50+ Hobbies and Activities for Toddlers and Kids
Arts and Craft Hobbies to Develop Creativity
Kids love arts and crafts time. While it can be messy, crafts can be a really fun way to engage the creative side of your child.
- Painting- Finger painting, bathtub painting, paint with water
- Sidewalk chalk murals- Perfect for sunny days
- Sculpt with Clay/ Playdough- homemade recipe or bought
- Scissor skills- You can purchase books to work on scissor skills, create your own outlines, or just encourage free cutting. Make sure to use safety scissors for younger children.
- Dot to Dot- Dot to dot puzzles are great for helping children to draw and also helping promote number and counting skills.
- Coloring- A great way to learn colors and explore creativity.
- Paper Crafts- These can include creating cards, making murals, and more.
- Stickers- Sticker books are great for occupying time and keeping kids busy. They are also very easy to take along when traveling and (relatively) mess-free.
- Photography- Taking photos is a great way to get children involved in the world around them. It helps them to identify things they find beautiful and to create memories.
- Scrapbooking- Children will love telling a story with their photos. They can get creative by adding fun paper and stickers. Older children can write down their memories. Younger children and toddlers can dictate their thoughts to you about the photos for you to write down. What a great way to capture their speech skills at the time that the photos were taken!
- Models- Kids can begin to put together early punch out models. Keep them entertained longer by painting the completed models.
What Craft is Your Child's Favorite?
Hobbies to Get Children Outside and Active
Outdoor activities are a great way to stretch legs, reduce stress, and get some vitamin C. There have also been some studies done that indicate that playing outdoors can also decrease ADHD and improve eyesight. Regardless of the veracity of those studies, outdoor play is fun!
- Nature Walk
- Star Gazing
- Train Rides
- Zoo Visits
- Playground Play
- Bike Riding
- Beach / Sand Building and Play
Activities to Sharpen the Mind and Promote Learning
Certain hobbies can really engage critical thinking skills for your little one. Here are some examples of such hobbies:
- Puzzles- Floor puzzles, shape sorters
- Games- Memory, Candy Land- There are a lot of great games that start at age 3+. Games are fantastic ways for families to bond and children to learn. If your child is not quite old enough to play the game by the rules, you can still use pieces to teach colors, matching, counting and more.
- Lacing Cards / Lacing Beads- These are great for hand-eye coordination and motor skills.
- Building Blocks- Duplo Legos, Lincoln Logs, K'NEX
- Mazes- Mazes are great for problem solving and come for all different levels
- Reading- Parents will need to read to younger children that cannot. However, if your child has the language skills, he or she can start describing the pictures to "read" to you. Going through books will get your child encouraged to read and help them to love books later on.
- Languages- Children are the best primed to learn a new language. There are many products and toys available to help teach foreign language skills. Even learning a couple foreign words as a child will make it easier for them to learn a language later on in life.
Collections that are Easy for Toddlers to Gather
There are so many wonderful skills that children can learn by collecting. Collecting a group of items will help children look for matches, learn about similarities and differences, and reinforce counting skills. Your child might be naturally inclined to gather a certain type of objects. For example, my daughter loves to select a new rock each time we go on a walk. Other collections, you may need to prompt.
Collections can also be used to teach sorting and counting. Ask your child to recount where they got particular items in their collection to improve their memory and story telling skills.
Hobbies to Build Life Skills / Chores
Children can start learning life skills at a very young age. Engaging your child in household tasks can not only keep them occupied, but will also set them up with useful skills in the future. Eventually, your child will master these tasks and become helpful to you and your household.
- Cooking- Engage your child's senses by allowing them to experiment with flavors. Your child will love smelling spices and playing with textures. Easy tasks include stirring, pouring, and tasting! Kids will also be more likely to try foods that they've helped make.
- Baking- Similar to cooking, baking is a great way to get children engaged in the kitchen. Baking generally involves more precise measurements, so it is a great way to promote early math skills. Teach your child about what makes dough and cookies rise. Kneading, mixing, and dumping are great first tasks for toddlers.
- Gardening- There are many great, recent articles that talks about the many benefits of gardening for children. Some of skills they will build are: self-confidence, understanding, responsibility, love of nature, reasoning, nutrition, cooperation, and creativity. If this interests you, please google some of the many wonderful articles on this topic.
- Early Chores- Chores help promote a sense of security by making your child feel like they are an integral part of your household...though they may not always like them. Good early chores include matching socks, putting silverware away, and sweeping the floor.
Performing Art for Kids
Performance art is a great outlet for your child to be creative and also to let some energy out.
- Dance- Ballet, tap, and jazz are great first options
- Singing- This is easy to develop at home and encourage through music
- Acting/ Make Believe- Vocabulary and imagination will build as they imitate life around them and explore alternate realities. This can also be a great way to teach about various occupations.
- Story Time- Use props to increase the fun
- Instruments- Easy early instruments are symbols, drums, bells, keyboard
- Puppets- Encourage your kids to make their own puppets for extra fun and creativity!
- Magic- This is a unique hobby that can be used for ice-breakers and entertainment
Great Sports for Toddlers and Young Children
Sports are a great way to get kids active, teach following direction, and teach coordination. Who knows, maybe you are raising a future olympian. Great sports for toddlers and younger children include:
- Mini Golf
- Swim Lessons
Which Activities Should I Have My Child Try?
It is so difficult to recommend activities, sports, or hobbies for children. It is important to expose children to as many different hobbies as possible. Different types will activate different parts of their brains and introduce them to different facets of the world. There have been studies to show that by engaging different areas of your child's brain when they are young, it will be easier for them to absorb and learn in all areas as they get older. Please try out as many of these suggestions as will work for your family and please leave comments about any hobbies not on this list or anything that has worked well for your child.
This content is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge and is not meant to substitute for formal and individualized advice from a qualified professional.