Winter and cold weather make it challenging to get outside and with tons of sickness going around we typically like to stay home over the winter months. Especially this time of year when I am 25 weeks pregnant and I do not want to get sick or have my son get sick.

Being stuck indoors can have its challenges with a two-year-old little boy to keep entertained and to help our day not feel like it is dragging on and on until bedtime.

That is why I have created a FREE month-long calendar of toddler activities ideas for each day of the week to help you feel like you have something to do together and to help you feel confident as a mom with teaching your toddler through play! Grab your free copy of the calendar and the Valentine Toddler Activity Pack to help you have an activity idea on hand each day to help you get through those winter months with some fun indoor activities! I will go through each activity in the calendar to help you feel prepared and confident with ways you can complete each activity and modify them if you need to.

BONUS: Grab your FREE February Calendar of Toddler Activities and FREE Valentine’s Toddler Activity Pack Here! 

*This post contains affiliate links.

Valentine Inspired Toddler Activities to Help them Meet Developmental Milestones

As a stay at home mama to a 2-year-old boy and 25 weeks pregnant with our second baby, I needed some inspiration to help me entertain my son with fun indoor activities over the cold winter months. Hopefully, this list of play ideas with help your toddler learn new skills and help you feel connected with your little one! I also wanted to make sure I was addressing skills for 2-year-old development. Below you can find directions on how to complete the activities and ways to modify them. This is a very long post, but I wanted to make sure to really give you clear directions and ideas on how to complete each activity at home so you can feel confident and prepared. The activities are ordered in the same way they are listed out in the calendar so hopefully, it will be easy to follow along. The first two weeks are Valentine inspired with the last half of the month being more general activities.

Oats Sensory Bin

Supplies:

  • Dry Oats (we used the oldfashioned oats)
  • Storage bin or container to put the oats into to allow your child to play and explore
  • Towel, sheet, or sensory mat to place under the storage container to help contain spills
  • Bowls, cups, measuring cups, or spoons to work on pouring and dumping
  • If needed you could add small toys such as animal figurines, cars, or foam hearts to extend the play and expand vocabulary used while playing

What to do:

I will be honest, I was going to try to dye the oats red for Valentine’s day and for my son’s second birthday coming up, but when I went to do this I added too much water and I didn’t like how the oats turned out. So I kept it simple and just used regular dry oats. My son didn’t care and it was still fun to explore and play with!  I dumped them into a large under storage bed container and added some measuring cups, bowls, and measuring spoons for my son to use to dump and pour the oats.

I kept it simple at first and then once he was starting to lose interest I added his cars as that is his all-time favorite toy right now. He would cover the cars and drive them through the oats. Then I added some animals and we worked on feeding the animals the oats.

When using sensory bins with toddlers, make sure to clearly explain the rules and expectations before you begin such as no throwing, no eating, and no dumping out the bin. If they start to do some of these behaviors kindly model expected behaviors and re-direct. If they can’t control their impulses you can take it away and then offer it again later and you can model the expected behaviors.

How to Change it up:

Once your toddler starts to lose interest with the scoops and bowls, you could try adding in their favorite toy or figurine to hide under the oats to find. There really are no limits when it comes to playing with sensory bins.

Skills Addressed:

Language Skills, Fine motor skills, Cognitive Skills, Problem Solving, Sensory play, practical life skills, following directions

Jumping Hearts Activity

Supplies:

  • Red and Pink Construction Paper or Large Foam Hearts
  • Masking tape
  • Scissors to cut them out

What to do:

First I cut out about 10 large hearts out of construction paper and then placed some masking tape on the back of each one to tape to the floor. I used pink and red paper hearts. Once they were secure to the floor I would tell my son to find a red heart and stand on it. I would ask him to jump to another red heart and so on. I would tell him which color heart to jump to and he would listen to my directions. If he was losing interest I would model and jump with him or get silly. This activity is all about having fun together and working on getting some of those wiggles out.

How to Change it up:

  • Make patterns with the hearts on the floor
  • Find red and pink items from around the house to set on top of the hearts
  • Make it a racing game to see who can jump or run the fastest across the hearts
  • Create a more challenging obstacle course with using the hearts as directions on where to go
  • The possibilities are really endless!

Skills Addressed:

Gross motor skills, listening, following directions, body awareness, motor control, strengthening, color matching and identifying

Color Matching Hearts 

Color Matching Heart Activity Preview Image

Supplies:

  • Use the Color Matching Hearts from the Free Valentine’s Toddler Activity Pack
  • printer and scissors
  • I laminated mine so they would hold up longer for us to use
  • We played with our cards in the Oatsl Sensory Bin

What to do:

First I printed out and cut out the Color Matching Hearts cards from the printable pack and laminated them. Then I added them to our red oatmeal sensory bin and hide them under the oats. I only added about 3 colors that matched at first to make it less overwhelming for him to find them and make a match. We dug them out of the oats and matched them to the correct colors. We would talk about the colors as he was playing in the oats.

How to Change it up:

  • You could turn them upside down and play memory to find a match
  • Hide them inside something such as cups or large easter eggs they have to find them and make a match
  • Lay them out on the floor and do various gross motor activities to find the matches
  • Play hide and seek and hide them around the room for them to find and make a match
  • Have them find something in the room that matches the color on the heart

Skills Addressed:

Following directions, problem-solving, impulse control, motor control, color matching and identifying, cognitive thinking skills, fine motor skills, language skills

Pipe Cleaner Hearts and Play Dough

Supplies:

  • Pipe cleaners
  • play dough
  • Scissors to cut the pipe cleaners

Here’s what I did:

First I cut the pipe cleaners shorter so that I could form them into small heart rings. We like to play on the floor so I put out a tray for the playdough to sit on. Then I put the play dough into a round ball and stuck a straight pipe cleaner into the middle as our post. I then showed my son how to put the pipe cleaner heart rings onto the straight pipe cleaner.

How to Change it up:

  • We like to hide things in the playdough and try to dig them out so I would hide the pipe cleaner hearts inside the playdough for him to dig out
  • Use cookie cutters to make shapes out of the play dough
  • Roll the playdough into logs or balls and squish them between the fingers
  • Talk about the colors of the pipe cleaners or count them as you put them on the post.

Skills Addressed:

fine motor skills, visual-motor skills, visual perceptual skills, fine motor strengthening, listening, following directions, body awareness, motor control, color matching and identifying

Valentine’s Vocabulary Cards Printable with Gross Motor Movements Around the House

Valentine Inspired Vocabulary Cards

Supplies:

Here’s what I did:

First I printed out the cards, cut them out and laminated them for us to use them longer. Then I first showed the cards to my son and we talked about what we saw in each picture. I wanted him to have an understanding of what the pictures were so that when I used that word he would know what picture I was talking about. Then I paced two out on the floor in our living room and had him either jump or stomp to go and find them. I would go off of his interest and use other gross motor movements to go and find the cards. His favorite thing to do is spin in a circle right now 🙂

How to Change it up:

  • Find the real life objects and match them to the card pictures
  • Hide the cards in a sensory bin
  • Hide the cards under objects such as cups
  • Have cars drive to the cards and talk about the pictures on the cards

Skills Addressed:

Gross motor skills, listening, following directions, body awareness, motor control, strengthening, language skills, problem-solving

Mailbox Stations with Envelopes and Index Cards

Supplies:

  • Envelopes
  • Index cards or paper
  • Tape
  • stickers and crayons

What to do:

First I grabbed about 3 envelopes and about 6 index cards. I then taped 3 envelopes around the living room at a height that my son could reach. I had some heart stickers and crayons together we put some heart stickers on the index cards. Then we worked on coloring the cards and I modeled how to draw a line down, line across, and circles for him to try to imitate. Then I showed him the envelopes and how he could put the index cards inside the envelopes as a mailbox.

How to Change it up:

  • You could create actual cards to put into the envelopes
  • Use more craft supplies such as paint or markers to draw on the cards
  • Hide the cards inside the envelopes (not taped up) and have them open the envelopes to find the cards
  • Work on colors, numbers, or letters with drawing them on the cards

Skills Addressed:

Listening, following directions, fine motor control and coordination, body awareness, hand strengthening, pre-writing strokes, problem-solving, visual motor skills

Love Potions or Fizzy Colors!

Fuzzy Colors Toddler Play Idea

Supplies:

  • Muffin Tin
  • Baking Soda
  • Distilled Vinegar
  • Squirt Bottle or Water Bottle
  • Food Coloring
  • Storage Container to help Contain mess
  • Sensory Mat or Towel to help with the mess

What to do: 

First I prepared the activity by gathering the supplies. I filled each muffin tin with a little bit of baking soda and then I added a few drops of food coloring to each muffin tin. ThenI covered each muffin tin spot with more baking soda so that the food coloring was not visible just to make an added surprise as to what color would show up. Then I filled up the squirt bottle that we got from Dollar Tree in the kitchen area, with half water and half vinegar. I just eyeballed this and I tried to use more water compared to vinegar. I placed our sensory mat down on the floor with the under bed storage container and then placed the muffin tin inside the container. Once it was all set up, I showed my son what to do and how to squeeze the bottle. First I mostly squeezed the bottle and he would point to which muffin tin spot he wanted me to show the color. Then he wanted to do it all on his own! He loved calling out the colors and trying to decide which color would show up! The best part was that we could keep playing even after all the muffin tins were filled up with water/vinegar. I just dumped the liquid mixture out into the storage container and then added more baking soda if needed and he could do it over again!

Fuzzy colors Toddler Activity

He loved helping me add the baking soda to the muffin tin and look at those practical life skills!

How to Change it up:

  • Talk about when colors mix what color that could turn into
  • If they are older, you could have them help with more of the set-up of the activity
  • You could hide objects in the baking soda for them to save and get out of the potion
  • Use various containers and sizes and you could use more bottle-type containers to make it look more like a potion
  • You a different types of squirt bottles such as a liquid dropper or these tools from Learning Resources.
  • The possibilities are really endless!

Skills Addressed:

 Following directions, fine motor skills, practical life skills, motor control, hand strengthening, color matching and identifying

Reaching Up High for Sticky Hearts 

Supplies:

  • Red and Pink Construction Paper or Large Foam Hearts
  • Masking tape
  • Scissors to cut them out
  • You could also create a sticky wall out of contact paper

Here’s what I did:

First I cut out about 5 medium-sized hearts out of construction paper and then placed some masking tape on the back of each one to tape to the wall. I used pink and red paper hearts. Once they were secure to the wall I would tell my son to find a red heart by reaching up high for it. I would try to get them just high enough to where he would have to go up onto his tiptoes to reach them.  I would ask him to grab another heart down and so on. I had a container/basket next to me that he could put them inside. I would tell him which color heart to try to grab down to listen to my directions. If he was losing interest I would try to add a silly element such as funny sounds or playing chase with him to see who could get the hearts.

How to Change it up:

  • Make patterns with the hearts on the wall
  • Find red and pink items from around the house to set on top of the hearts
  • Make it a racing game to see who can grab the hearts the fastest
  • Use stickers or crayons to draw on the hearts
  • Create a more challenging obstacle course with using the hearts as directions on where to go
  • The possibilities are really endless!

Skills Addressed:

Gross motor skills, listening, following directions, body awareness, motor control, strengthening, color matching and identifying

Red or Pink Bubble Foam Sensory Bin

PICTURE!

Supplies:

  • Red food coloring
  • tear-free bubble bath
  • Container for the sensory bin
  • blender or hand mixer
  • water
  • towel or sensory mat
  • any bowls, scoops, or toys you would like to add to the sensory bin

Here’s what I did:

First I made the bubble foam by using 2 parts water to 1 part bubble bath. I used about 1 cup water and 1/2 cup bubble bath and added a little bit of red food coloring to the bowl and then used a hand mixer on med-high to whip the soap and water together to make the bubble foam consistency. Use a big bowl and you will ned up with stiff peaks. Once it was a consistency I liked, I dumped it into our sensory bin and added some cars for him to play with since that is my son’s favorite toy right now. You could add spoons, cups, bowls, or measuring cups to add a scooping element as well.

How to Change it up:

  • Add different toys or use different utensils to explore the material
  • Play with the foam inside the bath for easier clean up if it is messy
  • paint with the bath foam in the shower/bath
  • Hide foam letters in the bubble foam

Skills Addressed:

Motor control, following directions, impulse control, sensory play, practical life skills

I Love you with My Whole Heart Printable Craft

Valentine Craft and Coloring Page

Supplies:

What to do:

I had cut out some small pieces of red and pink paper that were prepared ahead of time. Then I printed out the printable, I love you with my whole heart. I made a couple of copies just to have on hand if needed. I also had some larger pieces of paper and tissue paper available for my son to tear up himself if he wanted. I placed some glue on the heart printable and showed my son how to place pieces of the paper onto the glue. Of course, he wanted to try to the glue so I would let him with direct supervision and I would not let him try to lick the glue. We talked about the colors of the paper and I gave simple directions on where to put the paper. I let it dry and we had a fun/cute little craft.

How to Change it up:

  • You could use crayons, markers, paint, or stickers to use on the heart
  • Tape the heart to a vertical surface for working on shoulder strengthening

Skills Addressed:

 listening, following directions, fine motor skills, colors, visual motor skills, language skills

Saving Frozen Animals/Toys from Ice with Warm Water

Saving Frozen Animals in Ice

Supplies:

  • water
  • toy animals or objects you can freeze inside water safely
  • containers to freeze the toys we used a muffin tin
  • freezer
  • cups and scoops or squirt bottle to use with warm water
  • storage bin
  • towel/sensory mat for the cleanup

What to do:

First, you will need to prepare this activity the night before to freeze the toys in some water. We used small animal figurines and a muffin tin. I placed an animal in each muffin in and filled them up with water. The animals were not completely covered. Then I put them in the freezer to freeze overnight. The next day I got them out of the muffin tin and put a few of them in a storage bin on the floor with a towel underneath and another container with warm water. I used a squirt bottle from Dollar Tree for my son to squirt warm water over the frozen animals to help melt the water and free them out. We would talk about warm and cold, dumping and pouring the water, and what animals we were saving. Then I let him play in the water with the animals. You could also play with this in the bathtub or shower to help with clean up.

How to Change it up:

  • You could use baking soda and vinegar to help break up the ice
  • you could use hammer or tools to free the animals from the ice
  • You could add colored water to work on colors
  • Change up what utensils you are using to explore the materials

Skills Addressed:

Listening, following directions, fine motor control, practical life skills, language/vocabulary

Obstacle Course Over and Under to Find Toys

Supplies:

  • Favorite Toys
  • Pillows
  • blankets
  • couch cushions
  • chairs

What to do:

You can set up an obstacle course by using various items from your home. We like to set up tunnels with blankets and chairs for him to go through and under. Then we use cushions and pillows for him to walk or crawl over to look for things. You could also use actual crawl tunnels if you have them. I like to hide some of his favorite toys under blankets for him to try to find and save. We try to make this a silly and fun game!

How to Change it up:

  • Change up what toys or how you set up the obstacle course
  • Use bolsters or large foam blocks if you have them to create even a harder challenge
  • Add more steps to the obstacle course to make it harder
  • Use a puzzle at the end with the pieces the beginning for them to put into the correct place

Skills Addressed:

Gross motor skills, listening, following directions, body awareness, motor control, strengthening, problem-solving

Hiding Objects/Toys Under Cups

Supplies:

  • Favorite small toys
  • Cups

What to do:

We like to hide small toys under cups for my son to try to guess what is under the cup or for him to guess which cup has his favorite toy. We like to start by using two to three cups to hide small toys under for him to try to guess what is under or for him to try to find a specific toy. We like to talk about the toys as we play and try to make it silly and fun!

How to Change it up:

  • Use more cups and toys to make it harder
  • turn it into a memory game
  • count the cups or count as you put the small toys inside the cups

Skills Addressed:

following directions, problem-solving, cognitive/thinking, language skills

Color Sorting Pom Poms

Supplies:

  • Pom Poms
  • Colored pieces of Paper or Muffin Tin

What to do:

I got out our pom pom collection and first just sorted out 3 colors of pom poms, red, blue and green. I first used construction pieces of paper of the same color and showed my son what colors to put onto the paper. Then when he got bored with that I used a muffin tin and placed one pom pom in a muffin tin and had him place the others inside to match the color.

Another way that we changed it up was by using our mega blocks and putting the correct color pom pom inside the mega block.

How to Change it up:

  • Use various containers to put the pom poms into to work on color sorting
  • We have used magnatiles as boxes to put them inside
  • Easter eggs to match colors
  • Use tongs to pick up the pom poms to add a fine motor component

Skills Addressed:

Color matching, fine motor skills, problem-solving, visual motor skills, language skills

Pipe Cleaners and Cheerios

Supplies:

  • Pipe cleaners
  • Cheerios

What to do:

First I placed about 5 cheerios onto a pipe cleaner and showed my son how to take them off. Of course, he liked to use his mouth to take them off haha, but he would use his hands as well and then eat them. Then I held the pipe cleaner and showed him how to put the cheerios on the pipe cleaner. You can have your child practice putting the cheerios on the pipe cleaner.

How to Change it up:

  • Talk about the colors of the pipe cleaner
  • use string or yarn to make it harder
  • count the cheerios as you put them on

Skills Addressed:

Fine motor control, visual motor skills, eye-hand coordination, using two hands, language skills

Unwrapping Puzzle Pieces

Wrap Puzzle Pieces Toddler Activity

Supplies:

  • Wrapping Paper
  • Tape
  • Puzzle

Here’s what I did:

First I wrapped up the puzzle pieces with leftover wrapping paper. Then I had my son open them up and do the puzzle! He loved unwrapping the pieces and guessing which animal was inside! Wrapping toys is a great way to keep him entertained and engaged or a longer duration!

Wrap Shape sorter pieces toddler activity

How to Change it up:

  • Wrap shape sorter pieces as well!
  • Add a gross motor component by hiding the pieces and going to find them
  • add more tape to make it more challenging to open them up
  • Find other small toys to wrap up as well and then talk about what they found

Skills Addressed:

Fine motor control and strengthening, visual motor skills, language skills, problem-solving

Car Washing Sensory Bin with Soap and Water

Train wash sensory bin

Supplies:

  • storage bin
  • towel
  • cars/trains
  • cups/sponges/washcloth
  • tear-free soap

What to do:

We love cars and trains around here and water so why not add them all together for the perfect combo! It can get a little messy as you can see my son always loves to get inside the water bin. You can always do this in the bathtub as well. I like to make a soapy water bin and then have a dry container or towel nearby to put them in once they are clean. We pour water over the cars/trains and use a sponge to get them clean.

Painting cars toddler activity

How to Change it up:

  • If you want to make the activity last longer you can try painting the cars or trains first and then washing them to get them clean
  • Get them dirty by using foam soap first as well!
  • Create a car washing station with first getting wet, rubbing soap on them, and then washing off and drying off to follow more directions.

Skills Addressed:

following directions, sensory play, practical life skills, fine motor skills and coordination, problem-solving, impulse control

Color Sorting Cars and Toys

Supplies:

  • Various colored cars or toys you already have
  • Colored paper to match the colored cars you have

What to do:

Find cars or toys your child likes to play with and find the matching color piece of paper to go with it. Then work on sorting the cars by the color by rolling them onto the correct colored paper.

How to Change it up:

  • You could create a colored parking garage with drawing parking lot spaces and then coloring them in different colors to match the cars.
  • Add more or less colors to make it easier or harder
  • Create ramps for the cars to go down to go to the correct colored paper

Skills Addressed:

color matching and identifying, problem-solving, fine motor control, listening skills, visual motor skills

Kicking Ball and Knocking over Stacked Blocks

Supplies:

  • A ball that your child can kick
  • Blocks or cups that can be knocked over with the ball

What to do:

Work on stacking blocks into a tower and then set the ball up so your toddler can work on kicking the ball to knock them over. Place the ball at different distances to make it easier or harder.

How to Change it up:

  • Use a smaller or larger ball to make it easier or harder
  • Use various sized blocks or things to knock over
  • Work on colors or counting as you are stacking

Skills Addressed:

Gross motor skills, body awareness, motor control, strengthening,

Pulling Toys out of Bag and Identifying Them 

Supplies:

  • A Bag such as a makeup bag, purse, or backpack
  • Various small toys from around the house, try to choose different textured toys to add more of a sensory component

What to do:

Add about 3-4 toys to the back to start and have your child reach inside to pull them out. Make this a silly game by talking about what they could find inside and having big reactions so they will want to keep playing. Have them pull the toy out and try to identify the toy they picked out.

How to Change it up:

  • Add more or less toys to make it easier or harder
  • have them guess what toy they grab before pulling it out
  • have them sort the toys by colors or categories once they pull them out

Skills Addressed:

Problem-solving skills, listening, attention, cognitive/thinking, language skills

I know this is a long post, but I really wanted to make it easy for you to have literally all of the play ideas right here in one post for you to find and use to help make the planning easy for you!

Please download your FREE Activities Calendar and Valentine’s Play Activity Pack Here to make play easy and fun for both you and your toddler!

Download Your Free Printable

  1. Click the link to the activity ideas calendar and activity pack. Where you will enter your email address to become part of the Inspiration to Play Community! You’ll get the printable, plus join my weekly newsletter! Just click this link to take you to the FREE Valentine’s Day Toddler Activity Printable Pack and Calendar!
  2. Print the activity pack and calendar to have easy access! 
  3. Cut out the activity cards and laminate them to make them more durable for toddler’s hands. 

Valentine's Toddler Activity Pack and Calendar Preview Image

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Do you know any other toddler mamas who are looking for easy indoor toddler activities? Please share this post with them so they can have easy to do toddler activities planned out for them so they can feel less overwhelmed and confident in finding fun activities to do with their toddler!

 

Valentine Inspired Play Ideas for Toddlers Pin Image

 

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