8 Fun Activities for 2-Year-Olds

When you’ve got a toddler at home, it can be challenging to find new activities to keep them busy and entertained. After all, 2-year-olds aren't known for sitting still! It’s a fun age, but one that certainly keeps parents on their toes.

That’s why we’ve put together this list of top activities to do with a 2-year-old at home. These indoor and outdoor activities are easy to do, don’t require many supplies, and best of all, they’re fun!

As a bonus, doing these activities with your child can promote their speech and language skills. Play is a big part of how toddlers learn to talk and communicate. When you play with your 2-year-old, you have so many chances to model language for them and prompt them to respond. Keep reading to learn 8 fun ways to do just that.

1. Painters tape car race

Take some painters tape and design a race track on the floor for your toddler. Your little one can take their cars and trains and drive them along the course. Don’t worry, the tape will peel right up when you're done! 

This is a perfect indoor activity for the two of you to play together, or that your toddler can play with their siblings if you need to get some things done. It also provides lots of opportunities for using words and making fun sounds! Try practicing phrases like “Ready, set, go!” or “Drive the car!” And be sure to incorporate lots of sounds, like “Zoom!” “Beep beep!” and “Vrrrroom!”

2. Popsicle bath 

This is an all-around favorite activity that can be done indoors or out. With this activity, your toddler gets a yummy treat, and you have minimal cleanup! Here’s how you do it. 

Let your 2-year-old play in the bathtub, or in a small kiddie pool if it’s summer and you’re heading outdoors. Give your child a popsicle and… voila! You’ve got a satisfied toddler who’s just one spray away from getting all that sticky fruit juice off when they’re done. 

Remember, kids need constant adult supervision when they’re in the water. So be sure to have the popsicle ready to hand over before your child gets in the tub or pool. 

As your child is eating their popsicle, you can practice naming colors. Try phrases like, “Your popsicle is pink! Mine is blue!” This is a natural opportunity to practice the concepts of “yours” and “mine,” too. 

3. Toy wash 

For another fun water activity, grab two basins of water, a towel, a clean dish brush or wash cloth, and dishwashing soap. Put a little bit of soap in one basin of water to make it soapy. Keep the other basin filled with just water. 

Now, let your child give their toys a bath! They can scrub and clean their toys, then dry them off. They’ll be entertained and so proud of what they did!

Together you can practice words like “wet” and “dry” or “clean” and "dirty." A fun hands-on experience like this will help your 2-year-old better understand these concepts. 

4. Cardboard box creations

Anytime you have some delivery or moving boxes, keep them on hand for a rainy day. Kids can find so many fun things to do with boxes. It’s the most underrated toy. 

Together you can create a pretend house by cutting and taping boxes together. You can cut out doors or windows, or color them on the outside. Or, your child can sit in the box and pretend it’s a car–they’re in the driver’s seat!

A smaller box can make a perfect garage for toy cars or trains. Take a rectangular piece of cardboard and make a ramp.

 Pretend play is an important part of play development, and it correlates to speech and language skills.

Your toddler can wear boxes, too! Think robot costume or astronaut helmet. Just be sure to cut out the front of the box so your child can see.  

Activities like these are perfect for promoting pretend play. This is an important part of play development, and it correlates to speech and language skills. It doesn’t have to be a picture-perfect costume or toy house. Just get creative, have fun, and keep talking with your toddler while you play!

5. Coloring 

Never underestimate how fun a blank piece of paper and a box of crayons can be. Let your child sit in a comfortable spot and color to their heart's content. Together you can try drawing different things to practice nouns and verbs. Maybe you draw a picture of your family driving on a road trip, or a picture of your child riding a bike

You can also make cards or pictures for family and friends. Your child will be excited to put them in the mail!

6. Outdoor activities 

If you’re wondering how to entertain your 2-year-old, sometimes all you need is a change of scenery. Whether it’s a backyard, a park, or simply a place to go for a walk, head outside with your toddler. Not only does it help everyone’s mood to get some fresh air or sunshine, but it’ll give your toddler lots of things to talk about and do with you. 

First, practice different ways you can walk together and then talk about it. You can practice running, skipping, or hopping. Say the phrases together as you do them: “I hop” or “You are running!” 

For another outdoor activity, you can try fun tasks like looking for little treasures. Look for flowers, leaves, sticks, or rocks. You can focus on using descriptive words for each item, like the “pretty flower” or the “long stick.” You may want to bring a bag with you to collect all your toddler’s things!

7. Playdough or modeling clay

Playdough is a great toy for caregivers of 2-year-olds to have on hand. Let your child roll, shape, and build whatever they want! Some playdough kits also come with safe tools to help kids create their designs. 

As your child plays, you can work on descriptive words like “smooth” or “green.” You can use cookie cutters to form different shapes. You can also pretend play by making food or toys out of the playdough.

8. Toy matching

This indoor activity is a quick setup for you, and tons of fun for your 2-year-old!

Take some of your child’s favorite toys and trace their shape onto pieces of paper. (See the picture here toward the end of the article, number 17.) Then, have your child match the toy to the shape on the paper. When they make all the matches, grab some more toys and start again! 

Have your child name the item as they match. They can also practice phrases like “I matched the car!” or “I matched the block!” Using repetitive phrases can help your child learn to use these words more easily.

With this list of activities for 2-year-olds, you’re ready and equipped for those days when your child needs a little extra attention or things to keep them busy. They’ll also be growing their speech and language skills while they play. It’s a win-win for everyone!

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