Without a doubt, these 7 toddler activities must be included on any good daily toddler schedule, toddler routine, and homeschool preschool schedule.
There are two main reasons why. First, toddlers have the type of mind that absorbs knowledge and they crave meaningful experiences. Second, these daily activities are essential for development of early physical, language, math and social skills. Combine them and you will get an unforgettable symbiotic relationship between toddler and activities.
So, here is our list of what should a toddler do every day?
- Gross motor activities
- Fine motor activities & Sensory Play
- Practical Life Activities
- Music & Dance
- Simple Math Activities
- Language & Literacy Activities
- Art & Crafts
7 must-do daily toddler activities
So, let’s check out these must-do daily toddler activities. Easy and no-prep, they are the best to support your toddler to grow up at their own pace.
1. Gross Motor Activities
Running, jumping, throwing ball…Physical movement is an essential factor in intellectual growth and a big part of any toddler routine. But how much exercise does a 2-3 year-old toddler need? The answer is pretty simple. Toddlers should be active at least 3 hours a day, including light, moderate, and vigorous activities. That’s not only according the WHO Guidelines on physical activity, sedentary behaviour and sleep for children under 5 years of age, but also according to physical activity guidelines for children in UK, Canada, Australia.
So, put at least 180 minutes gross motor activities on your toddler daily schedule and stick with it. Not only are gross motor activities great for the brain development of your toddler, but also contribute naturally to life-long love for being physically active.
Moreover, physical activities are great way to relieve stress, burn off energy and build up strength. And last, but not least being sufficiently physically active during the day, will help your toddler have a great long goodnight sleep.
To sum up, to grow up healthy, children need to sit less and play more. Therefore no matter how exhausting and stressful sometimes it can be, instead of asking them to sit still, encourage them to exercise more and more each day.
2. Fine Motor Activities & Sensory Play
Hands are the instrument of man’s intelligence. That’s one great and inspiring Dr. Maria Montessori quote. So, every activity that makes your little one use them, makes them smarter. Fine motor activities and sensory play are great way to help your little one to learn to explore with their hands.
If you need some ideas and examples of fine motor activities, check out these 22 Fine Motor Activities, that can be repeated daily.
Looking for easy, no mess sensory bags? Check out these here
3. Practical Life
No matter whether you call them toddler chores, early self-care activities or development of life skills, practical life activities are a must in any toddler schedule. Above all, practical life activities are deemed to be the most effective path to the development of self-confidence, concentration, and happiness. Besides, none of these activities involves prep work and your home will be a cosy, tidy place all the time. Or at least almost all the time.
Check out our examples of Practical Life Activities here.
4. Music & Dance
Music and Dancing are not only fun, but also an integral part of any child’s development. These powerful activities help your toddler develop their gross motor, fine motor, language, thinking, early math and social-emotional skills. Therefore, make sure to include them in your toddler’s daily routine. For example, they are great to start and end the day with.
You can read here more about the benefits of these activities. Moreover, you will find some super helpful music and dancing activities ideas.
Without a doubt, we all need math in life. Also, we all need logical thinking. Therefore, it’s important to know, that both are based on our early math “foundation”. Just like a house is built on a strong foundation. That’s a great reason to include simple math activities in your toddler’s daily routine, right?
And it’s simpler than it sounds. Check out these 20+ Easy, Simple Math Activities and try them out every day.
6. Language and Literacy
When should your child start speaking? That’s a question many parents ask themselves. Language and literacy skills start early—from birth. So, should also the correspondent activities.
Check out these simple and effective language and literacy activities for babies and toddlers from 0-24 months.
7. Art & Crafts
Art is an expression and a great way of communication for a toddler.
Fine art is knowledge made visible. So, let them show you. What they know, what they have learned. How do they see the world, how do they feel. Listen, watch, observe and feel with them. Let them express themselves freely.
Here is a simple fact, that is hard to argue against: Almost 80% of the brain’s ultimate structure and capacity is shaped early in life before the age of 3 years.
To illustrate what does it mean in practice, let’s make a little comparison. Let’s compare our ability as adults to that of the child. Psychologists say it would require us 60 years of hard work to achieve what a child has achieved in their first three years.
Huh. We’ve heard it many times: In the first 3 years of life, children have the type of mind that absorbs knowledge. This is an opportunity that needs to be used. And all toddlers seem to know that. Therefore, they are always busy doing something.
Always when I need an inspiration to remain a good parent, I read few pages of one of my favourite books “The Absorbent Mind” by Dr. Maria Montessori. Well worth to read it, to remind yourself what is parenting and life about. Especially, when you feel exhausted and overwhelmed. There is a free pdf version online, if you want just to check it out.
Daily Toddler Schedule and Routine
Looking for the perfect daily toddler schedule? Check out our toddler schedules in Toddler in Action Shop.
You can download free non-editable printables here:
- Daily Toddler Schedule 12-18 months with two nap times
- Daily Toddler Schedule 18-36 months with one nap time
Daily Toddler Schedule 18-36 months with one nap time.