Would you like to sit by me? I have an activity for you!
Magic words for my two year old daughter.
“Yesh Mama! Tibity!” She’ll say.
Five ideas for “Sit By Me” Toddler Activities
These are the kinds of things I’ll get out for my toddler when I’m trying to get something done with my other kids and we’re all sitting at the same table. They are quiet, quick to grab, not TOO messy and don’t require lots of supervision.
Make marks on a piece of paper and show your toddler how to cover them with stickers.
Rip and Tear!
Give pieces of paper and a bucket and show your toddler how to rip off pieces and put them all in the bucket. I cut mine into strips to make them more tempting to tear up. As I mention in this post about art with toddlers – destruction can be VERY satisfying to kids this age.
Now you’ve got a bucket of paper bits, contact paper is in order! Tape down a piece of contact paper sticky side up. Show your toddler how paper pieces stick to the contact paper and let them take it from there.
After a quick contact paper art piece we grabbed this collection of boxes for a mini treasure hunt. Use any random assortment of Things That Open. In the smallest bin or bag put something like cotton balls and a few “treasures.” Put all of these containers together and let your toddler figure out how they open as they search for the treasure inside. Once they get at it you can ask them to put it into the different boxes, hide it for you and so on.
It’s simple, but toddlers love to tote around treasures – toddlerhood is the ‘Load and Tote Phase‘, and whether they are loading up boxes or bags, this game of hiding treasures is a favorite.
Mix it All Up
Once you’ve exhausted your supply of quiet toddler activities what can you do? Mix it all up! At the end of this play session (during which I was doing a writing lesson with her big brother) I re-taped the contact paper and asked her if the cotton balls would stick to it too. Then I handed her a pen to see if she wanted to draw on her masterpiece. This gave my older son and I long enough to finish up what we were doing before my toddler reclaimed my attention.
More Resources for things to do with toddlers when you’ve got to keep them busy:
- 16 Materials Perfect for Toddler Busy Play
- Toddler Activity Cupboard (see the link above for great ideas of what to stock yours with!)
- Tips for Toddler Play When You’ve Got Something Else To Do
Does your toddler have a favorite activity for independent play? Let us know in the comments, we can all use more ideas!