Fun and Inexpensive Activity Ideas for Toddlers

My son is two years old and because he gets bored really fast, I'm always looking for fun, inexpensive, extra(ordinary) activities to keep him busy.

I recently posted some of these activities on my blog page and received an enormous response from mom's alike. Sharing three such activities that have been quite a 'hit' with my son in addition to a wonderful bonding experience.

Activity 1, Finger Puppets
You will need: magazine cut outs, straws and cellotape

My son loves the 'finger family' and 'Peppa' so  this idea of making straw puppets was a great activity for both of us.

This activity encouraged him to make up his own conversation and since he's learning to color, he enjoyed scribbling away and coloring the puppets.

To SAVE time, you can keep it simple with just faces or pictures of fruits, vegetables, anything colorful from old magazines and children's books. Use firm and thick images that cannot be torn easily.

Let's make it:
Cut out the required shape
Use cellotape to tape the straw to the back of the pictures.
Since Peppa is a favourite it took some additional time to draw and color the puppets in the picture below. I colored them while he enjoyed just scribbled over them.

Activity 2, Surprise Egg Hunt

You will need: four or five containers, some colorful picture cut-outs, blocks, small toys like animals, cars etc.
Note: ensure that the toys are large enough so that they cannot be swallowed.

My son enjoys this surprise "hunt", looking for the eggs and is more thrilled to find what's in it. USE toys you already have, I use cut outs of fruits, animals and fun things from magazines, toy blocks, animals, anything that is bound to make your little one surprised. If you don't have eggs, just use any closed plastic containers (like the yogurt containers)

I end the hunt with 2 small gems or alphabet biscuits in the last egg so he knows that's it!

Let's play the game:

Ask your child to hide in another room and explain that he can come out when you say 'READY'. You can hide all eggs at once or one at a time.

This fun game encouraged my son to think about where the egg might be hidden, he began to understand the concept of 'hide and seek' and also made him understand that he must wait (and be a bit patient) until he hears the word 'ready'.

Activity 3, Mix and Match Shapes 
You will need: lid covers, a black (or any color) marker pen.
In case you don't have lids, you can use paper. I perfer the lids because they are firm and can be used for a long time.

This activity idea is a simple shapes matching game I created from container lids. It's no secret, but I'm a bit of a junk collector and when I found these lids, I decided to use them instead of throw them away.

Let's make it:
Use the marker pen to draw the shape.
The shape should have a pair

Once done, put the shapes on opposite sides of the room and have your child match them. Initially, you can call out a particular shape and ask your child to find it. For the second round, I usually encourage my son to choose the shape himself and name it.

This game encourages thinking, is a good running exercise, helps kids identify not just the basic shapes but other interesting shapes as well. I also use the lids to help him find similar shapes around the house. Very helpful when you want them to be occupied. It can be a 'mini' hunt as well.

I hope your kids enjoy these simple games as much as my son loved them. Do share your feedback and let me know if you liked these ideas.