100 Busy Activities for Babies and Toddlers

I think the thing that scares me most about this crazy virus (besides the real threats like actually getting sick, the extreme hardships many could face, the economic implications, etc. 😬) is having to entertain my 20 month old and almost 4 year old without leaving our house for two weeks or more. I’m being proactive and have assembled a list of 100 activities to keep your baby or toddler busy during this time. Some of these activities will keep them busy on their own (hallelujah!) and some will require your participation.

For Babies

  1. Make your own “what’s inside” box. Gather random small objects from around the house, cut an opening in a Kleenex box, and put them inside. The baby pulls out and examines one object at a time to see what’s inside.
  2. Read books.
  3. Dance party with different music types.
  4. Color – they will need help, but babies love to color!
  5. Band practice with pots and pans.
  6. Water play including extra baths, playing in the sink, and water in bowls.
  7. Paint with water – just a piece of colored paper and a paint brush with water.
  8. Put paint in a Ziploc bag and let your baby squish it around.
  9. Play with cooked spaghetti or other different feeling foods.
  10. Pom Pom drop – tape a paper towel roll to the wall and have your baby drop pom poms through it.
  11. Play with measuring cups and spoons.
  12. Wrist rattles.
  13. Bath time fun – bath cups, scoop boat, elephant slides.
  14. Water coloring mat.
  15. Hide toys in jello and dig them out.
  16. Put small objects in an empty water bottle for a homemade rattle.
  17. Scoop pom poms between bowls.
  18. Push dry spaghetti through the opposite side of a strainer.
  19. Dollar store treasure box – pick up a bunch of random items at the dollar store and let your baby choose something spread out over time.
  20. Make a sticky wall – stick contact paper to a wall with painters tape, sticky side out. Use string, pom poms, paper scraps, etc. to stick to the wall.
  21. Stack blocks.
  22. Put pom poms inside a whisk and have your baby get them out.
  23. Tape strips of yarn to the underside of a chair or table.
  24. Put water beads in a Ziploc bag.
  25. Tape colored popsicle sticks to the high chair surface and have your baby try to unstick them.
  26. Create a makeshift guitar for your baby with rubber bands around a baking dish.
  27. Play with bubbles.
  28. Sing songs together.
  29. Make a sensory bin with cereal and household objects for them to dig out of the cereal.
  30. Doorway jumper.

For Toddlers

  1. Bake together – yes it’s messy, but lets be honest, your home is going to get messy during this time.
  2. Obstacle course – we love using our Nugget for this, but you can use any and all larger objects in your home to create an obstacle course.
  3. Paint.
  4. Play restaurant using this pretend play diner set.
  5. Hide objects in pasta or rice and have your kids find them using tongs.
  6. Wash dishes in the play sink.
  7. Water beads.
  8. Read books.
  9. Play beauty salon with real or pretend makeup.
  10. Hide and seek – a house favorite, and if you hide well enough you will get a little alone time.
  11. Camp out in your living room with a fort and flashlights.
  12. Kinetic sand.
  13. Play dough.
  14. Make your own play dough.
  15. Scavenger hunt – give your kids things to find around the house or hide objects for them to find.
  16. Easter egg hunt – another house favorite at all times of the year.
  17. Window markers.
  18. Write (or color) and mail letters to friends and family.
  19. Window clings.
  20. Wash toys – setup a soapy bucket and a clean water bucket with toys that can get wet. Let your kids go to town washing them!
  21. Popsicle bath – just how it sounds, give them a popsicle in the bath. Best. Trick. Ever.
  22. Draw a giant race track and race toy cars.
  23. Alphabet Soup game.
  24. Board games – hungry hungry hippos, pretty pretty princess, let’s go fishing.
  25. Play with snow – if it’s still snowing where you live – make snowball soup or paint snow.
  26. Letter writing practice – there are so many great tracing books out there for helping with letter writing.
  27. Dress up stickers.
  28. Have a dance party.
  29. Line up toys or stuffed animals biggest to smallest, or just have a tea party with them.
  30. Paint nails – we love this insta dry polish.
  31. Grab a cookie sheet and magnetic letters from the dollar store. Write out the alphabet on the cookie sheet and have your child match the magnets to each letter.
  32. Scissor practice cutting cooked spaghetti.
  33. Practice color sorting – sort pom poms into bowls with the same color.
  34. Mix food coloring colors into water to see what colors you can make.
  35. Let them make you a real meal (no heat of course) with whatever ingredients they think are best. It’s fun, and disgusting, to see what they come up with and how proud they are of their meal.
  36. Make a boat or space ship out of a cardboard box.
  37. Bath time fun – bath letters and numbers, bath crayons, spout bath toy, bath foam.
  38. Play grocery store with food items you have on hand.
  39. Be a family train, stopping at imaginary destinations all over the house.
  40. Make a slide on the stairs with a Nugget or mattresses.
  41. Play with shaving cream.
  42. Kick a ball back and forth.
  43. Have a performance – each family member picks something to perform.
  44. Hide puzzle pieces from several puzzles in sand or flour. Dig them out and put the puzzles back together.
  45. Dollar store treasure box – this one is really good for the toddler age range.
  46. Make a sticky wall (see above).
  47. Freeze small objects in an ice cube tray. Use a paint brush and water to melt away the ice and uncover the object.
  48. Play with stamps.
  49. Use a lint roller to pick up small pieces of yarn.
  50. Make your own bowling alley down a long hall – setup objects to be knocked over when you roll a ball.
  51. Place a bunch of objects in a laundry basket and have your child sort them by color.
  52. Pretend to be a mommy or daddy and have them take care of a baby.
  53. Build LEGO’s.
  54. Make a snack tray for the kids with a muffin tray and a different snack in each cup.
  55. Play with funnels using water or rice.
  56. Do a workout together – Ella absolutely loves coming up with workouts for me.
  57. Make a hopscotch with tape on the carpet.
  58. Bake your own donuts and experiment with different flavors.
  59. Talk about what they want to be when they grow up and pretend to be that.
  60. Have them help you with chores like folding laundry.
  61. Play with bubbles.
  62. Make necklaces with candy or cereal.
  63. Be a family band – each person finds a different household object to use as a musical instrument.
  64. Movie night with special snacks and an inflatable mattress.
  65. Hammer golf tees into a piece of styrofoam.
  66. Make a mini field day with different athletic tasks to accomplish – long jump, hallway dash, most spins, etc. and a medal at the end.
  67. Eat lunch or dinner in a different place in your house. Have a picnic!
  68. Have a stacking contest with plastic cups or blocks.
  69. Use the Moonlight storybook projector.
  70. Play shoe shop with everyone’s shoes – another house favorite!

I hope you and your kids have fun trying out some of these activities and I hope they help to keep you sane during this time. Staying home is important right now, but also tough. Hang in there!

For more amazing ideas, check out my three favorite Instagram pages for kid’s activities, learning, and general inspiration.

  • @busytoddler
  • @themamanotes
  • @littleoneslearn

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