7 Fun Things to do With a 2 Year Old!
Entertaining a 2 year old: You know what a challenge that can be! While these little ones are certainly no longer babies, they are still very young and keeping them focused and entertained can be incredibly difficult. At this age, kids are also way more mobile than they used to be and have a ton of energy. If you are in search of some fun things to do with a 2 year old, you’ve come to the right place!
We have gathered some of our favorite activities that are all safe and appropriate for little ones at this age. We all know how easy it is to just sit your child down in front of a TV or tablet in order to keep them entertained, and while there are certainly plenty of educational apps out there to choose from, sometimes you just need to take a break from all the screens!
7 Fun Activities for 2 Year Olds
1. Create your Own Paint Popsicles or Paintsicles!
Could anything sound more fun than a paintsicle? We don’t think so! This is one of our favorite fun things to do with toddlers! You can always get out paints and have fun, but to make things even more interesting, you can make these easy frozen paint sticks. Perfect for a hot summer afternoon!
All you need is some craft sticks or popsicle sticks, ice cube trays, and of course, kids paint. We recommend using a safe finger paint that is made for kids – that way you can easily wash it off fingers, faces, or anywhere else the paint ends up!
Pour your paint into the ice cube trays and then stick in your popsicle sticks or craft sticks. If you do use thicker finger paint, the sticks will easily stand up in it without having to do any more work (one more reason why you should stick with this type of paint!). This type of paint also makes it easy for you to mix colors, so consider getting creative and letting your kids pick two or more colors to put into one tray!
We recommend setting your trays up the night before you want to paint so that they get nice and frozen overnight. When it’s time to paint, the paint cubes should easily pull out of the trays. Best of all, you can continue to use the trays as the holder so that paint doesn’t get everywhere!
2. DIY Bowling
Turns out, you don’t have to load your kids up in the car, pay for shoes and socks, just to spend an hour at the bowling alley. Why not create your own bowling pins and play from the comfort of home?
This is one of the most fun things to do with a 2 year old that teaches a lot of important skills like motor coordination and hand-eye coordination. You can also easily set this up outside, or do it inside on a rainy day. The best way to create your bowling pins is to use old 2-liter bottles. These best mimic the shape and size of bowling pins!
Now, you can just set up your bottles as they are and play right away, but why not also turn this into a fun art activity by painting the bottles to look like pins? Head outside with your bottles and use spray paint to easily paint them all white. Then, follow up with red paint or a red marker to add a stripe to the top of each bottle.
Once the bottles have dried completely, we recommend adding some sand or water to the bottom of the bottles so that they have a little bit of added weight to them. This will also make the experience more realistic to actual bowling.
When it’s time to bowl, use whatever round sports ball you have as your bowling ball. A soccer ball works great (but not a football!) and will be easier for your 2 year old to hold (a regular bowling ball would be way too heavy!).
3. I Spy
This is a classic activity that you probably played as a kid. Turns out, it’s still a great activity to play with your 2 year old! We love how easy this game is to play absolutely anywhere. On a long road trip? You can play! Plane ride? Play! At the doctor’s office? You can play! You get the idea. This is a great activity to keep in the back of your mind for all of those little moments where you want to engage your child without the use of a screen.
Like you probably remember, the game is easy enough to play. You pick out something that you spy (with your little eye!) and see if your 2 year old can figure out what it is. This is a great way to continue their learning of colors, shapes, and even words and letters. Don’t just stick to colors, say you spot the letter M somewhere and see if they can find it!
This is a great educational activity that you can play whenever you have a little bit of free time. With no materials needed, it’s the perfect activity that is big on learning and fun but is incredibly easy to get started with. What could be better than that?
4. Color Scavenger Hunt
This next activity is tons of fun and is great for both getting some exercise, and learning about nature, colors, and more! This is the perfect activity for toddlers that are just starting to learn their colors. Best of all, it’s easy to set up!
We recommend getting a sheet of paper, or maybe something more sturdy like a poster board, and making different sections for various colors. You can use face paint, markers, or really anything else that you have (colored tape can work great!) to indicate the various colors your little one needs to look for. Then, let the fun begin!
Of course, this is an activity that you should play with your child so that they don’t wander off on their own and get hurt finding various colored items.
5. Rainbow Sensory Tub
Sensory tubs are a great way for your little one to engage both their sense of sight and their sense of touch. You don’t need to spend money to buy something, you can easily make one at home that is just as effective and fun!
Plus, creating the sensory tub can be part of the activity itself, so be sure to involve your 2 year old! For this sensory tub, what you need is some raw pasta, a little paint, and some plastic bags.
Obviously, the more types of pasta and the more colors you use, the more of a sensory experience this will be! Place different types of pasta (we recommend using shorter styles like macaroni elbows, penne, pinwheels, and others like this) into plastic bags. Then, add a little bit of paint, securely close the bag, and shake it up! Keep shaking until it looks like all of the pasta has been covered in the paint.
Before you dive into playing with the pasta you want it to dry. Lay it all out on a flat surface and let it dry. This is another activity we recommend setting up at night so that it can fully dry overnight.
The next day, add all the pasta to a big container that your child can fully explore! Have them lead the experience, letting them touch and play with all the different shapes, textures, and colors. You can then guide them with certain activities, such as naming the various colors or even sorting them into the same color groupings.
6. Play Dress Up
Playing dress-up might not be a new activity, but it’s one that you should definitely let your child have fun with. This is especially a great idea if you are having a play date with other kids or if you have several children of your own. Dress up might seem simple on the surface, but there is actually a lot going on!
If you do have several children playing, the children will have to work on sharing in order for everyone to have items to dress up in. They will also get to flex their creative muscle and their decision-making skills as they decide what to wear. Finally, they will also work on their social skills as they get all dressed up and play with their friends.
Don’t feel like you have to spend money on various superhero costumes for your children to put on. Those are great, but you can also dig into your closet and pull out articles of clothing that they can get creative with. In fact, a lot of times that makes this activity even more educational as they have to make more difficult decisions. Scarves and other accessories are great for this, but use whatever you have in your closet!
7. Rainbow Bubble Snakes
Blowing bubbles is a great fun activity for 2 year olds, but if that gets boring, why not create rainbow bubble snakes?? Perfect for those spring or summer days when you want to spend the entire day outside!
Best of all, you can easily find all the items you need for this activity laying around your house. Each child needs an empty water bottle, some duct tape, and an old sock. This is perfect for using up those unmatched socks that are just sitting around! You’ll also need dish soap and food coloring to make your bubbles.
The first thing you will do is cut the bottom off of the water bottle. Obviously, you will do this part of the activity and not your 2 year old. Then, secure the sock over the cut end of the water bottle with the duct tape.
In a shallow bowl, mix your dish soap and food coloring. Dip the sock part of the bottle creation into the soap, then blow through the mouth part of the water bottle. You will likely have to show your kids first how to do this, but they should pretty easily catch on. Most importantly, make sure your kids understand that they need to blow out, not breathe in so that they don’t accidentally suck in some soap. If you have a range of ages, consider letting the older kids blow the bubbles, and the younger ones play with the rainbow bubbly creations. Fun for everyone!
There are so many fun activities that you can enjoy with your 2 year old. Best of all, all of these activities will teach them some type of crucial skill – whether that is motor skills, social skills, hand-eye coordination, or creativity!
Whenever you have some free time, why not plan one of these activities with your child (or children?). Best of all, our list of fun things to do with a 2 year old can be adapted for bigger groups as well. If you’ve got a play date coming up and aren’t sure what activities to do, now you’ve got a list of ideas to consider.
We hope you will find all of these activities to be fun and a great opportunity to bond with your child. Enjoy!
How to Make Bowling Pins with Plastic Bottles
How to dye pasta for a rainbow sensory tub
Rainbow Bubble Snakes