It can be hard to find activities for toddlers when they’re throwing a tantrum or you’re exhausted. I often find Toddler H playing with all sorts of household items and many keep her interest longer than shop bought toys. Just yesterday she shunned her ‘water toys’ for my plastic kitchen jug for an hour while sat in her paddling pool. A WHOLE hour. AMAZING! It got me thinking about all the other toys she plays with that are just lying around the house, or, that I’ve made from stuff we all have. Here are 35 activities for toddlers using household objects (they are probably suitable for lots of pre-school kids too, but as I only have a toddler, I don’t want to presume they are)…
Activities for toddlers using household objects:
- Plastic jug for water play/paddling pool time and inside play (putting things in, and apparently drinking from!)
- Spoons for hitting things and hitting together
- Saucepan drums
- Saucepan and bowls for sorting things into
- Plastic tubs & baking trays for sorting and putting on your head?
- Paper cups or plastic beakers for towers, sorting, moving around or putting things in
- Toilet roll tubes for binoculars
- Toilet tubes for putting oranges through (learning in and out)
- A towel or blanket to put things under (learning under and on)
- A piece of toilet paper/tissue/feather to hold up and drop, watching it float to the ground – say up, and down as you drop it.
- Toilet roll threading – practice their dexterity with a ribbon and cut up toilet roll tub?
- Pillow den – pile up pillows and let them have a cuddle with their toys
- A box bed for dolly, add a few muslins or blankets (homemade cot tutorial COMING next week)?
- Under bed plastic tub sand box
- Under bed plastic tub water box with plastic cups & a colander for pouring & bath toys
- Plant pots and pebble sorting (supervise closely!)??
- Water painting on the patio
- Watering the plants (realistically in the case of my toddler this involves watering the patio, grass, mummy, the rabbits and herself)??
- Water and sand walls – using plastic bottles, pipes and plastic trays (tutorial coming NEXT WEEK)
- Blackboard wall or board (tutorial in a couple of weeks)
- Home made play dough
- Yogurt painting – add food colouring to yogurt
- Flour play
- Plate sorting using coloured plastic plates?
- Socks – learning to put them on themselves
- Sock puppets – make use of all those odd socks!
- Old greetings cards – for learning what things are and playing “what is this?”
- Big cardboard box den?
- Crayons for colouring, and supervised cardboard box den colouring/decorating
- Sensory bottles (tutorial coming next week)
- Sponges for funny feelings – squashing, rubbing, and water play
- Coconut shells – again supervise this and keep out of reach as they’re heavy
- Wooden spoon for ‘kitchen play’ (again keep out of reach)?
- Wooden spoon as a prop for ‘row row row your boat’ ?(again keep out of reach)
- A thin scarf for peekaboo and floating ?(again keep out of reach)
So, there we have it loads of activities for toddlers (and young kids too). Please supervise your little ones where needed!!
Hope this list helps stave off some boredom this summer holidays! I’ll definitely be checking back myself to keep us busy. It’s really hard on us toddler parents when all the playgroups and classes we usually attend stop. I’ll be publishing toddler activities every week of the holidays so sign up to get a wee notification straight to your inbox.
Here’s a picture of my daughter to finish just to show that any item can have multiple uses to a toddler!
Many items here can be included in a treasure basket, I’ll talk more about that next week,
PS. If you’re still stuck for ideas see my post on how to ‘Make a Fuzzy Felt Style Board‘ for toddlers & kids.