Activities to Do with your Toddler During the Day {Parenting}

activites to do with toddler

What activities do you do with your toddler during the day?  My son is always on the go! He has tons of energy and wants to run and climb all the time.  Besides lots of unstructured play here is a list of things we do for fun and to keep him us occupied, really simple things by the way:

1) Have him “help” with common daily activities: My son loves helping and getting involved when I am putting laundry away, picking up toys, cleaning the table with a towel and water or putting things in the dishwasher. I get to do what I need to do anyway and he is busy and happy by my side.

2) Reading time: We have lots of books and picture books and he loves when I read them to him. He enjoys pointing at the pictures so I can tell him the name of each thing.   His favorite right now is a count to 10  Sesame Street book.

3) Point to your/his body parts and name them/ask him to name them: It is a fun game and we can usually spend 10 minutes or more sitting on the floor playing.

4) Teach him shapes and colors with Play-Dough:  Play-Dough is wonderful because you can build just about anything you want. You can press and mold the play-dough into many different shapes and practice naming colors.

5) Painting/Drawing time: Sponge painting is fun and helps when learning colors as well, same with drawing, a crayon and a piece of paper is all you need.

6) Water Play Time:  A small bucket, a cup and water equals lots of fun.

7) Get out of the house: Take him outside to explore, remember the simplest things are new and amazing to him!  A walk to the park,  a visit to a Science Center, a Museum, a class or play group will keep you both entertained and you will get to meet other parents while he is socializing with other children.

8)  Sing songs with lots of hand motions and listen to music: My son usually repeats the hand motions and “sings” with me.

9) Look for things out the window: He seriously loves looking out the window. Sometimes we sit there while I tell him about all the things we are looking at. I point at the birds, the squirrels, cars, people going by etc. (Great opportunity to practice colors and counting).

10) Blow bubbles: You can make your own bubble solution with eco-friendly dish soap and water (1 cup of water & 2tbsp liquid dish soap). SO fun!

What is YOUR favorite activity to do with your little one?

Keep in mind that all activities for toddlers are a learning experience.  Their little minds are like sponges absorbing everything!   Don’t forget to allow for lots of unstructured play time {children NEED it} and just have fun!

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Angela V

Founder and Writer at One Smiley Monkey blog
Hi, my name is Angela van Tijn and I live in Vancouver, Canada with my wonderful husband, our two boys and our puppy. I am the founder and primary contributor behind One Smiley Monkey. Welcome to my blog!
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21 responses to “Activities to Do with your Toddler During the Day {Parenting}”

  1. Sabrina — March 26, 2012 @ 12:12 pm (#)

    My kids {ages 3, 2 and 1} all love when I take out a book and sit on the comfy sofa with them to read. They gather round, hugging my leg and crawling all over me to get a comfy spot to listen to a story. I LOVE IT!!!

    Reply

  2. Rachel N — March 26, 2012 @ 1:28 pm (#)

    We do a lot of “helping” mommy, my son is 2 and loves to help me with daily chores. We also play catch with soft balls, play hockey in the basement with soft balls again, and color and play-doh.

    Reply

  3. Elva Roberts — March 26, 2012 @ 5:04 pm (#)

    March 26-Our greatgrand son, C, has been willing to “help”since he could walk. He had his toy vaccuum cleaner in the past few day when we were babysitting him, and he was pretending it was a lawn mower which he also loves.
    He very solemnly told his ggrandfather that:’ When the snow goes, Poppy, I will come in and cut your grass.”
    We thanked him very nicely and he pretended to “cut’ my rugs. He is a joy!–el03ro

    Reply

  4. Chun — March 26, 2012 @ 6:29 pm (#)

    Thank you very much for this sharing. I’ve been thinking a lot for what could do after my baby’s born. This would help a lot!

    Reply

  5. Sophia — March 27, 2012 @ 1:37 am (#)

    My favourite is reading time. They just love books!

    Reply

  6. Elva Roberts — March 27, 2012 @ 3:54 pm (#)

    March 27-I am happy that you included a recipe for a bubble making solution. I have been looking up recipes on the Internet. Some of them seemed to need glycerin or corn syrup along with the soap and water. I am anxious to try your recipe as I have three young ggsons who would probably be entranced by really good bubbles and I would be a hero (maybe) to them. -el03ro

    Reply

    • Angela at OneSmileyMonkey — March 27th, 2012 @ 4:22 pm

      Elva, glycerin is used to make the bubbles last a bit longer (makes them stronger) but we had a great time playing with our solution without any glycerin anyway 🙂

      Reply

  7. Rebecca Lee — March 28, 2012 @ 6:01 am (#)

    My son is becoming more and more helpful around the house, and I love letting him “help” with the chores! Its a rainy day here today, so thanks for the ideas of things to do!

    Reply

  8. Sacha Hammerer — March 28, 2012 @ 7:31 pm (#)

    You know you can make your own Play-dough. I love it cause it smells delish, it totally baby safe (eating wise) and it lasts way longer than regular play-dough, as long as you keep it in the fridge! 🙂
    http://www.playdoughrecipe.org/playdough-recipes/jello-playdough-recipe/

    Reply

  9. Elva Roberts — March 29, 2012 @ 1:54 pm (#)

    March 28-Taking time to play a game for a few miinutes once or twice a week naming body parts is fun and educational. Children may then be taudht the proper names for various parts of the body so they will be comfortable naming them.–El03ro

    Reply

  10. Shirley — March 30, 2012 @ 7:34 am (#)

    These are all great ideas!

    Reply

  11. Jenelle — March 30, 2012 @ 8:50 am (#)

    Love the advice!

    Reply

  12. Deb Dorrington — March 30, 2012 @ 11:18 am (#)

    What has always surprised me is how helpful toddlers are, they love to help Mom and Dad do small chores around the house. Mine always loved matching and folding the socks after laundry, something I was glad to let them do..lol. My daughter loved to help me dust the house. The sponge painting is always a fave thing to do together…love your list.

    Reply

  13. Elva Roberts — March 30, 2012 @ 4:06 pm (#)

    March 30-When my children were small, I loved to take them on a walk to the back of our farm to see what we could see on the way. On a sunny day, with a little breeze blowing, it wos so lovely to walk at our leisure and point out all items of interest to one another.-birds, small animals, wild flowers and even some berries. It was a peaceful time when they had my undivided attention and it helped them sleep will that night as well!-el03ro

    Reply

  14. Mag — March 31, 2012 @ 11:19 am (#)

    Thanks for the advice.

    Reply

  15. Elva Roberts — March 31, 2012 @ 1:05 pm (#)

    March 31-I think I will draw and colour with my ggsons the next time they are here or when I babysit. I haven’t tried that in a while. C loved to have an outline of his hands drawn and now maybe he will do mine and Poppy’s as well . I try to keep lots of crayons on hand and I have lots of scrap paper. el03ro

    Reply

  16. Perk11 — March 31, 2012 @ 7:40 pm (#)

    This is a super post, lots of ideas in it. Toddlers are so much fun and they love to color and build things. Last week we built a few flower boxes..

    Reply

  17. Jaimee Mcallister — June 29, 2012 @ 7:08 am (#)

    Im always finding hidden gems when I click onto non giveaway posts.
    Glad to read this, my toddler and I are always trying to find new things to do. I recently started painting with him and he absolutely loves it

    Reply

  18. Sarah — December 14, 2012 @ 1:52 pm (#)

    Thanks for the great ideas!

    Reply

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