Looking for new toddler activities? Simple play is all you need

Posted in Play and Activities.

We all worry about finding plenty of varied and fulfilling activities for our little ones, in order to stimulate them, help develop their skills and offer them some entertainment.

And as they start to become a little more independent and begin talking, we often feel we need to ramp it up even more. Worried about this very thing, one mum reached out on Mumsnet, in search of activities for her two-year-old daughter.

What can I offer my toddler?

The mum works full time, has recently moved and is wondering the best way to go in terms of toddler activities.

“Please, can anyone advise on activities that are suitable for 2.2 yo? Or is she still too young for this sort of thing? I’m new to the area where I live so would like to get her involved,” she wrote. “I am waiting for her to do swimming lessons. I work full time so I need to find activities she can do at the weekend.”

Mum asking for help with activities for her two-year-old daughter

Keep it simple

One reader questioned whether set activities were even necessary. Sometimes keeping things relaxed and casual is best – and often all a two-year-old needs to be completely entertained is stuff you have lying around the house. 

“Does she need to do activities?” the parent wrote. “I just go to parks, national trust properties, soft play, museums, visit friends and family and go to cafes and at-home play, cook, arts and craft etc and this easily fills a weekend.”

You don’t always have to seek out set activities for your toddler. Often, simple play is all you need, just make sure it involves lots of language and imaginative play. Here are a few fun ideas to try:

  • Craft activities are great, like painting stones from the garden to make animals or pasta tubes from the pantry to make a necklace.
  • A pile of old clothes in a dress-up box provides hours of entertainment for toddlers and encourages imaginary play.
  • Hide and seek is always a popular indoor game, plus you can vary it by hiding your child’s toy for him to seek it out.
  • Set up a simple and safe indoor obstacle course for your little one. Or try placing a bucket in front for your toddler to throw in soft toys, balls or mini beanbags.

Take it outdoors

You can also have a change of scenery, get out into the fresh air and enjoy a number of entertaining activities at your local park or in the comfort of your own garden, courtyard or outdoor deck:

  • Plant some small terracotta garden pots and then help your child to plant seeds into each one.
  • Go for a walk and watch out for planes, trains, birds or ducks, whatever is about, and encourage your little one to talk about what you both see.
  • Take a basket or bag to your local park and collect ‘treasure’, which might be rocks, dropped flowers or leaves to take home and make a collage.
  • Collect a few bowls, spoons, pots and pans let you little one enjoy some fun water play – or add a bit of dirt to make some delicious mud pies.

toddler having fun playing with pots of water

See what works

Another mum chimed in saying she had tried activities for her young toddler, to no avail. 

“I tried my 2-year-old (2yr 1 month) at football and mini athletics, all advertised for 2-5yrs old,” one mum added. “Imo a waste of time and I will try again when she’s 3- zero focus or attention span. We stick to: soft play, feeding the ducks, the playground, playing at home – it’s plenty for them and they enjoy it without pressure.”

So, don’t worry if you think you’re not offering enough exciting activities for your toddler. There’s always time to try organised activities later on.

Often, the best things can be found at home – they don’t cost a cent and will keep your child happy, entertained and developmentally on track.


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