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Playtime activities and bonding with your toddler

The playtime activities you do with your toddler are really important for their emotional and physical development.

They also help you to build a strong and connected relationship with them.

Have a look at these ideas for activities you can do together.

Everyday moments builds relationships

Your toddler will love to spend quality time with you as you interact and have fun with them.

Every little moment makes a difference to your relationship, such as bath time where you can chat and play.

If you’re unsure about what to say or do, think about what your toddler can see, touch, smell, or hear.

For example, “the teddy feels soft and smooth, I bet he likes that cuddle!”.

Join in the game if your little one invites you. They might bring you a pretend cup of tea or ask you to cuddle teddy.

Sharing this quality time together will help build your connection and your toddler’s confidence.

Follow your toddler's lead

Your toddler is like a little explorer; curious and excited to learn about the world around them.

A great way for you to build a close relationship with your toddler is to follow their lead when they play.

This means paying attention to the things that they show an interest in.

Top tip

When they're next playing, imagine yourself as the narrator, not the director.

Instead of saying "can you build a tower?" narrate what they are doing: "You're doing a great job of building a tower".

Activities at home and outdoors

At home

There are lots of ways you can get your child moving at home. Have a game of hide-and-seek, see who can do the most star jumps, create an obstacle course or stick some music on and have a dance-off.

You can find lots of fun activity ideas for 0 to 5-year-olds from the BBC's Tiny Happy People.


There's a reason they're called toddlers! Practice makes perfect and it's an important part of growing up, so it's good to try to make sure your toddler is free to have a toddle when they get the urge.

Go to the park

Get them running around the park. Take a ball and practise throwing, catching and kicking it around. These simple activities teach skills like co-ordination, balance and agility.

Sensory play

Toddlers love sensory play, and it's a wonderful way to spend time with them and let them explore the world.

It's all about stimulating their senses through touch, smell, taste, seeing and hearing.


Once your little one has mastered walking, try to encourage this as much as possible.

If you're heading to the park for some exercise, try letting your toddler walk some of the way.

How much activity do toddlers need?

Toddlers love to move around. All physical activities help their muscles, bones and brains develop, whether it's walking, running, climbing, jumping or dancing.

Ideally, they need 180 minutes of activity a day. But don't worry, it doesn't have to be all at once – 10 or 20 minutes here and there all counts towards the total.

And all sorts of activity counts too, whether it's indoors or outdoors. It's just about getting them moving every day.

Playtime activities are equally important and really helpful for:

  • language development
  • cognitive growth (thinking, concentrating, problem-solving, decision-making)
  • gross and fine motor skills (big and small physical movements)
  • social interaction

More ways to keep toddlers busy

Find loads more great ideas for fun activities for the whole family, including Disney inspired 10 Minute Shake Up games, indoor activities, accessible activities and a quiz to find ideas tailored to you!