Tag Archives: activities for toddlers

Activities for toddlers


Toddler development activities

Toddler fun in the sun

Every day I notice how much Holly has developed: she uses new words, strings more words together, surprises us by coming up with the cutest and strangest ideas, and has so much fun doing activities for toddlers. The other day Holly went galloping outside when she heard my mom’s car pulling into the driveway. Mister, scared that she’d run in front of the car, shouted for her to stop. She came back whimpering and looking sorry for herself, so we explained that we’d got a fright and didn’t want her to get hurt. For the rest of the day, at every opportunity (a loud advert on TV, a dark barking, the extractor fan on the stove) Holly would tell us, earnestly, ‘Holly got a fright…’ In the cutest, high-pitched voice…

This reminder, of her out-of-control development, spurred me on to put in that little bit of super-mom extra effort that we all have, and make some new activities for her to do with her nanny. So, if you’ve been following my blog, here’s the next batch. If you haven’t, check out my previous post with activities for toddlers.

Fruit matching

Fun tddler activities

Fruit match

This is a simple activity that helps toddlers learn:

  • the names of different fruit
  • different colours 
  • matching like objects
    All you need are two pictures each of about six different fruit (printed out or cut from a magazine), some glue, a piece of cardboard and a pair of scissors.

    Cut the pics of fruit out and glue them to your board to lend some strength to the pictures. Then cut out around the pics so you have 12 individual fruit pics.

    Now your little one needs to match the different fruits together.

    Texture sorting

    Texture sorting

    Texture sorting

    I love this activity – we learnt it at TOPTOTS. Toddlers sort different textures into different containers.

    Get yourself six little containers, six food items with different textures ( sugar, cereal, oats, coffee, tea, couscous, maize meal, sesame seeds, flour) – anything you have in  your pantry will work. Get a kids’ painting tray or any container with different compartments (an ice tray could work), and a spoon.

    Get your little one to take a spoonful of one of the foods and place it into one of the compartments. Then ask her to do the same with a different food putting it in another section. Your toddler should do this for all the foods until each is in a separate compartment.

    Tell her what the different foods are, let her feel them and describe the texture for her. This is great for:

  • sensory development
  • learning different textures
  • learning the names of different food
    Torn paper picture
Fun toddler activities

Torn-paper picture

This is another cool activity we did at TOPTOTS. It’s great for:

  • practising fine motor skills
  • developing their pincer grip
  • learning about different colours


    You need a plain white or light-coloured piece of cardboard to stick paper onto, a glue stick, and about four or five different coloured pieces of paper or tissue paper, torn into small pieces (about 3-4cm).

    Cover your cardboard in glue and get your sweetheart child to stick pieces of coloured paper all over. They need to pick up the pieces off a tray or the floor and press them down so they stick.

These are simple activities you can prepare at home for your toddler to do. They don’t need a lot of time to put together, we’re all busy moms – ain’t no one got time for that – and they don’t cost anything or a lot at all. Just use things you’ve go around the house – improvise. And enjoy!


Two little dickie birds sitting on a wall…

I’m a working mom who leaves her two-year-old little girl in the hands of a nanny every morning. And, while I love that I have a job that allows me to do so many of the things that I love, it also brings with it a certain amount of mom-guilt.

You know the feeling, right? Of course you do, you’re moms! That feeling that, even though you’re doing what you think is the best for everyone, you’re still not getting it quite right. Which is how I feel every day when I walk out the front door to the soundtrack of my little girls sobbing her heart out as her mother walks away from her, yet again.

Anyway, one of my concerns at the moment is whether or not she’s getting all the stimulation she needs from her nanny. I know Sophie loves her, and she has Holly’s best interests at heart, but I’m still concerned that Holly should be learning more. At the same time, I’m not ready to send her off to play school.

I’ve been a teacher (albeit a high school teacher at a rough school) and those places are tough! It’s an eat or be eaten kind of place. And she’s going to get enough exposure to that later on in life. So, as I question our decision to keep her at home with a nanny for a few more months, I spend my spare time on weekends preparing activities for Sophie and Holly to do during the week. I’ll share some of these with you in this and the next blog post.

Box with prepared activities.

Sophie’s box of tricks for Holly.

Every Sunday afternoon (ok, so almost every Sunday afternoon – I am human) I get out my craft supplies and the big plastic container I bought especially for this purpose, and I prepare two activities for each week day (one for morning and one for afternoon).

Plastic tongs and coloured blocks with a box.

Tong and block pick up.

In this first activity, Holly uses a pair of plastic tongs to pick up coloured wooden blocks and place them into a little green box. This activity works her fine motor skills, colour recognition and hand-eye co-ordination.

Blue circles on a page.

Stick on the sticker.


This second activity is a colour naming activity and work’s Holly fine motor skills and hand-eye co-ordination again. I’ve stuck some little blue stickers on a piece of cardboard, and Holly’s nanny helps her to stick a sticker on top of the blue circles.

Birds on a stick

Two little dickie birds…

In this third activity, I’ve stuck pieces of cardboard to a wooden ice-cream stick, and I placed a picture of an owl on the cardboard to make Peter and Paul – two little dickie birds. Holly then holds a bird in each hand and Sophie recites to her while Holly does the actions:

Two little dickie birds sitting on a wall
One named Peter, one named Paul.
Fly away Peter, fly away Paul.
Come back Peter, come back Paul.

This activity teaches Holly rhythm and works her gross motor co-ordination.

If you’re looking to make activities your little one can do at home, start collecting things now: empty egg boxes, pieces of cardboard, a couple of old magazines to cut pictures out of, old fabric or swatches from a fabric store, pom poms, wool – just about anything can be made into a learning activity.