Activities to do with Toddlers

Now that Molly is getting a little older I’m finding myself constantly looking for things to keep her busy. And I also find myself frequently asking other parents what they do with their kiddos. So I thought a fun post on my blog today could be about my top five activities for toddlers.

A Box and Crayons/Washable Markers

A couple days ago I asked you guys what you like to do with your toddlers and so many people recommended putting your little one in a large box with markers and letting them go to town. I thought that was SUCH a good idea. And since I am always buying things for my blog, we always have empty boxes laying around. So we tried it out with Molly yesterday and she loooooved it! She couldn’t believe her luck that we were letting her color on something other than paper. I am a little nervous that this will encourage coloring in other places that aren’t paper, but her crayon/markers are kept hidden away unless she is being watched, so I think we will be ok. I will let you know if something ends up happening! Ha!

The Park

The park is an obvious choice. But Molly loves going so much that I had to put it on this list. She would go every single day if she could. And luckily, now that we have a nanny who is helping us out on weekday mornings, she does get to go pretty often! It’s a great way to get her energy out in the morning so that she naps well in the afternoon. And on weekends, Kevin and I love to take her and all go as a family. The best thing about a park is it’s free! Having kids is expensive and all of their activities are expensive too. So the fact that the park is free makes it a no-brainer for this list. It’s really my number one activity!


A Water Park

A water park absolutely had to be on my list because Molly is obsessed with everything to do with the water. And as much as I’d love to take her to the beach, Riley is just too little to spend an entire day outside at the beach. Plus, anyone who’s ever had an infant knows that to do an activity like the beach, you need to haul an entire cars worth of stuff with you. You spend the majority of the day just getting to the beach and once you’re there it’s not relaxing when you have an infant and toddler to care for. So even though I think the beach is a great activity for older kiddos, for us to get Molly’s water time activities in, we prefer a water park. We recently went to Great Wolf Lodge in Garden Grove. Have you guys heard of this place before? They have them all around the country. We went while my sister and her family were visiting us and the kiddos had the absolute best time! Molly has talked about it every day since we got back! It works perfectly for us and our situation right now because Kevin was able to take Molly into the pool and water play areas while I sat on the sidelines with Riley and watched them play. We switched on and off. I’d be with Molly and he’d be with Riley sometimes too. It’s so important for us to keep doing things with Molly even though we have a little baby and this was the perfect option for us.


A Toddler and Me Class at her Preschool

I wanted to add this to the list because I think it’s super important. A lot of parents take their kids to toddler any me classes. However, I think it’s really important to join the toddler and me class at the preschool your child is going to be going to. For instance, Molly has been going to a toddler and me class that either Kevin or I take her to once a week since she was one. And now when she starts preschool on September 6, I can’t believe how soon that is, she will be familiar with the school and it won’t seem like such a big transition for her. So not only is a toddler and me class a great way to have kids get out energy and socialize with other kiddos, but it’s a great way to prepare them for a future school they might be going to. By the way, I seriously can’t believe that Molly is going to be going to preschool soon! It’s only two days a week for three hours in the morning, but still! I’m officially about to be a mother to a child in school! That just blows my mind.

Farmers Market

This might seem like a weird choice to put on this list depending on what farmers markets are like in your area, but the one near our house is great to take Molly to! We actually went this morning as you will see if you watch my insta stories. The reason I love this as an activity is because not only does Molly love it, but Kevin and I are also able to take advantage of the opportunity and go shopping for produce for the week. So it’s kind of like we’re getting an errand done and doing with something with Molly all at the same time. But that’s because our farmers market is incredible! It’s got an area for kids that includes a bouncy house, slides, a small petting zoo area with animals and other kiddo appropriate rides like a swing that goes round and round. Molly talks about the farmers market all week! She doesn’t quite get the difference in the days but we let her know every day how far away Sunday is so we can go to the farmers market. And I love that every time we’re there we can teach her about local farming and the importance of buying some food locally. She also knows that she get strawberries every time she goes to the farmers market, which she absolutely loves, and we’re happy to give her farm fresh organic strawberries when we go.

Water Toys

Like I mentioned above when I was talking about the water park, Molly absolutely loves the water! And while we’re lucky enough that we have a pool in our backyard, it’s fenced off so she can’t get in it on her own. Sometimes it can be a process to get her in a swim diaper and for us to get in there with her. Especially with baby Riley. Since one of us has to stay out of the pool to take care of him. He’s still too little to go in the chlorine. So that’s why water toys in our backyard are so essential. It’s easy because we’ll let Molly go outside and will pretty much let her run around naked and play with all her water toys. We don’t even worry about a swim diaper since if there are any accidents it’s not like it’s going in our big pool. We have three things right now a water table for her to splash in, a kitty pool (how stinking CUUUUUUUTE are this candy themed one and this flamingo one) and a little sprinkler that she can run through. She loves all three things and they completely made her summer!

That’s all I’ve got for now! Share you favorite things to do with your toddler to keep them busy in the comments below! I looooove hearing all your ideas!

34 Thoughts

34 thoughts on “Activities to do with Toddlers

  1. My daughter is only a week younger than Molly and the idea of putting her in preschool is TERRIFYING. Why so early? (This isn’t meant to sound hateful.. I’m just wondering if I dropped the ball on this one).

    1. I feel exactly the same way. My son is 2 1/2 years old and I’m TERRIFIED too! Why does it have to be so early? Am I missing something?

    2. It’s only 2 days a week for 3 hours. So it’s basically like a toddler and me class. I just want her to socialize with other toddlers and start to SLOWLY learned to be independent away from me 🙂

      I know it’s scary, it is for me too! But that’s why we did the toddler ad me first. So I could spend a lot of time at the school and get to know the teachers. Molly’s preschool teacher runs the toddler and me so I’ve been able to see first hand over a YEAR how great she is with kids.

      1. My daughter is 2 in september1 I put her in “camp” 2 days a week for 3 hours… as terrifying as it was at first… I was able to get so much done and scheduled some me time. It was all for socialization and trying new things, new procedures and routines etc. I’m glad I did it… she loves it!

        1. It’s not early at all. Children learn by playing with other children, socialization is incredibly good for their development. Mums can’t be everything for their kids at some point. You’re doing great Ali!

      2. Daycare is really great for socializing too. The one I have Layne (almost 2) in is set up like a little school with activities as well as downtime. 🙂

        1. Preschool is a great idea and it sounds like you’ve been able to strike a lovely balance for Molly. I don’t think it’s too early at all. I had to return to work, so our son has been going to preschool (Montessori) 5 days a week since he was 13 months. He loves it and thrives in the environment.

          1. I’m about to have my 2 year old begin daycare/preschool and am also totally terrified! I know it’ll be great for him though. He’s a smart kid who could totally use the stimulation and getting into routines especially because he’s been spoiled like crazy by his grandma watching him since birth. I have a one month old baby so I’m super extra weepy and hormonal about this transition— I worry so badly that he’ll freak out being away from us (a TOTAL daddy’s boy) and give the teachers a hard time with following rules. I know it’s their job though and he’s not the first kid they’ve had to break in. Just want to fast forward to like a month from now when it’s just normal for everyone.

  2. Love these ideas!! I just got Orbeez and some fine motor scoopers and things for her play in. I put them in her water table or just in a plastic container. They are sooo fun to play with even for me haha. Check them out on amazon. They are non toxic but I do watch her carefully so she doesn’t eat them.

  3. So many Instagram friends with amazing ideas! I follow @busytoddler and @dayswithgrey . They have fun activities for toddlers and they all work on skills to get your little one prepared for preschool/kinder.

  4. My daughter just turned
    4 and will be starting preschool September 5. My anxiety is through the roof!!! She’s my little buddy and the thought of her going somewhere without me or a family member is just so stressful! Do you plan on writing a blog about the transition? I am going to be a mess and she is going to have so much fun! I am very excited for her, but a nervous wreck about letting her go a little.

  5. We did this for the first time today, washing our cars with our almost 2 year old! He loved playing in the soap and with the hose. Didn’t have to leave home and got a chore done! Also got the car seat cleaned out at the same time!!

  6. My little guy will be 2 in less than a month and he is obsessed with bubbles! We especially like the big wands so he can “hold it” (which he says over and over if we are trying to blow him bubbles)! We also randomly brought him to Home Depot yesterday when we were running errands and he had a blast carrying around one of the big buckets and checking out all items at his level. So similar idea to your farmer’s market idea – but he unexpectedly had a blast with us. Love that you included the box idea-this has been one of our toddler’s favorite activities!

  7. My soon to be 3 y/o LOVES to make slime. And also play with kenetic sand (there’s so many activities on pinterest). She also started preschool around 2 and a half. I was 7 months pregnant and it’s been the best thing for both of us. She’s learned so many cute and fun things and made new friends, and I’ve gotten to have quality 1 on 1 with the baby. Molly will enjoy it and do so well! Here’s the link for the borax free slime we make 😊

  8. These are great ideas! We live in Chicago and there’s so much to do in our neighborhood- from Toddler and tunes in the park, summer fest, fresh market, etc etc. Totally agree with taking advantage of free stuff like parks, splash pad, etc

  9. My son is 1 week younger than riley. What all do you do with him? I feel like he just lays there or sits there. We do some tummy time and he has great head control. But what do you do for his learning and development?

  10. Preschool is great for toddlers. You guys also seem to do a lot of activities st home with her with is always an sdded advantage. Reading, drawing, abc’s etc. Both combined support each other. Ali I loved the ABC board that Molly was playing with the other day. I missed the swipe. Can you please forward it to me? That would be wonderful.

  11. Swimming lessons especially since you have a pool at a neighborhood rec center? You can do them with or without a parent now that she is a bit older but Riley could also start around six months.
    Community centers in general have really fun toddler classes.
    We also had a blast with pitching a tent in the backyard/living room when it’s cold.
    Or taking the box idea a step farther and cutting a door and window in it and viola a fort! She can color in and out.

  12. Sensory bins are good especially for rainy days! Who would think a bin full of uncooked dyed rice would be so fun but they play for hours!

  13. Our toddler is almost 2 now (October baby). What is the age range when we should be sending him to preschool? Because he was born in October I do have the option of waiting until he is older than the other kids. As for the activities, these are great! Layne loves the water and being active so we will use these. We’re in Oregon and I do know there is a Great Wolf Lodge in Washington. Maybe we’ll take him soon. Thank you for sharing!

  14. Note to moms of toddlers…be careful your little doesn’t sneak a crayon in their pocket. When you take the clothes out of the dryer you will find melted crayon all over everything and totally cry🤦🏼‍♀️It scrubs off though unfortunately only with WB40. Just another day in the mom life🤣 needless to say I have crayon anxiety and may be sticking with markers for awhile!

  15. We just purchased the candy land theme water park for our almost 2 year old (she’ll be 2 tomorrow!) as well as a water table, because she also LOVES the water. We have a pool in our yard as well, but it’s not as easy as letting her play in her own little splash park. We built her water table the day of her party and she was in heaven! She was soaked from head to toe and was having the time of her life!

  16. Ali, have you checked out KidPass… they recently started in LA. It’s an app that you pay a monthly subscription for and they provide you with all kinds of activities around Los Angeles for your kiddo based on their age group. For example there’s kid’s zumba classes, karate, art classes, music classes… all kinds of stuff. I got the first month free, but I think it’s $49 for 10 credits. It’s kinda cool because I’m learning about places in LA for kids that I didn’t even know existed.

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