Tips for Keeping a Toddler Busy and Happy

I guess it’s official…I no longer have a baby but a young toddler now! Toddler-hood has been really fun so far; but keeping a toddler busy and happy can be quite the challenge! Here are a few of my tips for making the most of this busy stage!

Keeping a Toddler Busy and Happy | Elaine Loves

{Keeping a Toddler Busy and Happy}

Imaginative Toys

T is so busy these days! Our living room has suddenly been taken over by all his toys. The best toys I’ve found which will have longevity as he gets older are those that feed his imagination.

Keeping a Toddler Busy and Happy | Elaine Loves

Our best purchase so far has been a play kitchenette. Every time T saw a play kitchen he would head right towards it. He loved turning the knobs and opening the doors. This mini play kitchen fits perfectly into our small space and I love the vintage vibe of it. As he gets older this play set will grow with him and help spark his imagination as he mimics what I do on a day-to-day basis.

Visits To Playgrounds

When the weather was warmer we would visit a playground at least once a day! Playgrounds are AMAZING for letting kids get their energy out. Parks are always a great workout for me too since T is still too little to play on his own. It’s also great to watch him observe the older kids. Whenever he would see them in the park he would squeal and want to join them!

Keeping a Toddler Busy and Happy | Elaine Loves

Now that the weather is cooler we haven’t been to the playgrounds as often, but as soon as I get T proper cooler weather attire I’ll be sure to take him again!

Quick Clean Ups

Toddlers touch EVERYTHING. There’s just no way around it. T was always touching sand and dirt and picking grass. I used to cringe at first but this is how toddlers learn and explore so I kind of just gave in and went with it. That’s why I carry a TON of wipes with me. I keep extra Huggies Natural Care Wipes easily accessible in my diaper bag and stroller – the Clutch N Clean package is amazing for on the go. As soon as he’s done playing I wipe down his hands thoroughly. These wipes are also great for when we’re eating out – I can give the table and high chair a quick swipe before I settle him in and clean his hands and face quickly afterwards. I feel really comfortable using these wipes frequently – for diaper changes and beyond – since they are safe and gentle for sensitive skin, and they are pH balanced to help keep T’s skin healthy.

Look For Drop Ins

Toronto is a great city for a toddler. There are so many free drop-ins at community centres and libraries with many of them offering song time, reading time and snacks. It’s great for keeping a toddler busy in rainy or colder weather.

Sign Up For Classes

If you can afford to, sign up for a regular class. Something you can attend weekly is great for your toddler so that they become familiar with the routine. If it’s a class that has the same attendees each week it’s also great for you to make friends and get to know other parents! We do weekly swim classes and I try to do a mom and baby program in the non summer months. I’ve made a lot of great friends through these programs and it’s nice for T to see the same instructors and follow the structure of a class.

Go On Play Dates

Social media has been amazing for finding play dates with other parents with kids around the same age as T. Even if you aren’t active on Facebook it’s worth searching for mom and parent groups in your area. I joined Mamas & Minis and have met SO many amazing moms and T now has regular friends he plays with!

Keeping a Toddler Busy and Happy | Elaine Loves

Go For Walks

Getting fresh air is REALLY important for both T and me! Getting outside…even for a few minutes seems to relax us both and keep T happy. Even though I try to get him physically moving as much as possible, taking him for a walk and letting him just look around and take in the surroundings seems to stimulate him as well. Neighborhood walks and heading downtown also works for keeping a toddler busy.

Keep Water and Snacks Handy

An energetic toddler needs to stay hydrated while on the go and snacks are a must have! T can get “hangry” if he hasn’t snacked; snacks are also great to keep a toddler distracted when you need to run errands!

Play Tourist

Now that T is more mobile and is constantly exploring, I’ve been having fun taking him to tourist destinations such as the Aquarium. It’s so much fun seeing his reaction to new things. He loved the Aquarium so much that I decided to buy a yearly pass! As he gets older he’ll be able to discover and learn more with each visit.

Keeping a Toddler Busy and Happy | Elaine Loves

Quick Wet Diaper Checks

Toddlers are also ALWAYS on the move. The last thing they want to do is stop playing for a diaper change. I’ve mastered the art of distracting T with a snack while I quickly check to see if his diapers need a change. The wetness indicator on the Huggies Little Snugglers diapers are so handy for these quick checks. If no diaper change is needed I can just send him back on his way! And thanks to the pocketed waistband, messes stay inside where they belong in between changes.

Keeping a Toddler Busy and Happy | Elaine Loves

After we get home from an outing T’s clothes are usually covered in dirt or food; or a combination of both! He usually wants to climb on the furniture and grab his toys. I make it a point to take off his top layer of clothes so that he doesn’t spread dirt all over the house! He loves running around in his Huggies Little Snugglers diapers anyway 😉

Enjoy Your Time Together

Although it’s been challenging at times and tiring, T and I are having so much fun! I love seeing him work on new skills (he’s officially walking now!) and learning new things every day. The times we have together are so special and I’m really enjoying our time together and I think that also makes for a happy toddler 🙂

What are your tips for keeping a toddler busy? I’d love to hear your suggestions especially with the colder weather upon us!


This post was sponsored by Huggies® Canada and inspired by the #NoBabyUnhugged program. As always, all opinions are my own.


  • Thanks for the tips! I was considering trying to create a post like this but for baby, not tots. Slowly discovering what is available and free for new mommies! T seems to have a packed schedule to help channel his tot energy!

    • If you can get out with J while he’s little it’s great for you 😉 The one thing I wish I did when T was small was to go to a baby friendly movie. Once he’s more aware you won’t be able to do that again!

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