Since I write a lot about quiet time and quiet bin ideas I often get requests to do a post specifically for toddlers and young children who still mouth objects. Well the wait is over! I have scoured Pinterest to find a bunch of safe, quiet activities for young toddlers, so you can get some work done worry free.
These quiet activities for young toddlers are all screen-free and are also organized by learning topic so you can quickly find an activity that focuses on a skill they might need to work on or are interested in.
I love the idea of starting quiet time nice and early with my little ones. Quiet time offers so many valuable things! It builds imagination and creativity, problem solving and perseverance, and many other wonderful skills.
But just before we dive into these awesome quiet time activities for little ones, I have made a video for you! I have received SO many questions about how to get little ones to have a quiet time, how to make that quiet time enjoyable, and … well … how to make it work!
For our family, we have made quiet time a part of our “rhythm”. Our family likes to live by a rhythm of “expansions” and “contractions” which allows quiet time to happen very naturally (and also limits tantrums and meltdowns and makes everyone happier and calmer!)
I have made a video for you all about that. Here it is:
Quiet Time Activities for Young Toddlers
So keep in mind those wonderful skills our little ones will be developing during their independent play and let’s dive right in!
Alphabet Quiet Time Activities
Simple Letter Matching Game – While this activity was originally created for preschoolers it can be adapted for toddlers. It is a fun way to introduce your toddler to the letters of the alphabet.
ABC Letter Rescue – This letter matching activity is great for strengthening little fingers and find motor skills. Just make sure the alphabet letters are nice and big so they are safe for those little toddlers.
Stuffed Felt Alphabet Letters by Buggy and Buddy. These adorable stuffed alphabet letters will spark lots of imagination and playful learning with young toddlers! The best part is these homemade toys are quiet making them the perfect quiet time activity for young toddlers!
DIY Alphabet Puzzle by Happy Toddler Playtime. This simple alphabet activity uses colorful foam letters to create a quiet activity for toddlers that is safe for caregivers to walk away for a minute.
Alphabet Rescue Mission by Entertain Your Toddler. This fun letter recognition activity will have your toddler quietly working on fine motor skills as well as learning to recognize the letters of the alphabet.
Fridge Magnet Matching by Busy Toddler. This simple activity will have your toddler recognizing the letters of the alphabet in no time. All you need is some paper, alphabet magnets and a fridge! It’s the perfect quiet time activity for a toddler when you need to get dinner made!
Number Quiet Time Activities
Stuffed Felt Numbers – These homemade felt numbers are a great way to introduce young toddlers to numbers. Kids will love just playing with them or counting their toys with them!
Tube Counting by Happy Toddler Playtime. With some paper tubes and colorful pouch caps you can set up a simple quiet time activity for young toddlers. Toddlers will have fun dropping the pouch caps into the tubes and counting them as they go.
Duplo Number Cards by Learn with Play at Home. These printable Duplo number cards are a fun way to show your toddlers how to count. Building Duplo towers will also help toddlers practice their fine motor skills.
Cupcake Pan Counting Activity by Little Learning Club. With some cupcake liners and cereal or small cracker snack, young toddlers can practice counting and fine motor skills during quiet time.
Counting Felt Chain by Glue to my Crafts. With some felt and other basic craft supplies you can make these chain strips that your toddler can put together while counting and working on fine motor skills.
Colours Quiet Time Activities
Printable Cereal Sorting Mat by I Can Teach My Child. Print out this simple cereal sorting mat for a quick and quiet color sorting activity that is perfect for young toddlers! They can snack and sort the colors while you work nearby!
Color Surprise Fine Motor Game by Still Playing School. Toddlers will love cracking open the plastic eggs to discover the colorful silk scarf inside! Then they can match up the scarf with the eggs when they stuff them back in!
Feed the LEGO Monster: Sort and Build Game by Toddler Approved. With some basic craft supplies you can create some silly monsters who are hungry for LEGO Duplo bricks! Then have your toddler feed them their favorite colored brick!
Train Color Sorting Activity by Fun Learning For Kids. With construction paper make a train on the floor and have your toddler sort their toys into the correct colored train car!
Color Sorting Sticky Window at Hands On As We Grow. This fun quiet activity used sticky contact paper on a wall or window! Then have your toddler sort colorful tissue paper into the correct colored boxes! It will help them learn their colors and work on their fine motor skills!
Quiet Time Activities with Blocks
A Puzzle with Quiet Time Blocks – Create a puzzle with these awesome cork blocks and some construction paper! Your toddler will love quietly playing and find the right shapes to fit the puzzles!
DIY Quiet Blocks – I Can Teach My Child. Your toddler will love stacking, sorting and making patterns with these DIY quiet block made with pool noodles!
Mix & Match Creature Blocks by And Next Comes L. Toddlers will have so much creating silly creatures with these homemade creature blocks using pool noodles!
Make Your Own Sponge Blocks by Inner Child Fun. Here is another homemade block idea, this time using sponges! These DIY blocks can be cut into any shape! Toddlers will love building towers and castles with them!
Building Shapes with Blocks by Moments Enriched. Make shapes on the floor with some painters tape! Then your toddler can build the shapes with blocks!
Pretend Play Quiet Time Activities
X-Ray Dramatic Play – Toddlers will love to pretend to take care of their stuffed animals with this dramatic play animal hospital and homemade X-Ray box.
Pretend Play Post Office – Set up a post office in your house so your toddlers can mail letters to mom, dad and siblings! This is a great way to incorporate reading and writing in your daily life.
Drawing Chef – This is such a wonderful pretend play idea perfect for quiet time. All you need is a few paper plates and some crayons!
Doll Diaper Changing Station Pretend Play by Happy Hooligans. Toddlers love pretending to do anything that mom and dad do! Set up a doll diaper changing station to add to their baby doll pretend play.
Spaghetti Restaurant by Where Imagination Grows. Make pretend spaghetti and sauce with yarn for your toddlers to play restaurant or kitchen. Add some baby dolls or stuffed animals for even more imaginative play fun!
Fine Motor Quiet Time Activities
Water Painting on a Chalkboard. This is a fantastic low-mess fine motor, quiet activity that will keep your toddler busy and quiet long enough to make that phone call you’ve been meaning to make.
Ribbon Fine Motor Play by Hands On As We Grow. Young toddlers will be fascinated by this simple, homemade, fine motor toy. All that is needed in some ribbons and a plastic bottle. Then your toddler will quietly work on pulling the ribbons out and pushing them back in.
Cardboard Beads Threading Activity by The Imagination Tree. Use cardboard tubes to make some large, colorful beads! Add some small rope and encourage your toddler to thread the beads on the string! This is an excellent activity for building fine motor skills!
DIY Chalk Table by Messy Little Monster. Make this simple DIY chalk table to provide your toddler hours of quiet time fun! It’s a great way to encourage creativity as well as fine motor skills!
Painting with Water by Teaching Littles. With a paint brush, a bowl of water and some colorful construction paper you can set up this simple quiet time activity for toddlers that will let them be creative while not making too much of a mess!
Sensory Quiet Time Activities
Easy Car Wash by Twin Mom Refreshed. This is a super simple activity that will keep a toddler quiet for a while. It might be a little messy, but all you need to do is put a towel down to soak up any splashes!
Mushy Green Pea Sensory Bin by Happy Toddler Playtime. This delightful, taste-safe sensory bin is sure to be a hit with toddlers! The bright, green peas floating in a shallow bin of water must be so neat to feel and explore!
Cereal Sensory Bin by Hands On As We Grow. Create a simple cereal sensory bin for your young toddlers to explore. Add in some scoops, bowls and cups or small toys for added interest!
Jello Dig Activity by Modern Homestead Mama. This taste-safe sensory bin is perfect for babies and young toddlers to explore with their hands and mouth. Just whip up a packet of jello and add in some link rings and let them dig away!
Ocean Sensory Bag by A Little Pinch of Perfect. This Ocean Sensory Bag is perfect for a little quiet time for young toddlers. They will have fun looking for and squishing around the sea creatures!
When you have a young toddler it can sometimes be difficult to find independent, quiet activities they can safely do while you take a phone call or make dinner. PLUS, starting these little ones of ours off with a solid foundation in independence is such a wonderful gift!
I hope this post is helpful for you and provides your young toddler with tons of safe, quiet time fun!