If you ask yourself what to do with a 2-year-old at home, ask your 2-year old first and only! Because 2-year-old toddlers and children, in general, have a clear vision and strong preferences of the activities they want to do.
What to Expect from Playing with a 2-year-old?
Keep in mind that a 2-year old is very spontaneous. They are free minds and spirits. Their play is freely chosen, energetic, self-directed and fun. What looks like a child playing to us, is learning for them. Play is the highest form of research like Albert Einstein had said once.
So our best advice is to get down on the floor or to follow them and play with them. Follow their directions, be present in the here and now and remember what life is about – to be present, to have fun, to be free and easy. Try things out!
So, what to do with a 2-year-old at home?
Here are our suggestions for what to do with a 2-year old (safe activities) – 10 Fun, Easy, No-prep Indoor Toddler Activities for a 2-year-old.
However, this is the 2-year old version of hide-and-seek, not the adult one. Keep in mind, that you still need to see each other, and you are very easy to find. Toddlers love to hide in a closet, wardrobe, behind the couch, or the door, somewhere where you still can see them, but you need to act really surprised.
2. Filling-and-Dumping Things
What you need are two glasses, two buckets or two pots, preferably, something that does not break easily. Use water, or balls, or blocks, or whatever you can fill and dump in containers and make sure it’s big enough not to be swallowed.
3. Drawing & Painting
Drawing everywhere with everything that can draw or paint. Hands, feet, brush, sponge, pencils, pens, crayons, markers, water, chalk…just everything. Trying to keep the walls clean, or the table, or the door, or the couch, or the carpet…is a lost mission, so use something that’s washable like chalk. Or just paint with water on a special mat for water painting.
4. Playing with Toy Bus/ Toy Farm
Placing little people or little animals on a toy bus, or a toy farm or similar. Toddlers love to connect objects, so help them!
That’s the number one activity for my son. We can play this for hours in many different versions. DIY Tunnels, car play mats, or just enough space for moving the toy cars is always a good idea.
That’s very close to the number one activity for us. What you need is color-shifting cars and two bowls of water – the one hot and the other cold. And the magic happens for hours. Make sure that you place something to absorb the splashes of water around the place of the activity.
The classic! From making cookies, through numbers and letters to making an octopus and a jellyfish, play-doh is an activity for hours. Make sure, the play-doh cookies are not eaten!
Why walking when you can dance? It’s adorable how children feel the rhythm and express themselves. So, dance with them and just have fun. Anywhere…At home or outdoors…
9. Sing & Act
Toddlers love nursery rhymes. Singing with acting is a great way to entertain them and to make them open up and speak & sing.
Toddlers are very active and love to move around. Any type of exercise they can follow and imitate is a great way to have fun and to laugh.
To sum up, what to do with a 2-year-old at home…
Our best advice: The most important thing – enjoy your time.
Playing is the absence of stress. It is so relaxing to be completely engaged with what you are doing in the present and your toddler is the best person in the world to set this example.
The second best advice: make sure to tire them up, so they can get a good night sleep.