Motherhood

Activities for 2 Year Olds: 13 Ideas

Team Peanut3 months ago6 min read

So your little one is 2 years old! While every kid develops at their own pace, they may be able to run, jump, skip, and kick by now – and could even be on their way to catching and throwing. Meanwhile, their vocabulary could be pushing a whopping 50 to 100 words, and they may be able to string them together into what sound suspiciously like sentences.

Activities for 2 Year Olds

So, what do you do with a child with so many new skills? Here are some exciting, fun, and educational activities for 2 year olds that they’re sure to love.

In this article: 📝

  • What should a typical 2 year old be doing?
  • What learning activities to do with a 2 year old?

What should a typical 2 year old be doing?

Every child’s different. And while there are some things that it’s typical for 2 year olds to be doing, not every kid reaches the same milestones at the same time.

But here’s a rough idea of what you can expect your 2 year old to be doing:

  • Right now, their language skills are on fire. It’s said that by the age of 3 years old, a toddler could have as many as 300 hundred words at their disposal – and at least three quarters of them are learned when they’re 2. Of course, others might have fewer – or even more.

  • They’re exploring and pushing boundaries. Yep, the terrible twos. It’s true that this can be a stressful time, but it’s also a natural and important part of development. Your toddler wants to take risks, get into trouble, and see what they’re allowed to get away with.

  • They could be ready for social play, or maybe not. Not every 2 year old likes to play with others, but “parallel play” – where they play by themselves in company – can be a great way to get them used to social contact.

  • They’re much more in control of their body. They may be able to do coloring in, throw a ball overarm, and try to catch a ball (thrown gently). Running can make an entrance, too.

What learning activities to do with a 2 year old?

Good learning activities for 2 year olds will help develop all their new skills. But the whole world is their schoolroom at this age, so don’t worry that you might be overlooking the perfect developmental activity. You’re doing great.

Here are some educational activities for 2 year olds that will get them learning – and having a lot of fun too.

How do I entertain my 2 year old at home?

Let’s start with toddler activities at home. Here are eight indoor activities for 2 year olds:

  • Play dress up. Great as a fun game with you and your family, even better as a social activity with other 2 year olds. Dressing up helps them to imagine, communicate, and develop their creativity.

  • Simon says. At 2 years old, your little one will be learning the importance of boundaries and the limits of appropriate behavior. “Simon says” helps. It gives them a simple trigger of when to jump up and down, stick out their tongue, or give mama a high five. It’s also great language practice, but doing the action with them at this age can help.

  • Painting. A hugely fun activity for 2 year olds. There’s the element of mess (maybe more fun for them than for you!) and a whole new medium of creativity to explore. Just make sure you cover everything you don’t want redecorating before they get started. Or for a less messy art activity:

  • Drawing songs. Mix things up by singing some nursery rhymes together and transforming the lyrics into a pretty picture. Which animals can your 2 year old draw from Old MacDonald’s farm?

  • Trace their body. They’ll need to stay still for this one. Get a big sheet of paper (or stick smaller ones together) and have them lay down on it. You can draw around them as they lie still, and then they can add their eyes, ears, and nose later on.

  • Quiet reading. Sometimes you all need a bit of calm. Reading together can help your little one learn new words and enter into exciting new worlds, while bonding with you, the reader! Find some of the best baby books here.

  • Play with a ball. Indoors or outdoors, anywhere is a good place for this game for 2 year old kids. Start things simple by pushing the ball to each other. Then you can try kicking the ball gently. If you have a play tunnel, you can play so that you roll the ball to each other by lifting up the tunnel. It’ll help develop your little one’s hand-eye coordination and teach the basics of cause and effect.

  • Simple music-making. Any instrument will do, but those that are less physically demanding – like a keyboard or drum – are best. Play a simple rhythm and have your toddler play it back to you. It’ll help with their ability to follow instructions and make a lovely tune too!

Outdoor activities for 2 year olds

How do you entertain an active 2 year old? Take them outside! There’s so much in the world to explore, see, and learn from. And with your supervision (and some good weather), there’s nowhere else they would rather be. Here are five things to do with 2 year olds out in the big wide world:

  • Picnic. Everyone loves a picnic – and that includes 2 year olds. It’s a way to break out of your normal routine and show them a new place.

  • Scavenger hunt! Hide some things around the garden (or a small corner of the park) and see if your little one can find them. Give them some clues and make everything pretty easy to find. They’ll love the exploring and the reward of the discovery.

  • Gardening. Get your toddler to help you pick weeds, plant seeds, and water all the flowers in your garden. It’ll help them learn about caring for nature.

  • Water party. A paddling pool or a simple hose can be just what you want on a warm summer’s day. A bit of supervision is crucial, but it’s up there with the most fun activities for 2 year olds – and kids of any other age too.

  • Take a walk. You don’t need to always do something. A little walk round the block can be great stimulation for your little one. There’s so much to see out there!

So, those are our suggestions for fun activities for 2 year olds. But no matter what you decide to do with your little one, you can bet they’ll be learning about the world around them the whole time.

Further reading
Activities for 3 Year Olds: 20 Ideas