Monday, June 10, 2013

What Do We Do All Day? {Activities For A Busy 18-Month-Old Toddler}

There are a lot of mornings where I wake up and think, "what are Nicholas and I going to do all day?"

It's easy to fill up my week with running errands or scheduling play-dates, but it's the hours when we're in the house that leave me scratching my head for how to keep Nicholas busy. He himself is very busy - usually sneaking into my bedroom to find my headphones or coloring all over himself with a pen - and these "activities" make it hard for me to get anything done around the house. Someday I'll have him help me with chores, but he's 18-months-old, so we're not quite there yet :)

When we're at home together, my goals are:
- to spend some meaningful time with Nicholas
while also
- giving him independent play time so that I can fold laundry, meal plan, make a phone call, catch up on Instagram (what, I'm being honest), do stuff for our YWAM ministry, etc. And also so that he can learn how to be curious, learn from his own experiences, be independent, etc.

Since I'm ALWAYS on the hunt for activities to keep Nicholas busy & learning, I thought I'd share with you some of my ideas. This will give you a little glimpse into what we do all day :) I'll share a few indoor activities, and some outdoor ones too. Enjoy!

Our current favorite indoor activities:

Find toddler markers here or here. Their tiny (or fat) hands can grip these way better.

I think Nicholas would squeal with happiness over this pop-up-tent. He's Elmo obsessed.

Video calls on Skype & Google chat are both free!

Not pictured: Playing with bubbles (cheap at the dollar store!), wrestling, reading books, chasing each other, stacking blocks, and a little bit of TV time for when I need 20 straight minutes of work time.

Our current favorite outdoor activities:
Find Nicholas' John Deere walker here!

Not pictured: playing in our neighbor's kiddie pool, picking up EVERY rock and stick known to mankind, and saying "hi pupp-uh!" to every dog in the neighborhood.

I also found an article with great ideas for young toddler activities here!

What are your favorite activities to keep your toddler busy, whether you join in or they play independently? I'm ALWAYS open for ideas!

Some affiliate links included. 


I also wanted to give a reminder that the giveaway for Hannah Abbott's "Efficient Homemaking" 
e-book ends tonight! Enter to win HERE.

Linking up with Blair @ Wild & Precious!


  1. This is so great! I love it :)

  2. These are great suggestions! Thanks SO much, Mackenzie! I love the tent idea, especially :)

  3. perfect list pretty lady!!! i would add playing in the car (while parked in the driveway). M LOVES that!

    would la la love for you to come link up for Life Lately!

  4. Great ideas!! My little lady is only 10 months - so I'll keep them in mind soon!! First time by the blog!

  5. great tips! I will have to use some of them...I think a pop up tent is a great indoor/outdoor idea! :)

  6. This is so good! I am pretty pregnant and have a 16 month old boy, so these are very helpful. Sometimes, I just need time to sit right now :) Love the DVD case idea! Especially if I gave him a couple that we don't really use that he could ALWAYS play with. He's big on what he remembers, and sometimes, if I let him play with something one day and then tell him no about it the next, he gets all confused.
    Thanks for sharing!!

  7. Love all of these!! One of Micah's favorite pastimes is playing with baskets of dvd cases! You really gave me some new things to try with Micah and for that friend...I am thankful!


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