Inside: is your list of 100+ super easy no-prep or low-prep activities you can do at home with your toddler or preschooler or 2 and 3 year olds.
All in the same boat
Just like you, we are stuck at home and as soon as I realized that I would have three kids under 5 home for at least 3 weeks and possibly more, I knew that I needed a plan of fun and easy ideas to do every day.
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.
RELATED… Check out my new book Exciting Sensory Bins for Curious Kids: 60 Easy Creative Play Projects
I also wrote another book coming out in the Summer 2021 called Super STEAM Activity Book! Stay tuned for more information!
Toddler Homeschool Program
I am currently developing a new Toddler Homeschool Curriculum called Play2Learn Toddler Homeschool Program. Be sure to sign up for my newsletters so that you get first dibs when it is released!
Supplies For No Prep Activities
(This post and list contains affiliate links for your convenience. If you make a purchase using one of these links, I may earn a commission. Please visit my disclosure policy for more information.)
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!
No or Low-Prep Activities for 2 and 3 year olds
- 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.
- Pom Poms Mega Blok Colouring Sorting – Turn your Mega Bloks upside down and use them to colour sort with Pom Poms
- Outer Space Sensory Bin – Happy Toddler Playtime sensory bin – Water, tin foil and stars and a single drop of black food colouring
- Pillow road – Happy Toddler Playtime create a pillow road for your toddlers favourite trucks and cars.
- Toilet Paper Rolling – 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.
- Sock Puzzles: 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 Names:
- Snack Math
- Free the Animals: Place animals in ziplock bags and invite child to open and free them.
- Dinosaur Bath: Put dinosaur toys in the bath
- Decorate your Diapers: Decorate diaper with permanent markers.
- Painting Bread: paint bread with edible paint and then eat it!
- 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 by Happy Toddler Playtime is fun activity using fridge magnets and can be set up in 3 minutes!
- Tea Bag Water Play by Happy Toddler Playtime 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 by Happy Toddler Playtime 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 by Happy Toddler Playtime is a quick set up activity to practice name recognition.
- Foil Puzzle Presents by Happy Toddler Playtime 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 by Happy Toddler Playtime 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 by Happy Toddler Playtime 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 by Happy Toddler Playtime 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 by Happy Toddler Playtime 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 by Happy Toddler Playtime 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 by Happy Toddler Playtime 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
- Bean Beach Sensory Bin by Happy Toddler Playtime using navy beans and beach toys.
- 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 by Happy Toddler Playtime is an easy fine motor activity using Pom Poms and water
- 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!
- Sticky Pick Up
- Paint Animals
- Cutlery Sorting
41. Dinner Plate Counting
42. Backyard Toy Painting
43. Car Letters
44. Hand Sock Painting