ArtsAutosBooksBusinessEducationEntertainmentFamilyFashionFoodGamesGenderHealthHolidaysHomeHubPagesPersonal FinancePetsPoliticsReligionSportsTechnologyTravel

100 Fun Free Toddler Activities

Updated on May 28, 2015
100 activities for toddlers
100 activities for toddlers

Whether you are a stay at home parent, grandparent, carer or simply seeking weekend and holiday entertainment for your child, sometimes finding the right activity can be frustrating; particularly when the attention span of a youngster is not all that long, you’ll find they are back at your heels before you know it looking for something else to do.

This list of ways to entertain your child is designed to spark creativity and where possible be done without spending any money.

Ideas can be varied depending on the age of your child but with the basics covered you will find yourself with a little more free time to get some of life’s other chores done.

If you are aiming to plan your activities for a period of time, such as over the school holidays, it is a great idea to get a big wall calendar and plan one morning activity and one afternoon activity every day that way your child can see what is coming and it can also be a great way to reward them for doing the right thing!

  • Charades: A great miming game.
  • Climb A Tree: If you have some safe trees in your garden (or at a local park) and your child is of the appropriate age let them climb up a few feet.
  • Clouds: Lay on the grass outside and look up at the clouds. See what shapes or animals you can see.
  • Cooking: Let your child help you in the kitchen whether it be helping to make a sandwich for lunch or mixing some ingredients for dinner.
  • Coordination/balance: Place a rope on the ground and get your child to walk on it, and follow it. Great for coordination and balance.
  • Cubby House: Get pillows and blankets, pull some chairs together and make a fun cubby house.
  • Cuddles: Cuddles are free and should be endless.

Activities that can be done at home:

  • Animals and Bugs: Go on a bug hunt. Look under stones and leaves for ants or worms.
  • Baby Book: Show your child their baby book and the memorabilia you collected for them in their first few years
  • Balls: Play ball in the yard – practice catching, throwing and kicking. Great for coordination
  • Balloons: If you have some left over balloons in the cupboard from a party, blow them up and let them play.
  • Books: Read some of their favorite books and add in an activity such as “can you see the tree?”, “Can you see the cat?”
  • Bubbles: Make a mixture with dishwashing liquid and water if you don’t have any store-bought bubbles and let them play free in the garden.
  • Building: Give them a basket of plastic bowls and measuring cups and let them build towers or just play with unbreakable things.
  • Camera: Get out your camera (or use your iPhone) and take some fun photos.
  • Car Wash: Let them help you wash the car with their own sponge.
  • Cards: See how high you can build a house of cards or play snap
  • Cars & Trucks: If your little boy loves his cars and trucks help him make a racetrack or play with his trucks in the garden digging.
  • Chalk: Chalk drawing on an outside driveway or pavement is lots of fun. You can even play hopscotch!

  • House Work: Yes, that is right! Do some dusting! Kids really love to copy you and make it fun.
  • Ice Cubes: Freeze little toys inside ice cubes and play a pretend ‘pick-axe’ game to rescue them.
  • Insects: See if they can catch a fly or an insect in a glass jar. Have a look at it close up and then let it go.
  • Instruments: Let them make music with pots and pans and wooden spoons
  • iPad Apps: There are lots of free apps you can download for hours of education and entertainment.
  • Jewelry Making: A simple box of beads or dry pasta and some string could make for fantastic beading provided that your kids are old enough to not ingest the materials.
  • Jigsaw Puzzles: If you don’t have any age appropriate ones you could look to borrow some from your local library or toy library

  • Dance: Get them to make up a dance routine, or help them out. Lots of simple moves and a great song.
  • Dog Wash: If you have a dog let them help you wash it and get splashed with water.
  • Dolls: If your daughter loves her dolls, spend time playing make-believe with her. Dress them up and let her lead the way.
  • Dominos: Make a line of dominos and see how they fall.
  • Drawing: Give them a bundle of colored pencils and plain paper and allow them to draw anything they like.
  • Dress Ups: Let your child dress up in fun clothes – and maybe even some of your old ones.
  • Face and/or Feet Painting: Using non toxic paints, do some fun face painting, or paint feet and hands and print them onto paper.
  • Follow The Leader: Take turns walking around the house copying each other.
  • Food Dye: Add food dye to water to make paint.
  • Funny Faces: Make funny faces
  • Games: Play hide-and-seek but pretend to be a bit short-sighted when it’s your turn to do the seeking!
  • Garden: Dig in the dirt, water the plants and just explore the garden.
  • Hairdressers: Play pretend hairdressers and take turns brushing each others hair and creating styles.

  • Old Boxes: If you have old boxes lying around they can be used for creative play, pretend cars, cubby houses and so much more.
  • Old Toys: Dig out a basket of old ‘baby’ toys. They may actually be very keen to play with them, as they won’t have seen them for a while.
  • Pegs: Sort pegs into colors and do counting
  • Photos: Get out some old family photos.
  • Picnic: Out in the garden or on the lounge room floor
  • Pirate Treasure Hunt: Make a list of clues for your child to follow and have a reward or surprise at the end.
  • Plant: Get their help to plant a tree or flower. Or even create your own mini garden growing grass out of moist cotton wool.
  • Play Dates: Organise for a special friend to come over for a play.
  • Play Doh: Make your own or use store-bought play doh for creative fun.
  • Rain: If it’s been raining, put on your gumboots and jump in puddles!
  • Recycle Old Cards: Make flashcards or craft and create new artwork
  • Ride A Bicycle: Teach them to ride a bicycle.
  • Rock Pets: Pick a rock from your garden and pretend it is a rock pet. Glue things on as clothes. Give it a pretend name.

  • Kites: Fly a kite or make one with string and a plastic bag and play in the garden or local park.
  • Laugh: Have a laughing competition. See who can laugh the funniest and longest.
  • Letter: Help your child write a letter or get them to draw a picture and then you can walk to the post box to mail it to a grandmother or special friend.
  • Make Something: Make a hat. Cut a strip of card to fit round your child’s head, then get them to decorate it.
  • Maze: Using random pieces of furniture, make a maze or obstacle course, either inside or in the garden.
  • Memory: Put 10 household objects on a tray. Show them to your child for 2 minutes, then hide them. See how many they can remember.
  • Milk Carton & Pegs: With a clean empty milk carton and pegs they stand above the milk carton and just drop them in. It is such a simple concept but very entertaining
  • Music: Put on music and let them dance around
  • Musical Statues: Dance around to music and when the song stops, you have to freeze like a statue.
  • Nail Polish: Set up a pretend beauty salon and do each others nails.
  • Nature: Collect things such as twigs, petals, stones and leaves and put them in a bucket and then you can bring them inside and paste them onto paper to make a collage.
  • Necklaces: Pick flowers and make necklaces with them such as daisy chains.
  • Nothing: Sometimes it is lovely just to let them have free rein and not organize anything for them. Free play will allow them to create their own fun.
  • Origami: The art of paper-folding does not have to be precise for a child but it can be fun folding paper into shapes and even paper aeroplanes.

  • Shoe Laces: Teach them to tie a shoelace or do up a buckle.
  • Silence: Play the ‘Shhh game’ and see who can be quiet the longest
  • Silly Walking: Create a night-time routine of walking through the house, doing things like getting little drink, going to the toilet, brushing teeth etc all with a silly walk.
  • Simon Says: This is a great fun game where you can take in turns to play Simon. ”Simon says put your hands on you head” and the other person needs to do what you say. But if you give an instruction without saying ‘Simon Says’ and the person does it, you win!
  • Sing: Make up crazy songs for fun to made up tunes.
  • Snack: Healthy snack of colored fruits
  • Sock Puppets: Get some old socks and make a puppet show.
  • Sort Socks: Teaches matching colors and pairs
  • Sprinkler: On hot days let them run through the sprinkler on the grass.
  • Story: Have your child read you a story – of course if they cannot read get them to look at the pictures and make it up. You’ll be surprised at their amazing imagination.
  • Tea Party: Play tea-party games with your child’s favorite toys.
  • Television: As much as we want to limit television usage, it can often be a great savior when their favorite show or cartoon is on.
  • Tickles: Take turns tickling each other.
  • Time Capsule: Collect some special items to make a time capsule to bury in the garden or hide in the home; ready to be opened on a specie date.
  • Vegetable Prints: Cut potatoes in half and print onto paper
  • Washing Clothes: Let your child help with the washing by getting them to help sort the whites from the colored items and then let them put them into the machine.
  • Washing Dishes: If you’ve got a lot of washing up to do. Get out a plastic tea-set, a bowl of soapy water and a tea-towel to put it all on. Then let them wash up on the kitchen floor whilst you do yours.
  • Wet Sponges: Give your child a wet sponge and a bucket of water and let them throw it at a fence or side wall to see what splashes and marks they can make.
  • Writing: Get them to practice writing their name or newly learnt words

  • Movies: Over school holidays there are often movies released which are a great outing for your child.
  • Nature Walks: Go for a walk through a park or a nature trail.
  • Park: Nothing beats an outing to the park. Fresh air and exercise.
  • Stickers: Take them to the local thrift shop to buy a huge sticker book and then let them go wild sticking them onto old newspapers or old boxes.
  • Train or Bus Ride: Take a train ride or a local bus ride for a fun outing.
  • Visit: Take them to visit their grandparents or a family member for a change of scenery.
  • Yard Sales: Take the kids to a local garage sale and maybe they can ‘buy’ a 50 cent toy for a bit of fun.
  • Zoo: Visits to the zoo are educational and fun.

Activities outside of the home

Activities outside of the home (which may cost a little):

So yes this was meant to be ideas that won’t cost a cent, but here are a few other ideas which may cost a little bit of money.

Keep an eye out for coupons, two-for-one deals and family passes which can help you save a fortune.

  • Aquariums & Museums: You will find that aquariums and museums often have events happening which are child focused. Save money by packing lunch and snacks.
  • Beach: Take them to the beach to watch the waves, collect shells and play in the sand.
  • Car Ride: Pack up the family with no destination in mind and take a road trip. Let everyone have a chance to decide which turn to take next. Give yourself a timeframe. When the time is up, stop and explore your destination.
  • Feed The Ducks: Take some old bread down to your local park and feed the ducks.
  • Fire Station: Take them to see the local fire station and the fire engine.
  • Library: The local library has activities and story times or if you are not able to coordinate with one of those, let them sit in the kid’s books area and browse.
  • Markets & Fairs: If there are any local markets on, take the children. Usually there will be music and sometimes fun entertainment for them to watch.

I am sure there are lots and lots more examples. Why not share your ideas for entertainment with us below.

© 2014 AnswerQuestions


    0 of 8192 characters used
    Post Comment

    • Zartmom profile image


      4 years ago from Ohio, USA

      Love,love, love the idea of freezing toys in ice and rescuing them...had never heard of that one before! Lots of great ideas.

    • CyberShelley profile image

      Shelley Watson 

      4 years ago

      Absolutely wonderful - really great ideas. Up, interesting and useful.

    • kerlund74 profile image


      4 years ago from Sweden

      What an impressing list:) So much fun and creative ideas which can be quite easy done:)

    • Cre8tor profile image

      Dan Robbins 

      4 years ago from Ohio

      I have so many kids in mine and my extended family this will no doubt come in handy for me and the many new young parents we have in our family now.

      My 3 boys were always big fans of playing in my TupperWare band. Plastic spoons and such as drumsticks and bowls, lids and cake carriers were all great percussion instruments. I did have a guitar that helped to smooth things out a bit though.

      Great Hub! Thanks for all the great ideas!


    This website uses cookies

    As a user in the EEA, your approval is needed on a few things. To provide a better website experience, uses cookies (and other similar technologies) and may collect, process, and share personal data. Please choose which areas of our service you consent to our doing so.

    For more information on managing or withdrawing consents and how we handle data, visit our Privacy Policy at:

    Show Details
    HubPages Device IDThis is used to identify particular browsers or devices when the access the service, and is used for security reasons.
    LoginThis is necessary to sign in to the HubPages Service.
    Google RecaptchaThis is used to prevent bots and spam. (Privacy Policy)
    AkismetThis is used to detect comment spam. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide data on traffic to our website, all personally identifyable data is anonymized. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Traffic PixelThis is used to collect data on traffic to articles and other pages on our site. Unless you are signed in to a HubPages account, all personally identifiable information is anonymized.
    Amazon Web ServicesThis is a cloud services platform that we used to host our service. (Privacy Policy)
    CloudflareThis is a cloud CDN service that we use to efficiently deliver files required for our service to operate such as javascript, cascading style sheets, images, and videos. (Privacy Policy)
    Google Hosted LibrariesJavascript software libraries such as jQuery are loaded at endpoints on the or domains, for performance and efficiency reasons. (Privacy Policy)
    Google Custom SearchThis is feature allows you to search the site. (Privacy Policy)
    Google MapsSome articles have Google Maps embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    Google ChartsThis is used to display charts and graphs on articles and the author center. (Privacy Policy)
    Google AdSense Host APIThis service allows you to sign up for or associate a Google AdSense account with HubPages, so that you can earn money from ads on your articles. No data is shared unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Google YouTubeSome articles have YouTube videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    VimeoSome articles have Vimeo videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    PaypalThis is used for a registered author who enrolls in the HubPages Earnings program and requests to be paid via PayPal. No data is shared with Paypal unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook LoginYou can use this to streamline signing up for, or signing in to your Hubpages account. No data is shared with Facebook unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    MavenThis supports the Maven widget and search functionality. (Privacy Policy)
    Google AdSenseThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Google DoubleClickGoogle provides ad serving technology and runs an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Index ExchangeThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    SovrnThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook AdsThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Unified Ad MarketplaceThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    AppNexusThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    OpenxThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Rubicon ProjectThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    TripleLiftThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Say MediaWe partner with Say Media to deliver ad campaigns on our sites. (Privacy Policy)
    Remarketing PixelsWe may use remarketing pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to advertise the HubPages Service to people that have visited our sites.
    Conversion Tracking PixelsWe may use conversion tracking pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to identify when an advertisement has successfully resulted in the desired action, such as signing up for the HubPages Service or publishing an article on the HubPages Service.
    Author Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide traffic data and reports to the authors of articles on the HubPages Service. (Privacy Policy)
    ComscoreComScore is a media measurement and analytics company providing marketing data and analytics to enterprises, media and advertising agencies, and publishers. Non-consent will result in ComScore only processing obfuscated personal data. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Tracking PixelSome articles display amazon products as part of the Amazon Affiliate program, this pixel provides traffic statistics for those products (Privacy Policy)