Toddler at-Home Activities: Keeping Little Ones Entertained (So You Can Get Stuff Done)

Want to know toddler at-home activities to keep your toddler busy and finally get some stuff done? These are the tested and approved activities you can do any time.

Taking care of a toddler at home can be very overwhelming and lonely.

With a dash of creativity, a sprinkle of enthusiasm, and a pinch of imagination, your days can transform into a magical kingdom of fun and adventure.

Here are a few of my favorite toddler at-home activities I do while my husband is at work.

This post is all about toddler at-home activities

Get ready to embark on a journey filled with wonder and discover a treasure trove of surprisingly enjoyable at-home activities that will keep your toddler gleefully engaged and stimulated, all while creating unforgettable memories along the way. So, gather your imagination, embrace the mess, and let’s dive into a world of toddler-friendly fun right from the comfort of your own home.

Toddler-Approved at-Home Activities for Rainy Days

Toddler Indoor Obstacle Courses

toddler obstacle course

Obstacle courses one of my favorite free toddler at-home activities of all time. You can use what you have at home or you can get some fun games to add when the weather is not great outside and you need to get your toddlers moving.

Toddlers learn through movement and when staying indoors they can get their wiggles on! So a favorite activity to work on gross motor skills is to set up a safe and simple obstacle course using pillows, cushions, and other soft materials.

You can add some fun with toddler at-home activities by using sensory as a way to create your obstacle course. We love to use bubble wrap to create a path where my son can jump, crawl, and roll and really get a kick out of this fun sensory experience.

Encourage your son to crawl under, jump over, and navigate through the obstacles. This activity helps improve motor skills and provides hours of active play.

Here are some toddler-at-home essentials that can save your sanity on a rainy day.

Participate in a Virtual Story Time or Circle Time

You can create a reading nook and grab some books to read while creating your own puppets from old socks or paper bags or press play on YouTube and participate in a circle time event.

In my parent membership, HERE WE GROW, I provide toddler at-home activities and once a month, I provide them a virtual circle time or storytime they can enjoy at home – just as if they were in front of me during class.

Use a Toddler Indoor Gym

When toddlers are stuck inside they can get anxious because their bodies need to move. You can have a pickler triangle to help with that need and aid them in some independent play, risk-taking and gross motor skill development.

The “Pikler Triangle” or “Pikler Climbing Triangle” is a climbing structure designed for toddlers and young children. It was not invented by a single person but is named after Dr. Emmi Pikler, a Hungarian pediatrician, who emphasized the importance of respectful, child-led care and encouraged free movement and independent play in children.

The Pikler Triangle was inspired by Dr. Emmi Pikler’s theories on child development. She believed that allowing children to explore their own bodies and move at their own pace fosters physical and emotional development. The Pikler Triangle, which consists of a simple wooden climbing frame with rungs and platforms, is designed to promote motor skills, balance, coordination, and muscle development in a safe and engaging way.

It’s important to note that while the Pikler Triangle and similar climbing structures can offer many benefits, they should always be used under supervision, and safety precautions should be taken to prevent accidents.

Additionally, the philosophy behind the Pikler approach is centered on respect for the child’s autonomy and pace of development, which is an important aspect of its use.

Educational Toddler at-Home Activities

Set up a Playdough Tray

Homemade Playdough is one of my favorite ways to entertain. toddler. You can use store-bought but homemade playdough tends to be softer so it is easier to manage for little fingers.

some toddler at-home activities are to make things with playdough! You can make a playdough tray by providing playdough, things they can poke into like cut-up straws, and things that can make marks. This simple setup is always a win with my toddlers in class and I know it will be a win at your house too.

Playing with nature playdough helps strengthen fine motor skills in many ways. All that rolling, squeezing, pinching, and patting is great for little hands and fingers.

Fine motor skills are great skills for pre-writing skills. It allows a child to hold pens and pencils correctly and to be able to do up buttons and zips.

Together they use a simple recipe that involves flour, salt, water, and food coloring. Once the playdough is ready, let your son mold and shape it into various objects, fostering creativity and fine motor skills. Plus, it’s a fun and tactile experience.

Download A Printable Toddler Game

When it comes to keeping your child busy at home a printable learning game can be an easy activity you can do together. I love to create interactive printables (our learning binders became super famous) and toddler love it! All you need is a printer and some scissors to set up the games.

Set Up a Sensory Bin

Toddler at-home activities can be so much fun when you add some messy play into your day!

A big part of staying with our toddler is to create engaging activities to foster their creativity, the cognitive development and get them ready for preschool. I do this by involving him in my daily chores like cooking and doing laundry as well as setting up sensory activities for him to engage and learn through play.

If you need some toddler at-home activities for sensory play, here are some of my favorite activities you can do this week!

Free Toddler Activities to keep your toddler busy

Get in touch with nature

It is easy to stay stuck at home, and when you think toddler at-home activities you think “indoor toddler activities” and probably involve staying in the same room all day. But hear me out…

Getting out for a nature walk with your child in the stroller, a cup of coffee, and a friend is very helpful to your own mental health.

kids also benefit so much from going outside, breathing some fresh air and even walking on uneven surfaces.

I teach toddler nature so I can go on and on why you should get in nature but trust me! Add it you your weekly calendar! Even if it’s raining!

Craft Activities for Toddlers

Art is not only great to develop fine motor skills and creativity but it is an activity that most toddlers love.

Toddlers are not capable to follow step by step instructions as most Pinterest crafts we see online. This is why in my classes and in my coaching program I suggest to the moms tho lean onto process art instead.

Give them the art supplies and allow them to explore the materials. The art is in the process and not the end product.

Here are some fun ideas you can make:

Set up a mess-free Art Station

I get it, when it comes to being indoors it is hard to thing about doing messy activities. You can still set up an art station that is mess getting creative like painting on a construction paper with just water, or getting one of these mess-free mats, where the water activates the colors but no colors will get on your carpet or clothes.

Create a reading nook and read your favorite toddler books

Dedicating a place to read books like a reading nook is an essential pre-reading skill we must develop in toddlers. Pick classical toddler books to add to the shelf, books with textures and board books your toddler can independently browse.

You can also read the book together and then do a book-based activity like we did with the Good Night Gorilla book.

Make your toddler at-home days easier by Creating a toddler Routine

When our days don’t have order, it is easy to get overwhelmed. When I used to go to the office I knew at what time I had meetings, lunch, and what the plan was. We have to treat our home routine the same way.

It is important to have routines, but most importantly have daily rhymes.

Daily rhymes are those motions in the day where we know what happens after each activity. Is not so much how we are attached to the clock.
Every morning we do a learning activity and every afternoon we do a sensory activity. The time changed but I know those activities we always do.

I also make a point to go out and meet other moms and friends. I try to schedule a class a week to participate in. Music class was a favorite until I started hosting sensory classes so then I was the teacher but the concept was the same.

Reminder: Mom play is important too

I know this post is about doing at-home activities with your toddler but I have to finish it off with a word of advice… Moms also need to play.

Even though this article is all about toddler at-home activities, through my research on play and learning through play I have come to realize that we are so focused on our kids to have fun that we forget who we are, what we like, and how to add a little of that play into our our days. Moms need to have fun too. So I make a point to do something that I like in the week.

I either do it next to my son while he plays independently or I make a point for my husband to take charge at some point in the week so I can do something I love. Do I feel guilty? yes! but I try to make an effort because us moms, and what we like is also important.

I have done classes, art get-togethers and even just dive into a puzzle.

If you want your days and weeks to not feel like you are giving it all to everyone except you make an effort to add YOU to the calendar as well.

This was a list of my favorite ways to spend my day and some toddler-at-home activities while my husband is at work. Remember to set up a schedule, and theme your days so that you can plan your days. During rainy days, add movement art and creative play to keep little ones engaged, learning, and having fun!

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