My Top 10 Activities to do with a Toddler in Lockdown
Updated: May 8
As a stay-at-home and work-from-home mom to a toddler and infant, spending a lot of time indoors is par for the course, but with this global lockdown it’s a whole new ball game. I’m located in a part of the world that doesn’t allow non-essential activity outdoors, so we are limited to creating fun, energy and developmental inducing activities indoors. Below are my top ten favorite, no-fuss activities I do with my toddler and infant while surviving life within four walls.
1. Music - we start our mornings with music and movement.
Choose mommy and daddy’s music and get down and dance with them. We start our morning listening to classic oldies from the 70s, anything from soul to rock ballads and there’s nothing more efficient than giving your spirits a boost than the power of music, moving your body and dancing with your littles.
2. Name Game - teaching them to recognize and spell their name.
Start with the letters of their name spelled out on sheets of paper, and cut up lettered tiles or stickers that make up their name so that they can match the tiles the the sheet of paper. This game can also be done with the alphabet and numbers in general. My daughter loves sorting the letters to her name. Now when she sees her name written out she shouts “Eva!” with glee.
3. Toy bubble bath and scoop game - double the fun and double the productivity.
Use a large container full of soap and water (I use baby bubble bath) and dump in some of their toys. Use a plastic kitchen spoon for your child to scoop out the toys and set aside on a towel or empty container. This hand-eye-coordination activity is not only loads of fun with all the bubbles but gets those toys squeaky clean! My daughter spent a good hour going back and forth with her toy animals and tea set!
4. Balloon obstacle course. We taped about ten balloons from the ceiling down our long hallway and living room, reaching just the top of my daughters head. Cheering her on, she ran laps up and down slapping balloons as she went and giggling away. My 7-month-old got a kick out of it too and clapped and giggled watching her sister go!
5. Crafty box - An all-time anytime favorite
Throw your toddler in a cardboard box and color it. Crayons, markers, paint, stickers, whatever. If coloring is too messy then have them “paint” the box with a large paint brush and water. This kept my daughter occupied for hours over a few days!
6. Exercise with your littles - whether it’s kid-friendly yoga or adding them to your Sweat routine, getting both of your bodies moving boosts both your health and mood.
Plus there’s nothing cuter than hearing your two-year-old say “mamaste” while pressing her palms together. My daughter loves the time we spend working out together, and while she may not do every move with me, she is entertained with the kid-centered yoga we practice everyday. We love Cosmic Kids on Youtube!
7. Read to them. There’s nothing as soothing and calming as sitting in mamas lap and hearing her tell a story.
And numerous studies over the years have shown that reading to your children has a direct link to advanced academic performance, becoming early readers themselves, and is identified as an essential factor in predicting later life success according to Pearson, the global enterprise in all things education. I’ve been reading to my babies since they were newborns, and is part of our nightly bed time routine or downtime activity, we love our story time together.
8. Rainbow arrangement - Have your children sort their toys by teaching them both the names of colors and recognizing different shades.
Believe it or not, it was my two year old who came up with the idea. While I was playing a tune on her xylophone, she started naming and color arranging her blocks on the keys leaving me utterly fascinated. This can be done with a rainbow toy like our xylophone, or colored cups or bowls or even construction paper!
9. Bubble painting. Mix a bit of food coloring to your bubble solution using different cups.
Place your cups over sheets of paper, and using straws, have your child blow bubbles until they shoot over the cups and make amazing shapes and colors on the paper! Milk works as a great substitution in case your little one doesn’t have the hang of blowing just yet.
10. Pop up a sheet fort and do movie night.
Set up the living room with all the pillows and cozy stuffed animals beneath a sheet fort in front of the tv, pop some popcorn or your toddlers favorite snack and cuddle up together watching a new movie. We did this to Finding Nemo and my little one loved it!
Do you have any favorites to add to Maggie Peters's awesome list?
Tell us in the comments below.
Maggie actually contributed a few tracks to our Lockdown Playlist. Very possibly for Mums and Mamas and Papas for now (as it's a collaborative playlist built by people around the world, some lyrics may not be age appropriate for kids and babies