These 23 toddler led activities will give you a little break without leaving that guilty feeling that comes with just handing them a screen!
I have been having a heck of a time keeping my little one away from screens recently. I don’t know if it’s because I’m just so exhausted from 17 months of non-stop breastfeeding and night-time wake ups, but whatever it is, I’ve found myself giving in to a tremendous amount of screen time.
Resolving to do better, I started searching around for some toddler led activities that don’t involve screens so that he can have fun, but I can get some downtime!
Turns out there is a TON of stuff out there! So here are a few of my favorites so far. Follow me on Pinterest for more activity ideas!
Toddler Led Activities without Screens
Here are 23 toddler led activities for you to try! Many (if not all) of the supplies are general household items, so you can probably make most of these activities right now!
Contact Paper Activities
Whoever first thought of using contact paper to keep a toddler entertained was a genius! I’m going to go through a roll a week at this rate!
1. Sticky Mural
I love the concept of this activity, though we would need to use larger items or all paper (different shapes and colors) to avoid me having to watch him like a hawk!
Brilliant way to let your child connect with nature, even on rainy or cold (or blazing hot) days! Add photos to the leaves for an added layer of learning fun and family member recognition, or leave them blank for a leaf placement game!
Toddler Activities Using Common Items
Don’t worry about special toys, crafting supplies, or other things… these activities can be made using just what you have on hand!
Grab your masking tape and spend a few minutes setting this up… this relax in the easy chair while the kids play with this for hours!!
Perfect for hot weather, this giant ice cube is dual purpose fun! We would do this in the kitchen, but this may be an outside game for you…
Help your child relax with this simple toy. Easy to make and has two “difficulty” levels for kids of all ages!
If you have a square or rectangular table, you can whip this sweet little hammock up in no time!
If (like me) you have a round table, this you can make this door frame hammock quickly too!
I love this simple activity! Though I would just color on the popsicle sticks instead of using stickers to avoid any possible choking issues.
Keep an eye on your kids for this activity, you don’t want any rubber bands to be swallowed! Even so, I think this one looks fabulous!
I’ve been wondering what to do without empty toilet paper rolls… Lord knows I can’t just throw them away! This seems like a wonderful activity!
Maybe you’re a crazy person who actually throws away their trash 😉 Then make this pool noodle stringing activity instead of the toilet paper roll version!
Sensory Bag Activities
Put the ocean within reach with these sweet, blue liquid filled bag!
16. Fall Sensory Bag
Ah fall. How glad I am you exist! This has all the colors of fall in a pretty bag.
These 3 Halloween sensory bag options bring the creepy crawly inside, without any mess!
Enjoy all of the texture and color of fresh watermelon without the clean-up!
This sensory bag adds the element of COLD to its charms! Fun!
I think I’d skip the magnet part for little kids, but the brightly colored polka dots will still be mesmerizing without the magnets!
If you have the book Ten Little Apples, this would be a great follow up activity! Either way, it’s a very colorful sensory bag!
This is a great activity for watching shapes form in the bag as you trace your finger, even if your child isn’t old enough to recognize shapes or letters.