Inside: Trying to keep up with your busy toddlers? Here are 25 fun and easy ideas that will help them burn their energy at home and at school!
I am often asked about ideas for busy toddlers. They have short attention spans, would rather run or climb than sit, and simply want to be on the go every moment they are awake.
Does this sound familiar? Do you have a toddler like this?
Now, older children can be just as energetic as toddlers and I did share ideas on songs that help get their wiggles out. But toddlers get frustrated more easily and need redirection during those times. So, I put together activities that have worked with our busy toddlers.
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25 Fun and Easy Ideas for Busy Toddlers
Go Up and Down Steps
Pouring water is another super soothing activity. If we have a child who needs to calm his body down, this does the trick. You don’t need a fancy water table. A kitchen sink or a bucket work fine. You can see more about this in our Toddler Fine Motor Water Activity Post.
All toddlers benefit from balancing activities, but busy toddlers especially enjoy them. These activities require the busy toddler to focus for an extended period of time. They also strengthen body awareness, muscular strength, and postural control.
Throw a Ball
Scrub with Soapy Water
A few years ago we were introduced to scooter boards. Our toddlers lie on their tummies and scoot around the room. Scooter boards strengthen both the arms and the core, important for motor development.
Move with Instruments
Pound Golf Tees
Build with Blocks
Dance with Scarves
Move Big Things
Draw Big Pictures
Grab some kitchen utensils and give your busy toddler scooping activities! This was part of our alphabet soup activity and it was much loved.
Stamp with Paper Tubes
Roll Golf Balls
Hop Over Hoops
Drive Through Paint
Poke into Playdough
Play dough is a staple in our toddler classroom. Try adding materials they can poke and press into it! You can see more of this activity here: STEM Playdough Building Challenge.
Shake Discovery Bottles
Discovery bottles can also be known as calm-down bottles. We’ve found when our busy toddlers need some calm moments, we hand them one of these bottles. You can read how we make our own here: Winter Discovery Bottles.
Stack Duplo Bricks
Just as small Lego bricks help our busy preschoolers, the larger Duplo bricks calm our busy toddlers. These are also great to take along when traveling!
Transfer Cubes with Tongs
Focusing on transferring smaller pieces is a nice activity to slow down the busy toddler. You can see more of this activity here: Color Sorting Water Bin.
Paint with Balls
Activities such as this painting one are great because they allow the toddler to hold onto a cardboard lid, moving it around. Busy toddlers love this because it works their entire upper body as they move the ball around. You can see more here: Painting with Balls.
Our toddlers have so much fun with our sit ‘n spin that we had to purchase several! It takes coordination to start the spinning motion, working the upper body.
Related busy toddler posts:
And you will find lots of fun activities in my book Learn with Play:
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