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!). Be sure to check out my monthly Quiet Time Club for more.
But before we get started, be sure to download these free printable Quiet Time playmats! There are so many ways for you to use these playmats. You could tape them to the floor or inside of boxes to make a giant dollhouse. You could use them as playdough mats, creating little playdough animals and characters. You could even put them in a page protector or cover with contact paper and let your little one create her very own colouring scene with dry erase markers!
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***
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.
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!
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