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Toddler Activities

Hands-on toddler activities to use during your home school hours

They're not just playing; they're learning!


Looking for productive activities to satisfy your little one's curiosity and desire to explore without wrecking havoc on the household?

Here are some ideas that will not only keep your little tykes busy and entertained; they'll also stimulate their desire to learn more.

What general ideas can you use?

  • Games
  • Crafts
  • Educational Tools
  • Outdoor activities
  • Books and Puzzles
Better yet, here are some ideas on how to incorporate these items in your household schedule to make a successful learning day for everyone!


Toddler Craft Basket

toddler cutting Have a basket, box, or cloth bag filled with craft supplies just for the toddler/preschool gang. Consider having one for independent activities and one for supervised activities. I often find things at dollar stores and craft stores to add to the craft basket. What kinds of things can you put in your artistic arsenal?
  • markers (washable, of course)
  • construction paper
  • feathers
  • beads and buttons (watch the size if you have tots under 3)
  • paper plates
  • foam shapes
  • paper bags
  • stickers
We also have a daily craft time (well almost daily) for the two and three year olds. This is a supervised activity with special supplies I wouldn't dare leave in their reach.
  • finger paints
  • tempra paints
  • colored chalk
  • glitter


More ideas on art activities for your toddlers.

Educational Activities

Great Tip!

bear counters A long time ago I read a suggestion to keep a supply of toys and toddler activities that were only allowed while the older sibling were homeschooling. This great suggestion made the toys seem special and kept their appeal longer. Here are some obvious and not-so-obvious ideas for starters:
  • puzzles
  • lacing beads
  • alphabet manipulatives
  • blocks (all types)
  • color and size sorters
  • simple workpages
  • counting manipulatives
You can spend a small fortune on these items or collect a gold mine from yard sales and second hand stores. (I've done both.)

Another Great Tip! Spend five minutes using a familiar object a new way.

For instance, make a color pattern with blocks.

Or stack one block, then two blocks, then three blocks, then four blocks and have them do the same. Then leave them to independently manipulate their educational tools.

These activities are likely to last longer than if you simply sat them down with the box of blocks.

Toddler-Friendly Academics

bear counters This isn't about high-pressure teach-your-baby to read academics. We like to do what toddlers have always loved: hands-on learning with colorful, tempting objects.

Fun ways to teach preschool math.

13 fun ways to introduce handwriting for 3 and 4 year olds.

Outdoor Activities

Kids Catching Bugs So you have decided to take the crew to the backyard while enjoying a beautiful day. The little one is interested in the activity for five minutes and then gets bored. What next?

You probably already know about such things as swings, chalk, sandbox, and balls. They are all great suggestions. Here are a few others:
  • Turn the hose to the least amount it will go. Expect a contented toddler and a mess.
  • Collect leaves to turn into a poster later.
  • Collect twigs and sticks. (Not to sound sexist, but the male gender often has an insatiable desire to do this anyway.) Sort the sticks smallest to largest.
  • Look for bugs and name them. Ants, lady bugs, butterflies, grasshoppers, bees. Draw them on index cards as you find them.

Please share some of your favorite preschool activities. Your best tip just might make another toddler and mother's day brighter! Whether or not you have a Facebook account, your special technique can be read by others.


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