11 Ideas to Entertain Toddlers At Home
𝘼𝙧𝙚 𝙮𝙤𝙪𝙧 𝙙𝙖𝙮𝙨 𝙧𝙚𝙖𝙡𝙡𝙮 𝙨𝙩𝙖𝙧𝙩𝙞𝙣𝙜 𝙩𝙤 𝙛𝙚𝙚𝙡 monotonous? Our stay at home order has been extended another 30 days, and I don’t even really think that public spaces will be open for any real toddler activities even after that. Which means, I’ve been finding myself in need of ideas to entertain toddlers at home.
I’m finding it hard to find new, interesting things to do. We used to just go for drives but now Cam even asks to go back home because he knows we can’t really go anywhere. If you’re like me and feel like it’s getting monotonous with toddlers or young kids at home, here are 11 ideas to entertain toddlers at home!
Find a new ‘green space’ to explore
Find a new open park or a space to walk that’s different from where you’ve been walking. Make sure to check if there are restrooms open before you go; some have them and some don’t, and as you all know, when littles gotta go, they gotta go! Today we went to a new nature path that I’ve never taken Camden to before. I just let him lead and explore, and we ended up finding geese in a pond, throwing sticks in a little stream and having lots of fun together! Just a new space – even if it’s just more open nature – releases kids’ imaginations all over again.
Have a picnic in the backyard
This has been one of Camden’s favorite new activities as it has warmed up and has been one of my best ideas to entertain toddlers at home. He wants to eat every meal outside on our deck, and it’s extra special when we throw the picnic blanket out in the yard and eat on it instead. And we’ve done car picnics too – one day when it was super windy, we parked the SUV in the garage and ate in the back of it. On a rainy day, we drove through the Chick-Fil-A drive through and then had a car picnic in a grocery store parking lot. It’s still eating, but it’s totally different to young kids and toddlers.
Do a nature scavenger hunt
I’ve created a simple one here! The next time you go for a walk – or even hang out in the backyard – use this scavenger hunt to change it up. Just click on the image below to download and print the Nature Scavenger Hunt and get busy outside! You can do this over and over when you go to different outdoor spaces, too – it’s not just a one use thing!
Water, water, water!
When kids are cranky, water can almost always turn it around. Some of my favorite water ideas:
- fun bath – use bath crayons, bubble bath, or let her eat a popsicle in the tub (the mess is contained!)
- water table – check your Facebook marketplace for super cheap ones, but even a new one is relatively inexpensive!
- water sensory bin – this thing got played with almost daily last summer and I’m bringing it out again!
- sink play: my toddler loves when I pull his kitchen stool up to the sink, fill it with some water and hand him some cups, spoons and measuring cups. He also likes to use this play science kit in the sink too.
- sprinkler mat – we bought this last summer, and my favorite thing about it is that you can control the height of water jets!
- classic squirt guns – I got 2 for $6 in a Target pickup order and my toddler plays with them daily – so worth a few dollars!
I’ve never been huge on the whole toy rotation thing – it seems like a lot of work, and I don’t have a lot of space to store extra toys. But, right now, it’s making a world of difference. I’m not storing toys out of his reach. I AM, however, laying out different toys every other night on the coffee table so they’re the first thing he sees in the morning. Dig through the toy bin, pick a few they haven’t played with for a while – I always set out one building set (blocks, etc).
Raid the kitchen
Let them pull out all the pots and pans and bang, stack, play with them. It’s new and different from normal so they’re bound to be intrigued!
Have your toddler help you cook or bake
Bake something they like with them and they’ll be so excited to eat the end product! You could even bake it and then drop off some at a friend or relative’s house to surprise them!
FaceTime with filters
Camden is 2 1/2 and he’s not quite old enough to be interested in carrying on a conversation with his Oma on a video call. But add filters? Now he’s all excited to be a dragon and to tell Oma to be a pizza face! Definitely eats some time up with these.
Make cardboard box building blocks
Save all your cardboard boxes for a week or so – Amazon boxes, cereal boxes, etc – and tape the tops closed. Then let your toddler stack to their heart’s content! I give Camden markers and let him go crazy on the boxes too. When I get tired of seeing them all in the living room, I recycle them. Then a couple weeks later, I save some more boxes and let him do it again.
Create a new sensory bin
A lot of sensory bins – like the water one I mentioned earlier – can be created with things already in your house. Make a gardening one with a bunch of dirt, some rocks, tools to dig with and some (real or pretend) seeds. You can also grab some fake snow from Amazon to make this cool snow sensory bin!
Reignite interest in old toys and books
Remember that pinterest idea of wrapping up 24 books for Christmas and opening one each day of December? Do that with books and toys your toddler already has. Wrap up some books and toys and let them unwrap something new each day. You can even wrap it so they can see the shape and then have them guess what it is before they open it! I love the simplicity of teaching kids to relove their own toys!
𝘙𝘦𝘮𝘦𝘮𝘣𝘦𝘳: 𝘵𝘩𝘦 𝘪𝘥𝘦𝘢 𝘪𝘴 𝘵𝘩𝘦 𝘺𝘰𝘶 𝘱𝘳𝘰𝘷𝘪𝘥𝘦 𝘵𝘩𝘦 𝘵𝘰𝘰𝘭𝘴, 𝘢𝘯𝘥 𝘵𝘩𝘦𝘺 𝘮𝘢𝘬𝘦 𝘵𝘩𝘦 𝘧𝘶𝘯. 𝘠𝘰𝘶’𝘳𝘦 𝘯𝘰𝘵 𝘤𝘢𝘵𝘦𝘳𝘪𝘯𝘨 𝘵𝘰 𝘰𝘳 𝘦𝘯𝘵𝘦𝘳𝘵𝘢𝘪𝘯𝘪𝘯𝘨 𝘵𝘩𝘦𝘮. 𝘒𝘪𝘥𝘴 𝘯𝘦𝘦𝘥 𝘵𝘰 𝘭𝘦𝘢𝘳𝘯 𝘵𝘰 𝘮a𝘬𝘦 𝘵𝘩𝘦𝘪𝘳 𝘰𝘸𝘯 𝘧𝘶𝘯 – 𝘫𝘶𝘴𝘵 𝘭𝘦𝘵 t𝘩𝘦𝘮 𝘬𝘯𝘰𝘸 𝘸𝘩𝘢𝘵 𝘵𝘰𝘰𝘭𝘴 𝘢𝘳𝘦 𝘢𝘷𝘢𝘪𝘭𝘢𝘣𝘭𝘦.
If you need some more ideas for your kids (and you), I’ve got them! And if you have any great ones, share them with me!