Bettie R. Kelley Hi, I'm Bettie R. Kelley and I am the creator of the blog "eco-inhibitors,com". I have always had a love for all things crafty and artistic, and I find it extremely satisfying to create something beautiful from scratch.

50+ Toddler Activities to Improve Development

10 min read

Toddlers are energetic and curious little people. However, you can develop your child’s cognitive, social, physical, and emotional skills with the right toddler activities. 

Dr. Tiff Jumaily, a Pediatrician from Los Angeles, says, “Play is how children learn.” Play keeps children focused and engaged in the subject, especially toddlers. 

Activities keep your child busy and give you time to get your feet up. Below, we have listed the best 50+ fun and educational ideas to keep your toddler busy throughout the year.

Related Radings: Best Learning Games That Your 4-Year-Old Will Love

51 Toddler Activities With Fun and Educational Value

Young kids playing and jumping in bouncy house

You can’t plan perfect activities for kids. You must go with the flow because you never know when your toddler’s mood might change. Just try to keep your activities fun and focused on a lesson. 

Listed in this article are simple activity ideas that you and your toddler can enjoy together.

Related Reading: Best Outdoor Games for Kids of All Ages

Fun Outdoor Toddler Activities Kids Will Love

1. Obstacle Course in the Backyard

Materials Required: Skipping ropes, balls, hula hoops, etc. 

How to Plan: Use all the stuff you can get to create an obstacle course for your toddler and their friends in your backyard. Use chairs, tables, and a prize at the end to create an obstacle course for your toddler. 

Skills: Motor skills and physical strength.

2. Musical Scavenger Hunt

Materials Required: Colorful chalks and a music player

How to Plan: Is it sunny out there? Invite your neighborhood kids and create colorful circular blocks on your pavement. Blast some music on your phone and let your kids jump on different colored blocks when the music plays and stop when the music stops. 

Skills: Color recognition, motor skills, and social bonding 

Related Reading: Best Fun Party Games for Kids to Have an Amazing Time

3. Ball Painting

Materials Required: Multiple balls, canvas, and watercolors 

How to Plan: If you don’t mind a messy toddler, place a canvas in your backyard and put balls in a watercolor pint. And now practice some ball painting with your kid. 

Skills: Reflexes and arm strength 

4. Pistol Painting

Materials Required: Water guns, plain white shirts, and colors 

How to Plan: Make your entire family wear white shirts, load up water guns and go crazy with your toddler while playing pistol paint in your backyard. 

Skills: Color recognition and motor skills

5. Water Slides

Materials Required: Kiddy pool and plastic slide

How to Plan: One of the easy, fun activities for toddlers is filling a kiddy pool with water and arranging the plastic slide around it so your kids can have their personal water slide in the backyard. 

Skills: Physical strength and motor skills

6. Sidewalk Chalk Race

Materials Required: Colorful chalk and popsicle sticks

How to Plan: Mix colorful chalk powder with water and freeze it to create chalk popsicles. Now, give one chalk popsicle to your child and their friends to race on the pavement and see who can melt the popsicle faster. 

Skills: Color recognition 

7. Graffiti

Materials Required: Colorful chalk 

How to Plan: Does your kid love to draw on your house walls? Then, give some colorful chalk to your toddlers and let them draw on the pavement outside your house. 

Skills: Eye and hand coordination 

8. Colorful Bath

Materials Required: Kiddy pool and edible paint 

How to Plan: You can invite your kid’s friends for a colorful pool party. Get a few kiddy pools and add different shades of edible paint in each pool for kids to have some fun. 

Skills: Color recognition 

9. Ice Painting

Materials Required: Watercolors 

How to Plan: Freeze up ice blocks in various shapes and allow your toddler to paint them using water paint. This toddler activity is messy but equally fun. 

Skills: Motor skills and color recognition 

10. Water Balloon Painting

Materials Required: Water balloons and paint 

How to Plan: Blow up water balloons with different colors and let your toddler paint that bare wall in your backyard. 

Skills: Better reflexes and arm strength 

11. Sack Race

Material Required: Old sacks 

How to Plan: Everyone knows how to organize a sack race. So, gather up some old sacks that can fit your toddler and let the fun begin. 

Skills: Body strength improvement 

12. Mud Brick Construction

Materials Required: Old blocks and mud 

How to Plan: Get some mud for your toddler and help them make mud bricks using the old blocks as mold. Then, allow them to construct something with self-made mud bricks, like a bridge or hut. 

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Skills: Engineering skills

13. Count an Object

Materials Required: Nothing 

How to Plan: This is one of the simplest toddler learning activities. Whenever you take your toddler for a walk, ask them to count objects around them, like trees, cars, etc. 

Skills: Counting and observation skills 

Related Reading: Best Learning Activities for 2-Year-Olds Every Parent Must Try Once

14. Kite Flying

Materials Required: A kite 

How to Plan: You can reminisce about your childhood days and teach your toddler how to fly a kite on a sunny day. You can also first make a kite with your kiddo for more fun. 

Skills: Hand and eye coordination 

15. Sponge Fight

Materials Required: Old sponges and colors 

How to Plan: When your kids are glued to the television screen, get some old sponges and dunk them in the paint to encourage them to come out and play. 

Skills: Color recognition and motor skills 

16. Clean the Car

Materials Required: Washcloth 

How to Plan: You can make your kid productive and happy with car wash activity. Give a washcloth to your kid to clean your car and have some fun with water. 

Skills: Motor skills and cleanliness

17. Bubble Chase

Materials Required: Dish soap and bubble wands 

How to Plan: Make homemade bubble solution and bubble wands and let your kid chase colorful bubbles in your backyard. 

Skills: Physical strength and sensory skills 

18. Gardening

Materials Required: Toy shovel, gloves, and plant seeds 

How to Plan: Motivate your kid to do gardening and take care of plants. You can take your kid to a local nursery to pick plants and seeds to sow in your home garden and develop a new hobby. That’s how you can make gardening with children fun.

Skills: Botanical knowledge and developing empathy 

19. Bicycle/Tricycle Race

Materials Required: A bicycle or tricycle

How to Plan: Are you struggling to teach your toddler how to ride a bicycle? Invite your neighborhood kids and host a bicycle race. Watching other kids riding bikes can encourage your little guy too. 

Skills: Improve motor skills, cardiovascular development, and stamina

20. Garden Party

Materials Required: Party decorations and snacks 

How to Plan: This toddler activity is a role-play activity. For example, your child can be a party planner and host a garden party for their stuffed friends. 

Skills: Cognitive and creative skills 

Best Indoor Toddler Activities

Young boy and mother playing with toy truck

21. Paint Old Stuff

Materials Required: Anything you find in your garage 

How to Plan: Painting objects can keep your child busy for a while. You can give them old plastic toys, newspapers, or anything you find in your garage for painting. 

Skills: Color recognition 

22. Roll and Jump

Materials Required: Tape, shape geometric cutouts, and dice 

How to Plan: Use duct tape to stick different shapes on your floor, light circle, rectangle, or square. Ask your child to roll a dice and jump on the shape you say, like a circle. It is the perfect educational activity for toddlers.

Skills: Shape recognition 

23. Bathing with Popsicles

Materials Required: Soap popsicles 

How to Plan: You can freeze up the liquid soap mixture and create popsicles. Then, you can give one popsicle daily to your child to take a bath. This activity is helpful if your child hates to bathe.

Skills: Improves self-hygiene 

24. Color Coordinate Toys

Materials Required: Nothing

How to Plan: Toddlers are well known for creating a mess. So, you can use your toddlers’ messy bedroom to teach them a lesson. You can ask your toddler to organize their toys into different color categories. This activity will clean your home and teach a color lesson to your kiddo. 

Skills: Color recognition and organization skills 

Related Reading: Colors of the Rainbow and Their Meanings

25. Matching Loops

Materials Required: Froot Loops and color worksheet 

How to Plan: Download a color worksheet and give your toddler a bowl of Froot Loops. Now, ask them to take a Froot Loop and match it with the right color in the worksheet.

Skills: Color recognition 

26. Toy Washing Station

Materials Required: Old bucket and mild wash soap 

How to Plan: You can create a small toy cleaning station at your house to have fun with your children. 

Skills: Senses development 

27. Rescue Mission

Materials Required: Police costume

How to Plan: Do you still have your child’s old policeman Halloween costume? Then make your toddler wear it and rescue their favorite toys that you have hidden inside your home. 

Skills: Analytical thinking and problem-solving skills

28. Measuring Mess

Materials Required: Different sizes of bowls 

How to Plan: This toddler activity is messy but fun. You can create a measuring tray with different sizes of bowls. Then, you can ask your child to measure different items like rice, water, etc. 

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Skills: Measurement skills 

29. Baking Station

Materials Required: Kids baking kit 

How to Plan: Do you want to keep your child busy while you cook dinner? Then, order a baking kit for your child and set up a baking station in the corner of your kitchen. This way, you can watch your kids while working in the kitchen. 

Skills: Eye and hand coordination 

30. Tell a Tale

Materials Required: Nothing 

How to Plan: This activity lets you turn your child into a little storyteller. Give them a few words like Mom, dog, or home, and ask them to create a story around those words. 

Skills: Creative thinking 

Related Reading: Free Online Classic Storybooks for Kids

31. Magical Road Box

Materials Required: A cardboard box, markers, and toy cars 

How to Plan: Flatten a cardboard box and draw roads on it using a marker. Your toddler can then use it to play with toy cars. Here’s how you can create a magic road box. 

Skills: Cognitive skills 

32. Sort Puzzles

Materials Required: Multiple puzzle games 

How to Plan: Simply mix up different puzzles and ask your kid to sort them and solve each puzzle. 

Skills: Sensory development and sorting skills 

Related Reading: Best Puzzles For Kids Of All Ages

33. Post-it Number

Materials Required: Tape, toilet roll, sticky notes, and markers 

How to Plan: It is a simple math learning activity for toddlers. Just stick toilet paper to a wall using tape in a straight line. Write numbers on different sticky notes and ask your toddler to arrange them in the correct order. 

Skills: Counting skills 

34. Bath with Toys

Materials Required: Your kid’s favorite toys 

How to Plan: Does your toddler throw tantrums before taking a shower? Then put your kid’s favorite toys in the bathtub; they will not come out of the shower for hours. 

Skills: Bonding and self-care 

35. Dress Up

Materials Required: A timer and an open closet 

How to Plan: It is important to make your toddlers self-sufficient. To do so, you can organize a dress-up activity where your kid has to ready themselves within ten minutes. 

Skills: Dressing up skills

36. Balloon Tennis

Materials Required: Balloons, tennis paddles 

How to Plan: Since a tennis ball is too hard for your toddler, you can blow up some balloons to play tennis inside your home with your kids. 

Skills: Motor skills, hand-eye coordination, and focus

Related Reading: Creative Indoor Activities for Kids to Have Some No-Screen Fun

37. Go Fishing

Materials Required: Plastic fish and a tong 

How to Plan: Put some plastic fish in a shallow-filled bathtub and give a tong to your toddler to catch fish inside your bathroom. 

Skills: Improve hand grip 

38. Dot-to-Dot

Materials Required: Sheets of paper and pencils 

How to Plan: Draw small dots on a piece of paper and ask your toddler to connect dots with a pencil. The only condition is that no two lines can intersect each other. 

Skills: Concentration and pencil-holding grip 

39. Read Out Aloud

Materials Required: Picture books 

How to Plan: Buy your child some picture books and ask them to read out the story they see through visuals. 

Skills: Improve speaking skills 

Related Reading: How to Teach Reading to Kids: 10 Best Strategies for Parents

40. Just Dance

Materials Required: Kid-friendly playlist 

How to Plan: Pull your couch aside to create space in your living room. Then, play your kid’s favorite songs to dance and have fun. 

Skills: Listening and motor skills 

Engaging Sensory Activities for Toddlers

Mother working on computer and child playing with wooden toys on a bed

41. Glitter Bottle

Materials Required: Glitter dust and a bottle 

How to Plan: Take an empty bottle and fill half of it with glitter dust. Your kid can shake this bottle when they feel agitated. The movement of glitter can calm your child. 

Skills: Relax the mind 

42. Play with Food

Materials Required: Different food items 

How to Plan: It might get messy but squishing, tasting, and smearing food can offer a sensory experience to your toddlers. So, encourage your toddler to eat food on their own. 

Skills: Recognizing different textures 

43. Knead Dough

Materials Required: Flour and water 

How to Plan: Give a semi-kneaded dough to your child to squeeze and squish. You can add color or scent to the flour to target more senses. 

Skills: Overall sensory development 

44. Finger Painting

Materials Required: Paint and paper 

How to Plan: Let your toddler dip their fingers into some paint and draw something on a blank canvas. A fun activity of coloring pages for kids.

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Skills: Feeling textures 

45. Organize Fruits and Vegetables

Materials Required: A variety of fruits and vegetables 

How to Plan: Put your child on refrigerator organization duty. Ask them to color coordinate all fruits and vegetables in your refrigerator, like tomatoes with carrots and kale with spinach. 

Skills: Shape, color, fruit and vegetable recognition 

46. Play with Clay

Materials Required: Modeling clay 

How to Plan: Let your toddler create different objects using colorful modeling clay to improve their hand movements. 

Skills: Creativity, imagination, and ingenuity

47. Smell a Flower

Materials Required: A variety of flowers 

How to Plan: Take your toddler to a park or local nursery and ask them to smell different flowers and remember their names. 

Skills: Develop the sense of smell

48. Chase Butterflies

Materials Required: Nothing

How to Plan: During the spring season, take your toddler outside and let them chase butterflies and bugs to strengthen their sensory system. 

Skills: Improve endurance, stamina, and enhance overall development 

Related Reading: How to Set Up an Outdoor Classroom: A Step by Step Guide

49. Bubble Wrap Popping

Materials Required: Bubble wrap and tape

How to Plan: Find some bubble wrap and tape it to your floor. Now, ask your child to walk barefoot on the bubble wrap and feel the popping sensations on the skin. 

Skills: Sense of texture 

50. DIY Drum Set

Materials Required: Kitchen utensils 

How to Plan: Using kitchen utensils, let your toddler produce different sounds and observe how they react to every sound. 

Skills: Listening skills 

51. Create Edible Sand

Materials Required: Graham crackers, cookie crumbs, and a bowl 

How to Plan: Give your toddler some leftover cookies and crackers to squish and create edible sand. 

Skills: Hand movements 

Benefits of Educational Activities for Toddlers

Young kids playing blowing bubble and playing with blocks

Toddler activities can help parents teach children new lessons in a playful manner. These can grab toddlers’ attention for longer and keep them engaged. Moreover, educational activities can help to:

1. Develop Motor Skills

Children’s sensory-motor skills are connected to educational toys. Colorful and vibrant lights and sound improve young children’s vision. Crafty toys and activities help older children improve their fine motor skills. This will help kids develop better personalities and communication skills. 

2. Develop Emotions

You can train and socialize your child at home. Children use educational toys to role-play, understand emotions, and develop empathy. Educational activities will put your child in various social situations such as sharing, leading, bonding, caring, waiting, etc. Playing also helps them develop emotional intelligence by responding to emotions like anger, laughter, and sadness.

Related Reading: Interesting Social-Emotional Learning Activities for Classroom

3. Improve Concentration

Playing lets your child focus on a task for a more extended period. Activities introduced early will help your child improve their concentration. This can pay off later in your child’s academic career. 

4. Enrich Imagination

Educational activities promote learning and growth and allow your children to think creatively. These activities include games that encourage your child’s creative imagination. As a result, your children will use their creative abilities to create something beautiful. 

5. Improve Language Skills

Improvement of language skills is one of the advantages of learning through play. When children play, they use their words to bring toys to life or to narrate their activities. Playtime allows children to practice their language skills.

Pick a Toddler Activity!

As you can see, every activity teaches your child a new lesson and life value. So, you must understand your child’s requirements and select the best toddler activities to help them grow. 

For virtual reading and math learning activities, you can use SplashLearn resources. In addition, we have a wide range of free games that your toddler can play and pick one or two skills on the way.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQS)

How can one find the most suitable toddler activities?

Activities help toddlers learn, gain confidence, and form relationships. While playing, children should explore their own interests and surroundings. Making a mess, going outside, playing make-believe, drawing, singing nursery rhymes, and reading are all examples of good ideas for activities with toddlers.

How can I encourage my toddler to try new activities?

Keep a diary of all the times your child was brave and tried something new, and update it regularly. You can decorate with pictures, drawings, or small mementos if possible. Include information about how well your child performed or how much fun you and your child had when trying out this new activity.

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Bettie R. Kelley Hi, I'm Bettie R. Kelley and I am the creator of the blog "eco-inhibitors,com". I have always had a love for all things crafty and artistic, and I find it extremely satisfying to create something beautiful from scratch.

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