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Top 10 Daily Toddler Activities For The Perfect Toddler Schedule

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*Updated 12/11/2019
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In what seems like a blink of an eye, our little ones grow from newborn babies to active and curious kids.

It’s our job as parents to encourage our babies to learn as much as possible during this time.

These 10 daily toddler activities should be included in your toddler’s life to harbor learning and prepare them for school years to come.

Daily Toddler Activities

The first two years of life are crucial to a child’s development. Babies learn how to interact with others, how to speak, problem solve, and use fine and gross motor skills.

Through various activities, you can help your baby reach milestones and learn essential skills while still having fun.

Because that’s what life is all about- having fun while learning!

Toddlers are notorious for being on the go and having short attention spans.  

However, they also thrive on schedule and routine.

These activities keep toddlers occupied, but also allow for flexibility each day.

Practice these daily toddler activities to help prepare your toddler for preschool and beyond.

10 Daily Toddler Activities:

  1. Read
  2. Play Outside
  3. Practice Counting
  4. Dance
  5. Arts and Crafts
  6. Exercise
  7. Help Around the House
  8. Alone Time
  9. Say Prayers or Reflect
  10. Brush Teeth

1. Read

Read with your child every day

One of the most important daily activities for toddlers is reading.

The benefits of reading cannot be stressed enough.  

According to the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP), reading from the day your baby is born provides loads of benefits.

Reading helps increase language and literacy development.

It also helps boost a child’s vocabulary, promotes learning of new concepts and social skills.

Also, reading promotes bonding and builds nurturing relationships between parents and children.

Reading is the best way to unwind together at the end of the day.

You can make it part of your bedtime or napping routine or just an activity throughout the day.

No matter when you choose, try to read to your child as much as possible.

When you’re picking out a book, try to choose a variety of age-appropriate books.

Look for books with a variety of words including body parts, animals, shapes, colors, and numbers.

However, if your little one wants to read the same book over and over again, that’s fine too.

As long as you and your little one are reading together, they’ll benefit.

Some of our favorite books for language development are:

2. Play Outside

The second essential part of our daily routine is spending time outdoors.

Fresh air is beneficial for both adults and children. 

Playing outside allows your little one to get some exercise in, soak up some Vitamin D from the sun, and learn and explore the ever-changing landscape.

Help your little ones develop an appreciation for nature by taking them to the park, the community garden, or the beach.

Allow them to dig, climb, run, and find new critters.

Also, for parents, time outside is so beneficial for your well-being and energy level. If you’re feeling overwhelmed or stressed, take a step outside.

Even if it’s the dead of winter, bundle up and get some fresh air. It does wonders for both you and your little one.

Try to spend at least 15 minutes outdoors every single day.

3. Practice Counting

Try to include counting and numbers as early as possible. This will help your little one get ahead of the curve once they enter preschool.

You can make counting a part of your normal routine by simply counting everything around you.

When you’re getting dressed, count 1 foot, 2 feet.

If you’re preparing dinner, count how many forks and plates you need for the family.

There are endless ways to include counting in your daily routine. Every morning we check our calendar on the refrigerator and count which day of the month it is.

Toddlers love sorting toys and objects. Separate your little one’s toys and count how many are in each pile.

The concept of counting and using numbers prepares children for mathematical concepts in the future.

When you show your kids how numbers play a role in real life, they’re not just memorizing.

Instead, they’re building a real understanding of the importance of numbers.

4. Dance

Listening to music and dancing are fun activities that can be incorporated throughout the day.

Most toddlers have seemingly endless energy, so dancing is the perfect way for them to get some energy out.

Jump around together, be silly, and have fun.

Studies have found that children who listen to music with their parents have stronger long-term bonds. 

Plus, dancing is a perfect activity to burn some calories and make memories together.

If you’re a working parent, turning up the music and dancing is an excellent way to unwind at the end of the workday and turn your focus towards your little one.

You will be smiling and giggling in no time!

5. Arts and Crafts

Drawing outside with sidewalk chalk toddler activities

Arts and crafts may not last too long in this age group, but try to attempt every day.

Artwork lets your toddler’s creative side shine. Plus, arts and crafts activities help develop fine motor skills.

Fine motor skills are skills required to write, pick up small objects, use a fork, or perform any small precise movement.

Some ideas for arts and crafts are drawing with crayons or markers, painting, using stickers, pom poms, and sidewalk chalk.

Although your toddler may appear to be scribbling early on, this is part of the learning process.

When you’re working on art projects together, it’s the perfect time to talk about colors and shapes.

Toddlers typically can begin to distinguish different colors and shapes by about 18 months of age.

Although they likely won’t know the correct name, they’re learning the differences and similarities.

All of these are important skills to develop prior to starting preschool.

6. Exercise

The American Academy of Pediatrics recommends toddlers get at least 60 minutes of unstructured physical activity per day.

Also, other than napping, they should not be still for more than 60 minutes in a row.

Most toddlers naturally hit these goals due to their short attention span and constant curiosity.

However, if you find that your little one is not as active, try to engage them and run around together.

You can play hide and seek, chase, dance, kick a ball, or race each other. Whatever it is, keep it fun and unstructured.

The goal is to start introducing a love of exercise and physical activity. At this age, you’re laying the foundation for a healthy and happy life for your toddler.

7. Help Around the House

Toddlers are not too young to start helping around the house. You may be surprised to learn most toddlers are thrilled to be given a “job” and to be involved.  

This age group is trying to learn to do things on their own and be a “big kid”. Toddlers want to be part of the family and help out like everyone else.

Some age-appropriate chores for toddlers are putting clothes in the laundry basket, carrying dishes from the dinner table.

They can scoop oatmeal for breakfast, help to match socks or put their toys away.

These activities give toddlers a sense of independence and responsibility which are both very important skills.

8. Alone Time

Although it’s important to provide structured play each day, alone time is a key component of a toddler’s day as well.

When toddlers learn to play on their own, their independence and imagination blossom.

Alone time fosters creativity and independence.  

Stay close enough to make sure they are safe, but provide some time every day for your child to explore and play on their own.

You may be surprised to watch your child play on their own.

Toddlers typically perform imitation play, meaning they replicate what they see others do all day.

Watch what you say around this age group because they are always watching and listening!

9. Say Prayers or Reflect

We like to end each day saying a small prayer and talking about what we enjoyed about the day.

If you’re religious, say a prayer before bed each night. Add this to your bedtime routine from day one.

If you’re not religious, you can spend a few minutes talking about your day.

Whether you’re religious or not, I love introducing young children to the idea of gratitude and reflection.

Toddlers may not be able to fully join in the conversation, but at least they will intently listen while you talk about the highlights of the day.

You can use this time to reflect on both good and bad behaviors, new friends you met, or things that you are grateful for.

Children are never too young to learn to reflect, be thankful, and become spiritual. This activity lays the foundation for a mindful lifestyle in your children.

10. Brush Teeth

Brush Teeth Every Day With Toddler Safe Toothpaste

As soon as those first baby teeth pop through, it’s a good time to start brushing teeth twice per day.  

Although it’s not recommended to see the dentist until age 2, you still need to take care of those adorable teeth.  

Also, if you establish the routine of brushing teeth when they’re young, it will make it easier to continue when they have more teeth to maintain. 

Toddlers should use a safe, toddler specific toothpaste. It should not include fluoride at this stage.

Apply a pea-sized amount to a toddler toothbrush and allow them to try it out.  

I let my toddler “brush” first and then together we make sure all of her teeth get cleaned.  We love Toms of Maine toothpaste and toothbrush because they don’t contain added sugars or artificial dyes.

Toddler Daily Activities

Start implementing these activities today to help your toddler thrive. Your toddler will grow and develop quickly and be prepared for preschool.

To help your toddler learn more, check out this post on encouraging your toddler to talk.

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10 Essential Toddler Activities
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18 thoughts on “Top 10 Daily Toddler Activities For The Perfect Toddler Schedule”

  1. I have gone through the toddler stage 4 times now. I love reading other mommies order of business in a day for their little ones. It’s often fun to see how similar and how different families homes are. Yours stuck out to me because we have a lot in common. I really like how you highlight the importance of alone time. I’ve noticed not to many parents realize the importance of self soothing, and being able to process being alone. This is a really good article!

    1. Mindful Mama Health

      Thank you so much! I’m glad you enjoyed! Yes, it is really interesting to learn how other families manage the toddler years.

  2. I have a 19 month old and I’m always looking for ideas on what to do with her. I want to incorporate more arts and crafts into our routine now that she’s getting older.

    1. Mindful Mama Health

      Now is a great time to start! With repetition she’ll start to enjoy it and play more and more each day!

  3. This is a great post. I just had my second a cpl months ago and in all the hub bub I sometimes forget all the things that my first needs in a day. This is a great list so that I can make sure that she is getting all she needs as well. Thanks.

  4. Thank you for sharing these toddler activity ideas. I have been struggling with finding a balance between quality time with my toddler and working at home. I am going to bookmark this and come back to it often!!

    1. Mindful Mama Health

      Thank you! I’m glad you found it helpful! It can be so tricjy to juggle working and parenting!

  5. As a former elementary teacher, YES TO THE READING FIRST! I love that it’s first on the list. Also, having kiddos have some alone time is important. I wish I would have tried it more with my first born, but at least my second is quite independent. Love your suggestions!

    1. Mindful Mama Health

      Reading is so important for so many reasons, including preparing for school! I push it for my patients too!

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