Do you need fun and easy 2 year old activities to keep them entertained over the holidays?
Toddlers are tricky to engage over long periods at home, because they aren’t like babies that need loads of sleep, and they aren’t old enough to tolerate the TV for too long.
If you are feeling slightly panicked about entertaining the little ones, this is your hit list of 2 year old activities and ideas to get you through the long days and weeks ahead!
The holidays are a great time to spend with family and friends, but if you’ve got toddlers running around, it can be tough to keep them occupied and happy.
Here are fun and easy 2 year old activities to apply to keep them busy during the festive season (& obviously helpful a year or so either side of that age):
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While at home…
1. Make homemade holiday decorations together. Whether it’s something for the tree or making paper snowflakes, your toddler will love getting involved in the festive fun. So might you!
This is also a lovely way to get creative together as a family, while serving a purpose. It’s great to rope toddlers into taking some of the work away. Your little ones will need your help and you can get safety scissors for paper cutting.
2. Have an indoor picnic lunch with all their favorite foods. When it’s too cold to go outside, bring the picnic inside! Or if you don’t have outdoor space, you can make this a regular thing.
Let your toddler choose their favorite foods and set up a cozy spot in the lounge to enjoy your feast. They have to help you tidy up though (that will kill more time on a long day!).
3. Put on a puppet show using festive-themed puppets. Your toddler will love putting on their own little show for the family, even if it makes zero sense to their audience, they just want to copy you.
You could make some simple puppets together beforehand using felt or paper plates. Or make finger puppets if you feel it’s too much work. Just cut fingers off old gloves and stick or draw on a face!
4. Read holiday stories together before bedtime. There are so many wonderful holiday-themed books for toddlers – snuggle up with your little one and enjoy some quality time with a classic tale or two.
5. Bake holiday-themed snacks together. From gingerbread cookies to festive cupcakes, there are plenty of delicious recipes that your toddler can help make (and eat!). Check out this cookie party post for ideas.
6. Before nursery closes or the playgrounds get empty while everyone hibernates over the holidays, remember to ask another mum for a playdate. If it’s too cold for a playground date, you can get cosy indoors at yours or theirs.
The children will love seeing each other over the holiday season and you’ll get some adult conversation.
7. Get creative and festive themed with play dough. You can use cookie cutters to create shapes, then let your toddler decorate their ornament however they like.
Generally, I am against any kind of messy play, but even I can handle play dough in a safely confined area such as the kitchen table.
While out and about…
1. Go for a nature walk in your local area or make a special trip further away. Dress up warm and have an adventure.
If they need a pram/buggy, make sure you pick a route with a smooth and defined path to make things easier for you both.
2. Go look for holiday lights and decorations in town. This is a great way to get some fresh air and see the festive fun. In major towns and cities, even the window shops can be a delight for toddlers.
3. Play tourist and visit nearby attractions or museums. Even if your toddler isn’t that interested in the detail, they will still enjoy the excitement of a new environment.
I’ve often been to galleries and museums with my toddler. I definitely got more out of it than her, but she loved going to a ‘grown-up’ place and went bananas for the elevators and escalators!
4. Visit friends or family you don’t see very often. If you lead a busy life managing work and parenting, you may find you don’t have time to get further afar with your little one to visit family and friends you rarely see.
The holidays gives you extra time to make a day of it or overnight trip. I used to get a bit worried about how my little one would nap away from home, but you can always nap them in the car or pram/buggy if necessary.
5. Outdoor clear up of your garden or patio. If you’re at home and getting cabin fever but timings don’t work for a trip out, use your outdoor space if you have it. Many abandon their outdoor space in colder months but wrap them up and get outside.
Rope the little ones into simple tidying up duties outside such as collecting leaves. They often love this job, although their idea of tidying up may be a bit different from yours.
6. Visit the local farm or aquarium so your little one can enjoy the animals or sea creatures. It’s amazing to see your toddler’s face light up when they see animals for the first time. They’ve read about them in books or seen them on screen but in real life it’s really special.
7. Go on a scavenger hunt with a festive theme. There are lots of scavenger hunt ideas you can buy and print straight away off Etsy. Keep it simple and moderate as necessary, so they feel they can be part of it all.
Visit Etsy for other cheap and handy printables to entertain your little ones over the holidays and weekends.
Final thoughts on fun & easy 2 year old activities…
The above 2 year old activities should keep you and them going through the holidays. Don’t be afraid to try something new as they could love it and may be a regular activity you do at weekends or other holidays.
These ideas should make your holiday season a little brighter and definitely easier – after all, what’s more fun than watching your little ones enjoy themselves?
Maybe you will have fun too, or at least get a much-needed break in the evening after they’ve gone to sleep, exhausted by your packed day with them!
For more support on handing the little ones, check out fun and cheap toddler trips out for when you need to kill a couple of hours locally and sick of the playground.
Or if you are preparing to travel with a toddler and stressing about it (particularly the plane trip!) this will get you through.
Once you are back at work and the little ones are back in childcare, don’t forget to still find some precious me-time as a busy mama.
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