You asked for it! Or at least one of you asked for Quiet Time activities for 2-year-olds, and I am always happy to help! Even though it might take me just a little while to get the post together (if you can classify 3 weeks as just a little while … please do, you kind souls).
These quiet time activities are perfect for toddlers to dive into. I have made sure that these Quiet Time Activities are nearly mess-free, because who wants to spend 30 minutes cleaning up after a few minutes of quiet time?!
Quiet time is a nurturing part of any childhood and is perfect for helping children grow to be calm, independent, and confident. A daily quiet time is also perfect for reducing tantrums and meltdowns (in both toddlers and their grown-ups, ha!).
A daily quiet time happens so much easier when we have connecting time each day as well. And that is exactly what my Toddler Program, Playful Days is all about. One beautiful craft or activity every single day to enjoy with your toddler. Perhaps it is just what you are after? Find out here: Playful Days
But before we get started, be sure to download this free Rainbow Puzzles Pack to enjoy with your toddler! This pack includes so many fun ways to use these rainbow puzzles – many of which are perfect for quiet time.
Here you have it, you lovely Mamas, you hardworking daycare providers, you sweet Grandmas, you desperate for a minute Daddys…
I bring you… QUIET TIME.
43 Quiet Time Activities for Toddlers
***Some of these ideas use small parts. Please use your own judgment and knowledge of your child and supervise when necessary***
Button Trees – These pipecleaner trees are the perfect quiet bin for practicing fine motor skills, color sorting, and counting!
Popsicle Sticks and Clothespins – This quiet time activity is great for letting little ones get creative. The clothespins are excellent for strengthening little hands as well.
Busy Bags with Straws from Powerful Mothering – Encourage toddlers’ interest in transferring items with this simple, engaging activity.
Paint the Dollhouse with Water from My Nearest and Dearest (link no longer available) – Kids will love using a small amount of water to “paint” their toys.
Color Surprise Game for Kids from Still Playing School – Children love to open and close containers, and this color game encourages that! It also focuses on colors in a fun, hands-on way.
Build with Quiet Cork Blocks from Fun-A-Day – Let the little ones create beautiful structures with quiet blocks made out of cork!
Ribbon Fine Motor Play for Toddlers from Hands On As We Grow – Ribbons always seem to be a hit with the kids. Let them push ribbons into a bottle, having fun while working on fine motor skills.
Cardboard Beads Threading Activity for Toddlers from The Imagination Tree – Use colorful cardboard tubes as “beads” for little ones to thread into strings or necklaces.
Shrinky Dink Pull Toy from LalyMom – Create a hands-on pulling toy using shrinky dink plastic and ribbons!
Toddler Contact Paper Art from Teaching Mama – Grab some fun craft materials and sticky paper. Let the kids create to their hearts’ content with this quiet activity.
Tong Pompoms into an Ice Cube Tray from Wildflower Ramblings – There’s just something about pom poms that children love to explore! Let them use tongs (or fingers) to fill up ice cube trays.
Printable Bear Pattern Strips from Fun-A-Day – Children use bear manipulatives to match and learn colors.
Felt Button Snake from Happy Hooligans – This homemade toy will keep the kids focused on threading felt pieces onto a piece of ribbon.
Felt Caterpillar Busy Bag from Toddler Approved – Felt and googly eyes provide endless possibilities for a toddler creating caterpillars!
Felt Imaginative Play Set from Buggy and Buddy – Use felt to create environments for favorite toys. Then let the children tell stories during quiet time.
Fine Motor Skills with Crazy Straws from Powerful Mothering – Children can work on their fine motor skills while threading felt pieces onto crazy straws!
Bunny Tails Color Matching from Twodaloo (link no longer available) – This activity may have been created for Easter, but children can be engaged with it at any time of the year. Match colorful pom poms to the correct bunnies, over and over again.
DIY Chalkboard Table from Messy Little Monster – Children will love using chalk to draw all over a chalkboard table, or even a simple chalkboard.
Simple Color Sorting Activity for Toddlers from The Measured Mom – Let the kids explore color-matching with cups, popsicle sticks, and dot stickers!
Pasta Threading Activity for Toddlers from Laughing Kids Learn – Some simple materials allow for an engaging, quiet activity for kids. What a sense of accomplishment as they thread the pasta!
DIY Fine Motor Skills Activity for Kids from Frogs and Snails and Puppy Dog Tails – Make a simple game for kids with recyclables. They can help decorate the can, then spend time adding pipe cleaners to it over and over again.
Fine Motor Play from Recyclables from Teach Me Mommy – A fun pompom drop will keep the kids busy and let them explore colours at the same time.
Playdough Play Mats – Silly Hair from No Time for Flash Cards – These homemade play dough mats are sure to bring smiles as the kids make “hair” for family members.
Button-Up Foam Craft Sticks from Mama.Papa.Bubba – So many possibilities with this quiet activity! Children can make bracelets, chains, letters, or patterns.
Number Activity – Sorting Number Stickers from Learning 4 Kids – Children love to play with stickers, so put some out and let them go at it!
Playing with Puzzles from Craftulate – Puzzles sound like such a simple idea, but they’re a wonderful quiet activity for young children!
Make Your Own Paper Dolls (and Guys) from Toddler Approved – Create a set of paper dolls the children can tell quiet stories with.
Fun with Pipe Cleaners from Mess for Less – Give the kids some pipe cleaners and let them use household items for threading!
Five Senses Touch Activity from No Time for Flash Cards – Children explore their sense of touch with hard and soft items in a mystery box.
Pool Noodle Stringing from Money Saving Mom – What a fun threading activity on a big scale!
Busy Activity with Cotton Swabs from Peaceful Parenting – Grab some cotton swabs and let the little ones get them into a recycled container.
Sticky Wall Color Matching Game from Mama.Papa.Bubba – What a fun way to explore sticky paper and colors!
DIY Tugging Box for Toddlers from Laughing Kids Learn – Make your own tugging box with a few simple items. Then let your kids explore the box with lots of pulling and pushing.
Toddler Tubes from Teach Preschool – Make colorful tubes for 2-year-olds to play with during quiet time.
Matching Objects from Toddler Approved – Use children’s favorite toys as homemade puzzle pieces!
Calm Down Jar from Preschool Inspirations – Put together some colorful, glittery discovery bottles (and be sure to thoroughly seal the lids). Then let the kids shake them and watch the glitter swirl and settle.
Squish Bags from Fantastic Fun and Learning – These sensory bags let children explore items in a non-messy way, and they can be customized based on what you have on hand.
Board Book Activities for Babies and Toddlers from The Educators’ Spin On It – Board books are definitely a fun and engaging way for 2-year-olds to spend quiet time.
Color Matching Printables for Toddlers from Totschooling – Use recycled pouch caps and printables to encourage color-matching skills.
Simple Colour Sorting Tray from Teaching 2 and 3-Year-Olds – Make your own colour sorting tray, then have the kids use their own toys for sorting!
Big and Little Pompom Push for Toddlers from School Time Snippets – 2-year-olds can work on their fine motor skills and sorting.
Building with Pool Noodles and Pipe Cleaners from And Next Comes L – Children can use quiet materials to make simple 3D sculptures!
Velcro Story Blocks from The Nature of Grace – Make quiet blocks 2-year-olds can use in a felt-lined box. Great for telling stories and building.
Sticky Easel with Craft Supplies from Learn with Play at Home – Grab some simple craft supplies, then let children get creative on a sticky easel. Quiet, no-mess art.
Paint Sample Puzzles from The Realistic Mama – Children can assemble simple puzzles using paint samples!
Are you still here? Or are you already on the run to gather supplies? I know, the importance of Quiet Time can NOT be overstated. So please, go on ahead and get set, then come on back and browse around. Loads of ideas for your 2-year-olds in this space!
P.S. Don’t forget to grab your free Quiet Time Playmats!
You’ll also love these How Wee Learn best-sellers:
sana aouad says
C. Gresham says
I have a class of 3 yr. olds who, for the most part, are non-sleepers. I have tried books but as soon as they finish their 2, they want to get up and get more. I love the fact that they are ‘reading’ but 3 yr. olds on the move are NOT quiet and I do have a few who sleep.
I would like to try quiet bins but think I need to establish some rules otherwise they aren’t quiet, defeating the purpose of Rest time!
I need some suggestions from some of your readers who work with this age and have successfully used quiet bins. Thanks a million, CG
Hi There, Thank you for taking the time to write to me! I actually wrote a post for ‘Pre-k Pages’ all about this topic. Perhaps you would find it helpful? You can find it right here: http://www.pre-kpages.com/preschool-quiet-bins/
We call them ibags or iboxes. We say that the “i” means, “I do it myself”. We cut a placement size piece of fabric to go with each kit (you could also use fabric or plastic placements, or pillowcases). When a child chooses a kit, they place it and it’s contents on their piece of fabric. The materials need to stay on the fabric, and that space is only for one child to play. It takes practice for them not to play together or mix materials, but this system gives them a simple rule for using the quiet materials.
Hi Megan, what a great idea to define a ‘quiet space’ in that way. I can definitely see how this would be beneficial in a classroom setting! Thank you for taking the time to offer such a helpful suggestion.
Sylvia Esposito says
When I taught Preschool we would read a chapter book to the children as they were on their cots. Then play quite music and rub backs. I now teach two year olds and when they wake up they get a pencil box with index cards and small sitckers. Also some small crayons.
Emily L. says
THANK YOU! I can do several of these with items around my house. I am really excited. I keep wanting to create different sensory bins and now I can add some quiet time bins!
I am very happy you have some new ideas Emily – thank you for taking the time to let me know!
Felipa Salazar says
These are some good ideas.
So happy you found them helpful.
Hello. Love these ideas. Do u have similar ideas for 4yr and 6 yr olds?
Hi Lisa, so glad you love them! You betcha – my book is LOADED with Quiet Time Activities for little ones of that age. Be sure to check it out and use the coupon code “HandsOnMom” to get my eBook for only $6! http://www.HowWeeLearn.com/my-book. Thank you so much for reading and joining me here!
Easy,interesting and economical activities.
something for 1 + is required.
Glad you like these ideas Nousheen – thank you for leaving a comment to let me know! I am afraid I don’t have ‘independent’ quiet time activities for little ones that tiny, but lots of ideas for supervised play for babies in this post: https://www.howweelearn.com/50-learning-activities-for-babies/
Wendy Cuevas says
I LOVE these ideas! My two year old has a hard time with the whole “quiet time” idea, I really think these activities well help!
Very glad you like them Wendy. Thank you for taking the time to let me know. I hope they are very helpful for you and your little one.
Thank you so much for these beautiful ideas of quiet bins, I made some for my daughter, she loves to play with my selfmade puzzles ? Greetings from Germany!
Thank you so much for these easy ideas! I’m always looking for fun and new things to do with my boy when we are home together. Can’t wait to let him experience these!
So happy you found these ideas inspiring! Thanks for taking the time to let me know Kristen.
The Little Tourist says
These ideas Rock!
I’m looking forward to using a few of them for my little guy. 🙂
Thanks so much for sharing.
Planet Toddler says
Great boredom busters!
Indeed – thanks for commenting!
Ruby Rabbits says
Please help me!! where can I get this book? or similar book preferably for 2 years
Hi Ruby! You can find my two Quiet Time activities books, as well as my other two books right here: http://www.HowWeeLearn.com/my-book. Thank you!
Niki at Toot's Mom is Tired says
Thanks for all the great ideas! It’s been so cold recently that I have to find things to do inside to keep her busy.
I feel you! Glad this post could help a little Niki!
Sabra Casey says
Such great ideas! I can’t wait to try these out!
Thank you Sabra! I am so glad you found this compilation helpful.
Hello, my niece is turning 2 in December and I’ve decided to put together some Quiet Boxes to give to my sister-in-law for her. I know absolutely nothing about small children, and I worry about the small things like buttons – do they still put things in their mouths at 2? I want to be safe about what I give to her, so any advice on that would be great. I just bought the dollar store book from you, but I worry about many of those activities being too “old” for her to do yet.
Such an important point Jen – thank you! At 2 she likely will still put small things in her mouth so will need to be supervised with any small parts at all. What a thoughtful gift!! There are quite a few ideas in this post that don’t use small parts. Many toddlers love imaginative play, so ideas like the popsicle stick paddock will be a big hit! Thank you for checking!
These are great! I’ve seen some of these ideas before, but many are new to me! I run a day home and am often looking for new quiet activities to do with the older kids who don’t nap. Thanks!
So happy some are new for you Cheryl! I hope they are a hit with your little non-nappers