Independent Activities for babies and toddlers

Can’t keep your toddler busy? I know the feeling! So, I have gathered a list of ideas of cheap and easy independent activities that will keep your kiddo busy for a while. Plus, these activities are perfect for practicing fine motor skills. 

                                     Toddlers threading string through buttons

Threading buttons on pipe cleaners- The buttons work perfect for little fingers and are easier to grasp than beads. The pipe cleaners are great because they hold their own shape while string is so flexible and flimsy. Also, use large buttons that your child cannot swallow for this independent activity.

Furthermore, pipe cleaners and colander makes a great independent activity! Simply have your child put the pipe cleaners through the holes of the colander. Easy! This is a great independent activity and for developing those fine motor skills!


In addition, Q-tips in a spice canister- There is a little prep involved with this activity but it won’t take much, I promise! You will need to cut the q-tips in half; that’s it. Once the q-tips are cut your toddler will try to put them through the holes of a spice canister. I like this one because it is easy to store and have ready for another day. 

Also, just use colorful tape on a wall and have your child try and pick it off! This is great for developing fine motor skills.

In addition to the ideas above, large tweezers in sensory bins- You will need to have a sensory bin and some of the large, plastic tweezers on hand but kids love this activity. The child will use the large tweezers to grab certain items out of the sensory bin. You can have them decide or you could guide them in what they are supposed to be grabbing. You could have them only grab the red items or the circles, etc. This activity is wonderful because it combines fine motor practice with sorting, colors, shapes, size, etc. The list is endless!

Furthermore, straws and an oatmeal canister- Punch some holes, that are wide enough for a straw to fit though, in the bottom of an empty oatmeal canister. Then have your kiddo push straws through the holes. 

Finally, all of these activities are designed to foster fine motor skills and hand-eye coordination. If you aren’t sure what fine motor skills are or want more ideas to develop fine motor skills and provide some independent activities and learning too!

You might also like what are fine motor skills?

Encouraging Language Development

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hey friends!

My name is Nicole and I am so glad you are here! I have always loved photography and have taken classes. Then I started my teacher journey and fell in love with creating resources for what I needed in the classroom. Now I have combined both of my passions to bring you spectacular resources!