Posted in Activities for Babies and Toddlers, Babies and Toddlers, Busy Families

10 Toddler Activities that Require No Prep for Busy Families

Anyone who knows me would tell you that I am ADDICTED to Pinterest. Let’s face it, Pinterest is amazing. What I love most about it is all of the awesome DIY activities for kids.

The difficulty that I have, however, is the following:

  1. I am not a naturally crafty person, so I really relate to a lot of those “Pinterest fail” photos online.
  2. Time, time, time! Even the simplest crafts, DIY toys, and many of the activities take more time that I (most of the time) realistically have.

So, if I can find no-prep activities with household items, I am all for them! I have not been able to find as many as I would like on Pinterest, so here is a list of my own created no-prep activities for babies and toddlers.

  1. Sensory Basket– Basically just fill a basket (or box, or just lay it all on the floor, whatever) with a ton of baby/toddler safe items from around the house for your little one to explore. I sometimes like to do this around a theme. For example, I might have a kitchen themed basket for them to explore while I cook, that contains measuring cups, plastic kid utensils, a spatula, tongs, etc. This allows your tot to safely explore items of your choosing, and they can get creative as to how to play with those items.
  2. Button and Zipper Practice – There are a ton of great DIY toys to make that give your toddler plenty of practice with buttons and zippers, but why make those when you can just give them an assortment of items from around the house to practice those skills with?
  3. Dance Time! – Just turn on music and have them dance!
  4. Coloring– This one seems super obvious, but I feel like no one ever mentions it…
  5. Singing Nursery Rhymes– Especially those that have hand movements with them such as The Wheels on the Bus or 5 Little Monkeys Jumping on the Bed can be super entertaining.
  6. Book Basket– This simple no-prep activity also encourages a love of books. Check out more about it in my post:  Why Your Toddler Should Have a Book Basket 
  7. Toys!– Seriously, another super obvious one that is never mentioned. Pretty much the entire purpose of toys from a parent’s perspective is to give their little one something to play with, obviously…
  8. Pretend Play– T loves pretending to be a T-rex. Pretend play is no-prep, free, and has endless possibilities.
  9. Play with the Pets– This one depends a little bit on how old your child is, but pets are meant to be played with and loved, and talking/petting them is no-prep and free 🙂
  10. Stacking– Have your little one practice stacking things to make a tower. Blocks, boxes, toilet paper, Tupperware, cups, and so on.


I am a middle school teacher and a mother of two. I have always had a passion for education. As an educator, I know that the children who are the most successful students are those who have families who support their education at home.

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