Activities with 2 year olds

The following were replies on the MuddlePuddle list when this question was asked…. “Can anyone pass on some ideas of activities that a 2 year old can do?”

Members came up with some great ideas for us, back when the internet was new and there weren’t entire sites dedicated to coming up with ways to keep them entertained. This is an archive post of those offerings but I’ll be adding fresh pages of ideas and links soon.


Pouring rice between 2 jugs followed by water once she is neat with the rice is a good one. B. will do this for hours and we have very few spills now! Bead threading is also popular at the moment (obviously make sure the beads are too big to go in her mouth.) as are those jigsaw things where you have wooden shapes to slot into the holes in the board. Katy.

My 18 month old loves playdough, and also sticking and gluing. Both require very close supervision (playdough gets eaten, glue tends to get painted with rather than used to stick things on paper!) but she really enjoys both.

Activities she enjoys which require less supervision include stacking blocks (sound effects from me while I cook dinner!), fitting lids onto plastic pots (hoarded old cartons of coleslaw, ice cream, etc.) or emptying the pan cupboard. Jane.

L. love crafting… and she is also very good with little things.She has a little low table..where I put a sheet of sticky backed plastic which I peel off to expose sticky side (stick the corners down if it helps) place a container with stuff to stick on within reach next to her… and watch her go…

Items to stick….. foil pieces, shells, moss, glitter sequins, coloured rice, string, foam shapes, paper cutouts, fried flowers, leafs , etc anything you have to hand really.
L. sits for half an hour just sticking stuff on her collages…. but no glue involved so you can leave her to it and not hover over her. Anke.

1) Cornflour gloop – cornflour, water and food colouring. Lovely to play with, silky feel and goes stiff and runny in odd ways. Mix it in something like a washing up bowl or roasting tin. Very messy!
2) Cook some spaghetti with some food colouring in the water and cool under cold tap when done (so it doesn’t stick together). I’ve known lots of children play with this for ages (on highchair tray or in a tin or something) but my dd wasn’t too keen!
3) Pretend cooking with dried food eg rice, lentils using scoops etc and mixing with spoons in big bowls, putting in tins etc
4) Water play (in baby bath or whatever) – add a few frozen coloured ice cubes and watch them melt. Heather.

These days you can browse the web and places like Pinterest for masses of toddler entertainment ideas.
Follow Merry Raymond’s board Ready for Toddler on Pinterest.