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Toddler Tested & Approved Activities- Indoor busy activities for 12-18 month old babies

Indoor Toddler Activities for 12-18 Months

We are just thirty days away from Baby #2 arriving! This time around, nesting mode is including a little more than just cleaning and preparing a nursery. I want to be sure we have plenty of fun and educational activities on hand for Emmy to do in the first few weeks that her new sister is home. We know it will be a difficult time with wacky sleep schedules and lots of other changes, so I want to make sure she has a variety of activities on hand to keep her entertained and happy! Here are a few we have tested out so far that have been a HUGE hit! Be sure to check out our daily activity box set up as well!

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Painting with Water

Painting with Water- Indoor and Outdoor Toddler Approved Activities. Perfect for 1 year old and up1!

This activity is listed as #1 because it was by far the biggest hit out of all activities! All you need is construction paper, a small bowl of water and a paint brush. I had the sponge brushed lying around but would recommend using something that doesn’t absorb quite as much water. We went through the paper pretty quickly because it got SO wet. A small little brush (like this set, designed for small hands!)  with small bristles would do just fine! Clean up is super easy too!


Magnetic Letters on Cooking Sheet

Toddler Approved Activities- Magnetic Letters on Cooking Sheet- Indoor activity for children 1 year old and up!

Even though these letters had been displayed on our fridge for some time, there was something really interesting to having them all within her grasp! She really loved this one! Who knew that items we already had in our kitchen would be such a hit?

If you don’t have a set of magnetic letters yet, let me tell you, they can provide great kitchen entertainment while you are trying to cook! You can get a bucket of them here on Amazon. 

Noodles & StrawsToddler Approved Activites- Straw and noodles- Fine motor skill activity for toddlers and one year olds.

By far the most fine motor skill intensive activity of them all! We used play-doh, noodles and straws to make this activity. While this activity lasted the longest, it wasn’t ALL spent stringing the noodles on. Eventually we got ahold of the pay-doh, then we started playing cooking with the noodles in a cup and spoon… it went on for a while! But she had a blast and we have enjoyed this activity many times since discovering it.

Card Drop

Toddler Approved Activity- Indoor and Outdoor- Card Drop. Great for Fine Motor skill growth too!

I would say this activity ranked #2 in popularity. All you need is a deck of cards and an old oatmeal container with a slit cut in the top. After a few minutes of dropping the cards in, Emmy liked to take the top off to reach in and retrieve her cards. This was a great activity for her fine motor skills as well!


Pop-Pom Drop

Toddler Approved Activities- Pop-Pom Drop- Indoor activities for 1 year olds and up

We’ve been working a lot on learning our colors and this activity helped a lot! We would tell Emmy “let’s do the red one next” and we would search for the red pom-pom to drop down! We used both toilet paper rolls and paper towel rolls for this activity. You can also use any type of tape that won’t harm you walls or painting.

You can purchase a variety pack on pom-poms here. 

UPDATE: we did this activity with our 13 month old daughter, Nora, last week and the video is HILARIOUS and SO cute! You can see the video here on out Instagram!

Pipe Cleaners + Colander

Toddler Approved Activities- Pipe cleaners and Colander

Another great fine motor skill activity. We used a colander from our kitchen and some pipe cleaners! I opted for the extra fuzzy pipe cleaners the first time around. Since then, we have experimented with thinner ones and it seems to make it a little easier for her to get them into the holes.


Toilet Paper Roll + Straws

This was such an easy activity to prep and it kept Emmy entertained for hours. Emmy was a little older when we did this activity compared to the rest.


Edible Finger Paint for Toddlers

Edible Paint for Babies and Toddlers- Fun Indoor or Outdoor Sensory activities for kids!

This one has an entire blog post dedicated to it since it was such a hit! Read it here!

We have tons of pictures of other fun activities on our Instagram page! Be sure to follow along here!

Here are some of the other fun activites we’ve done lately:

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