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15 Fun Activities for 2-Year-Olds

Erica Loop
July 21, 2017

Are you looking for activities for 2-year-olds? Not just run-of-the-mill crayon and paper scribbles or racing toy cars around on the floor, but activities that will engage, excite and inspire your toddler? Whether you're at home, on the go or out and about, these pint-sized play activities will inspire learning.

Your 2-year-old now has the ability to walk and run, stack blocks, recognize familiar names, use two- or four-word sentences, sort objects by properties (such as color) and engage in pretend play, according to the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP).

Build these skills while having a blast with some terrific toddler activities:
 

  1. Chase and Pop Bubbles
    What could be more fun than chasing bubbles around the backyard? It's all about the outdoors, and of course, the sensory fun. Your 2-year-old can practice her running and tracking skills by following the bubbles. Popping them works the fine motor skills.
     
  2. Pollock-Type Painting, Anyone?
    While the complexities of Jackson Pollock's art may not get through to your little learner, it's fun to recreate the famous artist's work, toddler-style. Spread out a sheet of butcher paper (preferably outside) and let your tot splatter away using different sizes of brushes.
     
  3. Spot the Colors of Cars
    Get nostalgic with a time-tested car color game. Build your toddler's color recognition skills. Pick a hue that your 2-year-old has to find in the cars, buses and trucks that whoosh by as you drive.
     
  4. Sort the Shapes
    Toddlers are developing their ability to sort items by shape. Play up this skill with a homemade deck of shape cards. Cut card stock into squares, triangles and circles. Spread them out on the floor and ask your tot to group them into 'like' piles.
     
  5. Explore a Nature Bin
    Spark your child's natural sense of curiosity with a bin! Fill a plastic ware container with natural items such as twigs, leaves and flower heads. This exploration engages his senses of touch, sight and smell.
     
  6. Amaze With Glitter
    Playing with glitter is great fun, but not the clean-up! Make a mess-free sensory jar, filling up an empty clear plastic container with water, baby oil and sparkles. Stir in a few drops of food coloring and let your little one shake, swirl and stare at the gushes of glitter.
     
  7. Make and Use Edible Art Supplies
    Your 2-year-old explores constantly -- through her sense of taste. If you don't want her munching on store-bought paints, try an edible version using pureed veggies mixed with flour or vanilla pudding and food coloring.
     
  8. Have Some "Heartfelt" Fun
    A DIY felt board (a piece of cardboard covered with craft felt) offers your toddler the chance to grab, grip and stick shapes in ways that he's not ready to draw just yet.
     
  9. Make Play Dough
    Let your child measure, mix and dump. Mix two cups of flour with an equal amount of water over the stove. Add two tablespoons of cream of tartar and a tablespoon or so of vegetable oil. Stir over medium heat until a dough ball forms, pulling away from the sides. Let your little artist create her own hues by stirring in food coloring.
     
  10. Shape Play Dough
    Now that you have the dough, your child can work her hands by rolling or squishing it, or by using cookie cutters to make shapes.
     
  11. Tear Tissue
    It's colorful, it's crinkly and it's super easy to tear. Need we say more?
     
  12. Backyard Balance Beam
    Line up leaves or objects to make a "balance beam" that your new walker must navigate.
     
  13. Have a Dino Dig
    Hide plastic dinosaurs in the sandbox or a box of loose dirt and have your little paleontologist dig them up.
     
  14. Drum 'til Dinner
    Two plastic straws make drumsticks for a 2-year-old to keep a beat on the dining room table, a shoebox or a pot while you're making dinner.
     
  15. Follow the Leader
    Give your toddler some simple verbal instructions to follow in sequence. This helps him learn how to follow instructions and builds language skills.


Are you stuck inside and looking to get artsy with some activities for 2-year-olds? Check out 4 Simple Toddler Crafts From Around the House!

Erica Loop is a mom, parenting writer and educator with a master of science degree in child development. When she's not teaching, she's busy creating kids' activities for her blog Mini Monets and Mommies.

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