1. Colouring with crayons, magic markers or we also have markers that only draw on special paper great when the kids inevitably draw on the walls and everything else
2. Paint with water - my daughter loves dipping the paintbrush and I love that I only have to clean up water afterwards.
3. Foam kits - you can buy foam kits at the dollar store - we have butterflys that you decorate with all the little pieces, they also have different seasonal ones around the holiday
4. Play dough - whether you buy it or make your own, play dough is always fun and there are tons of accessories that go with it
5. Pasta necklaces - we make some pasta necklaces using Rigatoni and a pipe cleaner, as my daughter has a hard time stringing them on a shoelace yet and finds a few rigid pipecleaners much easier
6. pipe cleaners - are an activity in itself, we push them through a shoe box but I'm planning to make this cute idea from Engaging Toddler Activities which will also help with our colours
7. Stickers - so inexpensive you can buy 300 at the dollar store and stick them in a sticker book or colouring book or on your shirt.
8. Bath Crayons - Boo got these in her stocking and loves them, she thought it was great to colour all over the bathtub walls but perhaps not something you would want to do daily as it will take a little time to scrub it all off afterwards.
9. Balloons - there are a ton of games you can play with a simple bag of balloons - draw faces on them with markers, play a game of volleyball or 'don't let it touch the ground', glue popsicle sticks to paper plates for a game of ping pong (idea from Weekend Homemaker) You can also find some simple printables you can cut out and glue to your balloons to turn them into your child's favourite character like Angry Birds.
10. Make a playhouse out of a large carboard box - appliance (and other huge) cardboard boxes are great to build playhouses out of - cut in a window and door, colour it with markers or decorate it with stickers, or if you have a smaller cardboard box you can build a dollhouse for your barbies or baby dolls.
11. Or for more ideas of what to make out of cardboard you can find over 200 ideas pinned at 'Carboard Creations' like this adorable icecream parlor from Catch My Party.
12. Animals - kids love to pretend to be animals as I am often crawling around my house meowing. You can print out free animal masks from Mr. Printables
13. Paper Dolls - Print out paper dolls and clothes for your little one to dress and redress - you can print out Princess Kate and all the popular Disney dresses here or print out their favourite princess like princess Cinderella (Belle, Tiana, Ariel and lots more) here
14. Blocks - whether you have wooden blocks or mega blocks kids always enjoy building but mostly knocking over towers
15. Cups - you can buy a large pack of small dixie cups with tons of cute patterns on them and your toddler will have fun just stacking them and then taking them apart again. Or turn them over and see how tall of a tower you can build.
16. Wooden puzzles with pegs - wooden puzzles are great for toddlers to learn fine motor skills, Boo got one that makes animal sounds when you put the correct animal in the hole for a present
17. Shadow Puppets - shadow puppets are always fun although you can barely tell mine is a bunny, you can also purchase them online - I found a cute fairy shadow puppets set for sale on My Sweet Muffin for $18.00 or if you're
18. Baking - I get a little stool and we stand at the table and she helps me mix the rice krispies into the marshmallows, or mix the crumble for the apple crumble and other small tasks. When baking with kids try to pick recipes with lots of dry ingredients to mix.
19. Colour Sorting - throw a couple dozen toys or blocks into a basket and have the child sort them by colour by placing them in a marked brown paper bag or on a piece of construction paper. Or grab your marked bag and go on a colour scavenger hunt throughout the house.
20. Bubbles - blow bubbles and catching them and popping them is half the fun
21. Doctor - Doc McStuffins is my daughters favourite show and she got the doctor's bag for Christmas - and now she loves giving everyone a 'check-up'. I love the idea of these velcro bandaid for stuffed animals. Find out how she made them over at Pink and Green Mama
22. Tea Party - we have a little tea set that makes noises when you tip it over and Boo loves having tea parties, she 'fills' her cup and slurps her tea and also loves cheersing everyone. Once she's a little older I'll give her juice and little treats.
23. Chalk - it's always fun to draw with chalk on the driveway or sidewalk
24. Put on a puppet show - you can buy or make your own felt puppets - get a tutorial to make a lion, pig and elephant from Sweetie Pie Bakery and then act out a favourite story or make up your own together.
25. Kitchen - we have a small play kitchen but kids love to just stir or bang on kitchen pots or play with plastic food. I need to learn how to sew so I can make the cute felt food from Oh! Crafts
26. Baby Dolls - nothing is cuter than watching my daughter take care of her "babies" we give them a bottle and tuck them in their beds with a mini blanket and she pushes them around the house in their stroller
27. Playing in the sink, my daughter loves playing in the sink - washing her plastic dishes, giving her small plastic toys a bathe or washing her hand with bubbles (foaming soap)
28. Playing in the Sandbox - it's always fun building sand castles and just scooping sand into a bucket, just make sure you have a cover for your sandbox. We also have a pile of rocks near the deck which is also hours of fun. If you don't have your own sandbox just bring your pail and shovel to the park (or beach)
29. Going to the Park - it's always fun to take a walk to your neighbourhood park when the weather is nice, toddlers can run off some off that energy (where does it all come from?) go on the swings, toss around a ball or fly a kite.
30. Playing with Water - you can fill up a kiddie pool and use all your bath toys, turn on the sprinkler or just fill a large tupperware bin or bucket with water and give them a few cups to pour it and don't worry about the impeding mess as you're outside anyway.
31. Mail or Post Office - get the tutorial for this adorable mailbox and letters from Imagine our Life
32. playing dress up - you can get all sorts of costumes for a steal the day after Halloween so you can grab 4 or 5 superhero or princess costumes for less than $20.00
33. Cue Cards - I love cue cards you can buy them for $1.50, (or print them for free) they help toddlers learn their words, shapes and colours and my daughter loves putting them back in the box or stacking them and moving them from one place to another (although picking up 100 cards does get tireseome at times)
34. Shape Sorter - there are a lot of different versions of this toy available at stores or if you;re imaginative you can make your own. Choose one with 2 or 3 shapes for younger children and more for older children.
35. magnets - there are tons of different types of magnets we have a box of wooden animals I found at Winners and my daughter has learned all the animal names just by me asking her to take one or put one back on the fridge.
36. Chores - kids want to do whatever you are doing so it's not difficult to get toddlers to 'help', I bought my daughter a mini broom and dust pan at the dollar store so she can sweep at the same time as I do, and when I'm spot cleaning or dusting I give my daughter a damp clothe and sometimes a spray bottle wuth water and a touch of vinegar so she can clean too.
37. You can print out this free colour matching games (as well as several others) to help teach your toddler their colours from Mr. Printables
38. Play musical instruments - whether you teach your child how to play a chord on your piano or keyboard, or they have their own child instruments , you can also easily make your own: banging on pots with a wooden spoon like a drum, fill a sealed container with dry beans or popcorn kernels and shake it like a maraca39. go for a walk (or tricycle ride) around the block - kids love finding rocks and sticks and my daughter who's almost two has to jump in every single puddle along the way.
40. Or you can take a nature walk and to make it even more exciting have a 'nature scavenger hunt' print out a list of pictures of common things to find like pinecones or a maple leaf like this one from From Chalkboards to Strollers
41. Make a quiet book, there are so many cute ideas out there - I personally like the felt potatoe head (with free template) over at Sunshine, Lollipops and Rainbows42. Kids love to be active. Sometimes we play mommy says (okay it's exactly like Simon Says) and my daughter just copies me like clapping or hopping like bunnies.
43. my daughter loves opening the file cabinet with the key and it keeps her busy for a good twenty minutes (not to include improves her hand eye cordination) you can make your own activity boards by glueing locks, latches, zippers or velcro and switches to a finished piece of wood or cork board.
44. I also love this idea from Growing a Jeweled Rose for "Get Up & Move Dice"
45. Make a fort out of couch cushions and blankets. Our cushions don't come off the couches so I simply throw a large sheet over my dining room table instead. You can also bring flashlights and pretend you're camping indoors.
46. Go on an adventure! Take your kids to the zoo and you can print out these cute Zoo passports from We Wilson's to make it even funner.
47. Get the tutorial for making these felt cookies that you can roll, cut out and frost from the Mother Huddle - I'm sure you could probably cheat and make them out of construction paper as well.
48. play soccer - set up a large net or two markers fairly far apart and have your toddler try to kick (or throw) the ball through the net
49. Get the tutorial for making a barbie play house (and all the furniture) out of 3 ring binders from Southern Disposition, folds up neatly when done playing
50. Helping Cook Dinner - my daughter loves when I make potatoes because her job is to bring me the potatoes out of the bag. And when I'm doing something she can't help with like using the stove I get her a big plastic bowl and plastic spoon or whisk so she can stir too.
51. Play store. Print out some cute play money from MissTiina and line up some toys and a little reusable grocery bag for your purchases.
52. Play grocery store with plastic food. And you can print out little grocery lists with pictures from the activity mom
53. play campout in the backyard set up a little tent or you can get the pattern for this adorable 'Princess Pavillion Tent' from ikatbag
54. read books or inspire reading by making your own library - from Make the Best of Everything
55. throw your sons or daughters favourite stuffed animal or the family pet a birthday party - they can make them birthday cards, blow up some balloons, wrap existing toys and blow out the candles on their fake cake. Check out the tutorial for this fabulous foam cake from ikatbag
56. lace up cards - you can either make your own or buy them at the store - my daughter has a hello kitty set and I find they are great for learning hand eye coordination but all you really need is a shoebox or a piece of cardboard and a shoelace
57. play bowling - grab a soft ball and 6 containers that are the same size like pringles or puffs containers or you can get super creative and play sumo bowling from unknown