Fun Independent Play For Toddlers

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A toddler’s age is such a delightful stage. It’s a time for learning and discovering; cognitively, emotionally and socially. And I, as a mother, would love to spend all of my time helping my toddler develop. However, we all do not have THAT kind of time to do so. We’re all busy parents here. And hey, even SAHM (Stay-At-Home-Mums)! So, here are a list of activities, approved by my toddler. And when I say ‘approved’, I meant she ACTUALLY asks me to set-up the activity for her or she grabs them by herself and starts playing.

1. Match the Alphabet

Alphabet flash cards are placed on the floor while my toddler runs to the refrigerator, where the alphabet magnets are, and back to the flash cards to match them. It’s easy, fun, and it burns some energy out of her while learning, as she says out the letter when she picks one out.

2. Floating Alphabet

This activity involves water. And like any other kid, my little girl loves to play with water, so it’s a YAY! activity. Print an alphabet sheet and laminate it. If you don’t have a laminate machine, an A4 transparent plastic sheet will do as well. Fill up a tray with water and place the alphabets inside. With a small kitchen strainer, have your toddler scoop a letter and match it with the alphabet sheet. For example, mine will scoop the letter, say it out, and then match it. It’s a fun way of learning, through play. Free printables can be found at

3. ‘Stamp’ the Alphabet

That’s how my daughter says it, “I want to stamp the letter, Mummy.” I printed just the four letters in her name, and inserted them in an A4 plastic sheet. With a Bingo marker which can be erased, or a kids stamp which my toddler uses, stamp onto the circles which forms the letter. Basically, dot them. Free printables can be found at

4. Button the Alphabet

Using the same printables as above, another fun way is to use buttons, pebbles or even Cheerios.

5. Puzzles

My toddler love puzzles of all sorts. Picture puzzles, colour sorting, matching numbers, mother and baby animal puzzles, shapes, you name it. And I’m a fan of puzzles for my kids. It challenges their little minds to solve problems, improves fine and gross motor skills, instill patience and self-esteem. The advantages are endless. Besides, any activities which shouts ‘screen-free’ is a thumbs-up for me.

6. Rubber Mats Colour Match

Remember those alphabet rubber mats we used for our babies and toddlers to sit and play on it? Those mats are not only good for learning alphabets, it can also be used to learn and match colours.

7. Save the Animals

Hide a bunch of toys in Playfoam or Playdoh. It can be anything, but we like using little surprise toys like Hello Kitty, Hatchimals, Shopkins and other small animals. Then, have your toddler to start digging.

8. Beading

This is my current toddler’s favourite thing to do now. With just two simple things, and you’ve got yourself a fun activity for your toddler. We even bring it along when we’re out and about. And it has kept our toddler quiet in restaurants, or at least quiet till the food arrives.

9. Stamp the Alphabet

This next fun activity is so simple to do. I saw this on The Purple Alphabet on Youtube, and had to try it. What you need is a blank sheet of paper and alphabet stamps. You could also use alphabet stickers or write the letters on blank-round labels.

Write the alphabets from A to Z all over the sheet of paper without any order. Then have your toddler to match the stamp to the alphabets on the sheet, and stamp it. How easy is that!

10. Toilet Paper Tower

I actually found a toilet paper tower by surprise in the toilet once. And always caught her playing with toilet paper in the toilet. So, this activity has been added to our list of fun, independent play. And quiet too! She likes to build towers and destroys them, so it’s a plus in my list.

If you liked this post and would like other interesting ways to occupy your toddlers, check out best games for 3 year olds, which includes ideas for indoor and outdoor.

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