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I’ve been working from home with my toddler for over a week now and after a bumpy start, I think we’re finally hitting a rhythm. Since last week, I have scoured the internet, FaceTimed with my daughter’s teachers and talked to several friends – all resulting in a wealth of ideas on how to keep my toddler busy and stimulated throughout the day. I’ve compiled some of my favorites below:

1) Bake and cook together
My daughter loves helping us cook and bake treats. At dinner time, we try to engage her in the activity as much as possible – whether it’s adding spices, cutting a cucumber or banana (with child friendly knives), or helping to mix ingredients.

2) Science experiments
We’ve done daily science experiments this week which have been a big hit. There are several age appropriate options you can find on Google or Pinterest. Some of our favorites have been:

  • How soap kills germs experiment (Instructions here)
  • Baking soda and vinegar demonstrations (Instructions here)
  • Dissolve egg shells in vinegar (Instructions here)
  • Rainbow celery experiment to show how plants absorb water (Instructions here)
  • Non-Newtonian fluid experiment (Instructions here)

3) Baby washing
This is one that they do at my daughter’s school. It’s extremely popular with the 2 year old and preschool classes and will actually keep my daughter engaged for more than 20 minutes. It’s also a great role playing activity that teaches them practical life skills. To do this, take a shallow tub (or you can use your bathroom sink and a stool) and fill it with water and bubble bath or dish soap and give your child a wash cloth and a baby doll. Ask them to wash the baby’s hair and clean them, and then dry and dress them once they’re finished with washing.

4) Sensory bins
Take a large storage container or food storage container and fill it with a fun sensory filler like rice, beans, shredded paper, seeds, etc. Then, fill it with anything and everything, give the kids some shovels and spoons and let them excavate!

5) Gardening
My toddler has loved watering plants every morning with me (even though we’ve had several inches of rain this week!). If you have a watering can and gardening tools, that’s great – but you can also improvise with a measuring cup or pitcher (for the watering can).

If you have flowers in your garden, flower arranging is also one of my daughter’s favorite activities!

6) Make your own play doh and / or slime
This is a classic, but it’s a ton of tun. You can find play doh and slime recipes all over the internet, but my favorite easy play doh recipe is here (it is one of the few that doesn’t require cream of tartar) and my favorite slime recipe is here. I also didn’t have food coloring, but used some old mashed and strained raspberries and it worked great!

7) Have a picnic
Get a blanket, some snacks and drinks and have a picnic inside or outside in your yard or on a patio. It’s a fun way to spice up meal!

8) Scavenger and treasure hunts
Plan an indoor scavenger or treasure hunt for a fun and easy activity that will keep your little one(s) occupied.

9) Get Active
While parks and play gyms may be off limits, there are still tons of ways to get active. Get your kiddos out for a walk, play a game of Simon Says, throw a dance party or pull up Cosmic Kids Yoga and have a fun yoga adventure.

10) Educational Apps
A little screen time isn’t going to hurt your kids during this time, and there are tons of great apps that help make screen time educational. If you have a toddler age child, I’d strongly recommend ABC Animal Toddler Adventures and Preschool & Kindergarten Games.

This is a unique time for all of us, and we hope some of these ideas help you get through the day a bit easier. Please share any other activities or ideas you have in the comments!