43 toddler activities for stay-at-home parents

43 toddler activities for stay-at-home parents

When I pick my daughter Layla up from daycare, I can’t help but feel like an inadequate mother. She’s always in the middle of a crazy sing-song dance routine, elbows deep in arts and crafts, or taking part in a game I can never recognize.

And what do I do when I get her home? I plunk her down in front of the TV until my husband gets home so I can get dinner started. Yep, it’s sad but true.

With my second about to be born in June, Layla will be home with us and I am beginning to panic. Having no experience with children prior to Layla being born, I have difficulty coming up with activities to keep her entertained and help her develop. I seriously had to YouTube how to perform “this little piggy” on her toes.

In preparation, I’ve scoured many blogs and asked around to create this handy list of 43 activities to do with my daughter (who will be close to two years old) that I plan to refer back to on a nightly basis. These are great, because everything we need can be found around the house.

I would love to hear your suggestions.

  1. Jam to musical instruments made by us
  2. Make homemade Play-Doh
  3. Make good ol’ fashioned macaroni necklaces
  4. Put on a puppet show using paper bags
  5. Dye shaving cream with food colouring for bath time fun
  6. Fill a large rubber tub with rice for a makeshift sandbox in the yard
  7. Build an old-school fort using bed sheets and cushions
  8. Build a backyard musical fun wall
  9. Fill up water balloons outside and draw funny faces on them
  10. Start a rock collection (my daughter loves rocks)
  11. Create a buried treasure game filling a large bucket with oatmeal or rice
  12. Create an indoor basketball game
  13. Play dressup with mommy’s clothes
  14. Simple science experiment: bouncing raisins
  15. Build giant paper towel towers to knock down Godzilla style
  16. Hide & seek (when the newborn is sleeping)
  17. Fly a homemade kite
  18. Throw a tea party
  19. Sponge paint
  20. Build a backyard water park/shaving cream pit
  21. Make edible necklaces out of Cheerios
  22. Create a paper fishing pond using magnets
  23. Dig for worms in the garden and make a greenhouse using a pop bottle
  24. Play musical chairs using couch cushions
  25. Plant a tree
  26. Make animal masks out of paper plates
  27. Paint with marbles (probably outside)
  28. Make tin can telephone
  29. Create a maze game using chairs and couch cushions
  30. Coffee filter flowers
  31. Sidewalk chalk tracing
  32. Make microwave s’mores
  33. Kitchen bowling with empty plastic bottles
  34. Simple scavenger hunt with toys
  35. Create a pin-the-tail-on-the-donkey type game
  36. Make an obstacle course in the living room
  37. Build a coffee can drum set
  38. Make “garden soup” outside dirt, water and other icky things
  39. Practise with safety scissors by cutting pictures out of old magazines
  40. Make pom-poms out of tissue paper and make a cheer
  41. Give mommy a make over
  42. Sing games with action (row, row, row your boat) in a homemade cardboard boat
  43. Sensory activity: mix corn flour and water in a bowl

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