Simple Toddler Activities for Long Days at Home

Simple Toddler Activities for Long Days at Home

Let’s be honest, as a mom there are days when you feel like you’ve pulled out all the stops to keep your babies entertained only to look up at the clock and realize it’s not even 10 am. I’ve been there more than a few times! It’s super disheartening because it feels like you’re in survival mode before your day has even started.

Here are some of my go-to toddler activities to keep tiny kiddos (ages 1-3), entertained and learning every day (but especially on days when I have no clue what to do):

  1. Try to get out of the house if possible. A quick trip to the playground, library, grocery store, in the stroller around the block etc. can turn everyone’s mood around
  2. Sensory bins– if you look this up online it might scare you off because there are a lot of super extra bins, but I live by the KISS (keep it simple, silly) mindset. Simply grab a large plastic container (we use an under the bed box) and dump in whatever dry food you have in your pantry (beans, rice, noodles, cereal, popcorn kernels). Next grab bowls, muffin tins, spoons, etc and toss those in there. My son will often bring over some small trucks too. This is such a great way for your kids to explore and even improve their fine motor skills.

Our friend, Julie, is the queen of sensory play! 
Check out some more sensory bin inspiration here!

  1. Pillow fort- I usually don’t let my kiddos in my room because I like to keep one area of my house peaceful, but I know that they love to be in there. As a special treat, we jump up on my bed and play in the pillows. Sometimes we make a fort, and other times we stack all the pillows and knock them down. It’s always fun for them and really easy to clean up! Bonus if you have a child old enough to have nap time or quiet time in a fort you build together!
  2. Water play in the backyard– on warm days, we always try to get out in the backyard. My kids tend to be so much more independent out there, and I love to soak up some vitamin D! We have lots of random buckets and a baby pool back there and we fill those up with water. My kids love to experiment with sinking and floating, make random mixtures, and dump it out.
  3. Pull out a toy they haven’t seen in a while- truthfully, my kids have way too many toys. So many that I usually keep a good chunk of them tucked away. On that day when everyone had lost their mind, I grab a once popular toy in hopes that absence has made the heart fonder, and usually it has!
  4. Bake something- this can be tricky, but if you prep your toddler on your expectations ahead of time, they will love all of the scooping, dumping, and tasting that goes into it. Our go-to is cookie or pumpkin bars, because they have all of the goodness of cookies without the time-consuming task of rolling the cookies into balls.

Here’s a bonus tip – Take to heart the idea that if a kid plays with something longer than it takes to clean it up, that’s a win! So yes, sensory bins and baking are messy, but they can hold babies’ attention for much longer than it takes to sweep or vacuum up any messes.

Mommying is hard work and can feel like a total roller coaster, even within a single day – or hour! Remember that you’re not alone, you’re doing an incredible thing, and God’s grace is abundant. You got this, momma!

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