How to Make a Toddler Activity Kit

What is a toddler activity kit? How do I make a toddler activity kit? What else should I get a 1 year old for a birthday present or Christmas? Gift ideas for Big Brothers or Big sisters when a new baby arrives too! Could be used as a preschool activity kit too!

Do you have a Toddler Activity Kit?

First, what is a Toddler Activity Kit?

A Toddler Activity Kit is a collection of supplies and “stuff” to use for toddler activities. It can be a bin, box, bag, etc. And, everything in a Toddler Activity Kit would work for a preschooler too. 🙂

What is a toddler activity kit? How do I make a toddler activity kit? What else should I get a 1 year old for a birthday present or Christmas? Gift ideas for Big Brothers or Big sisters when a new baby arrives too! Could be used as a preschool activity kit too!

 

 

I’m all about simple.

I’ve never been into the stuff that’s just for show. Fluff means very little to me. Along with “simple,” means less time spent setting up and preparing activities and more time DOING activities with our little ones. When I do activities with my toddler and preschooler, I find myself using the same items over and over again. Sure, we have other stuff and we use it, but these are our main “go to” items. Why not use what we have and minimize the “extra” stuff? Less stuff = less work! And, you can do a LOT with these items. I promise!

 

Why do you think we find most of them in schools? Because they’re versatile, inexpensive, and easy to use. Keep it simple, right?

 

So, what goes in this Toddler Activity Kit*?

(Could also be for preschoolers!)

*This post contains affiliate links, which means that if you choose to make a purchase, I will receive a small amount for referring you. This comes at no additional cost to you, but helps me afford to keep sharing ideas and resources with you. I’ll never recommend products I don’t use or wouldn’t use.

  • Cotton balls or bag of pom poms
  • Q-tips
  • painter’s tape (or masking tape)
  • GOOD quality pair of children’s scissors. Spend a few extra bucks and get a pair that can be sharpened! They’ll last you until your little one is able to use adult scissors. My kids are using these scissors, which my mom purchased YEARS ago for use in her classroom. Buy quality and they LAST. This is also a great price for three pairs of scissors. Have a leftie? Read more about scissors for lefties here.
  • Clothespins
  • Crayons
  • Markers (kid markers, not permanent markers, skip the SUPER thick “my first” markers and get ones school-aged kids would use)
  • Chalk (mostly for outside)
  • Paper
    • Plain white copy paper
    • Construction paper
  • Craft sticks (aka, popsicle sticks)
  • Value pack of paint brushes (different sizes and types are good!)
  • Tempera paint (red, yellow, blue, and white at a minimum because you can mix paint to get the other colors. I suggest the full sized bottles, not the sampler pack, but buy whatever you’ll use.)
  • Glue
    • liquid school glue
    • glue sticks if you use them (less messy for kids, but doesn’t work quite as well)
  • Chenille stems (pipe cleaners)
  • Foam sheets (the small size is fine)
  • Paper plates (for crafts and using as a paint palette)
  • Pencils (thick ones are easier for little hands to use)
  • Colored dot stickers
  • Dry erase markers
  • Paper clips (colored ones, preferably)
  • Page protectors (sheet protectors)
  • Container to put all your supplies in so that they’re in one spot
  • Latex balloons
  • Plastic table cloth or shower curtain (reusing it as a drop cloth to make messy play less messy)
  • Counters (remember those little counting bears from kindergarten? Find something small, but that your child can manipulate and move around. Multicolored is good because they can be used for sorting too. They also make dinosaur counters!)

 

Nice to have: 

  • Glitter glue
  • pony beads (an assortment of colors)
  • Journal or notebook
  • Embellishments (stickers, sequins, googly eyes, etc.)
  • Smock or large shirt for painting and other messy activities (or, just strip your child down to his/her diaper/underwear)
  • Yarn
  • Alphabet/letter magnets (preferably upper and lower case letters), similar to these from Melissa & Doug 52 Wooden Alphabet Magnets in a Box – Uppercase and Lowercase Letters
    • Note: The plastic refrigerator magnets can usually be found at dollar stores. At the time of writing this post, Amazon did not have any reasonably priced ones.
  • Flashcards (to be used for games, “on the go” activities, matching, and discussion, NOT as flashcards are traditionally used)
    • shapes
    • colors
    • alphabet
    • numbers

 

In making a list for a Toddler Activity Kit, I’m assuming you have the following items already at home. But, if you don’t, or prefer not to use them, grab these things too: 

  • Post-it notes (plain square ones are fine)
  • Stapler
  • Tape (“Scotch” tape)
  • Hole punch (single one, not the 3 ring binder kind)

 

If you REALLY want a complete Toddler Activity Kit, make sure you have stuff for science and STEM activities: 

  • Magnifying glass
  • Measuring cups and spoons (ones from the kitchen are fine, but sometimes it’s nice to have kid stuff all in one place, so a 2nd set might be nice… great chance to buy yourself a new set and pass on your current set to your child!)
  • Pipettes or droppers (old children’s medicine dispensers/syringes work). No link for these, as I can’t tell which ones on Amazon are good quality. My guess is it’s the 100s packs. These are reusable, but they are difficult to clean, so having a bunch isn’t a bad idea (but 100+ seems like a lot!)
  • Food coloring
  • Funnel
  • Tape measure

 

Uses Toddler Activity Kits: 

  • 1st birthday gift idea (most babies start getting into this sort of thing shortly after their first birthday)
  • 2nd birthday gift (you get the idea)
  • Christmas gift
  • Big Brother or Big Sister gift (something for when a new baby comes)
  • Stuff to do at Grandma’s house

 

Wondering what to DO with this stuff?

Find out here or click the picture below.

Simple science experiments for toddlers. Preschool science experiments. Toddler activities. Summer activities for toddlers.

Not quite ready to make a Toddler Activity Kit, but want other good gift ideas that toddlers and preschoolers can use for years to come?

  • Toddler table. We have this one and LOVE it. Plastic means it’s easy to clean and the kids can actually move the chairs themselves. We also have this Lego table with the removable flat top/cover and it’s very nice too.
  • Blocks (good old fashioned stacking alphabet blocks, or plain blocks like these, not “Lego” style)
  • Stacking cups or nesting toy
  • Magnetic ABC letters
  • Animal figurines
  • Toy vehicles
  • Play food and dishes/kitchen set for pretend play. We LOVE this dish set!

 

What am I missing? What else would you add to a Toddler Activity Kit?

Join the discussion!

Connie Deal
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Connie Deal

I'm the mom of two little ones (3yo and 1.5yo), and 3 dogs. I'm a former classroom teacher turned SAHM, so I spend my day "doing activities" and science 'speriments in between mediating sibling squabbles and working during nap time. I'm powered by caffeine (not coffee!), and I love helping others, especially fellow mom and their toddlers. Together, we can achieve great things AND prepare your toddler for kindergarten!
Connie Deal
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