Updated in 2023 with new no prep toddler activities! Are you looking for fast and easy activities to keep your toddler busy? No prep or low prep activities that are easy to clean up, engaging, education and fun? The you have come to the right place! Here is our ultimate list of the best super easy no-prep or low-prep activities you can do at home with your toddler or preschooler or 2 and 3 year olds.
Most Requested List on Social Media
I first put this list together back when we were all at home but it has quickly morphed into one of the most requested resources on social media. Hundreds of parents struggling to keep their toddlers busy at home message me on instagram requesting this list. These are the go to activities that I did with my 2 and 3 year olds at home and it will quickly become your go to as well.
I have updated the list with new activities and new pictures and more details.
I put this list together from the best kids activity blogs out there and I hope that it will help you through this time while at home. I will be updating this list periodically as I find more easy no and low-prep ideas. So keep checking back for new ideas. They will be at the top of the list.
Tips for Working Parents
If you are a parent who is now working from home, finding ways to entertain your kids all day can seen very daunting but with this list you will have a resource you can turn to that will help you through this tough time.
The best way to use this list is to go through it the night before and choose 2 or 3 ideas you think your kids will enjoy and you feel comfortable setting up. Write them down on stick them on the fridge so you can refer to them the next day.
Keeping the Mess Down
To help keep the mess down when it comes to doing easy painting or easy sensory activities take advantage of your bathtub! It’s a sure fire way to change the mood of any toddler and messy activities when done in the tub can be cleaner up with a turn of tap.
Supplies For No Prep Toddler Activities
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Most of the supplies for these activities are things that you already have in your home and basic craft supplies like paint, paint brushes construction paper and scissors. The one thing you may not have is Pom Poms. You can get yours here.
For a quick guide to activity supplies check out my Amazon shop.
For more help on how to start to do activities with your kids check out this post for things to buy and save for kids activities.
These activities are things you can set up when your child comes to you and says, “I’m bored”. Most of them will take 5 minutes or less to set up. And although it’s hard to predict how long your child will play with an activities, it’s more than likely that they will play with these ideas for more than just 5 minutes!
Quick No Prep and Low-Prep Activities for Toddler
- 50+ Easy Things to Do at Home by Happy Toddler Playtime is a great list of 50+ super no prep activities to do at home with a 3 year old but can also be done with a 2 year old and even older children. That should be the first place you look for easy no-prep ideas. I created it when I was pregnant with my twins and I had a 3 year at home. It saved me on many many days. Click here to find the first 50 super easy and completely doable low prep activities for preschoolers here!
- Mega Blok Jumping
You’ll need Mega Bloks. Set up an indoor jumping range for your toddler using their Mega Blocks. This is a simple active activity that your toddler can help set up with you!
- Pillow Road
You’ll need pillows and cars or trucks. Create a pillow road for your toddlers favourite trucks and cars.
- Toilet Paper Rolling
You’ll need toilet paper and toys. Take a toilet paper roll, unroll is and place a toy at the end. Invite your little one roll is back up trying to keep the toy from falling off.
- Snack Names
You’ll need snack, paper and a marker. Write their name on a piece of paper with circles below each letter. Invite your toddler to place one snack in each circle and have them identify each letter and its sound. As they remove their snacks and eat them repeat the same thing.
- Sock Puzzles
You’ll need a sock and a wooden puzzle. Put wooden puzzle pieces inside a large sock and have your child put their hand in to find the pieces and complete the puzzle
- Snack Math
You’ll need paper, marker and snacks. Count snacks on a piece of paper.
- Free the Animals
You’ll need animals and small ziplock bags. Place the animals inside and invite your toddler to open and free them.
- Dinosaur Bath
Put dinosaur toys in the bath
- Decorate your Diapers
Decorate diapers with permanent markers.
You’ll need white bread, food colouring and milk. Paint bread with edible paint and then eat it! Find out more here.
- Ice Sensory Bin – an easy idea that works in winter and summer
- Snowman Towers – build a snowman using paper towel rolls.
- 100+ Low -Prep Activities you can Do in Your Backyard by Little Pine Learners are a great set of fun activities to do outside.
- Paint with Kitchen Tools as Paint Brushes by Busy Toddler or with cotton balls.
- Do a craft together using kitchen tools. Check out this post of super easy crafts using a potato masher.
- Car bowling using bowling pins or toilet paper rolls and a car big enough to knock them over. Line the pins or rolls up and then use the car to knock them down.
- Alphabet Match is fun activity using fridge magnets and can be set up in 3 minutes!
- Tea Bag Water Play is a quick activity using herbal tea bags and water.
- Paper Tunnels and Balls by Toddler Approved can be set up in minutes and is fun for little and big kids.
- Pom Pom Number Sweep can be set up in 2 minutes and is fun for 2 and 3 year olds.
- Pouring Station by Busy Toddler is fun water sensory bin that is sure to entertain for more than 5 minutes!
- MegaBlok Names is a quick set up activity to practice name recognition.
- Foil Puzzle Presents is a great way to use a puzzle and has lots of ways to extend the play.
- Toddler Dot-to-Dot by What We Do All Day is a fun idea for Toddlers
- Build a Book Rainbow is a great way to use your children’s library in a fun way. It will lead to reading a few current favourites and some forgotten favourites as well.
- Sponge Letter Match uses sponges and letters and is fun for 2 and 3 years. It can also lead to lots of extending play.
- Animal Tape Rescue by Busy Toddler is a fun fine motor activity that toddlers will love!
- 10 Salad Spinner Toddler Activities is a list of 10 super easy to set activities to do with a salad spinner using items you already have at home.
- How to Make Paper Airplanes by The Best Ideas for Kids has a great full video tutorial. This idea is great for all ages.
- Spaghetti Drop for Toddlers is a quick activity using dried spaghetti and cardboard tubes. You can set it up in minutes.
- STEM Play Dough Building Challenge by Teaching 2 and 3 Year Olds. This is a fun idea that you can set up in less than 2 minutes and great for 4-6 year olds as well.
- Cloud Dough Kitchen uses a quick sensory recipe using flour and oil to create a taste-safe dough that is fun and easy to play with.
- Coin Sorting by Rhythms of Play is a fun sorting activity using coins and can be set up in 2 minutes. Great for 3-5 year olds.
- The Drop Anything Toddler Activity have your toddler drop markers, crayons or anything they can find that will fit down a cardboard tube! You can set this up in 2 minutes!
- Towel Holder and Rolls For Toddlers by Powerful Mothering using paper towel rolls and is great for toddlers.
- Feed the Animals by Little Ones Learn
- Cutting a Banana by Rhythms of Play is a great way to combine snack time and playtime. This is great for 2 and 3 year olds.
- Pom Pom Picnic by Happy Toddler Playtime is a fun pretend play activity that lasted for days in my house.
- DIY Sorter by Little Ones Learn is a fun diy activity using a cardboard box and random items in your house.
- Lego Color Sorting by Lorena & Lennox is a quick set up colour sorting activity that has the potential to lead to lots of free play!
- Colour Mixing Tea Party by Happy Toddler Playtime is a quick early colour mixing activity.
- Water Play for Toddlers – Fishing for Colors and Letters by Active Littles is a fun and easy water play activity for toddlers.
- Cardboard Box Wash & Paint by Happy Toddler Playtime for Toddler Approved is a great way mess free way to use a cardboard box.
- Dinosaur Hunting with Paint by Powerful Mothering is fun for 2 and 3 year olds using water colour paints.
- Pom Pom Water Transfer
You’ll need Pom Poms or sponges and two containers and water. Find out how to set it up here.
- Cookie Sheet Sensory Play by Twin Mom Refreshed is a quick to set up sensory activity.
- Stone Washing by Happy Toddler Playtime is a easy set cleaning activity using stones and shaving. Its not as messy as it sounds and will entertain for more than 5 minutes for sure.
- Wine Cork Push by Happy Toddler Playtime is a great way to use those wine corks you might accumulate while working from home with your kids!
- Paint Animals
51. Elastic Bands Around Feet
Take a few elastic bands and invite your toddler to pull them over there feet. Don’t use too many and remove them immediately after playing. This is great practice for putting on socks. You can also use scrunches!
- Cutlery Sorting
53. Dinner Plate Counting
54. Backyard Toy Painting
More No Prep and Low Prep Toddler Activities
55. Car Letters
You’ll need sponges , water, soap and sensory bin or bowl.
Your’ll need Pom Poms, Mega Bloks and tongs. Turn your Mega Bloks upside down and use them to colour sort with Pom Poms.
59. Snack Necklaces
Serving snack? Why not turn it into an activity. All you need is string and a embroidery needle and snacks that are soft enough to thread the needle through or have holes or soft
60. Elastic Bands over Paper Towel
Grab some elastic bands and invite your toddler to see how many they can wrap around the paper towel roll.
61. Ivory Soap Experiment
You’ll need ivory soap, microwaveable plate and microwave. Unwrap bar Ivory Soap, place in the middle of the plate. Place in microwave and heat for 1- 2 minutes (about 1:30 is the sweet spot). Keep watching the entire time because it happens fast!
62. Turtle Boxes
You’ll need a cardboard box. Grab a cardboard box and place it on your toddlers back and pretend to be turtles. Can you hide in your shell? Decorate the outside of the shell with markers
63. Bug Whisk Rescue
You’ll need a whisk and small toys, Pom Poms or socks. Place toys like bugs or LEGO or Pom Poms or socks or cotton balls.
64. Book: Super STEAM Activity Book for Kids
Learning all about science, technology, engineering, art, and math sets kids up for scholastic success―and it can be so much fun! Watch kids enjoy building STEAM skills as they color friendly fish, help water find its way to tree roots, solve math problems with mazes, and more.
Find out more and grab your copy here.
Designed for preschoolers 3 years old and up.
65. Laundry Basket Dump Truck
You’ll need a laundry basket and heavy items like a bag of flour or bottle of vinegar or oil. Place some heavy items into a laundry basket and see if your toddler can move them around like a dump truck.
You’ll need a balloon and a cardboard tube like a paper towel roll.
You’ll need larger butcher paper, LEGO DUPLO or MEGA BLOCKS and marker.
You’ll need butcher paper and LEGO and markers.
69. Step Stool Jumping
You’ll need: a step stool. Invite your toddler to climb and jump off the step stool!
70. Feed the Stuffed Animal Ball Relay Race
You’ll need: Plastic balls, cardboard boxes, stuffed animals. Place the plastic ball pit balls into a box on one end of room or backyard and an empty box on the other end. Place their favourite stuffed animals next to the empty box. Invite your toddler to use a spoon to scoop up a ball and walk it over to the box next to the stuffed animals. They can pretend to feed the animals the ball and then place it in the box. Repeat until all the balls have been transferred over.
71. Rescue the Animals
You’ll need pipe cleaners and animals. Wrap elastic bands around your under the sea creatures or farm animals. Invite your toddler to unwrap the animals to free them
72. Stick Ladder
You’ll need sticks. You can use broom sticks or even just painters tape and invite your little one to pretend that it’s a ladder that they have to climb up. Find more ways to play here.
73. Book Drop
You’ll need: books and a cardboard box and scissors. Does your toddler love to return library books at the library through the book drop? Well all three of mine do so I decided to turn it into a fun activity using a cardboard box!
You’ll need bubble wrap, painters tape, sharpie and cars. Use bubble wrap to create a highway for your toddlers toy cars and trucks.
75. Glow in the Dark Bowling
For toddlers use a larger ball so that hitting the balls is not so challenging. Grab some empty large water or pop bottles, fill them with glow sticks. Set them up in your basement or a room that you can make fairly dark and let them try and know them down!
76. Paper Towel Roll Towers
Grab some paper towel roll with the paper towels still on. You can even add some toilet paper rolls with the toilet paper still on. Full rolls for this activity and invite your toddler to stack them like giant blocks! We did activity in the winter and made snowmen out of them by adding buttons and a hat.
You’ll need fly swatter and dish soap, water and a bowl. This bubble making activity is soo easy for toddlers and a great way to get out energy. And bonus no spilt bubble solution!! All you need is a fly swatter! Find out more here.
78. Clouds in the Sky Picture: Cotton Ball Gluing
You’ll need blue construction paper, glue and cotton balls. Invite your toddler to make a clouds in the sky picture glue the cotton balls to the blue construction paper.
79. Water Pouring Station
You’ll need bowls and cups and water and towel or sensory bin. Fill bowls and cups with water and place them on a towel. You don’t need lots of water to make this fun. Invite your toddler to pour the water in the bowl. If doing this in a sensory bin or outside you can add more water! or even colours with food colouring!
80. Ice Cream Cone Balloon Toss
You’ll need: balloons and brown construction paper. Twist your brown construction paper into a ice cream cone shape and use some tape to secure it. Blow up a balloon. Invite your toddler to toss the balloon in the air using the cone an try and catch it again!
81. Taste Test
You’ll need 4-5 containers and different foods that taste sweet (honey, chocolate), sour (lemon, lime), salty (chips, cucumber with salt) and bitter (kale). Invite your toddler to taste each one. Taste about how it tastes with them. What’s their favourite? Least favourite?
82. Pull the Pipe Cleaners
You’ll need pipe cleaners and a colander or container with small holes. Invite your toddler to insert the pipe cleaners in the colander and them remove them.
83. Spice Container Measuring
You’ll need spice containers. Measure different things using spice containers. My kids loved measuring themselves, stuffed animals and large trucks.
84. Pillow walk
You’ll need pillows. create a path using all the pillows and cushion you have and go for a walk on it!
85. Giant Nail Salon
You’ll need cardboard box, sharpie, ice cube tray washable paint, fine paint brushes or q-tips. Find out how to set it up here.
You’ll need Pom Poms or sponges and two containers and water. Find out how to set it up here.
87. Wash the Toys
You’ll need plastic toys large or small, water, dish soap or bubble bath and water. If indoors use a sensory bin otherwise you can do this outside!
88. Oat Sensory Bin
You’ll need oats, animals and a sensory bin or box or large Tupperware container.
89. UNO Memory Game
You’ll need UNO cards. Choose a match of 3 or 4. Place the card face down. Flip over two cards, if they match you keep them. If they don’t match turn them over and try again.
90. Draw A Farm
You’ll need markers, paint sticks and a large sheet of butcher paper and farm animal toys. Invite your toddler to draw the different habitats of farm animals. For example a mud pit for the pigs, a pond for the ducks, a field for the cows and horses and barn or the chicken. You can draw the outline of item for younger toddlers and let them colour it in or let yourolder toddler create their own farm.
91. Pom Pom Drop
Can’t have a list of easy toddler activities without this classic one. Its a classic for a reason. Its super easy to set up and just plain or fun for toddlers. You’ll need cardboard tube, painter’s tape and Pom Poms.
93. Foam Shapes on the Window
You’ll need foam shapes, a bowl and water. Wet the foam shapes and stick them all over a window!
94. Painting with Water and Chalk
You’ll need construction paper, colourful chalk, bowl, water and paint brush. Paint the construction paper with water. Then colour over the water with some chalk.
95. Salad Spinner Art
You’ll need a salad spinner, washable paint and coffee filters or paper and scissors. Place the coffee filter in the salad spinner or cut a circle from white paper to fit inside the spinner. Add a few drops of washable kids paint. Close the spinner and turn as fast as you can. Open the spinner up and see what happened!
96. Pasta Threading
You’ll need penne pasta and pipe cleaners. Thread the penne pasta around the pipe cleaners.
You’ll need rice, animal puzzle, spoon, bowl and sensory bin or box.
You’ll need water and corn starch. Find out how to make it here.
99. Popsicle Bath
You’ll need popsicles and bath.
100. Stacking Challenge
You’ll need flat rocks. Try and stack them as high as you can!
101. Fizzy Experiment
You’ll need baking soda, Tupperware container or sensory bin, bowls, vinegar, eye dropper and food coloring. Spread baking soda out in the sensory bin. Fill bowls with vinegar and a drop of food colouring. Use the eye droppers to apply the coloured vinegar to the baking soda and watch it fizz with colour!
102. Playdough Tool Mark Making
You’ll need paint, paper and play dough tools. Dip the playdough tool in the paint and make prints or marks on the paper.
Toddler and Preschooler Curriculums, Books & TV Show!
Play2Learn Toddler & Preschool Programs for Curious Toddlers
There is no limit to your toddler’s energy and curiosity. That energy and curiosity although a joy can be challenging at times. Their interest in just about everything around them is what makes them great learners. One and two year olds can soak up so much just from their senses!
But as a teacher or parent that thirst for learning can be exhausting. That is why I created this toddler and preschooler program. To help you get the most out of this time with your curious toddler without having to come up with creative ways to play and interact with them.
Play2Learn for Toddlers includes 20 Units for toddlers. Each 2-week toddler unit has 20 super easy to set up and engaging activities for toddlers 18 months to 3 years.
Play2Learn Preschool which includes 20 Units for preschoolers. Each 2-week preschoolers unit has 20 unique and easy to set up and engaging activities for preschoolers 3 years to 5 years. That’s over 800 learning activities for your toddler and preschooler at your fingertips! So many ideas you and your child will never be bored again!
These toddler and preschool lesson plans and activities will definitely keep you and your toddler and preschooler busy playing and learning!
Click here for more information: Play2Learn
Designed for toddlers 18 months and up.
Boring afternoons are made exciting with awesome animal-based bins, like Salty Shark Bay or Yarn Farm. Pretend play bins like Birthday Cake Sensory Play or Bubble Tea Party encourage creativity and imagination. And your kids will have so much fun they won’t even know they’re getting smarter with STEAM (science, technology, engineering, art and math) activities like Sink or Float Soup, Magnetic Letter Hunt or Ice Cream Scoop and Count.
Designed for toddlers 18 months and up.
Riddle me this: What’s an exciting way to practice critical thinking while having a blast? The Big Riddle Book for Kids, of course! From hilarious puns to tough brain teasers, kids can build problem-solving skills with hundreds of riddles that show them how to think outside the box.
- 350 riddles for kids—Have hours of fun with riddles, puns and jokes, and math and logic puzzles that’ll get their wheels turning!
- Level up their skills—Riddles get trickier as kids progress through the book, challenging them as they get better at solving puzzles!
- Double-check their work—Kids can check their answers in the back of the book with a handy answer key.
Help children expand their minds while having fun with this puzzle book for kids!
Designed for kids ages 6 years old and up.
TV Show: Curious Crafting
Set in the ultimate crafting space, Curious Crafting is a short form pre-school age series about the joy of making crafts. I lead a rotating cast of adorable little preschoolers (including my own) making magic out of common household objects.
In each episode we transform recycled items into magical crafts like a milk carton school bus, paper bag puppet or cotton pad turtle. The crafters learn and laugh their way through each activity while demonstrating what their young imaginations can create.
Curious Crafting shares the adventure and joy of making art with takeaway lessons for creating crafts at home.
This show designed for toddlers and preschoolers 2.5 years old and up.