience for them. You can use various tools besides bath letters for whatever your child is learning at the time, whether it be shapes, animals, numbers, etc.
Grab a baby pool and some foam letters . It’s easy to throw this activity together on a warm summer day!
Shaving Cream Writing
It’s really easy to practice shaving cream writing, and if you’re worried that your toddler will put it in their mouth, whipped cream works well too.
This is one of those activities I bet you did when you were in school; it’s an excellent pre-writing activity. Let your child draw out shapes, letters, and CVC words as they learn them!
Enjoy Some Stickers
Want to keep your 2-3 year old busy for awhile? Give him some paper and a book of stickers . Kids love to stick stickers somewhere, so give them an appropriate outlet to do so.
Related : 31 Fun and Simple Sticker Activities for Toddlers and Preschoolers
Work on Puzzles
Puzzles are great for little kids. Make sure you get chunky puzzles with only a few pieces; I like the ones with the knobs for easy holding.
One of my kids’ favorite puzzles is the Melissa & Doug Farm Animal Puzzle . It’s easy for 2-3 year olds, and each piece has a peg for easy grabbing.
Sidewalk Chalk Shape Learning Game
This sidewalk chalk shape game is as simple as it gets and will keep your toddler or preschooler busy for a bit!
All you need is some sidewalk chalk and pavement and you have a fun game for your little one. It’s like a life-size game board where your child can learn, explore, or practice their shapes and colors.
Play Simon Says
Start with simple directions like “Simon says touch your toes.” Over time, move into silly things like “Simon says hop on your foot or tug your ear.”
This is a great game to develop gross motor skills and work on following directions. Plus, you can play this game with your older kids as well as little kids. Everyone thinks Simon says is fun!
No-Mess Finger Paint Activity
Kids love finger painting, but not everyone wants to deal with the mess. Some days, I just want my kids to have fun without having to scrub up paint that ends up everywhere.
Instead, use this no-mess finger paint activity. Finger paint works great in plastic bags, and kids still get to squish and have fun.
Cutting is an important skill for 2-3 year olds to begin practicing. It takes years to master, but they need the practice. One of the best ways to practice cutting is to use Play-Doh.
All you have to do is give your toddler or preschooler a set of kid-safe scissors and some play dough. Tell them to roll it out like a snake and cut it into pieces. It’s fun and easy to put together!
Winter Cutting Strips
Another way to practice cutting is with cutting strips. I set out a basket for my preschooler, and he can practice cutting whenever he wants.
Cutting strips have different lines and shapes for your child to cut. It gives them direction rather than just cutting small pieces of paper all over your floor.
Grab my free printable winter cutting strips !
Winter Sensory Bin with Fake Snow
If you need activities for 2-3 year olds to stay busy in the winter, make a winter sensory bin with fake snow. Grab some items you have around the house and make a winter wonderland for your child to enjoy.
Related : DIY Fake Snow For Sensory Play
Easter Egg Water Scoop
Kids love sensory activities, and they also love playing in water. An Easter egg water scoop activity will keep your 2-3 year old busy for awhile.
It’s definitely a crowd pleaser, and I suggest putting down a towel to reduce your clean up. All you have to do is put Easter eggs into a container of water, and give your child a spoon or cup for scooping them.
He will have tons of fun!
Ocean Scene Jello Toy Dig Sensory Bin
Young children LOVE to get messy! Their little hands and minds are so eager to dig into whatever materials they can find.
One fun and messy sensory experience for babies, toddlers, or preschoolers is playing with Jell-O . In fact, any gelatin material will provide endless fun and sensory play for your child. Simply mix in some toys or fun new objects and you’ve got an exciting new activity for your little one.
Fall Farm Festival Scavenger Hunt
Fall is the perfect time to head to local pumpkin patches or apple orchards. You can add to the fun by bringing along a fall farm scavenger hunt. It keeps your child entertained and watching for everything on the list!
Pom Pom Tube Drop
This PomPom Tube Drop activity is very simple and only requires 3 items. Most of them you probably already have at home, making it one of our favorite activities for 2-3 year olds. I love when I have what is needed on hand!
Fine Motor Activities for 2 – 3 Year Olds
Roll, squish, and shape playdough into various forms, allowing your little ones to exercise their fine motor skills and unleash their creativity.
Provide large, colorful beads and a shoelace or string. Encourage your child to thread the beads, enhancing their hand-eye coordination.
Finger painting is a fantastic fine motor activity. Give your child non-toxic finger paints and let them explore their artistic talents on paper.
Related Post: Why are Fine Motor Skills Important?
Learning With Letters and Numbers
Hide foam letters around the room or outside and have your child find them. Or as an alternative write letters and have your child find items that begin with that letter.
As they find each letter, you can say its name together, helping them become familiar with the alphabet.
Create number cards and corresponding cards with the same number of dots or objects. Let your child match the numbers, introducing them to early math concepts.
Use everyday objects like buttons or candies to practice counting. Count them together, and make it a game to see who can count the most.
Fill a container with rice, beans, or sand and hide small toys or objects within. Your child will enjoy digging and discovering hidden treasures, stimulating their sense of touch.
On a warm day, set up a water table or simply provide bowls of water and various containers. Let them pour, splash, and experiment with water.
Take nature walks and encourage your child to touch leaves, flowers, and rocks. Describe the different textures and colors they encounter.
You don’t need a planned activity for your toddler or preschooler each day. Free play is always a favorite, but try adding a few planned activities to your week. It will help your child develop new skills and have fun, especially when it’s too cold to go outside!
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20+ Best Learning Activities for 2-Year-Olds Every Parent Must Try Once
7 Educational Activities for 2 Year Olds
7 developmental activities for 2 year olds, 8 fun activities for 2 year olds with no prep, no mess, get started now.
We know that parenting a toddler can be both rewarding and challenging, so we’ve put together a list of activities to help your little one learn and grow while having lots of fun. Welcome to our guide of 20+ fun and learning activities for 2 year olds!
From simple crafts and games that help with fine motor skills to more active pursuits that will get your toddler moving, there’s something here for everyone. And the best part is that most of these activities can be done using things you already have around the house, so there is no need to go out and buy anything special.
We hope you enjoy trying out these activities with your toddler and that they help make your days a little bit brighter.
1. Color Sorting
What you’ll need: Construction paper in different colors, crayons, markers, or paint
What to do: Cut out different shapes from each color of construction paper. Talk about the different colors with your toddler as they sort the shapes. You can also have them trace the shapes with crayons, markers, or paint.
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What kids will learn: This activity is great for promoting color recognition and fine motor skills. Toddlers also learn about shapes as they play.
2. Letter Matching
What you’ll need: Construction paper, scissors, crayons, markers, or paint
What to do: Cut out different letters from construction paper. Talk about the different letters with your toddler as they match them up. You can also have them trace the letters with crayons, markers, or paint.
What kids will learn: This activity is great for promoting letter recognition and fine motor skills. Learning letters early can also help your toddler with reading and writing later on.
3. Pattern Matching
What to do: Cut out different patterns from construction paper. Talk about the different patterns with your toddler as they match them up. You can also have them trace the patterns with crayons, markers, or paint.
Some patterns that toddlers can work with include stripes, polka dots, and zigzags.
What kids will learn: This activity promotes pattern recognition and fine motor skills. It also helps toddlers develop their problem-solving skills.
4. Play Math and Reading Games Online
What you’ll need: A computer with internet access
What to do: Many great math and reading games for toddlers are available online. Spend some time playing these games with your toddler to help them learn new skills. Ensure that children aren’t spending too much time looking at screens. For toddlers, 20–30 minutes is enough screen time.
What kids will learn: This activity encourages children to improve their math and reading skills. Toddlers also learn about computer use and basic game skills.
5. Put Together a Simple Toy Train Set
What you’ll need: A toy train set, such as the Thomas the Tank Engine Wooden Railway Starter Set.
What to do: Let your toddler help you put together a simple toy train set. They can connect the track pieces, place the trains on the tracks, and press the buttons to make them go.
What kids will learn: This activity promotes problem-solving, fine motor skills, and hand–eye coordination. Toddlers also learn about cause and effect as they play.
6. Paint With Watercolors
What you’ll need: Watercolors, paintbrushes, water, and paper.
What to do: This is a classic activity that toddlers will love! They can experiment with mixing the colors, painting different strokes, and adding water to create different effects.
What kids will learn: This activity is great for promoting art and creativity. Toddlers also learn about colors and mixing different shades.
7. Talk to Your Baby
What you’ll need: Nothing!
What to do: One of the best activities for 2 year olds, this is a great way to promote language development. Talk to your toddler about anything and everything. Describe what you’re doing, such as “I’m making lunch.” or “I’m putting on my shoes.” You can also ask them questions and encourage them to answer.
What kids will learn: This activity is great for promoting language development. Toddlers also learn about communication and conversation.
1. Trace the Body
W hat you’ll need: Paper, a pencil, and some crayons or markers
What to do: Help your toddler trace their body on a piece of paper. Then, they can decorate it however they like! This is a great way to encourage creativity and self-expression.
What kids will learn: This activity is great for promoting art and creativity. Toddlers also learn about their own bodies and how to use different art supplies.
2. Get Dressed
What you’ll need: Some clothes, shoes, and a mirror.
What to do: One of the most important activities for 2 year olds is to learn how to get dressed independently. You can start with simple clothing items, such as a shirt or pants. Show them how to wear clothing and then let them try it themselves. As they get better at dressing themselves, you can add more items, such as shoes, socks, and jackets.
This is a great activity to do when you are vacationing with the family as you can afford the time and patience it needs to help your kids learn how to button their shirts or tie their shoes correctly.
What kids will learn: This activity is great for promoting fine motor skills and independence. Toddlers also learn about different types of clothing and how to put them on.
3. Put Toys Away
What you’ll need: A toy box or bin and some toys.
What to do: Show them how to put the toys away in the toy box or bin. As they get better at this, you can add more toys or make it a game by timing them to see how fast they can put the toys away.
What kids will learn: This is a great activity for teaching toddlers about organization and responsibility. It is also a good way to promote problem-solving skills. Toddlers thus learn about cleaning up.
4. Clap to the Beat
What you’ll need: Some music or you can clap your hands yourself
What to do: Help your toddler clap their hands to the beat of the music. As they get better at this, you can add other body parts, such as their feet or head.
What kids will learn: This activity is great for promoting music and rhythm skills. Toddlers also learn about following directions.
5. Read to Your 2 Year Old
What you’ll need: Any good picture books, like The Very Hungry Caterpillar or The Cat in the Hat .
What to do: This activity is great for promoting literacy skills. Sit down with your toddler and read one of their favorite books . As they get better at this, you can start asking them questions about the story or having them point out different objects in the book.
What kids will learn: This activity is great for promoting literacy skills. Studies show that early exposure to reading is linked with higher reading achievement later in life. Toddlers also learn about communication and conversation.
6. Imitate Animal Sounds
What you’ll need: A video or audio recording of animal sounds, or you can make the sounds yourself.
What to do: This activity is great for promoting listening skills. Help your toddler identify different animal sounds. You can play a recording of the sounds or make them yourself. As they get better at this, you can start asking them questions about the animals, such as “Where does a lion live?” or “What does a cow eat?”
What kids will learn: This activity is great for promoting listening skills. Toddlers also learn about animals, their sounds, and maybe their habitats.
7. Play Kitchen Assistant
What you’ll need: A play kitchen, some pots and pans, and some plastic food
What to do: Show your toddler how to pretend to cook in the play kitchen. Let them help you stir the pots and pans or cut up the plastic food. As they get better at this, you can start asking them to make specific dishes.
Some 2 year old development activities that can be done in a real kitchen include; helping to pour ingredients into a bowl, using a child-safe knife to help cut soft foods, or helping to stir—all with adult supervision!
What kids will learn: This activity is great for promoting imaginative play. Toddlers also learn about cooking and following directions.
1. Pillow Roller Coasters
What you’ll need: Pillows, blankets, and a lot of space on the floor.
What to do: Create a pillow roller coaster for your toddler to ride. They will love going up and down the hill. As they get better at this, you can start asking them to go faster or slower.
You could create a smaller pillow road for their toy vehicles. Children can hold a race with their toy cars and make them go up and down the road.
Remote-controlled tanks or any other remote-controlled toy can also be used for this activity.
After your 2-year-old is done playing with the pillow roller coaster, you can just put the pillows, blankets, and toy cars away—no mess to clean up!
What kids will learn:
This activity is great for promoting gross motor skills. Toddlers will also learn about ramps and the energy needed to go up and down the slopes. This basic experiential learning can help them in their future physics classes.
2. Rescue Animals (from zip-lock bags)
What you’ll need: Clear zip-lock bags and small plastic animals.
What to do: Put their animals in clear zip-lock bags. Now ask them to help the animals get out by using their hands or opening the zip.
You can say, “I see the lion is roaring. It wants to come out. Can you help him?”
You can also put different kinds of objects in the zip-lock bags, like fruits, vegetables, leaves, etc. This will help your toddler learn about different textures and shapes.
After they are done playing with this activity, you can store animals and zip-lock bags separately or throw them in the toy box just as they are.
What kids will learn: Such games and 2 year old activities help kids learn about animal names, sounds, and textures. It also helps them develop their fine motor skills.
3. Balloon Pop
What you’ll need: Balloons and a sharp object (like a pin or a needle).
What to do: Help your toddler blow up the balloon and then let them pop it with the sharp object. Be sure to supervise them closely so that they don’t hurt themselves.
Your toddler will have a blast popping the balloons. The toddlers love the loud noise of the balloons popping and the feeling of popping them.
This activity can get a little messy since the balloon bits will be scattered around. But, it is easy to clean up—gather all the pieces and throw them away.
What kids will learn: This activity is great for promoting gross motor skills and hand–eye coordination. Toddlers will also learn about cause and effect as they see that their actions (popping the balloon) result in the desired outcome (the balloon makes a loud noise and pops).
4. Origami for Toddlers
What you’ll need: Square pieces of colored paper
What to do: Origami is the Japanese art of paper folding. There are many simple origami shapes that even toddlers can make.
You can start with something simple like a paper airplane or a boat. Just fold the paper in half and then in half again. Then, help your toddler make the folds to create the shape. Once they get the hang of it, they’ll be able to do it on their own.
We all know 2-year-olds love to display their creations, so be sure to have a spot ready to showcase their origami masterpieces.
What kids will learn: This activity is great for promoting fine motor skills and concentration. Toddlers will also learn about following instructions and different shapes.
5. Magnetic Letters
What you’ll need: Magnetic letters (you can find these at your local dollar store or online) and a metal surface
What to do: Stick the magnetic letters on the fridge or any other metal surface. Then, help your toddler spell out words with the letters. You can start with simple three-letter words and then move on to more difficult words.
You can even use these magnetic letters to offer clues to your toddler during a treasure hunt or pass on messages like a detective.
What kids will learn: This activity is great for promoting literacy skills and creativity. Toddlers will also learn about the alphabet, spelling, and simple words.
6. Decorating with Clothes Pegs
What you’ll need: Clothes pegs and containers or surfaces to decorate
What to do: Accept it: Painting with your baby can be a messy affair. Clothes pegs allow you to bring a pop of color and beautiful works of art together. And, with this method, you don’t have to worry about paint stains.
Just let your toddler put clothes pegs around the containers or surfaces. You can even use them to create patterns or shapes.
If you want, you can paint the clothes pegs before your toddler starts decorating or buy cheap plastic clothes pegs in different colors. This will add an extra layer of color and fun to the activity.
What kids will learn: This activity is great for promoting creativity and imagination early in children. They will learn that anything can be turned into a work of art with a little bit of creativity.
7. Transfer Books and Toys From One Box to Another
What you’ll need: Two cardboard boxes with lids and some toys or books
What to do: You will be surprised how much a toddler loves to help you do a chore and win compliments and hugs from you. It is a great way to keep them occupied while you’re busy with other things.
To set up, put some toys or books in one box and then close the lid. Then, have your toddler transfer the items into the other box. You can even make it a race to see who can transfer the most items in a minute.
You can easily make this a sorting and organizing activity, asking them to sort books, toys, or other objects by colors, shapes, or sizes.
What kids will learn: This activity is great for promoting fine motor skills and concentration in toddlers. It is also a good opportunity for parents to inculcate a sense of responsibility and ownership in their toddlers and build their confidence.
8. Play with Kinetic Sand
W hat you’ll need: Kinetic sand and some plastic toys
What to do: If you haven’t played with kinetic sand before, you’re in for a treat. It’s a type of sand that’s moldable and easy to shape. And it’s also very therapeutic to play with.
Let your toddler explore the sand and mold it into different shapes. You can even use the sand to make patterns or write words. If you want, you can add some plastic toys to the mix and see how your toddler plays with them.
And it does not create any mess! You can easily store the sand in a container when you’re done playing.
What kids will learn: This activity is great for promoting creativity and imagination in toddlers. They will also learn about different textures and how they can be manipulated.
Learning activities for 2 year olds must be creative, hands-on, and FUN! Parents must realize that a young child’s attention span can be short. So, the activities must be structured to maintain their interest, even outdoor activities for 2 year olds must be engaging and interesting. The key is to keep it short and sweet.
Do you need some “you” time? Engage your toddlers in one of the fun activities for 2 year olds mentioned above and take that five-minute break. These activities will not only occupy your toddler but also help their overall development.
Here are more online educational resources for kids that will help with their learning experience and make them smarter.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
How to decide which activity is age-appropriate for 2 year olds.
Most two-year-olds can start with sorting shapes and colors, finding things hidden under objects, and doing simple puzzles. They may complete sentences in books they read regularly, follow two-step instructions, and love make-believe games. Activities built around developmental milestones for toddlers can help them progress to the next level.
What are some engaging indoor activities for two year olds that require few or no equipment?
Here are some indoor activities for 2 year olds that don’t require much equipment, if at all:
- transferring books and toys from one box to another
- sorting objects by colors, shapes, or sizes,
- playing with kinetic sand or clay,
- playing online learning games .
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Home › Blog › toddler › 80 Things to do with 2 Year Olds
80 Things to do with 2 Year Olds
Published Jan 26, 2023
Updated Sep 28, 2023
If you are looking for ideas as to what to do with your toddler today, you have come to the right place. We have a big list of activities for 2 year olds, toddler games, 2 year old toys and fun things to do with toddlers. Pssst…while this list was created with your 2 year old in mind, younger and older toddlers will enjoy many of the things we have selected.
Best Things to do with 2 Year Olds
As my youngest toddler is crossing the threshold and becoming a three-year old, but before they do I want them to get the most out of this year so here are 80 of the BEST Activities for 2 Year Olds !
Related: More activities for 2-year olds
These are either things that my two year old enjoyed or would if we had thought of doing them this last year! These toddler activities and toddler games are guaranteed to keep little hands busy with great ideas in a bunch of different ways.
2 Year Olds Love to Play
While every 2 year old is going to be a little different, one of the common traits found in 2-3 year old toddlers is that they love to play. In fact, anything they do turns into toddler games!
I absolutely love that about two year old children…everything they play turns into toddler games. It is something we should all learn from!
Toddler Physical Abilities – Gross Motor Skills
Physically, toddlers are active participants in almost any activity that includes climbing, kicking, running (short distances), scribbling, squatting, hopping and the way they walk starts to appear more like an adult or child than a baby. It is amazing how quickly those gross motor skills develop.
Activities for Two Year Olds – Fine Motor Skills
Toddlers also learn learn coordination through play. Picking things up, grasping, using fingers together and independently, pinching things, holding a crayon, hand-eye coordination and so many other fine motor skills are mastered through simple games and activities.
Toddler Activities to enhance mental & social abilities
Mentally, two year olds are grasping language with more skill, being more thoughtful and starting to strategize and hold concepts. In fact, it is at age 2 that toddlers often start running through scenarios in their head that can predict outcomes of actions.
Oh, and don’t forget that important toddler social component as well…remember that everything is toddler games to a two year old.
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Fun things to do with 2 Year Olds to explore color
1. let’s make leftovers art.
Create colorful art using leftovers from around the house. Got different colors of scraps of paper, felt, and other odds and ends from other 2 year old crafts? These are perfect to create a wonderfully abstract masterpiece!
2. Play with Erupting Rainbow Chalk Paint
Side walk chalk is always a fun outdoor activity for kids. Let them create colorful designs and pictures. Then add a bit of science. Let them use a spray bottle of vinegar to watch their creations puff up!
3. Color Learning Activities For 2 Year Olds
Create a color wheel by painting each section of a pie chart a color. Then pick out little toys and trinkets that are the same color. Once you have a basket of goodies allow your child to put each item in its corresponding color. This is such a fun way to learn the colors even on a rainy day.
4. Let’s Make a Summer Time Bucket List for 2 Year Olds
Get outside in the summer time and have fun with one of these simple busy toddler activities or make your summer exciting and try to do them all. It will keep your 2 year old active, exploring, moving, and learning each day.
5. Create Rainbow Hand Kites
These rainbow hand kites are an amazing way to not only learn colors, but to appreciate them as well! Your child will be mesmerized by the way the colorful ribbons and dance and flow with each movement in different ways.
6. Play a Color Wheel Game
Sorting is something that teaches kids patterns , helps them to learn how to differentiate, and is *fun* for little kids! The best part is, toddlers have multiple ideas for learning colors so these activities for 2 year olds never gets dull and are so much fun.
7. Make Rainbow Healthy Gummies Together
Help your kids eat all the colors of the rainbow – these gummy snacks for kids are fun to make, and tasty for even picky kiddos. Your 2 year old will never know they’re eating fruits and veggies, they taste so good.
8. Let’s Play Color And Word Games For 2 Year Olds
Jump through the different shapes and colors with a DIY hopscotch-like mat . Your child must follow the path across the mat by following the same color or the same shape. Plus, looking for some fun activities to do at home to teach your toddler words? There is also a magnetic word game as well!
Related: Try easy handprint art project today!
Easy craft Activities for 2 Year Olds
9. paintsicles are fun for toddlers.
Make finger painting more exciting by freezing paint in ice cubes for a cool colorful project. Do single colors, mix colors, add glitter, make it unique. Either way, your 2 year old will get to make a neat art project and work on their fine motor skills. It is a win-win.
10. Have Fun with a Sibling Made Toddler Puzzle
Need fun activities at home for older kids? Get an older sibling to paint a picture and turn it into a toddler puzzle . They can do a portrait, make a train, or whatever else your 2 year old may fancy. Plus, it is a great way to get your children to bond and promote kindness.
11. Painting With Cookie Cutters
Make prints with plastic letters – a great way to play with color and the alphabet at the same time. Not only is this a fun way to teach your 2 year old about letters, but it is a great way to start teaching them about words!
12. Teaching Your 2 Year Old About Germs
The year 2020 brought a sobering reminder that germs are very real. Making your own hand sanitizer and cleaning your toddlers hands with homemade hand sanitizer is a great way to remind them we must always clean our hands!
Related: toddler crafts
13. Fork Painted Fish Craft
Get creative with paint. Use different objects to make prints. Check out this forked fish . The texture is so neat and makes the fish looks like it has scales. Mix colors, make zig zags, stagger the strokes, these fish are your canvas!
14. Make Paper Plate Roses Together
Roses are such beautiful flowers with such deep meanings. Now your toddler can make their own Paper Plate Roses . They are colorful, fun, and an easy craft for your toddler. The best part is you can make different colored ones! All you need is different colored paper plates.
15. Let’s Play with Kids Face Painting
Face painting is something that my kiddos love. The first thing they do with markers is draw on themselves. Now you can put together a face painting kit! Use non-toxic paints and markers in your kits and add things like napkins, a towel, paintbrushes, and a couple other items you they will need.
16. Hey, Let’s Make DIY Chalk
Another favorite at our house is diy side walk chalk . They love to smash the chalk to bits in colorful blotches. Make your own paintable chalk version. Or you could make spray chalk, erupting ice chalk, glow in the dark chalk, there are so many options.
17. Oh So Many Crafts For 2 Year Olds
Get crafting with our huge list of toddler crafts . We have over 100 toddler crafts available from parents and bloggers just like you! From painting, tea parties, dry erase games, educational activities, dress up, gifts,, we have a little bit of everything!
18. Let’s Paint with Bathtub Paint
Bathtub paint for kids is one of our favorite ways to make bath time fun! It is so easy to make! You probably have most of the ingredients already in your pantry.
19. Sensory Paint Play
Explore different textures! Paint on unusual surfaces, like bubble wrap with your kids. You can add other textures like pebbles and beads! Paint in a bin, on skin, it is fun and makes finger painting more exciting.
Related: More easy crafts for toddlers & preschoolers
Sensory Activities for 2 Year Olds
20. easy rainbow pasta fun.
Rainbow Spaghetti is a fun medium for kids to explore. Dye it for extra fun. Noodles have a very squishy and sticky texture, it is fun to place with, safe if your toddler puts it in their mouth, plus, save some for later for a fun dinner.
21. Kool Aid Shaving Cream Sensory Play
Shaving cream is a great sensory tool for kids. Add Koolaid for colors and scent variations. If you want to make this a little safer for 2 year olds and babies who may still stick their fingers in their mouths you can substitute shaving cream for Cool Whip.
23. Make a Paper Plate Bird Craft
Feathers are a fun thing to craft and play with. Create a fun, colorful bird in this preschool craft. This is a fun and colorful craft, not only because of the paint, but because of the rainbow feathers! Feathers are such a fun texture to play with.
24. Play in a Rainbow Sensory Tub
Pasta is a blast to play with in a sensory tub . Dye it and add some element shapes for kids to have fun digging, sorting, and touching. Add in colorful rings and plastic coins for even more textures. Add cups for the kids to shake the noodles and trinkets around.
25. Process Art is Fun Toddler Play
Kids love big canvases . Keep one around the house for your kids to paint whenever the desire strikes. Let them spray the paint, mix it, use rollers, and brushes to create a giant, beautiful, piece of art.
26. Rainbow Finger Bath Paint
If you don’t like mess, maybe the bath tub will be a better place for your kids to explore color mixing . These paints are non-toxic and safe for kids and your bathtub and the best part is, while they’re learning their colors you won’t be scrubbing paint off of chairs and the floor.
27. Make a Confetti Collage
Give your kids a hole punch and colorful sheets of paper. They will have a blast creating confetti – and afterwards craft with the bits. Use a paintbrush and glue and then sprinkle the confetti on top to create a rainbow masterpiece.
28. Play with Rainbows
Preschoolers can learn about more than color as they explore. This is a fun rainbow-themed math activity . It uses paint, toilet paper rolls, stickers, clay, and coins! Who knew math could be so fun?
Related: Oh so many toddler sensory bin ideas!
Indoor Sensory Games for 2 Year Olds
29. playdough, beads, and pipe cleaners toddler activities.
Add pipe cleaners and large beads to playdough play – it will help your kids develop fine motor skills . Plus, they create all sorts of creatures and monsters! Let their imaginations run wild.
30. Stacking Cups for Gross Motor Play
Two year olds have fun rolling stacking cups , and pretending to drink/eat. Add beans or rice and let them scoop and pour. Even better, let them shake them all around to make neat sounds. Worried they’ll put a bean in their mouth? Use Fruity Pebbles instead any round cereal like Coco Puffs or Cheerios for their toddler game.
31. Make Chocolate Ice Cream Play Dough
Chocolate Ice Cream , our preschoolers love to eat it – and this play dough recipe smells delish! Let them pretend to work at an ice cream shop. Give them other color playdough to make sprinkles and cherries! Just a heads up, this chocolate ice cream playdough may smell amazing, however, it is not edible! A taste won’t hurt, it won’t taste good, but this is not one of our edible recipes.
32. Creative Activities For Toddlers At Home
Rice is a fun sensory table addition. It’s cheap and easy to find, and kids love the texture falling through their fingers. Add wooden spoons, tiny cups, hide treasure in the rice, let them pour the rice through a funnel.
33. Arts And Crafts For 2 Year Olds
Toddler art projects can be daunting. Here are 10 easy and fun sensory arts and crafts for two year olds. Promote imaginary play with an ice cream dough bar, play with water beads, paint with yogurt, and there are so many more fun activities to choose from.
34. Who Made That Footprint
Make footprints in playdough with your 2 year old’s favorite toys, then see if they can match the footprints to the toys! It is such a cute game and a great problem solving game as they have to match each footprint with their toys. Plus, it teaches about body parts like feet as they have to search for toys with feet.
35. Let’s Make Homemade Story Stones
Story-telling is a great way to help toddlers develop language patterns and learn sequencing of events. Make your own story stones using pictures of: animals, bugs, aliens, toys, and automobiles. Put them all in a basket and then let the pick one at a time to continue the story.
36. Play Concentration Game
Play a learning game of concentration with your kiddo. Put three items up and remove one. Have your child identify which object was removed. It is a great way to work on problem solving and refine your child’s memory and teaches them to pay attention.
37. Playdough Kabobs are Fun to Make
Make Kabobs of play dough. Form beads and thread them. Great way for kids to explore texture and motor control . Plus it will teach your child about colors and they can count each playdough balls.
38. Fruity Bubble Tea for Play
Water beads are the rage. Here are water beads that toddlers can play with, and even eat as part of a bubble tea . It is a fun texture to play with, to eat, plus they’re full of calories if your child doesn’t like to eat a lot.
Related: Make healthy snacks for toddlers
Outdoor Games for 2 Year Olds
39. play in a mud pie kitchen.
Mudpies!! It’s a quintessential kids activity – make an mini-outdoor kitchen for your kids to cook and create in. Use a wooden crate and add a bowl, a whisk, spoons, pans, a kettle full of water, and don’t forget the chalkboard menu.
40. Colored Cloud Dough Play
Cloud dough is so soft and squishy, they will play with it for hours. Plus, it is made from a lot of things you may already have at home. It is a fun sensory craft for 2 year olds. Let them build, squish, and smash this soft cloud dough.
41. Make Sandbox On Wheels
Sandboxes are a mess… but what if they were small, easy to cover, and you could drag it into the garage when you were done?? Win! This is a sandbox on wheels . Pile on the toys to hide them and keep your yard clean.
42. Ways To Spend Time With Your 2 Year Old
When was the last time you surprised your child with a picnic – for breakfast? This site has a bunch of other creative ways to connect with your kids. It has great tips to spend time with your kids everyday even in the smallest of moments.
43. Playing with Frozen Water Beads
On a hot afternoon, frozen water beads are a huge hit! Fill a big bucket with them. They’re cold and great for a hot day, but you can spray water on them to thaw them out. There textures change and it makes a fun sensory bin.
44. Outdoor Activities For Toddlers
Do your kids hide in clothes at a department store? Mine do! Recreate that experience by hanging fabric for your kids to run through at home. You can hang sheets, blankets, dresses, long shirts and let them run through!
45. DIY Outdoor Sound/Music Station
This is so cool! Create a sound/music station for your 2 year old using pots, pans, racks, and bells. Bang the afternoon away with a fun musical wall – attach it to a fence in your back yard.
46. Nature And Water Play For Toddlers
It’s a soup!! Only you can’t eat it. This soup is made from flower petals and cut up fruit and water. Smells lovely, and is a hit with the kids! You can add other things too like leaves, stones, and stir with sticks or spoons. Make this nature soup your own.
47. Egg Carton Color Sorting
Use egg cartons to help your kids differentiate between colors with this fun sorting activity . Paint each egg carton a different color and then fill a bowl full of pom poms. Put each pom pom in its correlating colors. If you use spoons and tongs it also helps refine your child’s fine motor skills.
48. How To Make Sponge Bombs
Sponge bombs are the BEST! Make a big batch of them, and add them to your tots bath toys . They also make amazing summer toys as well! Plus, they’re safer for 2 year olds than water balloons.
49. Sidewalk Simon Game
Play with all the colors of the rainbow in this fun Simon Says game . This is a fun outdoors game that will teach your 2 year old about colors while keeping them moving. Say a color and they will need to hop to that color.
50. Cardboard Boat For 2 Year Olds
Card board boats are a blast. This is a fun pretend version you can add to your backyard. It will be loved until it can no longer hold it together anymore. It promotes pretend play, and if you’re able to tape boxes together or use a large box there will even be room for you!
51. Rainbow Bubble Snakes
2 year olds love bubbles, colors, and messy activities! These rainbow bubble snakes are all 3! Bubbles are a blast, especially lots of them. These bubble snakes are perfect for kids who want to learn to blow or who love popping bubbles and they are rainbow!
Related: Things to do with toddlers
Fun Toddler Activities for Two Year Olds who are active
52. exploring color theory.
Summer time ice-cube sculptures. Your two year old can stack colored blocks of ice and watch the colors melt together. Not only is this a fun way to beat the heat, but it is a fun way to learn colors and learn about mixing colors like red and blue make purple. Make this even more fun, and tasty, and freeze different color Kool-Aid’s!
53. Make a Snack Together
Is your child a snacker? Spend time together cooking and make a batch of snacks for toddlers and have a picnic together. Make popsicles from real fruit, muffins, fruit snacks, yogurt gummies, trail mix and more.
54. Water Bead And Flower Sensory Tub
Do your kids love flowers?? Mine do! Check out this flower sensory bin . Add water beads and different flowers and water! This changes the texture of the water beads and each flower feels different as some will be wet and others dry. Dip your hands or feet in the bin.
55. Let’s Make an Indoor Fort Together
Who doesn’t love pillow forts? Building forts and hanging out inside forts is a blast for kids. They love cubbies to crawl into. We love these indoor forts for toddlers . There are 25 to choose from and each one is cool and unique in its own right.
56. Pretend Play is Toddler Fun
Pretend play is such an important thing for kids to do. It promotes social skills, cooperative play, and problem solving. Young preschoolers are just beginning to play pretend. These 75+ Pretend games help them build an imaginary world .
57. Watermelon Activities
Your kids don’t need to have blocks to build. Use chunks of watermelon this summer with your preschoolers. Not only can you build with it, but you can make squish bags, math bags, and best of all, snack!
58. No-Mess Finger Painting
You can fill bags of paint for kids to squish and trace in as mess free finger paint . It is clean play so you don’t have to worry about any scrubbing or baths afterwards. They can still draw pictures in the paint and even mix the colors.
59. Play with a Ball Maze
Drop the ball through a fun maze – your kids can create and explore with long paper tubes. You could even use toy cars with this maze. Either way, it is a lot of fun! All you need is cardboard tubes, can boxes, cutting utensils and a hot glue gun as well as ping pong balls.
60. Spaghetti Shop Play
Promote pretend play with this fun activity. Make an “invitation to play” for your kids cooked noodles (plain and red dyed), paper plates, tongues, forks and strainers – it’s a pasta party ! Not only will it promote pretend play, but using tongues and letting two year olds move noodles from various containers is a great way to promote fine motor skill practice.
61. Play with Learning Letters
Water – everything is more fun with water. Use a squirt gun or spray bottle to learn the letters with your toddler. Write letters on a chalkboard. They can be in order or they can be all mixed up. Then name a letter and let your child find it and spray it with a water bottle to erase it from the lineup. A normal water bottle may be hard for 2 year olds, so a wet rag or sponge could also work.
Related: Kids-creative activities at home
Fun 2 Year Old Activities for Home
62. quiet play for toddlers.
It isn’t often you can get 2 year olds to be quiet or settle down. But this toilet paper activity is perfect. You don’t need fancy toys to build towers . Use toilet paper – if your kids are like mine, they will enjoy unraveling a roll or two, too. But they can build, drive cars over and around them, and knock them down!
63. Water Play Ideas For 2 Year Olds
We have 20 easy young toddler water play ideas will get them outside on a hot day! Splash in puddles, dance in the rain, wash the car, build your own water table, paint with water, and there are many more fun ideas that you can do together!
64. Five Senses Exploration
Learn all about the five senses with this fun printable for kids . This is such a well-rounded sensory activity as it focuses on: touching, hearing, smelling, sight, and tasting. It is a great way to teach 2 year olds about the world around them and help them explore different textures and different items around them.
65. Simple Play With A Ramp
This is one of our go-to activities for 2 year olds. Grab a box – it can be a terrific launch ramp for toy cars. If you have stairs you can lay the box against them or if you don’t a chair or the couch. But then watch the cars and bikes fly!
66. Make Toddler Friendship Bracelets
Toddler friendship bracelets are a fun way to practice cutting and threading fine motor skills. Plus, they are super cute! Cut up different colored straws and use the pieces as beads and loop them onto a pipe cleaner.
67. Easy Indoor Ring Toss For Toddlers
Use a lump of play dough and a wooden spoon to create a pole to toss rings on. This is a great way for kids to develop hand-eye coordination. Use plastic bracelets as the rings.
68. Bucket List For Toddlers
Encourage your kids to be active with one of these 25 super simple activities . We have silly activities like singing into a fan (robot voice!) and simple activities like moping the floor with socks, or building forts, and so many more! Your 2 year old will love them all!
69. Free Quiet Book Template
Create a quiet book to entertain your 2 year olds during nap time or another calm period. This free template helps you put together a book full of fun felt puzzles and activities. It will keep your child busy for hours!
70. Toddler Kerplunk Game
Kerplunk is such a fun classic game and is one of our favorite activities for 2 year olds. Grab a spaghetti strainer and some pom-poms for a fun game. Don’t worry the plastic sticks aren’t sharp because they are straws! This is such a fun problem solving game!
71. Rock Sensory Box
Rocks . My kids love to play with them when they are at the park. Teach them not to throw rocks at home by making a simple sensory box with different size rocks that have various shapes, textures, weights and colors. You can start your rock box with rocks you find or purchase a variety of rocks on Amazon.
72. Edible Sand For 2 Year Olds
Do your kids want to play in the sandbox , but they are just a touch to young as they put everything in their mouths?? Create edible sand! All you need is a food processor and crackers! You could probably also use something like cheerios or graham crackers for a sweeter version of this edible sand. Either way, your 2 year old will love it!
73. Foam Block Building Ideas
Build with blocks in a water table – a fun outdoor experience. Trace the foam blocks with chalk! That way 2 year olds can learn colors and shapes. Work on your 2 year olds motor skills by sticking the foam blocks to sticky paper. Last, promote pretend play while working on your 2 year olds fine motor skills by letting them build. Use shaving cream as cement!
Related: easy toddler crafts
Encourage Independence through these 2 Year Old Activities
74. printable chore list.
Help foster independence and teach work ethic with ideas from our chore list for your preschooler. Each chore list is sectioned off by age groups. So there are lists for toddlers, preschoolers, elementary kids, older elementary kids, and middle schoolers.
75. Building Towers
Build towers with all the old boxes you can collect – use tape to keep them together and bring a step stool. Let the kids do all the “heavy lifting” (they’re empty so no back brace is needed) and then let them decorate their amazing towers with paint!
76. Introduction To A Ruler
Your kids may not understand lengths and how to use a ruler yet, but they can learn to intuitively grasp varying amounts with the help of scissors, play dough and a ruler. It is a great way to introduce tools they’ll need for school and work on their fine motor skills.
77. Fine Motor Activities For Toddlers At Home
Colanders and straws are the perfect way to help 2 year olds practice their fine motor skills. This can even be used as one of our fun games for 3 years old. It is simple, let your child stick straws through the holes in the colander. It will take precision to get them in!
78. DIY Cutting Station
Create a cutting station ! It is one of our fun activities to do at home. Not only is it fun, but helps your 2 year old practice their fine motor skills as well. Use a bucket and tie a pair of scissors to it. Hopefully, kids will keep the scraps contained this way.
79. Making Clean Up Fun
How to get kids to clean ? Make cleaning fun! Add music, set a timer, hide prizes around the room! Also breaking down the cleaning tasks and even taking a before an after picture will make it easier on kids and make them feel more accomplished for doing their chores.
80. Toddlers can Help Clean
Encourage your kids to contribute and clean with some of these tips. Mop the floors with socks! Make your own cleaner out of non-toxic items in your home and let your child spray and wipe! This will make cleaning fun, but also teach them responsibility.
Related: Toddler chores
How do you entertain a 2 year old all day?
If you have ever spent an entire day with a 2 year old, you have probably asked yourself this question of what in the world do I do with a 2 year old for EVERY WAKING HOUR! It can be exhausting and overwhelming to consider. There are several things to consider when planning out a toddler’s day:
- 8-9 Breakfast & Clean Up
- 9-10 Run errands
- 11-12 Shaving cream painting on back porch or in tub (without water)
- 12-1 Lunch & Clean Up
- 1-3:30 Quiet time then nap
- 3:30-5 Pick up older sibling, run to the library and toy time: blocks, cars, etc.
- 5-7 Family time and dinner
- 7 Bath and story time
- Toddler Activities as Play Prompts : Think of activities for 2 year olds as a play “starter”. It is an idea to inspire their own play. Don’t worry if they make the “right thing” or “play the right way”. The idea is to get them entertaining themself!
- Step Away During Toddler Play : When your toddler gets engrossed in play, step away and observe/supervise from a distance. This will help him/her to develop independence and the ability to entertain themselves with a lot of practice.
How do you mentally stimulate a 2 year old?
Toddlers are taking in everything around them all the time. It makes it really easy to mentally stimulate 2 year olds! The bottom line answer to how to stimulate a toddler mentally is…through play and experience. Here are some examples:
- Visit new places : Don’t worry that I am talking about exotic travel locations, any place is new to a 2 year old! Grocery stores, malls, parks, trails, backyards, different sidewalks, zoos, and anywhere you go is a new place to see, observe and learn. Let them look around. Talk about what they see. Let them soak up their surroundings.
- Read new books : Visit your local library regularly and let your toddler “shop” for new books. Choosing books from all the shelves and shelves of library books is fun and sitting down and reading those books at the library or at home is even better. Kids who are read to at a young age develop language skills faster and better.
- Be around friends and family : 2 year olds are social creatures and love to be around others so they can watch and learn. Expose your child to a lot of social situations from play dates to family reunions to large groups like sporting events or church.
What games are best for a 2 year old?
We have some casual games listed above, but if you are looking for card and board games that work well as a toddler’s first game, here are a few to try first!
- Monkey Around – The Wiggle & giggle Game from Peaceable Kingdom that gets 2 year olds moving
- Mr. Bucket – The spinning and moving bucket game from Pressman
- Elefun – This was my kids favorite toddler game – the elephant blows butterflies in the air that you need to catch with a butterfly net
- Where is Bear? The hide and find stacking block game from Peaceable Kingdom
- First Orchard – A HABA My Very First Games is a board game of cooperation for 2 year olds
More Kids Activities for 2 year olds & Beyond from Kids Activities Blog
- Chocolate Mug Cake Recipe
- Personalized Beach Towels
- Kid Halloween Costumes
- How to hold a Pencil
- Best Peach Cobbler Recipe
- How many Hugs do we need a day?
- Virtual Escape Room
- Kid Lunch Ideas
- Free Movies on YouTube
- DIY Halloween Costumes
- Imagination Library
- Free Learning Websites for Kids
- Nonalcoholic Frozen Drinks
- When is Opposite Day?
- Popsicle Recipes
- Pumpkin Crafts
Leave a Comment : Which of these toddler activities did your 2 year old enjoy the most? Did we miss a great activity on our list of toddler activities?
100s of Simple & Fun Activities For Toddlers Arts and Crafts for Kids Easy Crafts for Kids Indoor Kid’s Activities Kids Activities Kids Crafts Learn Colors Learning Activities Outdoor Kid’s Activities Things To Do With Kids toddler
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The toddler activities on this list are perfect for my nephew! He’s coming to stay with us this weekend, so I’ve been on the search for some fun ideas.
Thank you! I have looked for easy origami directions and ideas, and you have the best— by far! (The whole list is great!). Thanks for the ideas. 🙂
I’m about to start watching my two-year-old grandson twice a week – this is EXACTLY what I needed to get ready! Thank you!
What a wonderful resource list of toddler activities! I’m going to keep this in mind the next time I babysit my almost 2 year old granddaughter!
This list is so great with tons of great toddler activities that actually keep their attention and are easy to use. We will be going back to this over and over again!
Definitely bookmarking this list of toddler activities for the next time I’m babysitting the grandkids! These are great ideas and it’s been a long time since I had two year olds!
It can be so challenging to find toddler activities that not only keep them engaged, but hold their interest for longer than a few minutes, while making it educational, and fun. This is a solid list, packed with amazing ideas!
Happy Toddler Playtime
PLaY CReaTivEly WitH YoUr LiTtLe OnE
100+ No-Prep Indoor Activities for 2 & 3 Year Olds
Updated in 2023 with new no prep toddler activities! Are you looking for fast and easy activities to keep your toddler busy? No prep or low prep activities that are easy to clean up, engaging, education and fun? The you have come to the right place! Here is our ultimate list of the best super easy no-prep or low-prep activities you can do at home with your toddler or preschooler or 2 and 3 year olds .
Most Requested List on Social Media
I first put this list together back when we were all at home but it has quickly morphed into one of the most requested resources on social media. Hundreds of parents struggling to keep their toddlers busy at home message me on instagram requesting this list. These are the go to activities that I did with my 2 and 3 year olds at home and it will quickly become your go to as well.
I have updated the list with new activities and new pictures and more details.
I put this list together from the best kids activity blogs out there and I hope that it will help you through this time while at home. I will be updating this list periodically as I find more easy no and low-prep ideas. So keep checking back for new ideas. They will be at the top of the list.
Tips for Working Parents
If you are a parent who is now working from home, finding ways to entertain your kids all day can seen very daunting but with this list you will have a resource you can turn to that will help you through this tough time.
The best way to use this list is to go through it the night before and choose 2 or 3 ideas you think your kids will enjoy and you feel comfortable setting up. Write them down on stick them on the fridge so you can refer to them the next day.
Keeping the Mess Down
To help keep the mess down when it comes to doing easy painting or easy sensory activities take advantage of your bathtub! It’s a sure fire way to change the mood of any toddler and messy activities when done in the tub can be cleaner up with a turn of tap.
Supplies For No Prep Toddler Activities
(This post and list contains affiliate links for your convenience. If you make a purchase using one of these links, I may earn a commission. Please visit my disclosure policy for more information.)
For a quick guide to activity supplies check out my Amazon shop .
For more help on how to start to do activities with your kids check out this post for things to buy and save for kids activities.
These activities are things you can set up when your child comes to you and says, “I’m bored”. Most of them will take 5 minutes or less to set up. And although it’s hard to predict how long your child will play with an activities, it’s more than likely that they will play with these ideas for more than just 5 minutes!
Quick No Prep and Low-Prep Activities for Toddler
- 50+ Easy Things to Do at Home by Happy Toddler Playtime is a great list of 50+ super no prep activities to do at home with a 3 year old but can also be done with a 2 year old and even older children. That should be the first place you look for easy no-prep ideas. I created it when I was pregnant with my twins and I had a 3 year at home. It saved me on many many days. Click here to find the first 50 super easy and completely doable low prep activities for preschoolers here !
- Mega Blok Jumping
You’ll need Mega Bloks. Set up an indoor jumping range for your toddler using their Mega Blocks. This is a simple active activity that your toddler can help set up with you!
- Pillow Road
You’ll need pillows and cars or trucks. Create a pillow road for your toddlers favourite trucks and cars.
- Toilet Paper Rolling
You’ll need toilet paper and toys. Take a toilet paper roll, unroll is and place a toy at the end. Invite your little one roll is back up trying to keep the toy from falling off.
- Snack Names
You’ll need snack, paper and a marker. Write their name on a piece of paper with circles below each letter. Invite your toddler to place one snack in each circle and have them identify each letter and its sound. As they remove their snacks and eat them repeat the same thing.
- Sock Puzzles
You’ll need a sock and a wooden puzzle. Put wooden puzzle pieces inside a large sock and have your child put their hand in to find the pieces and complete the puzzle
You’ll need paper, marker and snacks. Count snacks on a piece of paper.
- Free the Animals
You’ll need animals and small ziplock bags. Place the animals inside and invite your toddler to open and free them.
- Dinosaur Bath
Put dinosaur toys in the bath
- Decorate your Diapers
Decorate diapers with permanent markers.
- Painting Bread
You’ll need white bread, food colouring and milk. Paint bread with edible paint and then eat it! Find out more here .
- Ice Sensory Bin – an easy idea that works in winter and summer
- Snowman Towers – build a snowman using paper towel rolls.
- 100+ Low -Prep Activities you can Do in Your Backyard by Little Pine Learners are a great set of fun activities to do outside.
- Paint with Kitchen Tools as Paint Brushes by Busy Toddler or with cotton balls.
- Do a craft together using kitchen tools. Check out this post of super easy crafts using a potato masher .
- Car bowling using bowling pins or toilet paper rolls and a car big enough to knock them over. Line the pins or rolls up and then use the car to knock them down.
- Alphabet Match is fun activity using fridge magnets and can be set up in 3 minutes!
- Tea Bag Water Play is a quick activity using herbal tea bags and water.
- Paper Tunnels and Balls by Toddler Approved can be set up in minutes and is fun for little and big kids.
- Pom Pom Number Sweep can be set up in 2 minutes and is fun for 2 and 3 year olds.
- Pouring Station by Busy Toddler is fun water sensory bin that is sure to entertain for more than 5 minutes!
- MegaBlok Names is a quick set up activity to practice name recognition.
- Foil Puzzle Presents is a great way to use a puzzle and has lots of ways to extend the play.
- Toddler Dot-to-Dot by What We Do All Day is a fun idea for Toddlers
- Build a Book Rainbow is a great way to use your children’s library in a fun way. It will lead to reading a few current favourites and some forgotten favourites as well.
- Sponge Letter Match uses sponges and letters and is fun for 2 and 3 years. It can also lead to lots of extending play.
- Animal Tape Rescue by Busy Toddler is a fun fine motor activity that toddlers will love!
- 10 Salad Spinner Toddler Activities is a list of 10 super easy to set activities to do with a salad spinner using items you already have at home.
- How to Make Paper Airplanes by The Best Ideas for Kids has a great full video tutorial. This idea is great for all ages.
- Spaghetti Drop for Toddlers is a quick activity using dried spaghetti and cardboard tubes. You can set it up in minutes.
- STEM Play Dough Building Challenge by Teaching 2 and 3 Year Olds. This is a fun idea that you can set up in less than 2 minutes and great for 4-6 year olds as well.
- Cloud Dough Kitchen uses a quick sensory recipe using flour and oil to create a taste-safe dough that is fun and easy to play with.
- Coin Sorting by Rhythms of Play is a fun sorting activity using coins and can be set up in 2 minutes. Great for 3-5 year olds.
- The Drop Anything Toddler Activity have your toddler drop markers, crayons or anything they can find that will fit down a cardboard tube! You can set this up in 2 minutes!
- Towel Holder and Rolls For Toddlers by Powerful Mothering using paper towel rolls and is great for toddlers.
- Feed the Animals by Little Ones Learn
- Cutting a Banana by Rhythms of Play is a great way to combine snack time and playtime. This is great for 2 and 3 year olds.
- Pom Pom Picnic by Happy Toddler Playtime is a fun pretend play activity that lasted for days in my house.
- DIY Sorter by Little Ones Learn is a fun diy activity using a cardboard box and random items in your house.
- Lego Color Sorting by Lorena & Lennox is a quick set up colour sorting activity that has the potential to lead to lots of free play!
- Colour Mixing Tea Party by Happy Toddler Playtime is a quick early colour mixing activity.
- Water Play for Toddlers – Fishing for Colors and Letters by Active Littles is a fun and easy water play activity for toddlers.
- Cardboard Box Wash & Paint by Happy Toddler Playtime for Toddler Approved is a great way mess free way to use a cardboard box.
- Dinosaur Hunting with Paint by Powerful Mothering is fun for 2 and 3 year olds using water colour paints.
- Pom Pom Water Transfer
You’ll need Pom Poms or sponges and two containers and water. Find out how to set it up here .
- Cookie Sheet Sensory Play by Twin Mom Refreshed is a quick to set up sensory activity.
- Stone Washing by Happy Toddler Playtime is a easy set cleaning activity using stones and shaving. Its not as messy as it sounds and will entertain for more than 5 minutes for sure.
- Wine Cork Push by Happy Toddler Playtime is a great way to use those wine corks you might accumulate while working from home with your kids!
- Paint Animals
View this post on Instagram A post shared by Mandisa | Happy Toddler Playtime (@happytoddlerplaytime)
51. Elastic Bands Around Feet
Take a few elastic bands and invite your toddler to pull them over there feet. Don’t use too many and remove them immediately after playing. This is great practice for putting on socks. You can also use scrunches!
- Cutlery Sorting
53. Dinner Plate Counting
54. Backyard Toy Painting
More No Prep and Low Prep Toddler Activities
55. Car Letters
56. Hand Sock Painting
- Window Washing
You’ll need sponges , water, soap and sensory bin or bowl.
- Pom Poms Mega Blok Colouring Sorting
Your’ll need Pom Poms, Mega Bloks and tongs. Turn your Mega Bloks upside down and use them to colour sort with Pom Poms.
59. Snack Necklaces
Serving snack? Why not turn it into an activity. All you need is string and a embroidery needle and snacks that are soft enough to thread the needle through or have holes or soft
60. Elastic Bands over Paper Towel
Grab some elastic bands and invite your toddler to see how many they can wrap around the paper towel roll.
61. Ivory Soap Experiment
You’ll need ivory soap, microwaveable plate and microwave. Unwrap bar Ivory Soap, place in the middle of the plate. Place in microwave and heat for 1- 2 minutes (about 1:30 is the sweet spot). Keep watching the entire time because it happens fast!
62. Turtle Boxes
You’ll need a cardboard box. Grab a cardboard box and place it on your toddlers back and pretend to be turtles. Can you hide in your shell? Decorate the outside of the shell with markers
63. Bug Whisk Rescue
You’ll need a whisk and small toys, Pom Poms or socks. Place toys like bugs or LEGO or Pom Poms or socks or cotton balls.
64. Book: Super STEAM Activity Book for Kids
Learning all about science, technology, engineering, art, and math sets kids up for scholastic success―and it can be so much fun! Watch kids enjoy building STEAM skills as they color friendly fish, help water find its way to tree roots, solve math problems with mazes, and more.
Find out more and grab your copy here .
Designed for preschoolers 3 years old and up.
65. Laundry Basket Dump Truck
You’ll need a laundry basket and heavy items like a bag of flour or bottle of vinegar or oil. Place some heavy items into a laundry basket and see if your toddler can move them around like a dump truck.
66. Balloon Bug Tennis
You’ll need a balloon and a cardboard tube like a paper towel roll.
67. LEGO Body Trace Activity for Kids
You’ll need larger butcher paper, LEGO DUPLO or MEGA BLOCKS and marker.
68. LEGO Finish the Animals
You’ll need butcher paper and LEGO and markers.
69. Step Stool Jumping
You’ll need: a step stool. Invite your toddler to climb and jump off the step stool!
70. Feed the Stuffed Animal Ball Relay Race
You’ll need: Plastic balls, cardboard boxes, stuffed animals. Place the plastic ball pit balls into a box on one end of room or backyard and an empty box on the other end. Place their favourite stuffed animals next to the empty box. Invite your toddler to use a spoon to scoop up a ball and walk it over to the box next to the stuffed animals. They can pretend to feed the animals the ball and then place it in the box. Repeat until all the balls have been transferred over.
71. Rescue the Animals
You’ll need pipe cleaners and animals. Wrap elastic bands around your under the sea creatures or farm animals. Invite your toddler to unwrap the animals to free them
72. Stick Ladder
You’ll need sticks. You can use broom sticks or even just painters tape and invite your little one to pretend that it’s a ladder that they have to climb up. Find more ways to play here .
73. Book Drop
You’ll need: books and a cardboard box and scissors. Does your toddler love to return library books at the library through the book drop? Well all three of mine do so I decided to turn it into a fun activity using a cardboard box!
74. Bubble Wrap Highway
You’ll need bubble wrap, painters tape, sharpie and cars. Use bubble wrap to create a highway for your toddlers toy cars and trucks.
75. Glow in the Dark Bowling
For toddlers use a larger ball so that hitting the balls is not so challenging. Grab some empty large water or pop bottles, fill them with glow sticks. Set them up in your basement or a room that you can make fairly dark and let them try and know them down!
76. Paper Towel Roll Towers
Grab some paper towel roll with the paper towels still on. You can even add some toilet paper rolls with the toilet paper still on. Full rolls for this activity and invite your toddler to stack them like giant blocks! We did activity in the winter and made snowmen out of them by adding buttons and a hat.
77. Fly Swatter Bubbles
You’ll need fly swatter and dish soap, water and a bowl. This bubble making activity is soo easy for toddlers and a great way to get out energy. And bonus no spilt bubble solution!! All you need is a fly swatter! Find out more here .
78. Clouds in the Sky Picture: Cotton Ball Gluing
You’ll need blue construction paper, glue and cotton balls. Invite your toddler to make a clouds in the sky picture glue the cotton balls to the blue construction paper.
79. Water Pouring Station
You’ll need bowls and cups and water and towel or sensory bin. Fill bowls and cups with water and place them on a towel. You don’t need lots of water to make this fun. Invite your toddler to pour the water in the bowl. If doing this in a sensory bin or outside you can add more water! or even colours with food colouring!
80. Ice Cream Cone Balloon Toss
You’ll need: balloons and brown construction paper. Twist your brown construction paper into a ice cream cone shape and use some tape to secure it. Blow up a balloon. Invite your toddler to toss the balloon in the air using the cone an try and catch it again!
81. Taste Test
You’ll need 4-5 containers and different foods that taste sweet (honey, chocolate), sour (lemon, lime), salty (chips, cucumber with salt) and bitter (kale). Invite your toddler to taste each one. Taste about how it tastes with them. What’s their favourite? Least favourite?
82. Pull the Pipe Cleaners
You’ll need pipe cleaners and a colander or container with small holes. Invite your toddler to insert the pipe cleaners in the colander and them remove them.
83. Spice Container Measuring
You’ll need spice containers. Measure different things using spice containers. My kids loved measuring themselves, stuffed animals and large trucks.
84. Pillow walk
You’ll need pillows. create a path using all the pillows and cushion you have and go for a walk on it!
85. Giant Nail Salon
You’ll need cardboard box, sharpie, ice cube tray washable paint, fine paint brushes or q-tips. Find out how to set it up here .
86. Pom Pom Water Transfer
87. Wash the Toys
You’ll need plastic toys large or small, water, dish soap or bubble bath and water. If indoors use a sensory bin otherwise you can do this outside!
88. Oat Sensory Bin
You’ll need oats, animals and a sensory bin or box or large Tupperware container.
89. UNO Memory Game
You’ll need UNO cards. Choose a match of 3 or 4. Place the card face down. Flip over two cards, if they match you keep them. If they don’t match turn them over and try again.
90. Draw A Farm
You’ll need markers, paint sticks and a large sheet of butcher paper and farm animal toys. Invite your toddler to draw the different habitats of farm animals. For example a mud pit for the pigs, a pond for the ducks, a field for the cows and horses and barn or the chicken. You can draw the outline of item for younger toddlers and let them colour it in or let yourolder toddler create their own farm.
91. Pom Pom Drop
Can’t have a list of easy toddler activities without this classic one. Its a classic for a reason. Its super easy to set up and just plain or fun for toddlers. You’ll need cardboard tube, painter’s tape and Pom Poms.
92. Prepared Playdough Kits
93. Foam Shapes on the Window
You’ll need foam shapes, a bowl and water. Wet the foam shapes and stick them all over a window!
94. Painting with Water and Chalk
You’ll need construction paper, colourful chalk, bowl, water and paint brush. Paint the construction paper with water. Then colour over the water with some chalk.
95. Salad Spinner Art
You’ll need a salad spinner, washable paint and coffee filters or paper and scissors. Place the coffee filter in the salad spinner or cut a circle from white paper to fit inside the spinner. Add a few drops of washable kids paint. Close the spinner and turn as fast as you can. Open the spinner up and see what happened!
96. Pasta Threading
You’ll need penne pasta and pipe cleaners. Thread the penne pasta around the pipe cleaners.
97. Feed the Animals: Puzzle Activity
You’ll need rice, animal puzzle, spoon, bowl and sensory bin or box.
You’ll need water and corn starch. Find out how to make it here .
99. Popsicle Bath
You’ll need popsicles and bath.
100. Stacking Challenge
You’ll need flat rocks. Try and stack them as high as you can!
101. Fizzy Experiment
You’ll need baking soda, Tupperware container or sensory bin, bowls, vinegar, eye dropper and food coloring. Spread baking soda out in the sensory bin. Fill bowls with vinegar and a drop of food colouring. Use the eye droppers to apply the coloured vinegar to the baking soda and watch it fizz with colour!
102. Playdough Tool Mark Making
You’ll need paint, paper and play dough tools. Dip the playdough tool in the paint and make prints or marks on the paper.
Toddler and Preschooler Curriculums, Books & TV Show!
Play2learn toddler & preschool programs for curious toddlers.
There is no limit to your toddler’s energy and curiosity. That energy and curiosity although a joy can be challenging at times. Their interest in just about everything around them is what makes them great learners. One and two year olds can soak up so much just from their senses!
But as a teacher or parent that thirst for learning can be exhausting. That is why I created this toddler and preschooler program. To help you get the most out of this time with your curious toddler without having to come up with creative ways to play and interact with them.
Play2Learn for Toddlers includes 20 Units for toddlers. Each 2-week toddler unit has 20 super easy to set up and engaging activities for toddlers 18 months to 3 years.
Play2Learn Preschool which includes 20 Units for preschoolers. Each 2-week preschoolers unit has 20 unique and easy to set up and engaging activities for preschoolers 3 years to 5 years. That’s over 800 learning activities for your toddler and preschooler at your fingertips! So many ideas you and your child will never be bored again!
These toddler and preschool lesson plans and activities will definitely keep you and your toddler and preschooler busy playing and learning!
Click here for more information: Play2Learn
Designed for toddlers 18 months and up.
Book: Exciting Sensory Bins for Curious Kids
Did you know I wrote a book of sensory bins? Click here for more information Exciting Sensory Bin for Curious Kids . Or grab your copy at Amazon .
Boring afternoons are made exciting with awesome animal-based bins, like Salty Shark Bay or Yarn Farm. Pretend play bins like Birthday Cake Sensory Play or Bubble Tea Party encourage creativity and imagination. And your kids will have so much fun they won’t even know they’re getting smarter with STEAM (science, technology, engineering, art and math) activities like Sink or Float Soup, Magnetic Letter Hunt or Ice Cream Scoop and Count.
Book: Big Book of Riddles for Kids
Riddle me this: What’s an exciting way to practice critical thinking while having a blast? The Big Riddle Book for Kids , of course! From hilarious puns to tough brain teasers, kids can build problem-solving skills with hundreds of riddles that show them how to think outside the box.
- 350 riddles for kids —Have hours of fun with riddles, puns and jokes, and math and logic puzzles that’ll get their wheels turning!
- Level up their skills —Riddles get trickier as kids progress through the book, challenging them as they get better at solving puzzles!
- Double-check their work —Kids can check their answers in the back of the book with a handy answer key.
Help children expand their minds while having fun with this puzzle book for kids!
Designed for kids ages 6 years old and up.
TV Show: Curious Crafting
I’m so excited to finally share my new crafting TV show Curious Crafting which launched July 1 at on TVOkids and TVOkids YouTube !
Set in the ultimate crafting space, Curious Crafting is a short form pre-school age series about the joy of making crafts. I lead a rotating cast of adorable little preschoolers (including my own) making magic out of common household objects.
In each episode we transform recycled items into magical crafts like a milk carton school bus, paper bag puppet or cotton pad turtle. The crafters learn and laugh their way through each activity while demonstrating what their young imaginations can create.
Curious Crafting shares the adventure and joy of making art with takeaway lessons for creating crafts at home.
This show designed for toddlers and preschoolers 2.5 years old and up.
WILL YOU TRY ANY OF THESE NO PREP & LOW-PREP TODDLER ACTIVITIES WITH YOUR TODDLER OR PRESCHOOLER?
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2 Years – 3 Years
Drawing and Sorting 2D Shapes Activity
Counting Collections Numbers 1-20 Activity
Early Years Fine Motor Colour Activities
Puffy Paint: There is something magical about Puffy Paint and it is a must try for any child or toddler to paint and play with. It is super easy to make with all the ingredients you need right in your pantry and after your child has finished painting, place it in the microwave for the magic to happen…….It is SO much FUN!! Read more……
Pompom Hockey: Keep the kids entertained with Pompom Hockey. It is a super simple activity you can set up at home for the kids, that is fun, challenging and exciting. It also gets little bodies moving! Read more…..
Sensory Play with Ice World: Ice World is a sensory activity for toddlers and pre-school children involving playing with ice, water and sea theme props. The amazing thing about sensory play is that it opens the door to so many wonderful learning opportunities such as imaginative play, language exploration, fine motor development for pre-writing skills, coordination, social interactions and so much more. Read more…….
Sorting Colours with Pompoms and Cardboard Rolls : Making learning your colours fun with this interactive game using pompoms and cardboard rolls! It involves sorting and placing coloured pompoms into the matching coloured cardboard roll and catching them in a bowl. It was a great way to reinforce the learning of colours, checking for understanding and having some fun with colours. Read more……
Jelly Play Dough Critters : Recently I shared a recipe for Jelly Play Dough ; this is what we did with it! We created some funny Jelly Play Dough Critters, frogs, owls, funny faces, monsters and a little kitten. The ideas and the imagination are endless. Read more…..
Back Yard Water Park : We set a range of different theme stations for the kids to play and explore, some were more sensory play based and others were imaginative play based. Altogether we had seven water play stations in our Back Yard Water Park. Read more…..
Play Dough and Buttons : Setting up an invitation to play with play dough, and buttons to inspire the imagination and creativity. Read more…..
How to make Gloop? If you haven’t made Gloop yet, then this is a must for any toddler or child to try. It is super fun and super messy, I am not sure who had the most fun, me or the kids!! Gloop is an interesting mixture with a unique texture to explore and play with. Playing with Gloop is a fabulous sensory and science activity to learn about the concepts of what a solid and liquid is. Read more…..
Homemade Alphabet Sponge Letters : So much fun for the bath…….and learning your alphabet too! A great tactile and hands-on activity for kids to play with while taking a bath. When wet, the sponges stick or suction slightly to the sides of the bath and tiles, making it a great canvas for creating endless ideas. Read more…..
Fine Motor with Tokens : A fun and colourful activity to promote fine motor development by placing each small token is carefully over the circles to colour the sea horse picture in. Read more…..
Create a Spring Play Dough Garden : Here is a great spring theme activity for the kids, creating a Spring Play Dough Garden. The play dough has been scented with a herbal shampoo to smell like flowers and is textured with small coloured flower petals. It is a great activity for kids to explore their creativity and imagination as they create their very own spring garden. Read more…..
Kid Car Wash Tunnel: I truly believe that the simplest things bring the most fun! We have been making a homemade Car Wash Tunnel for the kids using simple items you will find around the house. This is such a fantastic activity to do with toddlers, older babies and pre-schoolers to help build up gross motor skills and have lots of fun inside when it is raining outside. Read more…..
Rainb ow Salt Tray : Why would you need crayons, textas, pencils and paper to draw when you can have more fun with a Rainbow Salt Tray! Read more…..
Pasta Play Dough : Let your child’s imagination run wild as they create and explore play dough and pasta. Read more…..
Imaginative Play – Planting a Garden : Coming Soon!!
DIY Skittles & Games : Our Homemade Skittles would have to be one of the most played with toys in our house. My girls are continuously finding new and fun things to do with them. Read more….
Nature’s Paint Brushes: With the weather warming up, I have been planning more activities to do with the kids outside and I thought these paint brushes would be perfect for textured painting on a large paper canvas fixed to the fence. Read more….
Alphabet Play Dough : We had so much fun playing with our Alphabet Play Dough! It is a fun activity to help kids learn their alphabet letters and build up their fine motor skills at the same time. This activity involves using play dough to create letters in the alphabet, using the FREE Printable Alphabet Play Dough Mats as a guide. Read more…..
Colourful Sensory Play with Jelly : Ooey, gooey, slushy and messy! A fun sensory experience playing with Rainbow Jelly. Read more…..
Name Collage: Making a name collage using pom poms is an activity that will help your child become interested in their name and the letters that make up their name. Read more….
Paint Pops: Making painting fun using frozen paint on a pop stick. Create endless paintings as the paint melts! Read more……
Strawberry Scented Rice : Exploring and playing with strawberry scented rice with all kinds of scoops, shovels and sifts. Read more…..
Washing a Toy Baby : Watching Mum and Dad washing a baby sibling is an example of an experience that children copy and re-enact. Watching and learning from this experience then practising, imitating and experimenting this through imaginary play. Read more…..
Homemade Street Traffic Bath Sponges : This will keep the kids busy while having a bath as well as stimulating their imaginations and developing their storytelling skills. It is a great hands-on sensory play activity that promotes creativity, storytelling and the imagination. The bath tub is a great canvas for creating stories! A free printable too! Read more…..
Straw Flowers: A cute little gift idea! Something so simple, fun and easy to make and you will find all the items you need around the home. Read more…..
S ensory Play Rice and Bottle Tops : Developing fine motor skills through sensory play with rainbow rice and bottle tops that will also inspire the imagination and creativity. Read more…..
Pipe Cleaner Maze: Exploring and playing with pipe cleaners and beads with the Styrofoam while exercising the fine motor muscles. Read more…..
Play Dough Cupcakes : There is so much fun to be had creating pretend cupcakes as kids have the freedom to explore the imaginary world. This is a great activity to introduce and sing the Pat-a-Cake nursery rhyme. Read more……
We’re Going On a Teddy Bear Hunt: We have a gorgeous book which comes with a CD that tells the story of the adventure of going on a bear hunt. My kids have played this CD over many times as I watch them pretend to walk through long, wavy grass and run away from a bear. So I thought I would bring this story to life some more by creating the different scenes in the book. Read more…..
P illow Case Hoppers : this wonderful activity reminded me of how the simple things can bring so much fun, while being active. This game is an oldie but a goodie replacing the hessian sacks with a pillow case……simple hours of fun! Read more…..
Soapy Slime FUN : This activity was FUN, REALLY FUN!! Kids love to get messy, it comes with being a kid as they explore their natural curiosity about the world around them. Read more…..
Paint Me: Paint Me is a cute and quirky activity that kids will enjoy making! I plan to use ours as keep sake to giggle at in years to come. It is a perfect snap shot of the size of your kids hands and feet to compare with when they get older. Read more…..
Play Dough and Cardboard Tubes : “Rolling play dough balls down a cardboard tube ramp!” Lots of fun with play dough. Read more…..
Colourful Pattern Collage : These Colourful Pattern Easter Eggs are a bright and colourful activity for the kids to do this Easter. They are super simple to make, don’t require a lot of materials and are lots of fun! Read more…..
Alphabet Hide & Seek: My kids get very excited when we play this game. The challenge and anticipation of searching for something brings so much fun to learning your alphabet letters! The Hide and Seek Letter Hunt involves hiding the letter pairs around the house and your child goes around finding them. Free printable. Read more…..
What is Hiding in Our Jelly? Since our first play experience with jelly, my kids have been asking if we could do it again. This time I hid some items in the jelly for them to squeeze and squish through to find. Read more…..
Great Places to Play at Home: There are so many wonderful places in the home where children can play imaginatively, creatively and get active indoors. Kids will create imaginary worlds to explore and play using the most inexpensive and simple things you can find right at home. Here are a few ideas for you to try! Read more…..
Pompoms and Mini Tongs: In the early years, we often hear discussions about the importance of fine motor and gross motor development in kids. Here is a great activity that is fun and exercises those little muscles to develop strength! Read more…..
Bottle Top Leaf Boats: What I love about winter is that there are lots of puddles to play in. Recently after days of rain and being stuck inside, we put our rain coats and gum boots on for a splash about in the puddles. Read more….
Number Cookies : An irresistibly yummy numeracy activity for kids! So much learning happens when we cook with our kids. The social interactions, processing information, following directions, problem solving and coordination. Read more…..
Bottle Tops & Bubbles : A simple unstructured and fun sensory play idea using water, bubbles and bottle tops. It was wonderful to see the creativity, imagination and fun happen just by adding bottle tops and bubble bath to the tub.
The Nursery Rhymes Box : The Nursery Rhyme Box is an activity developed to encourage and promote oral language development in young children. It is essentially a box filled with a number of props that will trigger a nursery rhyme song, such as a stuffed toy cow may trigger the nursery rhyme ‘Hey Diddle Diddle’ or ‘Old Mac Donald had a Farm’ because these nursery rhymes have a cow in their lyrics. Read more…..
Blackberry Finger Painting : An activity inspired by reading the children’s book Mr McGee and the Blackberry Jam by Pamela Allen. It had been a while since we have pulled out the paints so I thought we would get them out to do a little finger painting and incorporate it with our theme of blackberries. We made some blackberries using purple and black paint and our fingers. It is always so much fun painting with our fingers! Read more…..
Sorting Coloured Match Sticks : In the early years, we often hear discussions about the importance of fine motor and gross motor development in kids. Here is a great activity that is fun and exercises those little muscles to develop strength! Read more…..
Colourful Cellophane Sticky Art : Cellophane Sticky Art is a great activity to introduce kids to colours!! I believe it is never too early to start learning about concepts such as colour and that through setting up opportunities to play and learn will begin the journey of developing an understanding. Read more…..
Play Dough – Bottle Tops and Straws : It is always fun to watch and see what kids will come up with when you give them simple props to promote play in an open-ended and unstructured way.
Here I have set up our activity table with play dough, bottle tops and straws to inspire the imagination and creativity. Read more….
Paper Plate Rainbow: Using simple craft materials to create a Paper Plate Rainbow! Kids will enjoy swishing the rainbow through the air while listening to their favourite rainbow songs. Read more…..
Blu e Theme Sensory Tub: Having some fun in a sensory tub filled with blue rice and blue pompoms! Miss 22months loves sensory tubs and loves to run her fingers through the rice and pompoms and sprinkling them like it is rain. Read more…..
Water Balloons : A fun sensory play experience for kids in the bath tub by adding balloons filled with water. Read more…..
Autumn Play Dough Leaf Prints : We have been celebrating the new season and the changes in the colours of leaves with making leaf prints and patterns using real leaves in a Nutmeg Scented Autumn Play Dough.
The play dough is lightly scented with spicy nutmeg and cinnamon, with brown colouring and red and gold glitter bringing together all the wonderful elements of autumn. Read more…..
Learning about the Colour Green – List of Green Activities : As part of our Learning Colours Series here on learning4kids, today I am sharing with you some of the activities we have been doing as we explore and play with the colour green. Our ‘green activities’ involve a Green Tea Party in the bath, reading the book Where is the Green Sheep?, painting with green paint and manipulating green play dough. Read more…..
Learning about the Colour Yellow – List of Yellow Activities : As part of our Learning Colours Series here on learning4kids, we have been exploring and playing with the colour yellow with water balloons, marble paintings, fine motor games with pompoms and a homemade music shaker! Read more…..
Learning about the Colour Red – List of Red Activities : Exploring and playing with the colour red with crafts, play dough, bath fun, discovery boxes and more. Read more…..
Learning about the Colour Blue – List of Blue Activities: As part of our Learning Colours Series here on learning4kids, this week we have been exploring and playing with the colour blue with bubbles, bottle tops, paint, rice and balloons! Read more…..
Number Play Dough: We had so much fun making numbers with our Orange Scented Play Dough . It is a fun activity to introduce or reinforce learning about numbers for kids and develop an understanding of ‘how many’ to make a number. Free printable number play dough mats. Read more…..
Bubble Wrap Painting : Kids never get bored with bubble wrap, there is so much fun to be had and so much to explore with it. One of these things to explore is the interesting patterns and shapes it creates with paint. Here we have incorporated bubble wrap painting with a Valentine’s Day theme using cut out heart shapes with bubble wrap. Read more…….
Sensory Play with Sand : Sand is a toy! The less a toy does the more a child will learn! Sand is such a great sensory toy for kids as they explore their sense of touch and play and discover the wonderful texture of sand! Read more…..
Painting with Homemade Number Stamps : These Homemade Number Stamps will make learning your numbers FUN for kids as they can make endless paintings of numbers prints and sing-a-long as they learn and play! The Number Stamps are low cost, require very little materials and are super easy to make! Read more…..
Homemade Guitar : An empty shoe box + elastic bands + a cardboard tube = Homemade Guitar and endless hours of fun! These guitars are such a simple homemade instrument to make and will bring so much fun to kids play times! Read more…..
Let’s Make a Play Dough Cake: Kids love birthdays, blowing out candles and cake! Why not incorporate all these wonderful things with oral language development, strengthening fine motor skills, developing numeracy concepts and most importantly FUN! This activity involves making a play dough cake, adding candles and singing one of my favourite children’s song; 10 Little Candles. Read more…..
Bubble Wrap Painting (shapes): Bubble wrap is so much fun to explore for kids! Feeling the various textures of the puffy bubble pouches and hearing the noise of popping them. Bubble wrap is great for creating interesting patterns and shapes with paint. Here is an activity using bubble wrap painting and learning your shapes too! Read more…..
Rainbow Collage : Adding a little bit of this and a little bit of that to create a rainbow collage! Read more…..
Chocolate Play Dough: This Chocolate Play Dough really looks and smells just like the real thing! YUM!! This play dough is great for an Easter Theme Activity! Read more…..
Fluffy Snow: Making Fluffy Snow using soap flakes is a fun and messy sensory play activity. It is a great way to incorporate a bit of a Christmas theme, well sort of, here in Australia Christmas is celebrated in summer, far from any snow. But it is fun, encourages lots of learning and that is what it is all about. Read more…..
Ice Boats : Water and ice are great for sensory play with kids as it engages children into a world of exploration and wonder. To make our water and ice sensory play experience a little more fun we turned the ice blocks into boats with a few simple materials. Read more…..
Jack in the Box : All you need is a box! It involves singing the well-known nursery rhyme Jack in a Box and acting out the words on cue to the song. We use the box as a creative prop and make the activity fun! Read more……
How to Help Children Develop a Love for Reading ? Developing a love for books in the early years will set your child up for reading readiness and help lay the basis for your child’s success inside, outside and beyond school.
Parents can encourage their children to read and develop a love of reading in many ways. Read more…..
Where is the Green Sheep ? Extending the learning from the wonderful book for toddlers written by Mem Fox and making our very own Green Sheep Puppet!! Read more…..
Tin Can Music Makers: Make some homemade Tin Can Music Makers with your toddler to shake and play with as they bop along to their favourite songs. Read more…..
Giant Drawing: A giant drawing is an over sized piece of paper that is stuck down using sticky tape. Over a period of days the drawing grows and develops, sometimes a bit of a theme or story grows with it. Read more…..
Little Toilet Roll People : Making these little characters is so much fun as they can be brought to life in imaginative play games. They are so simple to make and are made out recycled materials that you will find around the home. Read more…..
Sock Puppet: Creating a character or a new friend out of a sock brings hours of fun for kids. It’s fun for kids to make their own sock puppet and then the enjoyment of bringing it to life in their imaginative games. Read more…..
Mi ni Pompom Cupcakes: Mini cupcakes are a simple, colourful and creative craft activity for kids! There are so many fun games and imaginative play times to be had with them. Read more…..
5 thoughts on “2 Years – 3 Years”
Very helpful during this time of period. Much appreciate with thanks. Love from Burma, Kyi-Zay’s Mommy Yin Yin Oo
So many fun things to do. Thank you so my, i have been hitting a wall trying to keep my son entertained especially now during pandemic.✊🏾👏😊
Thank you very much for sharing such an easy and productive play for kids.
Much love from Pakistan.
thank you so much for more activities
Cool n fun activities..thank u so much for sharing them..vibrant n colorful they are ! Love
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Hi and welcome to Learning 4 Kids!
My name is Janice and I am an Early Childhood Teacher in Australia.
I have a strong passion and love for teaching and creating meaningful learning experiences for my students. What I love most is watching children discover in those amazing light bulb moments. I hope Learning4kids brings you some useful ideas.
Baby related inspirations
Activities and games for toddlers 2 – 3 years old
Match animals to the map.
Scarlett loves this activity because it involves matching and animals. I got her a small world map that has illustrations of animals around the world. Then we take one of our animal figures and see if we can find it on the map so we can place it there. This map is not big, so it easily fits on the table, but because of its size it’s easier to fit smaller animal figures on it. We have a large collection of Schleich animal figures that we decided to invest in because of their beautiful quality – but since this map is not too big, only a few of them can fit on the same continent. I’ll probably get a bigger map like this for this activity since we both like it so much.
Guess an animal by the tail
This activity was inspired by the book Whose Tail on the Trail , where you have to guess an animal by its tail. I wanted to try a version with our animal figures and it was a hit. Scarlett was sticking animals into the box herself after a while. I made it by taking an old gift box, making cuts radiating from the center in the form of the sun rays in order to fit different size of animals. The other end of the box is open. I stick an animal there, she guesses, and I turn the box the other way for her to check.
Caterpillar color and numbers game
We love board games and here’s a simple game we play with our 25 month old Scarlett. Each person gets a board with a caterpillar of certain color. Then we take turns rolling dice, and depending on which color is on the dice, we take a circle of that color and put it on the caterpillar. Then we count how many circles that caterpillar already got. Here’s a free printable of this game.
Make story stones
Story stones can be a great addition to your story time. I made story stones for Room on the Broom book. We play by matching rocks to the pictures on each page of the book. Another way to play is to recreate a story without a book. And when Scarlett gets a little older I’m thinking to make more story stones for other books, and then all stones can be mixed up in a bag, and we can take rocks in a random order and create our own stories. I made these with stones I got at Michael’s, I painted them with white acrylic first, and then painted art with acrylic paint using miniature brushes , and finished the details with brush pen .
Color wheel color sorting
Draw or glue printed color wheel to a box, make openings of the size that fit crafts sticks, and encourage your toddler to insert each craft stick to the matching color section on the wheel. Since Scarlett loves cats, I converted craft sticks into cats to keep her more interested, but this is really optional. Here’s a free download of a color wheel .
Drop mice into a cat mouth
I made this activity for Scarlett’s two year birthday but we still play it once in a while. We had a cat theme party, so I got these mice (sold as cat toys), and made a cat from a box by taping a cat face cut out from construction paper. We then took turns dropping mice into cat’s mouth from various distances.
Lids and stickers matching game
I finally got to use the lids I’ve been collecting for a while! Here’s a fun and simple matching game – you will need stickers with either 2 identical or similar images for each animal, paper/poster board, and lids of different sizes. I used poster board which I cut into book size rectangles. Then I placed stickers of different sizes onto the board, leaving enough space around to place lids. Then I placed the matching stickers onto lids. I used some stickers that are identical (like a bunny, pig, owl on the picture) and some stickers that are similar ( like flamingo and frog on the picture). The game can be played in different ways – either place all lids in a bag and have your toddler get them out one by one and place on the matching picture, or play it like a bingo game – each person gets a board and whoever fills their board with lids first is a winner. We used these animal stickers but any stickers that have a pair for each picture would work.
Find matching wheels for cars
You can download these printable cars for this game. Since my son is obsessed with cars, the first activity we did was matching the color of the wheels to the color of the car. You can print a few copies of car sheets if you have extra pouch caps to make the game longer, and optionally car shapes can be also cut out.
Memory cup game
Here’s a fun memory game to play. Arrange small toys under different cups without mixing them up. Various cups can be used. The child needs to remember the order in which cups are arranged. Then you can ask her or him to find a certain toy, so she or he will have to look under each cup, thus remembering which toy is under which cup. Increase the number of cups as the child gets better at remembering the order.
Play with Peekaboo Bunny game
I really want to recommend this game for toddlers. It got a few awards for helping to develop child’s logical thinking and early mathematical skills. It comes with cards, a bunny and 3 wooden blocks. Cards show how the bunny needs to be arranged on the blocks, and the child needs to manipulate the wooden block to match the card. The cards are split into levels. At 25 months we play with the easiest level, and it’s nice to see how Scarlett is trying to get it right. I still help her even with the easiest cards, but I see how she’s trying to think and figure it out on her own.
Arrange flat marbles in line
For this activity you need flat marbles and a paper with lines of different shape. Show your toddler how to arrange marbles on the line. Scarlett is really into marbles, so after doing this activity, she was busy transferring marbles into different containers for almost half an hour.
Draw shapes in a sensory box
We made this sandbox out of cream of wheat – it’s easier to clean up and to get a hold of. I drew some shapes on index cards and showed Scarlett how to recreate the shape in the sand. In our index cards we had a circle, a triangle, a square, a zigzag line, a straight line and a dotted line. Scarlett seemed to be most interested in shapes.
Beach sensory play
After drawing shapes on the sand, we converted the sensory bin into beach scene. Some animals came over to relax on the beach, but Scarlett was most interested in scooping the sand (cream of wheat) into a little cup with a spoon, and then transferring it into another cup. We also poured sand into a see-through plastic cup by using a funnel.
DIY Patches puzzle
You can make this patches puzzle by printing these files , cutting out squares and showing your toddler how to match the squares to the picture to complete it. There are 3 picture puzzles in the downloadable file.
Animal action cards
These animal action cards are a hit with Scarlett. She started to do some of these action when she was about 18 months old, and now at 25 months old she is able to do almost all of them besides puffing her cheeks like a chipmunk. She asks me to play with these cards over and over again. I showed her how to do the actions the first time we played with these and now she does them on her own. It’s fun for the whole family, we clap when she does it right, and she gets to let her energy out in a fun way. The digital version of these cards is available here and a printed version is here .
Letters in rice
During these activity we look for foam letters in rice, and then match the letter we found to the letter card. I used flash cards that we had since they have letters on the back of the cards, but you can just draw the letters you put in the rice bin on a piece of paper for matching. Colored or regular rice can be used.
Memory game with stickers
You can make a memory game by using stickers and blank cards. Each card has one sticker on the back that looks exactly like one of the stickers on the front. First, you show the back of the card with, for example, a picture of the red fish, then you flip the card, and the child has to point to the picture that was just shown on the back. This game can be made easier when you use a different animal, for example, it’s easier to remember you just saw a cat, and then to pick it among other animals. It can also be made more complicated when you use different colors of the same animal, for example, different color fish, or when you use patterns of an animal skin. We used these animal stickers .
Painting on animal toys and then washing them
It’s fun to change up the colors of animal toys – you can make a pink crocodile and a yellow elephant. I taped a big piece of paper to the table, and we started painting on our animal toys. We used regular finger paint. After we were done painting, we started washing those animals in a bucket full of soapy water. We used old toothbrushes to wash off paint from those animals and it turned out to be a fun and creative activity.
Color/walking frogs game
This game was inspired by the Snail’s Race Game and is great for kids 2.5+ years. Here’s our DIY version. We used 3 jumping frogs of different colors and placed round stickers of matching color on a sheet of paper to make a road for each frog. At the end of each road I put a house for each frog where it’s trying to get to (house can be drawn on the paper). The game is played by taking turns to roll a dice with colors, and moving a frog of that color one step closer to a house.
Painting with coffee art stencils
Check out this Coffee Decorating Stencils Set, it includes a bunch of super cute stencils that can be used for art projects with toddlers too. We just place them on paper, paint over and get cute art. If you are a coffee lover – it’s a must have, you can sprinkle some cocoa on top of one of this stencils to get a super cute coffee results. I love this one.
Cut out face parts out of construction paper, and stick them to a Magnetic Adhesive Sheet . Cut out shapes out of magnetic sheet and build a face! I made eye pupil and eye iris separate, but it can all be done as one piece, if you don’t want small magnetic parts. You can stick parts on a magnetic board or just on top of the round face shape.
Wrapping paper craft
Here’s an example of a wrapping paper with our designs. The back of any regular wrapping paper can be used for this. We also used this fingerpaint set which includes a great sturdy paper and 3 paint tubes. We did some thumb stamping, and ink pads are perfect for this. After Scarlett did the stamping, I drew little decorative details to thumb prints. Then we added sparkly lines with glitter glue , and painted polka dots with finger paint and sponge brushes . Wrapping paper can be used to wrap gifts for any occasion and you get to recycle your toddler’s art.
Counting with candles
There are 2 things that Scarlett loves the most – cupcakes and birthdays. We seem to pretend it’s her birthday here almost every day – she finds something that looks remotely like a cake and we sing a Happy Birthday song to her. So I decided to incorporate counting into this cupcake play. We made and decorated cupcakes, and then inserted different number of candles into each one. Yes, we sang happy birthday for each cupcake, counted the candles, and then I lit the candles and she blew them out.
DIY Paper house for pretend play
I made a foldable paper house for Scarlett to play with, and it is super convenient for our small New York apartment. I made it by drawing a living room, a bedroom, a bathroom and a kitchen on legal size paper sheets, and by gluing them together after. I used stickers to decorate the rooms and it came out pretty cute. We started off by playing with Little People figures but since Scarlett is obsessed with cats, they were replaced with cats in this house 🙂
Water beads volcano
I waited for a while to introduce water beads to Scarlett. Since she’s almost 3 now, and doesn’t put anything in her mouth anymore, I decided it’s time to add water beads into our play. Besides doing a sensory play with these colorful water beads , we also did this fun volcano. All you need for it is water, water beads and regular Alka-Seltzer Tablets . Scarlett enjoyed scooping beads into the jar first, and then dropping alka seltzer tablets in the water to watch the eruption.
Spying for numbers
Dooes your toddler like discovering? How about discovering numbers in drawings? I made this magnifier glass by taking a clear file cover, and drawing with a permanent marker over it to turn it into a dark green color. Then I drew pictures of animals with a lighter color green, and hid a number inside each one with a darker green. When you hover over the drawing of an animal, you see a number very clearly, and the lighter drawing almost disappears. Magic!
I found these awesome Monster Doodles Activity Cards that I would like to recommend. The package comes with 50 wipe-clean cards with illustrations of monsters that your child has to finish. We love this activity, it develops imagination and drawing skills, and also is super portable for being on the road.
Reading is fun, but it’s also fun to recreate some of our favorite characters. Here we made a Gruffalo with playdough, some pasta pieces, and beads. It’s great for child’s imagination, and creativity, reinforcing reading and sensory play.
Egg Carton Cars
We had this egg carton saved for a while so we decided to transform it into cars 🚗🌟 First, we cut the egg carton compartments out, and painted on them. 🌈✨💙 Then came the fun part — decorating. We used large buttons, googly eyes, stickers, markers, and feathers . 🌟🚗🎉 We attached the strings to some of the cars, and my toddler got really excited to pull the cars around. 🎈🌈 These DIY toys inspire creativity and fine motor skills. It’s a win-win for both fun and development! 👧👦🎉
Frozen Dino Egg Excavation
Imagine the thrill of uncovering long-lost dinosaurs trapped in ice. We found this activity that keeps a toddler and a 7-year-old entertained. 🌟🦕 ❄️ I loved this idea of making the frozen eggs inside the balloons, the ice comes out in perfect egg shapes. So begin by placing a dinosaur toy inside a balloon. Then fill it with water, pop it into the freezer, and let the magic happen overnight. The next day, you’ll have your very own frozen dino eggs waiting to be excavated! ❄️🦖 🔍🌍 As the ice starts to melt, grab your excavation tools like spoons, droppers, syringes, small cups, and paintbrushes and carefully chip away at the ice to reveal the hidden dinosaurs.
2 thoughts on “Activities and games for toddlers 2 – 3 years old”
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I just discovered this website and I fell in love with your ideas! Thank you so much for sharing with all the mothers out there.
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