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14+ Quiet Time Toddler Activities
So, you’re toddler won’t nap anymore? And, you’re looking for quiet time toddler activities…
Maybe you have a child in school and just your toddler at home, and you thought you were going to get so much done during the day when they napped. Then they decide to grow up a little, just like your older child, and stop taking naps; out of nowhere!
Believe me, I know exactly how you feel! How frustrating it is, and how your hope for getting more done during the day just went out the window.
But, it doesn’t have to.
By the time a child stops napping during the day, they tend to actually be old enough to play quietly by themselves with little supervision. (As long as your home is still baby-proofed.)
And, there are plenty of things that you can set up for them to play with and they may continue playing with it for a half an hour or so. The time absolutely depends on your childs attention span, though.
And, sometimes you can just tell them to go play quietly in their room, and they will.
Just be cautious if they get too quiet! This usually means they are getting into something they shouldn’t and you should go check on them ASAP.
Just in case your child isn’t one to go off and play by themselves with any random toy in their room, there are some quiet toddler activities listed below to help you out. So you can at least get a little more done, even if it’s not as much as you would like.
Quiet Time Activities that Toddler Loves!
1. Paint with water
This has been proven, by my own crazy toddler and others, to work and keep little ones occupied for some time.
Just grab them what they need:
- paper, newspaper, or anything else they can ‘paint’ on
- paintbrushes (yes, multiple, and preferably all different sizes)
- a small cup of water
Set everything up at the cleared off table, or on the clean floor with no carpets nearby, and let them ‘paint’ for as long as they will! This will entertain my toddler for at least 20-30 minutes.
And, I know this works with more than just my toddler. When I was younger my mom ran a home daycare, and on nice days she would take the kids outside to play. At one point I think she was watching four toddlers one summer and they spent quite some time ‘painting’ the deck. They thought it was so much fun!
You don’t have to limit this to a deck or paper, either. There’s plenty of things that won’t get damaged by water.
Play doh is another fun activity for toddlers to play with while they should be napping.
They can squish it between their fingers, rolling it out with a rolling pin, or make fun shapes with cookie cutters!
This activity is a bit messier than simply painting with water. But, if painting with water doesn’t entertain them, then maybe with all the colors of play doh, they’ll be quiet and playing for 20-30 minutes without needing your help.
If you don’t like the thought of buying play doh from the store, check out the play doh recipes below for a more natural play doh, and even a calming play doh recipe!
3. Toddlers love to Play Mommy
This quiet time toddler activity may be more for little girls than little boys, but if your little boy wants to play with dolls and pretend to be daddy, there is nothing wrong with that.
Both of my girls love playing with their dolls and pretending to be mommies to them.
From changing them, feeding them, and even putting them down for naps; which is great for quiet play because you can remind them to be quiet or their babies will wake up!
4. Play Doctor
They can also play doctor with their baby dolls. All they need is a doctors kit!
My girls have a few doctor sets, they’re huge fans of Doc Mcstuffins. So, they try to do what she does and become little doctors for their dolls and stuffed animals. Unfortunately, this doesn’t help them not be terrified of shots at their doctors…
Find out more about HOW KIDS CAN PLAY DOCTOR: GET A SHOT. GIVE A SHOT.® at whatsupfagans.com
5. ‘Type’ on an old computer
I don’t know about you, but I go through computers every 2 to 4 years. (I really need to invest in one that won’t die after 4 years.) But, this is good new for my girls.
Right now, my ‘old’ computer has almost completely died, I won’t hook it up to the internet (because I don’t want to spend money on antivirus software for it); all it has are some old baby photos of my girls, open office, paint, and a few other things.
My toddler thinks it’s the most wonderful thing and will play with it for 30-60 minutes without getting bored!
She’s learning what the buttons on the keyboard do and loves looking at the baby pictures. She’s even learned how to turn the screen sideways and upside down; and every time she does it, I have to look up how to get it back to normal. (On a windows computer it’s ctrl + alt + up arrow.)
6. Give Your Toddler a box
Toddlers are very creative. Give them a box, or a few boxes, and they’ll figure out a way to play with it and entertain themselves.
Have you ever seen that episode of Rugrats where Tommy gets a fancy toy that needs to be put together. While his dad struggles attempting to put the toy together, Tommy plays in the box that it came with and uses his imagination.
And, have you ever bought toys for a little one for their birthday or Christmas, and they end up enjoying playing with the packaging and wrapping paper more so than the present itself?
Obviously, toddlers can’t read, yet. At least, not for real. But, they still enjoy looking at pictures in books (and tearing up the ‘peekaboo’ type books).
Whether you go to the library and borrow books for free, or start your own library at your home; this quiet time activity is a great one to have your child start at a young age. And, it’s one that they can keep doing forever!
8. Busy Bags, or Busy Bins full of Simple and Fun Toddler Activities
Have you heard of these before? They’re pretty neat, and you can have one, or many. Which would help with keeping them entertained for longer!
Here is an example that would be fairly easy to put together: Busy Bags with Straws
Make sure to save this post on Pinterest to come back to later.
My two year old loves playing dollhouse. I attempt to organize my girls toys often enough so that all of the dollhouse toys are together and able to easily be found (which now includes Daniel Tiger’s Neighborhood, the Littlest Pet Shop, and PJ Masks characters).
All you need is a doll house and some people or animals to put inside, or be creative and make it out of cardboard and other materials found around the house (anyone thinking of that episode from Friends when Phoebe makes her own dollhouse because Monica wouldn’t let her play with hers?).
Little kids love to stack things.
This activity may not always be quiet, but it will entertain. All you need are some blocks, mega bloks, kids books, boxes, or anything else that can stack on top of each other.
Your little one will have fun building it up and knocking it down. This was one of the funnest games for the 1 and a half year olds and two year olds when I worked at a childcare and learning center, before having my own kids.
11. Making a Felt Necklace
Help your child develop their fine motor skills by having them make their own necklace.
Need help with creativity, and making sure this activity is safe for your little one, check out Button Snake – a Homemade Toy to Develop Fine Motor Skills.
12. Felt Activities for Toddlers who Won’t Nap
Other than having your child make a felt necklace, there are many other fun things your child can do or make with felt!
I remember my mom had bags of felt play sets; farm animals, a felt doll with different clothes, sea life, the jungle, and so on. Honestly, she probably still has them in her basement, but we’re about a 3 or 4 day drive from where she lives.
For more inspiration on felt activities, check out the posts below, you could even create busy bags for these activities.