10 easy activities to do with toddlers using things you already have around the home!

Unfortunately we have found ourselves during a time where it isn’t safe to leave our homes and so some of us find ourselves isolated in the house with a toddler to entertain. During this period there can also be some uncertainty about money and so I have put together this guide of 10 quick and easy activities you can do with things already around your home. These play and craft ideas are not only intended to keep your little one entertained, but they also encourage fine motor skills too. I hope that you will enjoy trying them out and that they inspire other easy ideas for you too. Please do comment to let me know how you get on!

1) Peg animals


As you can see from the photo, I chose to do this craft with a paper plate I had spare, but this could be done with any piece of paper or cardboard, even an old envelope etc. Just cut out a lion face shape and encourage your little one to position pegs around like a mane. This could also be done with other shapes pieces of paper: hedgehogs, dinosaurs, turkeys, spiders, octopus, monsters, flowers… endless possibilities!

2) Leaf animals


This next craft re-uses the paper from my the first craft, only this time I have replaced the pegs with glue and leaves from my garden. And if you have no glue, don’t worry! Your little one will have just as much fun just placing the leaves around the shapes.

3) Mini trees


For this activity, all you need to do is cut out some tree shapes from cardboard. Your little one can then get to work sticking different shapes / colours / types of leaves on them. Once they’re dry, use toilet roll tubes to stand them up by putting a little snip in ether side of the tube!

This craft is a favourite with my little one because he can then use the trees in his play scenes with his animals and cars etc.

4) Threading


Yet another super easy and quick activity to set up! All you need for this one is some old cardboard and a shoe lace. Cut out a shape from the cardboard: this can be anything from a flower to just a strip of cardboard. I went with a simple strip. Make some holes in it with scissors and encourage your little one to thread the lace through the holes. This is fantastic for hand-eye coordination.

5) Rainbow sticks


All you need for this is an old box, some felt tips and cotton buds. Designs a colourful picture on the box that has blocks of colour in it. I chose a simple rainbow. Make some holes in the colour areas big enough to fit cotton buds into. Colour tips of some cotton buds to match the colours on your box then challenge your little one to put the correct buds in their matching colour sections!

6) Colour matching


This activity re-uses the cotton buds from activity 5, but these can be replaced with coloured bits of paper instead.

Create a colour sequence on a strip of paper or cardboard and encourage your little one to match the cotton buds to the spots in your sequence. Engage with them by asking them about the colours and counting them.

7) Washing dishes

Give your little one some responsibility for cleaning up by encouraging them to do their own dishes. Give them a bowl / tub of  warm, soapy water and sponges and provide some child-friendly kitchen items for them to wash-up: their own meal items work best for this. After they have washed them, help them use a tea towel to dry them too. They can do this as many times as they want, if they’re anything like my little one they will play with the water for ages!

8) Flower art


This one is lots of fun for those who love to make noise! To begin with, collect some flowers and / or different coloured leaves from your garden. This is nice to do together. Put a sheet of paper on a table and get your little one to position the flowers and leaves on top, however they fancy. When they have finished, place another piece of paper on top and let them bang on top of it with a toy hammer. If you haven’t got a toy hammer, lots of kitchen items are suitable such as a spoon etc. When they’ve finished, life off the piece of paper, remove the flowers and leaves and admire their new piece of artwork.

9) Sock matching


Lay out lots of odd socks on the floor / table and encourage your little ones to find the matching pairs (make sure the matching pairs are all there!) To make this more fun you could even add clothes pegs and get them to peg the matching socks together. Afterwards you can even encourage them to divide the socks by colour and or get them to lay them out by size: shortest to longest!

10) Bath time for toys!


This one is pretty self explanatory really: just set up a mini bath for your little one to bathe their toys. This could be any plastic toys: from dolls to dinosaurs! Give them some flannels, sponges and baby wash and then encourage them to towel dry their toys afterwards too.

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