Sometimes you just need an easy way to keep your toddler busy. Putting them in front of the TV or handing them the iPad is the easiest way. But we all want ways to keep our kids busy and happy with less screen time.
Check out these easy to do, screen time free, things to keep your toddler busy (when you just need to get something done!)
This article contains affiliate links. This means if a purchase is made through a link provided a commission is made at no increased cost to you. See disclosures for more information.
10 (No-Tech) Ways to Keep Your Toddler Busy
Mommy Cooks, Baby Cooks!
This is the best way to get your cooking done. Turn it into an activity for your toddler.
Now, I don’t actually let my baby cook… yet. That will come with time.
But I do give her bowls, spoons, spatulas, sealed spices, etc. She then uses her imagination to cook like mama.
And the cutest thing now, she exclaims “done!” and that means it is obviously time for the taste test.
So get your toddler involved in their own way with meal prep time. You might be surprised at how fun they think bowls and spoons can be.
Take some Tupperware that has lids that are relatively easy to get off. I use these ones for this activity. (fyi, they are NOT good to hold soup lol)
The take some smaller objects. Things that are toddler safe once or if they get them out. And also objects that are hard and make noise when the container gets shaken. Toddlers will love to shake them!
If you use objects they recognize, especially like a favorite toy, they will be eager to get it out.
This activity is great for promoting problem solving and dexterity.
Getting containers open for us is easy. For toddlers, they need to practice and learn.
Laundry Basket Spider Web
All you will need for this is a good old plastic laundry basket with holes, some string, and some plastic balls to put at the bottom.
Weave the string throughout the basket to create multiple layers of “webbing”.
You can start with the balls on the bottom of the basket, and let your toddler make their way through the string webbing to grab the balls. Once they learn and explore this, you can show them to do the reverse.
Box Ball Toss
Grab an empty diaper box, baby wipes box, or any kind of larger box you have. The plastic balls we used in the activity above, you want those here!
Place the box on something a little higher than ground level, but not so high your toddler can’t get the balls into it.
Use the box as a basketball hoop of sorts. If you leave a flap up in the back, this can be a makeshift backboard too!
Depending on the age, tossing is a skill they have not yet developed. But they will enjoy learning how to put the balls in the box. And also watching you toss the balls in.
This is another variation of the Box Ball Toss game. Except here, you put the box on it’s side on the ground. Now you can show your toddler how the balls roll into the box.
Again, the skill of rolling a ball will take time to learn and develop. But how else are they going to learn something unless they see it??
My toddler’s favorite part is to take the box and dump out all the balls once we are done. Hey, whatever makes her happy, right?
Do you know what my toddler is awesome at doing? Folding laundry! HA, I’m kidding. But it was wishful thinking.
That is not to say I don’t let her “help” me fold the laundry though. In fact, giving her some towels and asking her to fold them will keep her busy for a decent amount of time.
Like I said, don’t expect actual folding. But the entertainment is what counts here.
Simple DIY Busy Board
Okay, so I am a simple kinda girl. I have seen beautiful busy boards across Pinterest. And am currently still hoping my husband can construct one soon!
That being said, I did take it upon myself to craft a busy board with simple items I had around the house. It’s far from fancy, but my toddler loved it!
What I used:
- USPS Priority Mail box (those are free from the post office)
- Shoe laces I had no use for
- Velcro straps
- Cotton pads
- A zipper
- Paper clips
- An old ring box
- Hot glue (lots of hot glue)
So gather some items you have around the house. Find something you can put it all onto. And make a busy board! It doesn’t have to be super fancy (obviously) for your toddler to love it!
Coloring with Teach a Tot
I created this 20 page printable activity book called Teach a Toddler. It is full of different activities to help them start to learn colors, numbers, animals and letters.
Notice I said the words start to learn.
This activity book really just introduces them to these fundamentals. And if your toddler is anything like mine, they will love the fun colors and animals!
You can get this printable activity book here!
Tissue Box Stacking
I got a monster pack of tissues from Costco for our household use. And when I was unloading them, my toddler showed me how much fun these new “toys” were.
What a great idea! And it was not even my initial intention.
Just goes to show that simple household items, can end up being something new and exciting for your toddler.
For this activity, I love to use this all natural food coloring.
Grab a bowl of water and a towel (or two). A little bit goes a long way with these food coloring packets.
You can show your toddler how the food coloring turns the water different colors. Even give them a spoon to stir it in!
*never leave toddler unattended with water activity
And it is fun to combine different colors to see what new colors you can get!
Enjoy these 10 activities to keep your toddler busy!
Life with a toddler can be hectic and sometimes just plain tiring. Their minds are growing a mile a minute, and we can sometimes struggle to find new ways to keep them entertained.
I hope you enjoy some of these activities to keep your toddler busy, and let me know what you think!
You may also like:
Subscribe for a FREE 20 Page Toddler Activity Book!
Subscribe today and receive this downloadable activity book to your inbox.