Things to do at home with a 2 year old (and a new baby!)
Looking for ideas of things to do at home with a 2 year old? Maybe you have a new baby at home and want some ideas of things that will keep the 2 year old entertained while you are taking care of the new baby? Don’t worry if your brain isn’t working like it used to. Here are some ideas to keep you all from going house bound stir crazy!
Whether you use wooden building blocks or lego building blocks, these toys are the cornerstone of most toy boxes or collections. I’ve found you only need to ‘start them off’ with an idea of a small creation and they will take over and build you a castle, a fortress or a city….. hours of fun if you point them in the right direction! There are often Lego events listed in our school holiday activity guide if you’d like to get out with fellow Lego-fans.
Another ‘must have’ in the toy box. When kids are little, it is best to have the wooden puzzles that have large pieces. As they get older they can get more complicated, but trusted me, puzzles in the toy room collection are a must when you are looking for things to do with a 2 year old and a baby.
If bubs is moving around, you will need to choose colouring in that can be kept out of his/her way. Large crayons are great for 2 year olds but bub may want to eat them. Keep them up high, perhaps in a high chair or on a table. If bub isn’t moving you will have way more freedom to use a variety of colouring in items … until s/he does!
Have a look through our handy downloadables to see if we’ve created some colouring in pages that your little one will love!
My 2 year old loved, loved, loved tea parties. This is another one that you can set up and somewhat leave them to it. As long as you have a plethora of ‘friends’ to join them at the tea party, they can have plenty of fun pouring the tea and hosting their ‘guests’. Set the scene for them. Of course be a willing participant if they would like you to attend (who amongst us hasnt eaten ‘pretend cake’?)
If you are a sling wearing mumma, you can pop bubs in a sling and pop outside to do some gardening with your 2 year old and bub in tow. It’s highly likely they will enjoy getting ‘grubby’ and ‘helping’ with the weeding and watering. Give them a patch of the garden to potter in and a specific job and you may just be surprised with how into it they can get. If you are super keen, grab some seeds (or seedlings if you are in a hurry) and plant them to show your toddler the wonders of growing things!
Do not underestimate the power of a cardboard box! Give the two year old some crayons and let them decorate it. If you feel adventurous and the weather is warm enough, pop your little one outside with some paint in some old clothes and ask him/her to paint the new ‘house’. Maybe it is a rocket? Or a pirate ship? Make up a story and let them have fun using their imaginations!
Make a fort
Use sheets and chairs inside to build a fort or blankets and chairs outside to build a den. I used pegs and bull-dog clips on the tops of chairs to help the sheets stay put… but if you put the chairs close enough together, they tend to stay put anyway!
Coloured paper/wrapping paper
Have you noticed that your child often will have more fun with the wrapping paper (or the box) than the actual gift? Use that to your advantage! They can fold it, rip it, wrap something else with it and enjoy the simple act of playing with paper. (Full disclosure, my son once wrapped my head in birthday paper and thought it was hilarious!)
There are all sorts of toys that are perfect for learning and development for 2 year olds while you are distracted by bubs. We listed some ideas here and here.
Look at picture books/Listen to story CD’s
Pull some books from your 2 year olds book shelf and sit together and read. They say that readers are created on their parents’ laps. You can find out about engaging early readers with chapter books here, and some of our favourite books for toddlers are listed here.
In warmer months it’s always fun to play with water. Grab the tin foil and create a ‘river’ for their bath toys. It’s a simple but effective way to spend time at home with your 2 year old and new baby! Or if it is cooler and you are looking for an indoor water play idea… click here.
For the more adventurous parent (or perhaps one that has help from a partner) check out this obstacle course idea. Your 2 year old with love the challenge and bubs will enjoy watching the ensuing activity…. go, go, go!
It’s amazing what kids can use to play ‘dress ups’ with. It doesnt have to be store bought and it doesnt have to actually look like it was store bought. The secrect is using your and their imaginations. ONe of our favourite places to get cheap dress up kit is our local op-shop. You can find a bunch of op-shops listed here. If you are keen on a challenge in this department, we love these ‘no-sew’ dress up ideas (check out the lego one!)
Pop bubs in a bouncer or a walker and create a mess in the kitchen with your toddler. Cooking at home is one of our absolute favourite things to do at home with kids. Weighing, measuring, counting, creating are MAGIC life learning lessons and perfect for kids of any age! We’ve got a BUNCH of recipes that are perfect to do with kids here.