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How To Occupy An Extremely Active Toddler At Home?

If you have a toddler who bounces off the wall then I feel you, it can be hard to keep up with their energy levels, and entertaining them at home can be a real challenge!

Learning how to handle an active toddler is the key to a calm home. If you have an extremely active toddler the these high energy toddler activities, toy suggestions, teaching tips and calming ideas will really help you know what to do with all that energy!

As with all toddler activities and suggestions, every toddler is different, and what works for one may not work for another – the best thing to do is to give things a go and adapt where necessary.

Comment below if you have anything you’d like to add based on your own experience 🙂

Toddler jumping around idea for activities at home

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High Energy Toddler Activities

One way to tackle very energetic toddlers, is to provide them with plenty of high energy activities to use up some of that endless energy! If they like to be active then try to include some of these activities in their day to prevent them from getting too frustrated – they want to be on the go, so here are some ideas to keep them moving:

Build a Den or Fort

Building a den or fort is quite a task for a little one, but with the help of an adult it can really help toddlers with their gross motor skills and it’s a really fun activity to do together!

We have tried lots of dens over the years, using blankets and pillows, to cardboard boxes and crates!

We have a post all a bout the best dens to build with toddlers here for inspiration:

Masking Tape Spider Web Game

spider web making tape craft and activity

We recently saw this idea as part of Let’s Go Live on Youtube and wanted to have a go ourselves – this is a fab idea for little ones as it’s super easy to set up with masking tape over a door frame, and then throw things to stick in the web (we found cotton wool balls to work best)

Household Item Obstacle Courses

Use whatever you have at home to make an epic obstacle course for your active toddler at home! My kids would endlessly jump off the sofa onto a pile of cushions for hours when they were little (they still do!)

Why not try some of these:

  • Use chairs to create a tunnel to crawl through

  • Jump over cushions laid out in a loop

  • Run from one saucepan to the next, dropping a ball in as you go!

  • See how many socks you can throw into a washing basket

  • Dance with each of your teddies in turn

  • Line up a row of toilet paper rolls and have a go at bowling them over with a soft ball

Toddler Friendly Treasure Hunts

Treasure Hunts, or Scaveger Hunts are a great way to keep kids moving! You can adapt them to suit your space or child and they are super easy to set up.

I have a great toddler treasure hunt, based on numbers they you can print for free here:

Puzzle Hide and Seek

If you have an active toddler then chances are you can’t get them to sit still long enough to do a jigsaw puzzle – but how about making it in to a game of hide and seek!

Take each piece and hide them aroud the house and have your toddler run around and find them! Or just have them at the other end of the room and they have to run back and forth with each piece! Super simple, but a great way to make a sit down activity into a movement game!

This does not of course mean, that once you have completed any of these high energy activities that your little one will suddenly calm down. However they will probably be in a better frame of mind to sit down and do other things if they have had the chance to be active first.

Give them a try and see which work best for you and the try variations on those – toddlers love repetition so don’t worry if it feels like you’re doing the same thing over and over, they thrive on routines like this!

Active Toddler Toy Suggestions

When it comes to highly active toddlers, there are some toys that are just better suited to them. These next toy suggestions are split into both indoor and outdoor options, because let’s face it, the great outdoors is great, but not always possible so you need to have some indoor options on hand too!

Indoor Toys For Active Toddlers

These next toy suggestions are for indoors and perfect for a rainy day at home with your toddler!

Hop Scotch Rug

Hop scotch is a great energy burning game, and if you’re outisde it’s pretty easy to draw out with some chalk, but when you’re inside it’s a little more difficult. That is why this Hop scotch rug from Melissa and Doug is so great!

It has a skid proof backing and is machine washable making it virtually toddler proof 😛

Pop Up Ball Pool

For younger toddlers this is a great indoor option. This pop up ball pool is super quick to put up and has holes down the sides for the balls to be posted through – an annoying game for parents but lots of fun for little ones!

This is a great one to take outdoors in warmer weather too!

A Pilker Triangle

This is more of an investment piece being on the more expensive side, but it can be a real sanity saver for really active toddlers. It allows little ones to work on their gross motor skills indoors no matter what the weather!

This particular one even comes with a small slide to make it extra fun with conbinations!

Click Clack Car Slider Ramp

These type of toys are great for active toddlers as it requires a lot of getting up and down! We had one of these for years – watching the cars drop through each level is great fun for adults too (trust me it’s very therapeutic!)

Although large, this toy is great because it is slim and can be stored away against a wall nicely when not in use.

Outdoor Toys For Active Toddlers

These are designed for outdoors, and are a great list of ideas for how to encourage your little one to burn some of that energy whilst outside!

Bubble Machine

You cannot beat a bubble machine for some outdoor entertainment for toddlers and preschoolers! Watch as they run around while you sit back and watch!

If you want to read our review of this bubble machine which we love then take a look at the best bubble machines post here

Basket Ball Hoop and Football Net

Ball games are great for burning some energy outside and this 3-in-1 set allows your toddler to play basketball, football and a hoop game all on this great compact set!

This is adjustable in height meaning it can grow with your child, making a great lasting toy!

A Ride Along Dino Cosy Coupe Car

There are a reason that these Cosy Coupe Toy cars have been around for years, and that’s because they are so great for the active toddler! Wear those little legs out by riding round and round the garden!

This is a fun dinosaur variation of the classic design which I’m sure many little ones will absolutely love!

How To Teach An Active Toddler?

When it comes to active toddlers, finding activities for them to burn some of that excess energy is easier said than done, but it is even harder when you want to focus on something a little different, and focus on learning a new skill.

I’m a huge advocate for learning through play, and believe that children will learn far more when they are met where they are – so if you have an active child, embrace it!

If you’re child doesn’t like to sit down then you’re going to have an uphill battle trying to get them to sit down and do something like a puzzle – meet them where they’re at with play instead.

If they like to run around, then make learning a game, a run around activity of some sort, or an actions game. 

Here are some ways you might encourage an active child to learn as they play:

Learning Colours | Colour Hunt

child sorting colours

If you are working on learning the different colours with your toddler, then make it fun for them by doing a colour hunt – shout out or show your child a colour and ask them to run and find you something of that colour – you can focus on one colour, or do lots at once but give them chance to run around whilst they do it!

Counting Practice | Star Jump Maths

child jumping in the air

A great way to encourage active preschoolers to focus on numbers, is to use movement alongside counting – so maybe you say the number 5 and they have to do 5 star jumps, counting as they go. Or you could do hopping, skipping, jumping, rolling or anything else you can think of!

Shape Drawing | Chalk Art

chalk drawing of a little girl toddler

Another great way to incorporate movement into learning is to do things on a larger scale. Take your learning outside and draw large chalk shapes on the floor – encourage your little one to try balancing on the lines as they follow the shape around. You could even have a go at drawing a person!

Firefighter Alphabet - Water Play

dressing up pretend play outfit

This is a favourite of mine and it’s so simple to set up! Draw the alphabet on a fence or wall with chalk, and then use a spray bottle or a water gun to spray the letters away! You can use this to practice recognising their name, or upper case and lower ase matching games too!

How To Calm An Active Toddler At Home?

Whether you need to calm to your toddler down for a nap or you just need a breather for 5 minutes – these ideas and activities can be very calming for a little one, and help them to feel more relaxed.

Playdough Play

Playdough is one of the most versatile activities for toddlers at home, and it is known for its sensory calming effect. If you don’t have any playdough at home it is super easy to make your own, and playdough mats make it a great quick go-to activity for the day.

If you need some playdough inspiration then we have plenty on the blog for you:

Weighted Toys

You’ve probably heard of weighted blankets – with a child on the Autism spectrum this is something we have looked into quite a bit – however I had not heard of weighted toys before, and I love the idea!

I have heard nothing but good things about weighted blankets so this seems like a great alternative for those times when you want to give your toddler the opportunity for some quiet time – this Gingerbread Toy I found on Amazon looks adorable and has great reviews!

Playtime Bath

If you’ve never tried having a bath in the middle of the day just for fun then you should try it! It can be really relaxing for a toddler and a lot of fun to!

There are lots of ways you can play in the bath, Duplo being a favourite of ours! You can check out all our ideas on bath time fun here:

How Do You Deal With An Energetic Toddler? - The Quick Version!

Active toddlers can be really hard work for parents and carers to entertain – but by using some of the ideas discussed you might just find that it’s a bit easier than you thought! Let’s take a quick recap:

  • High energy activities are great for burning some of that excess energy in toddlers and helping the to focus better throughout the day

  • Finding active toys for toddlers can really help make your life easier – there are some great suggestions for indoor and outdoor play

  • Encouraging your little one to learn through active play can be a real game changer in terms of learning new skills

  • When it comes to calming down time, there are some great activities and also toys that can help 

I hope this gives you lots of ieas to go away and try with your toddler – it is often a case of trial and error to discover what works best for you and them – let me know in the comments below what helps you and your active toddler!

Louisa | Mum’s Creative Cupboard x