Our Top Five Toddler and Preschooler Activities


Our Top Five Toddler and Preschooler Activities

October 5, 2014

With winter looming on the horizon – and an ugly one at that, according to the Farmer’s Almanac – it’s time to get prepped and ready to keep your toddler occupied. Avoid toddler tantrums at dinner, while having a shower or while tending to your new baby with these five mom and tot approved toddler and preschooler crafts and activities.

And while I don’t see anything wrong with cuddling up to watch a fun kids movie, or watching a few episodes of Doc McStuffins, I have really been trying to find ways to foster my toddler’s creativity and keep her away from screens as much as possible.

I must state here that many of my ideas come from seeing what Val of Born 2 Create does with her children and in her classes!

1. Colouring. This simple and low-maintenance toddler activity is a must in any house. Use.anything from wax crayons, pencil crayons or felts combined with plain or coloured paper, construction paper or colouring pages and stickers.

I always have a set of crayons and a colouring book in my purse for outings as well, to help avoid a toddler tantrum and epic meltdown while waiting for dinner or in line somewhere.



2. Play-Doh. This is by far the easiest and most fun toddler craft. Buy a complete set of Play-doh and accessories for less than $20 -we found one at Costco last month! Make your own play dough and find simple accessories you already own or make a quick trip to the dollar store for baking supplies, cookie cutters, rolling pins, etc. Be prepared for a crumby mess afterwards – don’t worry, it’s very easily swept up!


3. Painting. On plain paper, canvases or large sheets of paper. With squirt bottles, sponges, fingers, toes, hands, feet, or paint brushes. The ideas here are endless. You can buy paint pretty cheap anywhere or make your own at home. You can buy small canvases, paint brushes and paint pallets at the dollar store or a large roll of paper at Ikea which you can tape to the fridge, on an easel or on the floor (and multiple children AND adults can paint).




This is one of my favourite toddler activities (and mommy). I am no artist, but there is something calming and cathartic about sitting down and painting with my daughter.




Bean and pasta bin4. Sensory bins. These are fantastic and once made require zero prep or upkeep whatsoever!! And I honestly would never have heard of them if it wasn’t for Born 2 Create. I attended one of her workshops and just couldn’t stop making new bins. Bean bins. Rice bins. Goopy bins. Cloud dough bins (my toddler’s favourite). All you need are bins, fillers, and accessories. Avoid almost all at-home temper tantrums with sensory bins! And pretty soon your toddler will start making requests, ” Mommy can I play with my bean bin?”

I know it sometimes seems counter-intuitive to us and our children to get messy and make a mess, especially inside, but this is essential to their development and learning. Toddlers need to get messy, dirty and involved – they must be hands-on; it’s how they learn!

My only challenge has been finding space to store them.

Definitely definitely definitely check out Val’s workshops and like her Facebook page for a weekly “binspiration” and class updates – you won’t be disappointed!


5. Alphabet Magnets. Find them at most education stores or dollar stores and use them on fridges or cookie sheets. A great way for your preschooler to learn his or her alphabet and have fun! You may be surprised how long your toddler will play.

You can also find letters for the bathtub and sponge letters for painting!



Sensory bins are a must have – even a simple dinosaur dig of cornstarch and water can keep your munchkin occupied for hours! We also love chalk and have a double-sided easel with a chalkboard on one side and magnetic board on the other side (we usually tape paper on so she can paint).


Don’t forget: Pinterest is your best friend!

Don’t be left out in the cold this winter. Get prepared and keep your toddler happy, learning and avoid temper tantrums with an array of toddler crafts and activities!

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