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Essential Baby Toddler Activities & Craft Ideas

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#1 lilymurray

Posted 02 July 2010 - 11:41 AM

Welcome to the 2-5 years Forum

Have you seen Essential Baby's Resources for Kids Activities? Here is a link to Essential Baby's Kids Activities Page:


The link includes:
Colouring pages
Craft Activities
Holiday Activities
Miniature Easter buckets
Tissue paper eggs


The link includes:
Themed colouring pages
Print off mazes and puzzles
Bingo games
Oragmi puzzles
Paper planes
Playdough recipe
Kitchen Science experiments
Educational craft ideas

There are also some great suggestions for Kids Books here:

There are also some fantastic ideas in the 12 - 24 months forum:

Below is a list of Toddler Activities compiled by our members.


1. COOKING CLASS ? Fill several small plastic bowls with small amounts of different cereals, dried fruit, chocolate chips, pretzel pieces, etc. and put them on the kitchen table. Then set out some plastic measuring cups, wooden spoons, big plastic mixing bowls, and measuring spoons and set them to work at the table.

2. BAKE MUFFINS ? Let them stir and add the ingredients

3. BATH TIME - An extra bath can keep them amused and fill in time.

4. PLAY DOUGH - usually on a plastic mat on the kitchen floor whilst I'm cooking

5. DRESS UPS ? fun for boys and girls

6. TEA PARTY - in an indoor tent or under a blanket propped up over some chairs.

7. MUSIC - I have a container just for musical instruments. I put on a cd and DD and I go for it.

8. CHALK - Chunky chalk and let them draw all over the cement on the back
patio or driveway. It hoses off really easily and actually hosing it off becomes
another game in itself

9. PAINTING - the outside house wall or cement with a paint brush and water
(you can also add food colouring)

10. FINGER PAINTING (mummy has to be in the mood lol)

11. CHORES - Making a game out of household chores. DS pushes the vacuum
cleaner and checking the mail has become a big event!

12. CHALK - Drawing on the chalk board easel

Decide what you are having for dinner and let them go shopping for the items in the pantry. Give them a small cloth shopping bag, they can then all of there shopping on the counter ready for cooking dinner.

14) MAGAZINES - Make collages with pictures from magazines. Mummy does the
cutting out, toddler does the sticking on.

15) CLOTHES SORT - when folding the washing ask them to sort the washing into
piles with you. Mummies, Daddies and theirs

You could also sort the different types of clothing eg underwear/pajamas/shorts/shirts or where the clothing belongs draws/hanging and help to put it away.

16) WATER THE GARDEN - give your child a plastic watering can and fill it up with
water and let them "water the plants" or whatever else their little heart

17) WATER PISTOL - A big water pistol and let them loose outside

18) PHOTO ALBUM - Make up a photo album of extra photos that your toddler
can look through - especially ones of family and friends.

19) KITCHEN - give them a couple of small bowls - one with water in. Let them
pour the water from one bowl to another.


21) SORTING - recycling into piles of similar things. (But make sure there aren't
any sharp things in there before you set your toddler to work).

22.) COLOR MATCHING GAMES - Find several small objects of different colors,
and show your toddler how to sort them by color.

23.) CLEANING - Put 'Em To Work! Give them a cloth and let them do the
cleaning. Wipe the fridge, the cupboard doors, the dishwasher etc.



26. DISHWASHER - Unstack the dishwasher. Obviously supervised

27) DOG - Feed the dog a treat

28) SWEEPING ? Give them a broom and let them sweep the patio or garage

29) SHAVING CREAM - Spread shaving cream on the table and let kids 'finger
paint' and make patterns..heaps of fun?food colouring

30)STRING PAINTING - (dip string in paint, drag over paper) - can also stick onto
paper when finished

31) 'NATURE HUNT' - collect bark, small twigs, seed pods etc ... make a collage out of the things you find.

32) TREASURE HUNT - in the back yard...hide items according to child?s
observational abilities.


34) WINDOW WATCHING - Watch out of the window and have a chat about what
you see.

35) WALK to the shops or a park. Toddler gets to look at birds, animals, plants,
houses, passing traffic. Mum gets exercise...

36) PAIRS - Play matching pairs with practically anything!

37) FRIENDS - Make friends with the neighbour's children

38) LIBRARY - Get 10 books. Get some board books and some paper books. Read
them throughout the week.

39) MAKEUP - Have an "empty set" of makeup etc. DS copies me putting
deodorant on, brushing my hair etc when I'm getting ready in the morning.

40) TRUCKS - Pile of toddler-hand-sized pebbles (e.g. the kind you get at a
garden store) + toy tip-truck = many minutes of fun filling truck with
pebbles, pulling it around, emptying out stones (good exercise in teaching
not to throw/eat stones & requires fairly close supervision)

41) BOX CUBBY HOUSE - House made out of large cardboard box (e.g. fridge/washing machine box) - make holes for door/windows, tape on some scrap fabric for curtains and make a couple of peepholes - great for playing peekaboo with mum/dad and for entertaining dolls & teddy bears. Toddler can also decorate outside of house with crayons/textas/paint.

42) KITCHEN CUPBOARD - The Plastic Cupboard in the kitchen - Lots of fun
taking everything out and (sometimes) putting everything back & playing mix
& match with plastic containers & lids.

43) WASH THE DOGS ? Great on a hot day and it is another job done.

44) INDOOR CUBBY HOUSE - with sheets & chairs then put a picnic rug & some
pillows in there. We sometimes even have lunch & a story in the cubby
house, and then have lots of fun jumping into the middle of the sheets to pull
it down.

45) JELL-O BRICKS ? Make jelly together

46) SCAVENGER HUNT I made a list (with pictures) of things we had to find on a
walk (e.g., a rock, a stick, a leaf) give them a little bag or basket to collect

47) FRIDGE MAGNETS Buy lots of different ones and/or the alphabet ones and
put them at toddler height. Great entertainment whilst you are cooking or washing up.

48) ROLL OF PAPER - Roll of cheap greaseproof paper is a good one. Buy a cheap roll and let them play by rolling it up and out.

49. STICKERS - those sheets of metallic stickers that you find along random supermarket aisles are good because they are easy to peel off things. Stick a couple on each

50. TEACH SONGS with hand movements like twinkle twinkle little star, itsy bitsy spider, and I'm a little teapot

51. PLAYING CARDS - Give them a deck of playing cards or old trading cards - they bend them up and make a mess but have fun playing and looking at the pictures.



54. SAUSAGE SIZZLE - We often take some snags and bread and sauce to the park. Nothing fancy - and most parks seem to have BBQ's.

55. FLASH CARDS - Make your own number flash cards or print some off the net and stick them onto cardboard after colouring them in. We play with them at the table after a meal and I deal them out and we play snap etc. Or I arrange them in order on the floor and they use them as stepping stones while we count out loud.

56. WASHING - Help with hanging out the washing ? They can pass and count the
pegs as you go.

57. DRAWING - Cheap butchers paper and let them draw away

58. PICNIC LUNCH - Just gather up food, drinks, kids and a quilt and head for the great outdoors (backyard is good or meeting daddy for lunch in the park in town is better) It's also a great opportunity to practice drinking with a real cup.

59. TRACING - Another good use for butchers paper is to trace around the child laying on the floor, then let them decorate/draw in eyes etc themselves!! You can use wool for hair, fabric for clothes, or just crayons or pencils...depending on time/mess factors

60) STORY TIME - Find out if your local library holds a "Story Time" for pre-schoolers (ages 0-4). The children's librarian reads the children a selection of books and this is followed by a craft activity. The best thing about story time at the Library is that it's FREE!

61) MAKE A CHALK BOARD from Ply wood, chalkboard paint, paint brush and some sticky numbers. Painted it with two coats and let it dry.

62) COLOURING - Crayons and a well defined colouring book

63) WINDOW PAINTING - Shaving cream paining on the windows, just hose off when done and no major mess! Just smelly kids!

64) PICK UP THE PEGS - When take off the washing drop the pegs on the floor and get child to pick them up and put them in a bucket.

65) COOKING - Sit them on the bench away from 'sharps' and let them see and smell what you're doing.

66) MUSIC - have a special cupboard and sometimes fill them up with rice, sand etc
67) BATH TIME - Sit in the bath with them, sing songs and play with the water. Easy hour filler and so relaxing!

68) SHAPES - Learn shapes with rubber bands, let them sort and explore

69) ART - Make faces and objects with paper plates, use crayons, cotton wool, anything around the house

70) PRETEND COOKING ? Give them a saucepan and a big spoon to make me a "ake"! Then thy can pretend to feed it to you.

71) PRETEND SHOPPING - at home with a little trolley and groceries

72) CREATE - Have a spare box in the kitchen to collect anything that could be used to build anything. Give child the box of goodies when sufficient and have glue and let them create.


74) FRIDGE PHONICS by leapfrog. Ask them to find something beginning with a certain letter. Start with the letters in their own name. A great distraction

75) FEELY BOX - where you can put favourite toys or whatever your imagination allows. Encourage your child to tell you what is in the box by feeling it. Demonstrate to them by using lots of describing words. Great one to build their vocabulary too, as well as heightening their other senses.

76) GUESS THE FOOD - Children close their eyes and put some food samples in their mouths. Can they guess what it is?

77) PHOTO?S - looking through photo albums with pictures of herself and other family members.

78) ROLLER PAINTING - Fill empty roll on deoderant bottles with paint and let them roll some pictures (I'm still saving up the bottles)

79. BEANBAGS - are really useful for lots of games - we throw them through or into a hula hoop and balance them on our feet and they also make good pillows for soft toys and dolls.

80) JIGSAW PUZZLES - they come in all different levels for all ages and can be bought second hand as well as new!

81) SHAPES - Cut a hole in the lid of an icecream container. Fill the container full of pegs or bits and pieces and watch them amuse themselves for ages..putting things in and out of it.

82) RICE?SAND PIT? - If you hate sand going everywhere, why not try rice. i buy massive bags of rice and put it in a 'shell'. The kids can still use all of the sand toys in the rice and you don't get sand through the house.

83) BALLOONS - Hang balloons from the clothes line. Make 'bats' out of a clothes wire hanger and a stocking. Stretch the hanger from the bottom to make a kind of diamond shape. Slip a stocking over the the bottom and fasten at the 'neck' of the hanger. The kiddies love this as they get to bash away at the balloons without them bursting.


85) WATER - anything with water in it.

86) CHRISTMAS CHAINS - Remember we use to do them in school. Cut out strips of paper and staple or tape them together to make a chain.

87) TRANSPORT - Go for a ride on a train, tram or bus

88) BAG POTATOES -a 2kg bag of baby new potatoes can entertain for days. Put them in (and out and in etc) muffin tins and roasting tins, flung them around the living room, "cooked" them, did the 'hot potato' etc.

89) "PLAYGROUND CRAWL" - look in the UBD or on your council's website for the local playgrounds and parks and "discover" them one by one.

90) VISIT THE ZOO - buy a zoo pass and go to Taronga Zoo to visit the animals - elephants one week, giraffes the next etc.

91) GARDENING - let your toddler help you replant or get rid of weeds, water the garden, etc.

92) AEROPLANES - cut out aeroplane shapes from cardboard and make an aeroplane mobile - invovles painting, glitter and fuzzy things to stick on. Dont forget to draw in the pilot.

93) MILESTONES - Check the "what to expect" for toddlers and find out what he should be able to do, but doesn?;t. Teach him how to do it, eg. jumping, walking on a beam, etc.

94) SIMON SAYS - practice turn taking with "Simon says"

95) CLAPPING GAMES play hand slapping games with songs (make them simple)

96) BOX PLAY- decorate a large cardboard box, lay down a blue towel for a river, then sit in the box on the river and play "row row row your boat". Dont forget to point out the Crocodiles and Platypuses.

97) STICKERS - sticker books are excellent fun - watch your toddler pull all the stickers out and decorate their own scrap book (or themselves)

98) TEMPORARY TATTOOS-. Decorate their arm with a Shrek tattoo - endless entertainment.

99) TRAMPOLINE - The whole family can have fun!

100) SOCCER - make objects into goals or set obstacle courses and kick the ball around.

101) FRISBIES - Need I say more.

102) OBSTACLE COURSES - you can set these up also without the soccerball. Something to jump over, crawl under, climb through etc. Outdoor furniture can be useful.



105) FINGER PAINTING - Jelly and instant pudding make great finger painting stuff! Doesn't matter if they eat it and it washes out

106) SPRAY PAINTING ? Use a white sheet for spray painting. Have spray packs with food colouring and water for the kids to spray the sheet. Ends up looking like tie dying - but washes out so you can use the sheet over and over again!

107) Drawing

108) Reading

109) Walking/Tricycle

110) Cooking

111) Play with Train Set

112) Cubby in the loungeroom

113) Dancing and singing

114) Help with chores

115) Pots and pans and a wooden spoon to bang them with

116) Collage - - using old junk materials, such as cereal boxes, etc. You can also get cheap materials to glue on from cheap shops, such as foam shapes, feathers, paddle pop sticks etc. We offer the kids, access to glue and sticky tape, their imaginations at this activity is just extraordinary. Nature collage- find things in your own backyard, environment to glue make things

117) Music games - they love musical statues, chairs.

118) Magic paintings - draw on white paper with a candle, then Paint over with water colours and see your picture emerge! Its like magic

119) Role play activities - dressing up, acting out fairy tales

120) Make fairy wings, different costumes, masks with art materials

121) Obstacle course using your furniture - arrange furniture in such a way that encourages physical development. eg. crawling under a table, climbing over chairs, stepping on cushions etc.

122) BALLOONS..... blowing them up, kicking them, batting them, painting faces on them.

123) Gluing

124) Planting a flower or herb or vege garden

125) Potato Stamping

126) Mini vege garden in pots

127) Seed growing etc on cottonwool/in jars

128) Our day carer has a white sheet that she uses for spray painting. She has spray packs with food colouring and water for the kids to spray the sheet. Ends up looking like tye dying - but washes out so you can use the sheet over and over again

129) Jelly and instant pudding make great finger painting stuff! Doesn't matter if they eat it and it washes out

130) Get an empty nappy box, cut a hole in the side of it, so its like a letterbox, and post anything and everything that will fit.

131) Buy some cheap brightly colored construction paper (not sure if you call it that in Oz, but it's just bright paper used for making all sorts of crafts). Take a small pile of the paper and cut out little squares, rectangles, circles, ovals, hearts, etc. Put all of the little shapes in a bowl with a lid. Let your toddler pick shapes from the bowl and then help him/her paste them onto another sheet of paper for an instant collage. Then let your toddler embellish the collage with crayon drawings -- instant masterpiece!

132) Feeding the native birds, I buy a weekly bag of seed for the native parrots, cockatoos, pigeons and my daughter puts out the seed and loves watching them feed, she also helps fill the bird bath.

Craft Box Ideas

Glue/glue sticks
paper plates
pipe cleaners
finger paints
icypole sticks
packs from craft places
googly eyes
Paper towel and dunny roll tubes
old mags
gold/silver paper
Sponges to sponge paint with
lace, material, foam, buttons
yogurt tubs
pom poms
sticky tape
icecream containers
squeezy containers that mayo comes in (good for paint)
orange/onion bags
bubble wrap
curling ribbon
gum nuts
cereal boxes
tissue paper
wrapping paper
felt pens
coloured pencils
puff paints
straw or raffia
alfoil, pie tins
bottle tops
milk tops
pasta, lentils, legumes
take away containers
jewelery from op shops
crepe paper
rubber stamps & stamp pad
cookie cutters (for play doh and for stencils)
chux wipes (for clean up and cut into pieces for collage)
cotton buds for painting with
cotton wool balls
permanent marker
stanley knife
masking tape
magnets (I just cut up the cheap advertising ones that you get and stick them on the back of things that you have made)
paper clips
split pins (then ones that you push through things and allows things to move)
rubber bands
colouring in books
chalk (you can wet it and draw on ordinary paper with it as well as use on a chalkboard)
foam shapes
egg cartons
Put faces and streamer hair on cardboard toilet rolls. Like little puppets
lacing cards - picture cards with holes for lacing wool through

Thanks to the member Tan for compiling this list.

If you have any additional craft ideas, please feel free to add your ideas to this thread original.gif

#2 cheekie75

Posted 21 July 2010 - 10:42 AM

NJ is two years and four months and I am due with my second any day...  Thank you for compiling this list!

#3 karan25

Posted 02 August 2010 - 11:29 AM

Some really great idea's  biggrin.gif
Thanks for posting them. It has saved my sanity. Hahaha

#4 Jess Mc

Posted 11 October 2010 - 04:21 PM

Take a bus/train/tram to a different suburb and check out the park action there.  Small one and I visited Vic Park in central Sydney a few times and loved it, as you can see below ...  biggrin.gif


#5 Jess Mc

Posted 10 November 2010 - 12:21 PM

Also, try heading out along the water!  

This park can be reached by bike path or for those not two wheeled, road.   biggrin.gif


#6 karlah

Posted 30 March 2012 - 08:23 PM

Many thanks for the list, just what I was looking for! x

#7 whatsthatnoise?

Posted 05 April 2013 - 12:24 PM

You can also get free activity sheet from websites such as:

Letterland - www.letterland.com.au Activity sheets teaching basic letter and number recognition and tracing. They change activtity sheets every two weeks.

Easy Peasy Mandarin - www.easypeasymandarin.com.au They have free activities like join the dots, mazes, colouring etc. They also change their activity sheets every twoo weeks or so.

#8 Lizzie Johnson

Posted 01 July 2013 - 05:28 PM

Hi guys! I'm new here as you all can see! I have 3 kids aged 4, 7 and 10 and they seem to love their Ipad! ohmy.gif Actually it's my ipad lol, but I didnt have anything better to do with it so I downloaded a few educational games for them and now they're stuck to it! Sigh, so much for teaching them crafty stuff!

#9 Lizzie Johnson

Posted 03 July 2013 - 04:08 PM

So I found another game for kids! It's called Animal Wiz (https://itunes.apple...d603843703?mt=8) and its quite educational I felt. Well you you, to teach kids all these different animal sounds and it was really quite shocking when my 4 year old daughter recognized the sound of an owl on her SECOND try!! Even I did not what an owl sounded like, tbh. Anyway, just wanted to tell you all that it's a great game Animal Wiz, and highly recommend it to all parents with kids in the kindergarten age  original.gif

#10 Nina Thomas

Posted 19 August 2013 - 07:45 PM

thanks a lot, i love crafts and doing them with my DD, i think i'll put some of my ideas too ;)

#11 octo

Posted 11 November 2013 - 11:38 PM

found this great site for building lego with toddler, a lots of simple lego creation examples, easy to build:

#12 mayar

Posted 28 August 2014 - 08:14 PM

Awesome list! This is going to be extremely helpful while I host my next playgroup session! I have found many good resources at http://www.jumpstart.com/ and in the Parent section. They have excellent games and printables that have provided me with fun resources for my little one, Betty and for my playgroup friends and their kids.

#13 deenamathew

Posted 05 January 2015 - 08:59 PM

Thanks for sharing. Activities provide hours of fun and learning for toddlers. Here are the few activities which we have planed out for my kids birthday party like foot tracing, paper towel drawing, toddler mural, chalk fun, fishy beanbag, Crafts, Coloring pages, paintings etc.

I have downloaded the birthday coloring pages from the below link it that a great collection of coloring pages. As every kids would fun and enjoy during my DS birthday bash.

Here is the link of the happy birthday coloring pages which i have collected.


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