Indoor Activities for Toddlers Under 2

Looking for the best indoor activities for toddlers under 2? Whether at home or out and about, check out these top ideas for your little one.

Indoor Activities for Toddlers Under 2Many of us have experienced “cabin fever,” and it’s not always because we’re snowed in at the top of the mountains.

Heat waves and downpours might mean we’re home for days at a time. Perhaps you’re pregnant or in bedrest and shouldn’t be moving all that much. And sometimes, we just need to vary our indoor activities, especially when we’ve had enough of crayons and play dough.

I’ve found that having a list of ideas helps take the boredom and monotony out of the day. Routine is fantastic, but we can also vary the activities we do within our daily routines.

That’s why, even though these ideas aren’t earth-shatteringly new, having them handy can be all it takes to get out of a rut and enjoy the time you spend indoors with your child. I’ve also narrowed these activities down to those that are suitable for toddlers under 2 years old.

So, what are some indoor activities you can do with your little one? Check out my favorite ideas:

1. Bowling

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Play a game of bowling right at home! Use anything that stands as your “bowling pins,” like toilet paper rolls, stuffed animals, or paper cups. Then, choose a soft but sturdy ball that you can take turns rolling to knock the pins down.

Want an actual bowling toy? I got this bowling set for my kids and love that it works inside the home as well as out in the yard. The bottoms of the pins are magnetic, making it easier to re-align in formation.

Free printables: Want a few play ideas to try with your toddler? Join my newsletter and get your copy of the Play Ideas Calendar! The first sheet includes ideas, while the second is a blank template to fill with your own. Grab it below—at no cost to you:

After Work Play Ideas

2. Dance party

Break out your dancing shoes with an indoor dance party! Several nursery songs lend themselves well to physical movement, like:

  • Head, Shoulders, Knees, and Toes
  • Hokey Pokey
  • Itsy Bitsy Spider
  • Wheels on the Bus

Or simply play your favorite music and dance to the beat! No need for choreography when you and your toddler can simply move to the rhythm.

3. “Hamper” ball

Toss items like soft balls, clothes, or stuffed animals into an empty laundry basket for a game of basketball. Try to make a basket even as you go farther away from the hamper.

Another option is to turn the hamper on its side and try to kick a soft ball inside for soccer. Use a soft stick or toy bat and turn it into a hockey game.

4. Bubbles

Your toddler can have so much fun popping bubbles that you blow. A simple bottle of bubble soap like this can provide endless fun.

Don’t want to blow bubbles all day long? A “bubble machine” like this can run on batteries, or wave a long bubble wand like this to let the wind do the work.

5. Fort

Turn simple household items and furniture into your very own fort! For instance, place blankets or sheets over your dining chairs for your toddler to crawl through. Arrange couch cushions or pillows in the living room into “rooms” that he can climb into and read or play.

Or get a child-sized tent like this as a regular fixture in your home. My kids loved crawling into their tent and bringing along little toys and books to keep them company.

6. Sensory bins

This is a fun activity to help your toddler explore and play with his sense. To make a sensory bin, fill a large plastic storage container with items like:

  • dried rice
  • oats
  • beans
  • small pasta
  • sand (or kinetic sand)

Then, add items like small toys to find or bowls and cups to scoop with. Lastly, place a towel or large plastic bag under the bin to contain or at least minimize the mess.

Store these items in separate air-tight containers or bags when you’re not using them. That way, you can rotate and reuse them. But should anything get wet, toss it in the trash or compost bin.

Check out these 20 sensory activities for 1 year olds.

18 Sensory Activities for 1 Year Olds

7. Pom poms

These soft, small balls can make for plenty of fun! At this age, “larger” pom poms that are an inch or larger are easier to grasp and play with.

For instance, you can:

  • Play a game of “hockey” with your fingers or hands
  • Use tongs to pick them up and place them in a bowl
  • Sort them by color
  • Count them

8. Laundry matching

This may not sound like fun for you, but matching laundry can be a hoot of a time for your toddler. Start with the simplest of all—socks. Have her find socks in the hamper for you to bunch together.

Then, move on to other similar clothes like finding t-shirts, or finding clothes of the same color. This can be a fun way to sort and match similar-looking items.

9. Threading

Your toddler’s fine motor skills may not be perfected just yet, but you can still practice simple exercises like threading.

For instance, show him how to loop large dried pasta (like rigatoni) through pipe cleaners, plastic straws, or string. Or use a ready-made toy like this where you can practice threading a shoelace through various beads.

10. Puzzles

Don’t think that your toddler can only do simple puzzles—she can likely do 12 or even 24-piece wooden puzzle pieces if you give her a chance! Start with one puzzle at a time so that she can find patterns until it’s completed.

11. Chalk

A chalkboard easel makes it easy to draw with chalk at home. Or see if you have a dry or shaded spot outside where you can draw. For instance, draw on your concrete patio steps or inside your garage.

12. Bathtub paint

Turn bath time into an art session with paint soap! These soaps not only clean your toddler, but make it fun to finger paint on the sides of the tub.

13. Gluing paper

Have your toddler practice gluing small pieces of paper onto a larger one. Any bit of paper can do—even torn up pieces of junk mail or old wrapping paper!

Then, have him dip the pieces into a small plate of glue (or show him how to use a glue stick). And finally, he can stick the bits onto the larger piece of paper or board. This can even be a fun collage you can hang once he’s finished.

14. Baking

Baking can be a fantastic activity the two of you can do together. While your toddler isn’t going to be handling the oven any time soon, he can still help you with many baking and cooking tasks.

For instance, he can help mash bananas, pour flour into the bowl, and mix the batter with a wooden spoon. The best part? Getting to eat the delicious baked goods after all his hard work!

15. Indoor places

Staying indoors isn’t limited to what you can do at home. If you’re interested in places to take your 1 year old that are still indoors, you have plenty of options. Some of our favorite indoor hangouts include:

  • Mall playground
  • Arcades for toddlers
  • Trampoline park
  • Bookstore or library
  • Children’s museum
  • Getting ice cream or a smoothie


Staying indoors with a toddler is sometimes necessary, but thankfully you now have a few ideas to keep yourselves entertained. From blowing bubbles to playing hamper-ball, “cabin fever” has never been more fun!

Get more tips:

Free printables: Want a few play ideas to try with your baby? Join my newsletter and get your copy of the Play Ideas Calendar! The first sheet includes ideas, while the second is a blank template to fill with your own. Download it below—at no cost to you:

After Work Play Ideas

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  1. I struggle with knowing how many activities we should be doing a day. I am expecting my 2nd baby and I have a 28 month old. I am so exhausted all the time but I don’t want to neglect my toddler! These activities seem like a great way to bond and for my daughter to learn. How long should we spend doing these activities each day?

    1. Nina Garcia says:

      Hi Megan! That’s fantastic that you’re committed to helping your toddler keep learning, especially as you’re introducing a big change in her life. As far as how long, honestly, these activities can be done in 30 minutes max a day. Considering how young toddlers are, they don’t always sit at one activity for too long. She might even start exploring in her own ways that are different from what you initially planned, and that’s okay. And of course, if she wants to keep playing, definitely let her do so 🙂