10 Things To Do With Toddlers At Home [updated 2021]

Photo of child playing with toy truck at home
Photo by Markus Spiske temporausch.com from Pexels

At the age of 18 months to 3 years, things start to get really exciting for your child (and even more as they grow). With the lockdown, you need creative ideas for things to do with a toddler at home. They are now much more mobile and are starting to gain confidence in themselves that they can go and explore the world. They are stronger, they are probably walking on their own and even starting to reach things/shelves/drawers that they have not been able to reach in the past. That is a lot of energy, and, it can be difficult to find a way to keep them entertained.

Of course, because kids grow at variable rates and they are unique, some of the suggestions here might suite some toddlers but not the others. Here is a list of  a few fun things to do with toddlers at home that I thought of and tried myself:

  1. Organizing their toys/room/clothes or making up their bed. Some kids see their rooms as their small private world and you will need to get them interested in either cleaning their room or giving it a "new look". You can start with very simple tasks like them carrying a toy from the floor to a box to help you tidy up and gradually build their confidence until they can tidy up sections of their toys and hopefully their whole room/toys section.

  2.  Similar to the one above, you could try cleaning the toys or for example bathing the dolls. It involved pretend play which is important for their development at this stage. The boys can do the same with their toys, it is not jsut for girls!

  3. Make some art: create something, paint or draw. It is going to be fun but messy, so be prepared. Accept there is going to be dirty hands, clothes and ruined papers. You can try to get them some child safe material and drawing books and try to supervise them. Some of the painting books are educational, about letters and numbers, etc. Youtube is full of ideas of DIY art for children that is easy to create. When your children create something, frame and hang it, celebrate it together and encourage them. You remember these times together after the lockdown is over.

    Here is a piece of art my daughter created in one of the messy play sessions we had in a children's center when she was younger, they are very simpler ideas and can easily be done at home.

  4. DIY art panda by toddler
    Photo by busymamatips.com

    It increases your toddler's confidence, strengthens your bond but also, even for adults, it can be a therapeutic form of expression.

  5. I can't really mention creating or building without mentioning Lego. I like the features of this play table and will be getting one soon! I like the fact that more than one kid can use it. They can use it for playing, drawing, building things and Lego shapes, but, you can also fill it with water for some fun outdoor play.
  6. If you have some space, you can use a small slide! Please make sure the children are in a safe environment and are supervised. My daughter loved hers in no time and was even managing to climb the slide using the steps and also from the front on her own.

    We managed to squeeze our slide in a corner. Photo by busymamatips.com

  7. If you have a garden or a backyard, it could have some space for an inflatable bath. play area, or even a DIY water slide, great in the summer when you can't visit a swimming pool becasue of social distancing and covid-19!

    Photo of inflatable kids castle
    Photo by busymamatips.com  

  8. Puzzles: buying a suitable puzzle for their age can take sometime (and give you time to rest). You can even use some cardboard and create a DIY puzzle and it can include painting something then creating a puzzle out of it as well. I started with my daughter by using a 4 part and a 6 part puzzel. A year later we are practicing with a 40 piece puzzel and depending on how much practice, some kids are able to do this better than others. Don't start with ones that are too challenging, but make sure you buy ones that are "challenging enough" to avoid boredom.

    Photo of a child painting at home
    Photo by rawpixel.com from Pexels

  9. Play hide and seek: as a baby, your child was probably fascinated by peek-a-boo, and now they get over-excited if you invited them to play along. Around the age of 18 months, some parents feel their children are going through separation anxiety. One of the ways experts recommend using fir children at this stage is to focus on some types of play like hide and seek.

    The reason this is suggested by children's mental health  professionals is that if you disappear, your child thinks they will never see you again. That is why they suddenly freak out and start screaming. Playing hide and seek helps your child realize (after a long time playing) that people and objects can actually disappear temporarily and that they might come back. Specially if thee are clear rules and everyone is committed.

  10. You never run out of things to do when you have books! Reading to children is an art in itself. It is about the emotional connection you develop with them. Try to act out a story or a book and make it interesting by changing your voice and facial expressions. Imagine you are part of the story and help them create a fantasy. Many public libraries are posting live videos of nursery rhymes and story times on their facebook pages as well. Watch this video about how to make reading fun and interesting, I found it really funny and inspiring at the same time:

  11. Let them give you a hand doing simple things around the house. This could be just tidying up or making a simple drink or meal. Please make sure they are supervised and not near any sharp or dangerous items and away from the hob/oven or anything hot. Simple things to think of would be a fruit salad or a smoothie.

I hope you found this helpful and please let me know in the comments what sort of fun activities or games you do with your toddler when you are indoors.

Thanks for reading this far!


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