75 TV Free Activities For Toddlers

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75 activities for toddlers

Toddlers are little explorers and love going from one activity to the next so the more ideas you have in your back pocket the better. All of these are free of any tv or other screen time but I would be the world’s biggest hypocrite if I said my kids never watched any TV as toddlers. This list of TV free activities for toddler  is a way to inspire myself as much as you to try some of these simple activities before reaching for the remote.

  1. Cook – we use play food with real pots a lot.
  2. Toss bean bags into laundry baskets.
  3. Paint with yogurt
  4. Splash in the sink.
  5. Pour and scoop some pasta.
  6. Mix some colors.
  7. Get dressed in sibling’s clothes.
  8. Turn up the music and dance
  9. Cuddle.
  10. Play with a water table with water or rice. pasta in the winter.
  11. Play with a light table
  12. Cut a slot in a container lid and drop dried pasta into it.
  13. Play dress up – use old Halloween costumes, clothes and hats.
  14. Find out will it sink or float?
  15. Blow bubbles.
  16. Have a toy car wash.
  17. Build a block tower.
  18. Knock it down.
  19. Write on the walls.
  20. Draw on the windows.
  21. Go for a swing.
  22. Go into a dark room and play with a flash light.
  23. Go for a walk .
  24. Make a tower out of pantry foods.
  25. Sing songs.
  26. Gather your dining chairs and play airplane.
  27. Help put away the dishes.
  28. Have a bath just for fun.
  29. Play store.
  30. Help with the laundry.
  31. Visit the pet store and see the fish and hamsters.
  32. Play mail carrier .
  33. Run.
  34. Brush teeth ( don’t knock it both my kids loved this)
  35. Take your baby dolls for a walk around the house.
  36. Play trains.
  37. Make playdough cupcakes, muffins and cookies.
  38. Walk the plank.
  39. Wear them while you( parent) hike.
  40. Call Grandparents on the phone and chat.
  41. Wrestle.
  42. Pretend to be animals and crawl, hop and pounce on the floor.
  43. Play at the playground.
  44. Collect rocks on a walk or shells on the beach.
  45. Go to the library.
  46. Explore a local garden center.
  47. Make playdough sculptures with popscicle sticks.
  48. Make a craft.
  49. Help with chores.
  50. Paint with water.
  51. Look through family photos.
  52. Hammer golf tees into foam.
  53. Color the patio.
  54. Have snack on a chair train ( in your kitchen)
  55. Make and play with discovery bottles.
  56. Play ball in the yard.
  57. Play with large magnets on the fridge, cookie sheets or like she is above the washer while mama folded laundry.
  58. Play with a dollhouse
  59. Color.
  60. Touch and Smell the fruits and veggies at the supermarket instead of just grabbing what you need.
  61. Play Duplo.
  62. Look for bugs under rocks.
  63. Rip and cut scrap paper.
  64. Do a puzzle.
  65. Go swimming.
  66. Paint.
  67. Paint with toy cars.
  68. Paint with blocks.
  69. Paint with toy animals.
  70. Play with instruments ( or just a big pot and a few wooden spoons).
  71. Water your plants.
  72. Play peek-a-boo.
  73. Go on a color hunt.
  74. Take every DVD out of the drawers and put them back in. This is completely child led at our house.
  75. Follow their play and see where it leads you.

* Note about the photos. They aren’t as high quality as I try for because all of them were taken with my phone while we were playing. Not for a post just regular pictures of what we do most days.

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Comments

  1. JennyOH says

    Thanks for this. I get so discouraged at not having the time, money, or space for a lot of cool activities that I forget that for a two year old, dropping pasta into a slot in a container or playing with a flashlight is totally awesome.

  2. says

    Awesome, awesome, awesome! Thanks for a wonderful list! Have any thoughts about making it a printable? I could help you with that if you needed.

  3. says

    Love this list. I agree with Tara, a printable would be fabulous. I totally want to post this up on my fridge for me (and my husband and babysitters to see). Love the pictures too.

  4. Cyndy says

    I am copying your list! I watch my granddaughter a few times a week and already do some of them, but always can use more ideas! THANKS! Another good one, that maybe you already had, but I didn’t see: Painting with water outside: fences, concrete, toys, etc. My boys (including the daddy of the baby I now watch) would paint the wooden fence in our backyard for long periods of time only to find that they needed to paint it again (thanks to evaporation!) and we played a game where they couldn’t get out of the circle I painted for them until it evaporated. Didn’t take long here in Arizona! :)

    • Cindy says

      Hi, I have a three year old grandson. We do many of these activities with him. Ni would like to do more painting with him .. I can’ wait for It to warm up enough for him to paint outside on an easel.

  5. Angela S says

    you forgot one idea that was always a favorite activity that my kids loved when they were young–make a fort!! My kids loved reading books, eating a snack, playing with flashlights, or just giggling and being silly together in a homemade fort. Yeah..it’s a mess…but most fun things are :)

  6. Naomi Alexander says

    Love it. Taking the DVDs out of the box is completely child led at our house too :-) putting them back again tends to be a little more parent led though!

    • admin says

      We discovered last time that we put them all back in order ( many days we just throw them back in the drawer) that she’d opened the cases and tried to put a few in the dvd player. She slid the dvds under the player.

  7. says

    This list is so awesome! In the busyness of the day, it’s so easy to forget about the simple things that bring our little ones joy. Thanks for the reminder! I’m definitely going to be referring back to this list to entertain my little ones.

  8. Deanna says

    Number 9 and 60 are to cuddle. It makes it twice as nice, I guess. My 4 yr old and I have done many of these in the last couple years.

    • admin says

      I know after I put the list together I was reminded of things I have done but just get out of habit of doing so hopefully they help you as much as they have helped me.

  9. Becky says

    This gives me an idea for my blog! I want to do at least on of these a day, during the week, to find out what we like best! This will keep us going and give us plenty todo so we don’t get bored at home!

  10. Laura says

    Great ideas!
    How about play with beans and do you exercises. Also, hide and seek and figure painting on rocks is awesome too.

  11. Kathleen says

    Great ideas. I love the craft list: categorized and easily referenced! ;)

    Oh, and #74 happens all the time at my house. I never thought to make a fun activity out of it though. It’s just annoying haha!

  12. Kristen says

    My kids love to have a pillow fight. I mean, mom is giving permission to jump on her bed, and she’s going to join you? Heck ya!

  13. Tricia says

    So sweet, this is not only a good list but a record of life with your toddlers! I did a lot of these when mine were smaller! Now they are middle sized, so we are doing new fun things, snowboarding, hiking, still miss those little days though!

  14. says

    Great list — and the pictures just make it that much better! I just came across this on Pinterest and will certainly be passing it on. It is so easy to forget that some of the simplest things in life are what makes it most enjoyable!

  15. Jen says

    These are great! The painting with water one reminded me that my son loves to clean windows (well he mostly loves to use a spray bottle and soak the windows, but I’ve gotten him to wipe them down after ;) I have to write these down & add Clean Windows to the list! Thanks for this!!

  16. says

    Loving this list. Would be a perfect one to print off and keep right on the fridge for those moments when you need a tiny spark of creativity. Thanks for sharing – I will definitely be adding to our toddler repertoire!

  17. Amber says

    I like the new #60. Because every time I go to the grocery store I answer questions about produce as we’re going but never stop and let my daughter explore because of being in such a rush. She is always so curious that I think she will enjoy this. Thank you !

  18. Kelly says

    Okay, so…

    #17: Build a block tower
    #18: Knock it down

    Alright. I can’t give overwhelming, gushing compliments simply because of that little section of the list : )

    Anyway, what I would really like to see is a list of toddler activities to keep them busy while mom is doing things around the house. Many of these things require your participation and your monitoring or it keeps their attention for all but 2 minutes. Just wondering if anyway knows of some good activities for them to do by themselves.

    • Allison McDonald says

      My toddler would happily build a tower and knock it down over and over and over without my help. You are right though many of these are for parents and kids to do together.

  19. says

    Thanks for these amazing tips. I never thought to fill the kitchen sink with water and let me daughter pretend to wash the dishes. She always wants to help me when I clean. This will really let her feel that she is cleaning with mommy. :)

  20. Lynette says

    Great list! I love a chair train snack and the toy car wash. I am pinning this for next time we’re (I’m) bored of the normal everyday stuff we do. We usually just make big messes and then take naps! :)

Trackbacks

  1. [...] thanks to my pal Allie for sharing her Amazing 74 Tv-Free Activities for Toddlers and to the creator of (still not sure who it belongs to) of the sweet Prayer Pail for its [...]

  2. […] Ration yourself a little screen time, to surf the internet for ideas for TV-Free time in your house. There are tons of ideas online and you’re bound to find some that work great for your child’s particular age and interests. Here’s a couple resources I found for you already:http://www.notimeforflashcards.com/2012/02/75-tv-free-activities-for-toddlers.htmlhttp://www.sheknows.com/parenting/articles/814008/12-tv-free-ways-to-keep-your-kids-busy-over-spring-break-1http://teenadvice.about.com/od/entertainment/a/free_things_to_do_for_teens.htmAttend my FREE Telelseminar for more ideas! Lions & Tigers and TV, Oh My! Can-Do Strategies to Avoid the TV Trap! […]

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