35 Best Learning Activities for Toddlers to Prepare for Kindergarten

Even though your toddler isn’t in elementary school yet, their learning journey has already begun. You can support their early development in math, reading, science, engineering, and social studies with these enjoyable and educational activities.

Most of these activities use common household items, making them perfect for impromptu indoor fun, especially on rainy days.

Fun Outdoor Toddler Activities Kids Will Love

1. Obstacle Course in the Backyard

Materials Needed: Skipping ropes, balls, hula hoops, chairs, tables, and a prize.

How to Plan:

Create an exciting obstacle course using household items and toys. Arrange chairs, tables, skipping ropes, and balls in a path that your toddler and their friends can navigate. Set up a fun challenge with a prize waiting at the end.

Skills Developed: Motor skills and physical strength.

2. Musical Scavenger Hunt

Materials Needed: Colorful chalks and a music player.

How to Plan:

On a sunny day, invite neighborhood kids and draw colorful circular blocks on the pavement with chalk. Play music and have the children jump on different colored blocks while the music plays. When the music stops, they must freeze in place.

Skills Developed: Color recognition, motor skills, and social bonding.

3. Ball Painting

Materials Needed: Various balls, a canvas, and watercolors.

How to Plan:

If you don’t mind a bit of mess, place a canvas in your backyard and dip balls in watercolor paint. Encourage your toddler to roll or bounce the painted balls onto the canvas, creating unique art.

Skills Developed: Reflexes and arm strength.

4. Water Gun Painting

Materials Needed: Water guns, plain white shirts, and colored water.

How to Plan:

Dress the whole family in plain white shirts, fill water guns with colored water, and have a blast spraying each other in the backyard. It’s a fun and colorful way to spend time together.

Skills Developed: Color recognition and motor skills.

5. Water Slides

Materials Needed: Kiddy pool, plastic slide

Activity Overview: Create a backyard water slide for your toddlers by setting up a plastic slide to empty into a kiddy pool filled with water. This simple and fun setup lets kids enjoy a personal water park experience.

Skills Developed: Physical strength, motor skills

6. Sidewalk Chalk Race

Materials Needed: Colorful chalk, popsicle sticks

Activity Overview: Make chalk popsicles by mixing colorful chalk powder with water and freezing the mixture. Give each child a chalk popsicle and have them race to melt it by drawing on the pavement.

Skills Developed: Color recognition

7. Graffiti

Materials Needed: Colorful chalk

Activity Overview: If your child enjoys drawing on walls, encourage their creativity by giving them colorful chalk to create graffiti on the pavement outside.

Skills Developed: Hand-eye coordination

8. Colorful Bath

Materials Needed: Kiddy pool, edible paint

Activity Overview: Host a colorful pool party by filling several kiddy pools with different shades of edible paint. Kids can enjoy a messy but safe and fun time playing in the painted water.

Skills Developed: Color recognition

9. Ice Painting

Materials Needed: Watercolors, ice molds

Activity Overview: Freeze water in various shapes to create ice blocks. Let your toddlers paint these ice blocks using watercolors. This activity is messy but very entertaining.

Skills Developed: Motor skills, color recognition

10. Water Balloon Painting

Materials Needed: Water balloons, paint

Activity Overview: Fill water balloons with different colors of paint. Let your toddler throw the balloons against a bare wall in your backyard, creating a colorful masterpiece.

Skills Developed: Reflexes, arm strength

11. Sack Race

Materials Needed: Old sacks

How to Organize: Sack races are a classic outdoor activity. Simply gather some old sacks that are large enough for your toddler to stand in. Have the children step into the sacks, hold the tops, and hop to the finish line. Let the fun and laughter begin!

Skills Developed: Improves body strength and coordination.

12. Mud Brick Construction

Materials Needed: Old blocks and mud

How to Organize: Collect some mud and old blocks to use as molds. Help your toddler fill the molds with mud to create mud bricks. Once the bricks are ready, your child can use them to build structures like bridges or huts.

Skills Developed: Enhances engineering skills and creativity.

13. Count an Object

Materials Needed: None

How to Organize: This is a simple and effective learning activity. During walks, ask your toddler to count various objects they see, such as trees, cars, or houses. This encourages them to be observant and practice their counting skills.

Skills Developed: Improves counting and observation skills.

14. Kite Flying

Materials Needed: A kite

How to Organize: On a sunny day, share the joy of kite flying with your toddler. You can also make a kite together for an added layer of fun and creativity. Teach them how to launch and control the kite in the wind.

Skills Developed: Enhances hand-eye coordination.

15. Sponge Fight

Materials Needed: Old sponges and colors

How to Organize: If your kids are spending too much time indoors, get them outside with a fun and colorful sponge fight. Dip old sponges in non-toxic paint and let the kids have a blast throwing them around. This activity is not only fun but also helps in learning colors and improving motor skills.

Skills Developed: Promotes color recognition and enhances motor skills.

16. Clean the Car

Materials Required: Washcloth

How to Plan: Turn car washing into a fun activity for your child. Hand them a washcloth and let them help clean the car while enjoying some water play.

Skills Developed: Motor skills and cleanliness

17. Bubble Chase

Materials Required: Dish soap and bubble wands

How to Plan: Create a homemade bubble solution and make or use bubble wands. Let your child chase the colorful bubbles in your backyard.

Skills Developed: Physical strength and sensory skills

18. Gardening

Materials Required: Toy shovel, gloves, and plant seeds

How to Plan: Encourage your child to participate in gardening. Take them to a local nursery to choose plants and seeds, then plant and care for them together in your home garden. This can help develop a new hobby and make gardening fun.

Skills Developed: Botanical knowledge and empathy

19. Bicycle/Tricycle Race

Materials Required: A bicycle or tricycle

How to Plan: If you are teaching your toddler to ride a bicycle, organize a neighborhood race. Watching other kids ride can motivate and encourage your child to learn and participate.

Skills Developed: Motor skills, cardiovascular health, and stamina

20. Garden Party

Materials Required: Party decorations and snacks

How to Plan: Organize a garden party as a role-playing activity. Let your child be the party planner and host a gathering for their stuffed animals or toys.

Skills Developed: Cognitive and creative skills

Best Indoor Toddler Activities

21. Paint Old Stuff

Materials Required: Any old items from around the house (e.g., plastic toys, newspapers).

How to Plan: Gather some old items that you no longer need and let your child paint them. This can include anything you find around the house or in the garage. It’s a great way to keep them entertained and unleash their creativity.

Skills Developed: Color recognition

22. Roll and Jump

Materials Required: Tape, geometric shape cutouts, dice.

How to Plan: Use duct tape to create shapes (circles, rectangles, squares) on the floor. Have your child roll a dice and then jump onto the shape that corresponds to the number rolled. This educational game makes learning shapes fun.

Skills Developed: Shape recognition

23. Bathing with Popsicles

Materials Required: Soap popsicles.

How to Plan: Create soap popsicles by freezing a liquid soap mixture in molds. Give your child a soap popsicle during bath time. This makes bathing more enjoyable, especially for children who are reluctant to take baths.

Skills Developed: Self-hygiene

24. Color Coordinate Toys

Materials Required: None.

How to Plan: Use your toddler’s messy room as a learning opportunity. Ask your child to sort their toys by color. This not only helps in organizing their space but also teaches them about colors and categorization.

Skills Developed: Color recognition, organization skills

25. Matching Loops

Materials Required: Froot Loops cereal, a color worksheet.

How to Plan: Download and print a color worksheet. Give your child a bowl of Froot Loops and have them match the cereal pieces to the corresponding colors on the worksheet. It’s a tasty and educational activity.

Skills Developed: Color recognition

26. Toy Washing Station

Materials Required: An old bucket and mild soap.

How to Plan: Set up a small station at home where your children can have fun cleaning their toys. Fill the bucket with water and mild soap, and let your kids wash their toys.

Skills Developed: Sensory development.

27. Rescue Mission

Materials Required: A police costume.

How to Plan: If you have an old police costume from Halloween, dress your toddler in it. Hide some of their favorite toys around the house and let them ‘rescue’ them.

Skills Developed: Analytical thinking and problem-solving.

28. Measuring Mess

Materials Required: Bowls of various sizes.

How to Plan: This activity is both messy and fun. Set up a tray with different sizes of bowls. Ask your child to measure various items like rice, water, or pasta.

Skills Developed: Measurement skills.

29. Baking Station

Materials Required: A kids’ baking kit.

How to Plan: Keep your child occupied while you cook by setting up a baking station in your kitchen. Order a baking kit for them and let them ‘bake’ alongside you. This way, you can supervise them while preparing your meal.

Skills Developed: Hand-eye coordination.

30. Tell a Tale

Materials Required: None.

How to Plan: Encourage your child to become a little storyteller. Give them a few words, like “Mom,” “dog,” and “home,” and ask them to create a story using these words.

Skills Developed: Creative thinking.

31. Magical Road Box

Materials Needed: Cardboard box, markers, toy cars

Instructions: Flatten a cardboard box and draw roads on it with markers. Your toddler can use this as a play area for their toy cars. It’s a simple way to create a magical road box for imaginative play.

Skills Developed: Cognitive skills

32. Sort Puzzles

Materials Needed: Multiple puzzle games

Instructions: Mix up different puzzles and ask your child to sort and solve each one. This activity helps in sensory development and improves sorting skills.

Skills Developed: Sensory development, sorting skills

33. Post-it Number

Materials Needed: Tape, toilet roll, sticky notes, markers

Instructions: Stick a toilet paper roll to a wall in a straight line using tape. Write numbers on sticky notes and ask your toddler to arrange them in the correct order along the roll. This activity aids in learning basic counting skills.

Skills Developed: Counting skills

34. Bath with Toys

Materials Needed: Your child’s favorite toys

Instructions: Encourage your child to take a bath by putting their favorite toys in the bathtub. This can keep them engaged and happy during bath time, promoting bonding and self-care.

Skills Developed: Bonding, self-care

35. Dress Up

Materials Needed: Timer, open closet

Instructions: Promote self-sufficiency by organizing a dress-up activity. Set a timer for ten minutes and challenge your child to get ready within the given time using clothes from an open closet.

Skills Developed: Dressing up skills


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