Are you stuck (or choosing to be) at home with your toddler because of COVID-19? We are too. It can be a lot of fun to be with our toddler, but at the same time, it can be hard to figure out what to do with them.
In this blog post, I will share with you some quarantine activities that you can do with your toddler. These are based on my own experiences and what my friends have been doing with their young child.
A little background: I am very blessed to be working from home and my husband as well. Schools and daycare are closed for at least 2 weeks, not including March Break. I had not have the experience of working from home until now. Taking calls and replying to emails is a little more challenging with a toddler by your side. This is where I start to look out for activities to keep her busy.
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Here are 12 quarantine activities for toddlers:
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1. Empty Paper Towel Roll & Pom Poms
I’ve mentioned this activity on my Instagram @makingdayscount. It’s a very simple activity that can hopefully entertain them for awhile (that is 10 minutes for me).
What you need is an empty paper towel roll and some pom poms (you can get these online here). Other optional items are painter’s tape and a box (or some container) to hold the pom poms.
The activity is to put each individual pom poms down the tube (roll) into the box or container. Model it for them to show them how you want them to do it. Then, see what other ideas they can come up with.
I taped the empty paper towel roll on the wall with painter’s tape and put the box under. This way I don’t have to hold the roll the entire time.
This activity can be messy as the pom poms can go everywhere, but it is not too bad. If you are worried about your baby or toddler eating the pom poms, get the bigger ones and remind them not to eat them.
My daughter K started to show some interest in coloring. She loves to hold a crayon and scribble on the paper (and everything else). I’m so glad for the Magic Eraser.
We have this Paw Patrol coloring book that she got at a birthday party. She really likes to color in the book.
Maybe your toddler will like it too. If you need some coloring sheets, look online to see what is available for free or on Etsy for printable coloring pages.
If you are worried that they’ll put the crayon in their mouths, you can always get these giant crayons.
You can either print the coloring sheets at home or buy a coloring book online to be delivered to you, if you don’t have a printer.
3. Rice in a bin
I personally haven’t tried this, but my friend did. She said that her daughter played with it for 20 minutes and did not want to leave this activity.
Basically, you put your toddler in a giant bin with a smaller container of rice or pasta. Give them a spoon or scoop to play around with the rice or pasta.
It’ll be more entertaining for them if you have different small containers in the bin with them so that they can transfer the rice or pasta around.
This is a very simple activity. I’m thinking whether I should get a giant bin like this one to put K in.
If she can entertain herself with that for 20 minutes while I do my work or cook lunch, it will help for sure.
4. Stacking Toys or Cans
One of the toys that my daughter has been playing during this quarantine period is stacking toys.
The one that she has is from IKEA, but you can get something similar on Amazon.
She’ll take them out and put them back on again. It’s very fun for her and for me to watch her do it. I’m surprised that she knows how to do that now. They grow up so fast!
If you have cans of perishable goods and don’t mind, they can also stack those. My friend let her daughter do that and it was pretty funny. It’s a good skills to learn how to balance those cans.
5. Going on a picnic
I might have mentioned this on my post on “Toys My 16 Month Old Toddler Loves“, but I definitely mentioned it on Instagram. This picnic basket is another one of the toys my toddler enjoys playing with.
She is figuring out how to put the food through the shape sorter, pretending to eat the food, and mimicking the words the picnic basket says when she opens and closes the lid.
You don’t have to necessarily get this basket, but you can do it with any play food.
If they are older, you can pretend that you are at a restaurant and order some food. Or, you can do pretend play with the play food you already have. If it is a cookie, you can ask your toddler what is their favorite cookie and what kind of toppings they want to put on it.
It’s a great bonding time for you and your toddler during this time of quarantine.
6. Throw a dance party
You can throw a dance party in your living room or kitchen. Choose a song that everyone knows (whether Baby Shark or The Wheels on the Bus) and dance to it.
It’s good to get some physical exercise or moment if you are able to.
This does not have to be a performance, but something light and fun for everyone to enjoy.
If you are unable to dance for physical or other reasons, you can show them a YouTube video of someone else dancing to the song and your toddler can dance along.
7. Reading books
Book reading is so beneficial for a child. Not only they can learn the words, it’s a great bonding time for you and them.
What I’ve learned this past week during self-quarantine is that my daughter loves to read the same books over and over again.
Here are her favorites books this week:
You can read the books you currently have at home, or look up Amazon for great book suggestions. You can even try out Amazon Prime for 30 days for free. Click on the box below to learn more.
8. Building a fort
There is no right or wrong way to build a fort. Grab some bed sheets, pillows, and cardboard boxes. Make your own fort and tag me on Instagram @makingdayscount. I would love to see it!
We have not done this yet, but we might next week. It sounds like a lot of fun!
9. Music Time
Similarly to throwing a dance party, you can have some music time scheduled in your day.
Some of my daughter’s favorites are:
- The Wheels on the Bus
- Twinkle Twinkle Little Star
- Old MacDonald has a farm
- Zoom Zoom Zoom We’re going to the moon
It is perfectly fine if you are off key. Your toddler loves your singing and are excited to sing with you.
If you are unsure what songs to sing, look up nursery rhymes and toddler songs online. There are so many to choose from and learn.
10. Cleaning the house
Cleaning the house might be a chore to you, but it’ll be fun for the kids. Make it into a game and they’ll love it.
My daughter loves to hold the Swiffer for some reason. She’ll push it around just like we would if we were cleaning. So, I decided to put the cloth under it so that she’ll actually be cleaning and not just pushing the Swiffer around.
Another easy chore that they can do is to pick food off the floor (that they previously threw down from their high chair). If they see you pick up the food, they’ll want to do it too. Of course, watch that they don’t put the food back into their mouths.
Depending on how old your toddler is and their willingness to participate, this can be one of your quarantine activities.
11. Finger painting
Finger painting can be a really fun activity for toddler. It can be messy, but so much fun.
I did an art painting activity with K for Valentine’s Day. She loved the paint, but kept asking me to clean her hands. It’s actually pretty funny.
12. Water Play
I’ve written some ideas for water play here.
For this purpose, you can do water play in the bathtub at home. You can also fill a large container with water and fold paper boats to float on them.
If you have anything else to add to this list, please let me know in the comments below. I would love to hear them.
Thank you so much for reading my blog post on “Quarantine Activities for Toddlers”. If you like what you read, please pin the image below and share it with others. Stay safe!